Approaching half century mark…

Just a few days after opening FOSS./2005 Speaker Registration, we are already nearing the half century mark in terms of speakers registering. This is fairly astounding, given how long it took in previous years.

However, while Indian industry (e.g. software companies) and international speakers are registering in great numbers, I am pained to see that the Indian FOSS community is lagging behind. I attribute it to the usual “I’ll register in the last moment” syndrome we have seen before (people we asking for extensions this year even before we opened the registration! :) , but it bothers me none the less. October 8th, the last day for registration, is just around the corner.

What we are looking for is talk, workshop, tutorial and bof proposals from people already using FOSS technologies, and who are willing to help others to learn about those technologies as well. The scope this year is vast, and not just Linux, but all sorts of FOSS technologies, including BSD, FOSS on other platforms (including Windows and MacOS), FOSS-based services, FOSS in education, FOSS in eGovernance, etc., so there is no area that is excluded.

We are especially interested in case studies – people who have deployed FOSS stuff in lieu of proprietary solutions, and what their experiences were (good *and* bad). Also, students who have worked with FOSS technologies and know how to deploy them to thge benefit of their schools and colleges, should use FOSS.IN to speak to their institutions to make them aware of what their own people can do for them.

And we are looking for non-conventional applications – sound and music on FOSS platforms (a personal “hotspot” for me, as you should know by now :) , movie rendering and animation, school time table management, transport management, applications that use external services (such as Google Maps), etc.

One factor that often hear is “What can *I* talk about? I am no guru, no super hacker – who would be interested in my elementary stuff?”

Remember that story from the Ramayana? When Lord Ram was building the bridge to Lanka, he got help not just from the monkeys and the big animals, but he noted the importance of even the small squirrel, who would carry small portions of sand to the bridge to bind the rocks.

No effort is too small, no presentation is unimportant, no experience is a wasted one. If you have done something in the FOSS arena, then there are thousands of people who have not, and who love to hear what you did. Don’t be scared by the presence of the “giants” who will also be there at the event – they are all people like you and me, and they all learnt from others as well.

President APJ Abdul Kalam had said in 2003:

“The most unfortunate thing is that India still seems to believe in proprietary solutions. Further spread of IT which is influencing the daily life of individuals would have a devastating effect on the lives of society due to any small shift in the business practice involving these proprietory solutions. It is precisely for these reasons open source software need to be built which would be cost effective for the entire society.

In India, open source code software will have to come and stay in a big way for the benefit of our billion people.”

Are we heeding his call to action? Are you?

If yes, then you should let the world know – FOSS.IN/2005 is the biggest FOSS community oriented event in India, and possibly one of the biggest in the world – what better platform could you look for to let the world know what you know and what you have done in the Free & Open Source Software field?

Register as a FOSS.IN/2005 speaker.