Swecha organized a workshop for women researchers and academicians on the
theme 'Women in Research - the FOSS paradigm' on Friday 26th November. The
workshop was attended by around 165 women working as lecturers, professors
and researchers in various engineering and MCA colleges. It was inaugurated
by the Vice-Chancellor of JNTU Hyderabad Dr. D. N. Reddy who encouraged
women to participate in research and also appreciated the efforts by Swecha
in propagating the use of FOSS and wished it success in further endeavors
like NCAR 2010.
The keynote address was given by Prof. Jayanthi Sivaswamy from IIIT
Hyderabad, who is the All India coordinator of the Virtual Labs project of
MHRD and heads the Center for IT in Education. She put forward two reasons
to consider use of FOSS. One, from the social justice point of view as
proprietary software cuts access to lakhs of people who cannot afford the
high cost of that software. Two, use of FOSS also makes economic sense as it
encourages and involves many more people in the process and thus would be
good for the economy of the country. As for concrete application of FOSS in
research, she gave the example of how FOSS was much superior in usage for
her while developing virtual labs for science. The idea of virtual labs for
science was prompted by the lack of proper labs and infrastructure in most
of the schools and colleges in Hyderabad. The IIIT is involved in developing
these labs and now the union ministry of HRD is asking for similar virtual
labs to be developed for engineering colleges also. She pointed out that the
use of FOSS in such research projects is growing not only in India but
across the world.
Prof. K S Rajan of IIIT said that knowledge can grow only when it is shared
with others and free software provides the platform for such sharing and
enriching of knowledge. In this context he emphasised the importance of peer
learning and how it is important to do so at every level of education. He
felt that FOSS platform enables the academics and researchers to be updated
in their knowledge about their spheres.
The workshop had presentations on 'Computing freedom with free software –
the Experience of Swecha' by Dr L Pratap Reddy of JNTU Hyd who is also the
working chairman of Swecha; a presentation on 'How to use FOSS for research
and development' by Ms. Sirisha of Wipro Technologies. There were also
testimonials by women from various institutes who used FOSS in their
research work and how it helped them to accomplish their goals.
The participants set forward an action plan which included setting up FOSS
labs in their colleges, creation of Lab Manuals for FOSS tools, conducting
workshops for other faculty and students, participating in localization of
free software etc.
More info & photos at http://ncar2010.fsmi.in/women-researchers-workshop
Sarath M S
National Convention for Academics and Research (NCAR) 2010 will be held from
16th to 18th December 2010 at Hyderabad. The event is being organized by
Free Software Movement of India and hosted by Swecha. FSMI is organizing the
first convention to spread awareness of Free/Libre and Open Source Software
(FOSS/FLOSS) and its usage in Academia/Research communities. The theme for
this convention will be "*Computing Freedom in Education, Research and
Technology*" The convention provides a platform for sharing of experiences
and views, to foster a collaborative approach to education and for improving
educational aids including software tools. The convention will see
participation of researchers and academicians from colleges and universities
across the country including IITs, IISc, IIIT.
The FOSS paradigm provides an opportunity to evolve a serious research
community with global cooperation. This would also enable in bridging the
gap between research-industry and societal demands. An integration for
research between academia and industry is not up to the mark as it is in the
case of developed nations. This convention shall provide space for faculty
and students of Engineering Colleges to learn, interact, and network with
their peer groups, leading to a development of a FOSS ecosystem.
The convention will focus on a wide range of topics through dedicated track
sessions on academic and research areas like scientific computing and
visualization, to Indian Language technologies and application specific
domains of Mobile, GIS and the like. In addition, it will also host
demonstrations, exhibitions, and tutorial sessions for providing hands-on
training on Free Software tools in research and education.
Swecha and other member organizations of FSMI will be organizing a wide
variety of run up events across India in promotion of Free Software and NCAR
2010. There will be workshops, seminars, 'train-the-trainer' sessions. Apart
from academicians and researchers, some of these events will be extended to
other sections like students, Lab admins, developers, physically challenged
users, print and electronic media etc.
