CMRIT_GLUG (April 2010)
Free Software Movement-Karnataka (FSMK) which is one of the member organization of FSMI & in association with IBM Software Labs had organized the encore workshop on ‘FOSS for budding developers’ at CMR Institute of Technology. It mainly focused on motivating and providing the necessary skills to aspiring developers to contribute towards FOSS community. The event was a 2 day event with the following break up as shown below.
- Eclipse (Software Development Environment related)
- Linux Kernel workshop
- OpenPegasus (System Management Development related)
- Linux Test Project (Test development/testing for Linux OS related)
- Linux Kernel workshop
- Apache Geronimo (Web Server/Web Applications development related)
Inaugural session was presided over by :
- Prof. Gopinath, IISc, Vice President, FSMI.
- Venkata Jagana, Chief Architect, IBM.
- Mr. Senthil Sundaram, FSMK.
- Dr. K V S Ananda Babu Principal, CMRIT.
Prof. Gopinath gave the first inspiring speech for the day. He told us about FOSS and its benefits that helped him in his earlier projects. He gave us a brief history of Free Software and Open Source. He said to follow the “Falsify Theory” which is nothing but to try and prove that a theory is not perfect which in turn makes you to fix bugs in the theory, improve the existing theory or even it might lead you to come up with a completely diametric theory. He also introduced the budding developers about the various fields varying from website hosting to genetics to GIS systems, where free and open source softwares are being used. He also addressed the fact that how patent system is completely unnecessary in Free and Open Source community.
Next speech was given by Mr. Venkata Jagana. His main theme was LINUX. He described the evolution of LINUX, he also told us that how, many companies are now contributing towards Free and Open source projects because, its the future. He also spoke about the Linux Technology Center at IBM and how they are working and contributing to FOSS by contributing through Eclipse, Linux Test Project, OpenPegasus and many more projects.
After all the inspiring speeches, came the turn of our very own Mr. Senthil. He is just too good with his sense of humor. He made the environment a little lighter by his humor and then we continued with the sessions and the workshop.
Linux Kernel workshop:
In this workshop we were introduced with the basics of kernel. Students were taught how a kernel can be build and compiled in our existing system. Students were also introduced to certain tools that might come in handy in debugging. Some of the tools that were mentioned were : Cscope, GDB, LD_PRELOAD, etc. Students were then made to explore these tools by making them write simple programs and explore the tools by using them against there programs.
As all the other session were running in parallel I could not attend those sessions but i didn’t bother because I have already worked with Eclipse and Apache so I already have a fair bit of idea on those topics and these topics were taught to students to give them an introductory idea about these tools.
Linux Test Project:
This was the best sessions so far, we were introduced to a project which was introduced by SGI(Silicon Graphics) and which is now maintained by IBM. This project is Linux Test Project. Main aim of project is to test and improving Linux. The project’s goal is to deliver a suite of automated testing tools for Linux as well as publishing the results of tests we run. Rishi is the maintainer of LTP at IBM. He introduced the students to LTP and its installation, he also made us to run one of his test cases. The twist in the tail was that he had introduced a bug in his own test case and made us to find it. Me and my friend(Vignesh) were very close in finding the bug but rishi himself debugged the code, were I felt a bit disappointed but I think the schedule was going haywire therefore he debugged the code himself. I met rishi during lunch, he is a nice guy, he was asking me about how did we felt about the session, he was also very satisfied by the commitment that he saw among the students in debugging the code. He was also telling us that he wants to join FSMK and help our students to excel in there career by improving in there technical knowledge as well as to be aware of the new technologies storming the world.
In afternoon, we had a session on OpenPegasus by Venkat, security administrator at IBM. This open source project is a System Management Software. It is used to manage different network components as well as computer systems using the Open Standards like DMTF(Distributed Management Task Force) and CIM(Common Information Model). This project reminded me of SNMP. When I asked the speaker about the difference in SNMP and OpenPegasus, he told me that this can be considered as the Advanced Version of SNMP. He also told me that this has a better scalability as compared to SNMP, as this session proceeded students felt the subject more and more alien, then some one in the crowd told the speaker that they are not following anything then speaker stopped and Mr. Venkata Jagana started by explaining the students about the managing of network components and computer systems by giving simple examples of managing components in college and some other student understandable examples, after some time the students also felt interested and session ended with every one having understood OpenPegasus.
I really felt satisfied with the 2 day event that I had attended. I came to know about the kernel, some open source projects where we have a scope of contributing in an easy way so that we could build up on this to a major contribution.