FOSS in India

by anandeep on November 25, 2008 01:47pm

I am writing this during lunch at FOSS.IN, the most prominent Open Source conference for developers and FOSS advocates in India.  FOSS.IN is in Bangalore, which is where I graduated high school.  That was a long time ago - and Bangalore has been transformed from the "garden city" to the software capital of India.  Lots more skyscrapers and cars on the road.  And lots of software companies (including Microsoft) have development or R&D centers here.

It so happens that the venue for FOSS.IN is in the Indian Institute of Science (I.I.Sc) auditorium.  I.I.Sc was right in the middle of the path I trudged from home to school, walking 12 miles uphill both ways (or so it seemed).  I have seen the Indian cricket team there, when they were visiting the old auditorium.  The new auditorium on the same site is nothing like the old one, it's actually pretty nice.  I don't think they would allow me to perform the amateur play that I was forced into by my high school drama teacher at the venue any more!

The conference is all volunteer organized and does not have the polished feel of a larger conference in the US.  I think this actually works in the favor of the conference organizers because people seem to interact more with one other than tends to happen at other conferences I have been to stateside. 

But I have actually been disappointed that I have not seen more Open Source contributors from India gain prominence. That is kind of sad, since we have one of the (if not the) largest pool of software engineers in the world.  So, I am keen to talk to the people involved and see what is happening around Open Source development in India.

There are a large number of people attending - my estimate is between 300 and 400 - with just three vendors: Sun, Noikia and VMWare(?).

So far I have attended the keynote by Harald Welte on how Embedded Linux was not taking the right path and why.  I also attended a session that went through an "interview question" that was given to KVM contributor Amit Shah to solve by Qumranet prior to bringing him on board. It was to facilitate the migration of guests from an Intel based architecture host to an AMD based architecture host.  The talk was fascinating.

I am starting to mingle and will have a number of stories from interacting with the people at the conference. So, more to come later.


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