Swecha has also planned to hold a one-day workshop for women researchers and
academicians on "Women in Research - The FOSS paradigm" to bring together
like-minded women researchers and academicians to build an ecosystem where
one can learn from each others' experiences and works done.
Visit http://ncar2010.fsmi.in for Online registration and more details.
Sarath M S.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 08 Nov 2010 08:39:19 -0200
Subject: [en] Linux-2.6.36-libre: turning Linux's Free Bait into Free Software
Cyberspace, November 8, 2010---Linux hasn't got any Freer between the
Linux-2.6.33-libre announcement, back in March, and the present
announcement, that marks the release of Linux-2.6.36-libre. Linux now
contains more non-Free Software, and more drivers in its Free core
that require separately distributed non-Free Software to function.
The welcome news is that Open Source advocates have joined the Free
Software Movement in denouncing the practice of Free Bait or Open
OSI director Simon Phipps writes “Open Core Is Bad For You”, “it's a
game on software freedom”, “it's a bait-and-switch, wrapping the same
old lock-in in the flag of open source and hoping you won't notice.”
Bait-and-switch is a deceptive commercial practice in which one
product is announced to attract customers, to sell another instead.
OSI director Andrew C. Oliver adds that “Open Core puts the software
user at a disadvantage in the same way that all proprietary software
puts the user at a disadvantage”, it “is merely a nick-name for a
proprietary software company”, and those who imply their “proprietary
software is open source or has the advantages of open source are
engaging in deception.”
This agreement between the Free Software movement Freedom campaign and
Open Source spokespeople on a matter of principle signals the
importance of denouncing this practice. However, most of our
community is not aware that Linux has this problem. The most popular
GNU+Linux distributions, and most of their user groups, downplay the
problem of non-Free parts of Linux.
Free Bait, or Open Core as first coined by Andrew Lampitt, is a
licensing strategy that combines Free and non-Free Software: the
distributor offers, under non-Free terms, premium features that are
not available in the Free, typically copyleft, core. The original
definition, presented in the context of deriving benefits such as
profit or code contributions, may appear confusing because it
conflates non-Free with commercial, but Free Bait does not mean
selling additional permissions to the same code, letting others offer
non-Free extensions, or offering Free extensions to paying customers.
Rather, it means that a community member or distributor of the Free
core also offers non-Free extensions to go with it.
Sad to say, Linux fits the definition of Free Bait or Open Core. Many
believe that Linux is Free Software or Open Source, but it isn't.
Indeed, the Linux-2.6.36 distribution published by Mr. Torvalds
contains sourceless code under such restrictive licensing terms as
“This material is licensed to you strictly for use in conjunction with
the use of COPS LocalTalk adapters”, presented as a list of numbers in
the corresponding driver, and “This firmware may not be modified and
may only be used with Keyspan hardware” and “Derived from proprietary
unpublished source code, Copyright Broadcom” in the firmware
subdirectory, just to name a few examples.
Although the corresponding drivers are part of the Free and GPLed
core, the features they are meant to provide will only be available to
users that accept the non-Free code that Mr. Torvalds redistributes.
The drivers work as bait, luring users into accepting the deprivation
of essential freedoms over the corresponding non-Free Software.
Most GNU+Linux distributions follow the same practice: they include
other freedom-denying programs beyond the kernel Linux, while
continuing to associate themselves with the terms Free Software or
Even if they, Linux included, remove all these non-Free programs, as
long as they keep software or documentation that induces users to seek
and use non-Free programs, they're still bait.
Please join us in bringing these problems to users' attention, and
also in informing users about the various Free GNU+Linux distros and
Linux-libre, our Free version of the kernel Linux. Available since
October 21, Linux-2.6.36-libre is Bait-free Free Software; Linux and
GNU+Linux can be de-baited and Free again, if we work together at it.
