Saturday, April 28, 2012

Apache Meetup, Kandy: Community Matters!

Yesterday (28th April, 10 a.m. - 4.30 p.m.) we had an Apache Meetup at the Engineering Faculty of the University of Peradeniya. It was an excellent event, which followed the recent Apache BarCamp, Colombo. I presented how to build a new open source community for the audience. The presentation was titled, "Community Matters!!!111" and was based on "Community Matters," the GSoC Mentor Summit discussion that I coordinated.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Google Summer of Code 2012 and AbiWord

Being a mentor for the Google Summer of Code with AbiWord for the second time is going to be an interesting experience once more. It was a nice memory going through all the 29 proposals for AbiWord and reviewing them as a mentor. Selected students were announced by Google on 1900UTC, 23rd of April.

The list of accepted students, along with their project proposals as well as their mentors are given below.

1) Tanya Guza - "Improve ODF support"  - Mentored by Hub
2) Kousik Kumar - "Table Improvements" - Mentored by Simon
3) Aaditya - "Implement Rotated Text" - Mentored by Martin
4) Vincent (Zuyin Kang) - "Dialog improvements" - Mentored by Pradeeban
5) Bafna - "Implement and Improve the import and export of math from/to odt, doc & docx formats" - Mentored by Jean
6) Serhatkiyak - "Improving Abiword's OpenXML(.docx) support" - Mentored by Dom
An interesting point to notice is that, since 2006, AbiWord has successfully been participated in all the Google Summer of Codes (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012). Hence this becomes the 7th consecutive year for AbiWord to participate in Google Summer of Code! I wish the 6 students who got selected a great summer of code with AbiWord, and I hope they will continue to be a long term contributors even after their summer. At the same time, I should also note that, we had to miss a few nice students as we have only 6 slots. Hope they will still continue with their development on AbiWord.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


The sequels
I had a series of blog posts that I always wanted to write a sequel for. Some of them were from this blog itself, and some are from the other authors, which I wanted to extend by writing the part-2 of them. All my posts depict my view as of that particular moment. A sequel may be an improvement on the understanding on the same, which can even be in a different view from its predecessor.

However it didn't take much time for me to understand that extending is much difficult than writing something new. It is even harder, given that I don't like the idea to be second-hand. I personally hate to be the second in what I am really interested in doing. 

Public knowledge is public
Public knowledge should be open. Hate it when I see, "To read the full text of this article and others like it, try us out for 7 days, FREE". To make it worse, they become the first hit in the relevant google search. All the crappy search engine optimization (SEO) efforts of those guys!

On my way home
"On my way home" was initially the name of this blog. The thoughts during a long bus journey was always a major contribution or induction to write a new blog post, hence fitting the name of the blog. I changed it lately to "Llovizna", to fit the dynamic nature of the blog. "Llovizna" is "drizzle" in Spanish, also the name of a waterfall in Venezuela. Llovizna has seen a lot of blog posts. Some posts have a defined title, while some of them just summarize the random events in a form of a digest. This fits the latter, fitting as a sequel for multiple posts. Will try to expand these into separate blog posts. 2012 is going crazy and interesting. Hope to blog more later. :)

[Contd: Web History, The Planet, Plagiarism, WWW, Digital Marketing, Distributed Computing, shared, ..]

Monday, April 16, 2012

"Reading Level" ~ Google gets more interesting!

"Verbatim" and "Reading Level" are two new cool search tools from Google. Verbatim lets us search the exact term as it is, eliminating the spelling corrections, and all the smart features of Google.

Reading Level
"Reading Level" categorizes the search results according to the level of expertise needed in reading the page. Simple and easy-to-comprehend pages are categorized as "Basic", where the advanced and high-standard pages are categorized "Advanced". "Intermediate" stays in between. Highly technical or articles with complex language structures are often categorized as "Advanced".

I searched "Kathiravelu Pradeeban" using Reading Level, and found the below.

Similarly, searched a few projects that I am interested in.
Basic - 14%
Advanced - 3%

Basic < 1%

It is pretty reasonable to have the highly complex and technically advanced OGSA-DAI to have more pages classified as "Advanced" and only a tiny bit classified as "Basic". However, AbiWord, the word processor has more contennt classified as "Intermediate". This again is reasonable for an end-reason software product. Google Reading Level is surely an interesting feature.