GSoC India Delhi Meetup

12 06 2008

So I’m a week late. Shoot me.

Well, 7 of the supposed 71 of us turned up to an informal meeting in Delhi. It wasn’t one of those Google office meetups, just one of those “let’s get together so we can make better jabs at each other on IRC”-type meetups. And to that effect it was awesome.

We all met up at the City Center, right outside the Rajouri Gardens metro station. Since we have a dearth of pictures, this ancient Google Map counts (note that the mall hasn’t been fully constructed in the photo):

I was in town to meetup with a great friend, Shrey Byala, who I haven’t seen in 3 years, some relatives, and of course this meetup gave me the perfect excuse to travel. The last time I came to Delhi was like 10 years ago, so it effectively doesn’t count. What strikes me most about Delhi? Roads. There are beautiful roads everywhere, even where there are not houses (like Noida). Wonderful flyovers aside, it makes the city look very concrete junglish. The second thing being malls. They’re *everywhere*. The last thing I noticed was that Delhi definitely had more class eateries (which I appreciated for the first time) and the sort, but then again I come from a metro wannabe, Hyderabad.

I also would like to point out the dendritic cities that were sprinkled around the landscape surrounding Delhi. That and a most excellent topography brings back my 10th class biology and 8th class geography. How my brain has atrophied…

The meetup was very convinently situated near the metro station, and it gave me a good opportunity to check the metro out. It reminds me far to much of my days in Hong Kong and the subways there. Nostalgia is good.

I was the first to arrive, though Satya (mavu), was just 5 minutes away. I spent this time pacing about looking utterly lost, which seemed to work, as she spotted me right away. Another 5 minutes, and we were joined by Sanjiv (sanjiv) (who we found by madly waving our hands in the air), and then joined in no time by Sunil Ghai (sunil_g) (fellow Gnome GSoC-er), and Siddanth (pykid) and Saurabh. We chatted around about our respective projects. We proceeded to the food court where we could sit and not feel really bound to buy anything. Sumit would join us later there.

None of us had ever met before, but none of us felt like strangers at all. We leaped into conversation, and at times, we had a IRC room going on there; talking across the table between each other. We talked about how we got into FOSS, why it kicks the ass it does, how we could promote it, whether Microsoft is evil or not, and what we’d do with our cash (none of us had a clue).

We had some coffee, and icecream to justify our presence, but otherwise, we were just talking. We also raised the issue of a 12 year old mentor for the Django Project, and speculated his future (which to me looks very boring. I mean he’d probably have tried everything by the age of 27.) That I’ve forgotten something goes without mention.

Finally, a group photo taken by an innocent bystander. It was one of those handy dandy cell phone cameras, so the quality isn’t great, but it’s the only one we got.

Clockwise from guy with glowing Rin Supreme shirt (Sumit):
Sumit, Arun Chaganty (me), Sunil, Satya, Saurabh, Sanjiv, Siddanth.

An interesting thing I noted was how each of us got into the program:
Me: I had 3 proposals, a map editor for Battle for Wesnoth, a crazy idea to store file metadata in notes and do some equally crazy stuff related to the “Semantic Desktop” (sounds sexy doesn’t it), and finally, integrating Vim into Anjuta. The ironic part of it was that my effort vs. the probabilty of me getting it were inversely related. I spent a couple of days fully dedicated to the Wesnoth idea, I prepared UI mockups, surfed the code, looked up everything, but I withdrew my proposal because deep down inside, I really wasn’t interested enough. I spent a lesser amount of time with Tomboy, sent in a patch (which hasn’t been accepted yet), and had a nice discussion with Sandy Armstrong. I spent the least amount of time with Anjuta. I asked around on #vim and #anjuta about it, and got a simple reply from jhs (my mentor). Got back with something that already does it, and well, got selected.

Sunil Ghai / Siddanth: Both of these guys were very serious about their application. They had long discussions with the groups in concern, some of which were down right rejected, others well accepted. Point being lots of effort in writing those applicatiosn

Satya: She was introduced to GSoC by her friend bheekling (who I know is from IIT Kanpur, and I respect out of a gut feeling). She hung around on a IRC chat room, met her mentor, who was very helpful in bringing her into the entire environment. From not knowing a thing about Linux to plugging probes into the kernel (she’s doing something with System Tap) in just 2 months. Wow.

