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Mini Debconf Pune 2011
By Pavithran Sakamuri

(The Debian India team and VIT Active Linux Users group (VALU) had organised the Mini Debconf Pune 2011 at Vishwakarma Institute of Technology Pune between Aug 13 – Aug 15, 2011. The following is a first hand account of what happened at the meet)

Day 1 of the event comprised mainly of introductions, discussions and education.  Day 2 and Day 3 saw people split up into 2 groups - one which focused on newbies who are completely alien to the GNU / Linux world, while the other group jumped directly into contributing to the Debian project by packaging source code.

Shavan, Sana and Muneeb, the audience of last years MinDebconf Pune at College of Engineering Pune have successfully uploaded their packages and have been accepted by the Debian project. They are now active speakers of the event and have helped out with the lab setup.

The first session on Day 1 was taken by Shirish and Sana on the Debian history, bug tracking system, packages, package management etc. There was also a Q&A session on why one use and support Free or Open Source software from Abhijeet who teaches FOSS Elective at the College of Engineering, Pune. After that, Pavithran gave an edu and pure blends talk which discussed on how the Debian Project could come out with CD/Debian media aimed at particular groups like science, education and kids. There was a focus on education applications .Final event of Day 1 was taken by Praveen who introduced packaging and what they would be doing the next days by discussing some examples on package differences in windows and GNU/Linux ecosystem.

Day 2 had us splitting newbies from the regular planned session of packaging as we realised from the feedback on Day 1 that there are many who haven’t yet started their GNU/Linux journey. The packaging session was also split into two groups - one was handled by Praveen while the other was handled by Shravan. The newbies were given introduction to GNU, Linux, Qt, GTK and kernel and where they stand in the entire circle. This session had text based expert installation with step by step explanations of every element and concept behind it.

Day 3 had a Gnome 3 session and we also got some balloons and Gnome 3 badges . These goodies came from GNOME Foundation . After the Gnome 3 session, newbies were taught basic shell commands and also given a  jump start with UI programming with Qt Designer where by few clicks and zero lines of code were able to create an application which had a button, and by clicking it had some text disappeared.

On the packaging side, Shravan’s group was able to create their packages and are ready for submissions to Debian project . Each participant had their own separate packages.  Praveens extended his session while assisting everyone to be self sufficient and ‘Learn to do it yourself '

At the end, everyone finished the same package Lekhonee-gnome which is a desktop blogging client.

We concluded with a closing ceremony / session where almost every student gave feedback . Feedback was also collected from volunteers and speakers . The enjoyable part was handing over of Gnome 3 balloons by VIT organisers to Mangalore Students (NMAIT) who will be organising the next event . Also, special mentions were made of two projects Diaspora ( decentralized open source social network )  and Chamba (open movie project ) whose T shirts were sold at the event

(Pavithran Sakamuri can be contacted at his blog

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