== About Linux-libre
Linux-libre is a project maintained by FSFLA, that releases cleaned-up
versions of Linux, suitable for use in distributions that comply with
the Free Software Distribution Guidelines published by the GNU
project, and by users who wish to run Free versions of Linux on their
GNU systems. The project offers cleaning-up scripts and Free sources,
binaries for some Free GNU/Linux-libre distributions, binaries to
replace with minimal changes the kernels in non-Free GNU/Linux
distributions: Freed-ebian and Freed-ora, and artwork with GNU and the
Linux-libre mascot: Freedo, the clean, Free and user-friendly
light-blue penguin. Visit our web site and Be Free!
== About FSFLA
Free Software Foundation Latin America joined in 2005 the
international FSF network, previously formed by Free Software
Foundations in the United States, in Europe and in India. These
sister organizations work in their corresponding geographies towards
promoting the same Free Software ideals and defending the same
freedoms for software users and developers, working locally but
Copyright 2010 FSFLA
Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this
entire document without royalty, provided the copyright notice, the
document's official URL, and this permission notice are preserved.
Permission is also granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of
individual sections of this document worldwide without royalty
provided the copyright notice and the permission notice above are
preserved, and the document's official URL is preserved or replaced by
the individual section's official URL.
"I will contribute 500 Indian Rupees (or 10 USD) to Chamba Swathanthra
Cinema Project but only if 100 other people will do the same."
— Praveen Arimbrathodiyil, Coordinator for Chamba Project
Deadline to sign up by: 1st January 2011
18 people have signed up, 82 more needed
Chamba project (http://www.chambaproject.in) is an ambitious effort to
create a Swathanthra (Free/Libre) Animation Movie by pooling in
contributions from people around the world and funding artists
A donation system will be setup at
http://www.chambaproject.in/contribute/ when we are ready to accept money.
You have to keep reminding your government that you don't get your
rights from them; you give them permission to rule, only so long as
they follow the rules: laws and constitution.
SciPy 2010 Call for Papers & Participation
The second SciPy India Conference (scipy.in) will be held from December 13th
to 18th, 2010 at IIIT-Hyderabad (http://www.iiit.ac.in/).
Scipy.in is a conference providing opportunities to spread the use of the
Python programming language in the Scientific Computing community in India.
It provides a unique opportunity to interact with the "Who's who" of the
Python for Scientific Computing fraternity and learn, understand,
participate and contribute what is happening in the realms of Scientific
Computing using Python. Attendees of the conference and participants of the
sprints planned will be able to access and review the tools available, apart
from learning domain-specific applications and how the tools apply to a
plethora of application problems.
One of the goals of the conference is to combine education, engineering and
science with computing through the medium of Python and thereby extrapolate
on how powerful Scientific Computing is in various fields and among
At this conference, novel applications and breakthroughs made in the pursuit
of science using Python are presented. Attended by leading figures from
both academia and industry, it is an excellent opportunity to experience the
cutting edge of scientific software development.
The conference is followed by three days of tutorials and code sprints,
during which community experts provide training on several scientific Python
We invite you to take part by submitting a talk abstract or register as a
participant on the conference website at: http://scipy.in
We solicit talks and accompanying papers (either formal academic or
magazine-style articles) that discuss topics regarding scientific computing
using Python, including applications, teaching, development and research.
Papers are included in the peer-reviewed conference proceedings, published
Please note that submissions primarily aimed at the promotion of a
commercial product or service will not be considered.
Wednesday, Nov. 10: Abstracts Due
Monday, Nov. 15: Schedule announced
Sunday, Dec. 05: Proceedings paper submission due
Monday-Tuesday, Dec. 13-14: Conference
Wednesday-Friday, Dec. 15-17: Tutorials/Sprints
Saturday, Dec. 18: Sprints
The invited speakers
* Fernando Perez -- PhD from University of Colorado. Currently at the Helen
Wills Neuroscience Institute at the University of California, Berkeley.