We wrapped things up after about 2.5 hours, most of us took the metro together, and parted ways at Rajiv Chowk. All in all, it was an excellent meetup, and we gel-ed really well. However, I have been issued an open challenge by Ankit Guglani, who unfortunately couldn’t make it, that his meetup (scheduled in a few days), would be infinitely better, and would feature a 3 minute chicken dance, aired on YouTube. Bring it on…

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15 responses

12 06 2008
ajuonline

ha ha ha ha!
I liked the “bring it on” part the most 😛
Good that you finally wrote about it..
but you guys have to admit!! nah… forget it 😛
good to see that the first GSoC India meetup happened and it was pHun 😀

12 06 2008
Ankitg

Dear Vim/Rin-zard … I said meet-up = fun stuff like chicken dance etc … you issued rules and regulations [with big gaping loop-holes] … anyways, point being you issued the challenge and I gladly accepted it. =)

I am glad that I got you guys to have a meet-up, otherwise you’d never known each-other in the meat-space 😛 … so as boring as your meet-up was, you are welcome! =)

13 06 2008
Kulbir Saini

thats it ???

13 06 2008
arunchaganty

“That’s it?”

Oh yeah? Yeah. I knew somebody else should have written this. F00.

I eagerly await Ankit’s meetup. I will troll.

13 06 2008
Nandeep

Hmmm… Chicken Dance… Somebody gotta record it. I’ll do the dirty job. It’s ok folks. Hope my sacrifice means something… 😛

13 06 2008
Sulabh

Seems like I missed something. 🙂

13 06 2008
sumit_k

Nice blog 🙂
yAy I was there
I was about to write one but I just got this link
thanks

13 06 2008
arunchaganty

@sumit_k; Aw man, now you’re admitting that there isn’t more to write. You were supposed to take up the reins and concoct some magical stew that ankig and generalBordeaux would lap up.

@Nandeep: Good on you brother! But just so you know, it’s ok if you don’t perform. I mean the challenge is between ankitg and me, and see, if nobody performs, he loses. And that is quite pardonable. ;-).

13 06 2008
Siddhant

Nice! Though pykid exists no more. Thy shall be calld as sigo…

13 06 2008
Bakarbaaz

You had a good time in Delhi!!! Am so bloody jealous…. *fumes*
As far as your cash goes – You owe me 2 treats- one for budday and the *big* one for google…. I can’t wait to get back…. the treats are too tempting!!!!
MUAHAHAHAHHHAHAHA!!!!

13 06 2008
Bakarbaaz

Your shack of fundaes is very true…… I can no longer make sense of your posts…..

15 06 2008
kirtika

U are not leaving any stone unturned to make the envy levels of wanna-be foss-buffs like me soar high !!! just kidding…nice post,fun and inspiring..especially Satya’s story [:)] ..keep rocking !!tell us some more abt this when sem starts.. btw,I am waiting for you to be back here to get the real shack of fundaes ..(wonder if u’ld say bring it on to that [:P])

15 06 2008
shirish

Hi guys,
Beautiful, that’s only what I have to say. I just hope the GSoC and code jams like that which promote libre software as well as pay something are more. Go guys go 🙂

15 06 2008
arunchaganty

@ Kavitha: Sigh. Sometimes I wonder whether or not my Google cash is sufficient to cover for my due treats… I also wonder whether it is possible to treat everyone at once. Multiple treats means complex time and resource scheduling. I haven’t reached there yet.

@ Kiritika: Glad to hear you were inspired (@Satya, now you have a fan ;-)). Though honestly, I find you and Satya to be on the same boat, what with you working on linux for the mobile device. I wait for the day when your shack opens. It’d be bigger, cleaner with a good staff, management and ambience. And legible menus too. (Yes, I’d say bring it on! Bring your kit too :-))

@ Shirish: Thanks. While Code Jam doesn’t really help the community,, it’s awesome (I hope to participate, and not suck). You should also check out GHOP, which like GSoC, is very target oriented, and produces definite improvement in the FOSS world.

17 06 2008
sudharsh

WTH, all I see is empty coffee cups and two bottles of water!…Wheres the food, ate it along with the paper plates? Man, you guys are stingy morons….food is fun..

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