Original author and leader of the IPython project for interactive computing
(http://ipython.scipy.org), and member of the Python Software Foundation.
* John Hunter -- Ph.D. from University of Chicago. Currently at Tradelink,
Inc. Chicago. Original author and lead developer of the scientific
visualization package *matplotlib*.
* Perry Greenfield -- PhD, MIT. Currently at Space Telescope Science
Institute, Maryland, USA. Has pioneered the use of Python in astronomy. He
and his group have developed PyRAF, numarray (the precursor to current numpy
capabilities), PyFITS and involved with the development of matplotlib.
* Prabhu Ramachandran -- PhD, IIT Madras. Currently a faculty member at IIT
Bombay. He is the co-founder of the Indian Linux User Group - Chennai
(ILUGC) and is the creator and lead developer of the
(FOSS-India-award-winning) Mayavi and TVTK Python packages (
http://code.enthought.com/projects/mayavi). Currently heads the FOSSEE (
* Stéfan van der Walt -- PhD, Stellenbosch University, SA. Currently a
researcher and lecturer in Applied Mathematics at Stellenbosch University.
One of the developers of the NumPy and SciPy packages.
* Jarrod Millman -- Member of the SciPy steering committee and an active
contributor to both the NumPy and SciPy projects. He is the acting managing
director and the director of computing for UC Berkeley's Neuroscience
Institute, where he helped found the Neuroimaging in Python (NiPy) project.
* Satrajit Ghosh -- PhD Boston University. Currently a faculty member of
the Speech and Hearing Biosciences and Technology program, Harvard-MIT. He
is managing the development of the NiPy project (http://nipy.org/nipype/).
* Asokan Pichai -- Head - Software Engineering at TalentSprint.
Consultant/Project manager for the Python group of the FOSSEE project. He
has immense experience in the field of training and instructional design.
* Jarrod Millman, Neuroscience Institute, UC Berkeley, USA (Conference
* Prabhu Ramachandran, Department of Aerospace Engineering, IIT Bombay,
India (Conference Co-Chair)
* FOSSEE Team
* EnhanceEdu Team
Python is an interpreted, interactive, object-oriented, open source,
extensible programming language. It combines clarity and readability, making
it an extremely powerful language that can be used for various applications
Python is simple and easy to learn and apply. It offers an interactive
environment in which to explore procedural, functional and object oriented
approaches to problem solving. Its high level data structures, extensive
documentation and clear syntax make it an ideal first language, while the
large number of existing libraries make it suitable to tackle almost any
programming tasks. Its simplicity makes it easy to adapt to multiple
Python has several libraries that enable numeric and symbolic computing. It
also interfaces well with native codes in C,C++ and FORTRAN and has
excellent libraries for plotting/visualization. Python also provides
libraries for general purpose computing including generating user interfaces
and web development. These, coupled with it's interactive interpreter, make
Python an excellent language for Scientific Computing.
All these features when combined with their wide-ranging applications make
Python a perfect fit for use in Education, Industry and Scientific
Registration, accommodation and food are offered at highly subsidized rates
for teachers and students, while registration and food will be offered to
all conference participants at subsidized rates. Details about the fees can
be found at: http://scipy.in/scipyin/2010/about/fees/
The posters can be downloaded from the website :
Feel free to email the organizers at info(a)fossee.in
hi fsf buddies,
I've got a project requirement from one of my clients, that they require a
wikipedia like repository + blogging + forum + other popular site
Considering their requirements I've decided to take up, TIKIWIKI one of the
popular applications available (as "mediawiki" doesn't have a pleasing
interface and not much expandable).
I need suggestions from ma community guys, regarding other such applications
Or please let me know if anyone here, who could help me out with this
project and its future upgrades using tikiwiki. Myself is new to tikiwiki,
but i preferred it as it had a huge list of features.
Expecting a quick response.