Feb 13, 2009
sethb and I don’t mean to tempt fate. We find ourselves whizzing through Lucknow on our way to the airport with that sinking feeling that we’re going to miss our flight. Our flight to Mumbai leaves at 7PM, and it’s already 645PM. A herd of buffalo blocks the road, and the driver’s nonchalance is both inspiring and enervating. We’re on our way to Pune (via Mumbai) for gnuNify 2009, where we’re scheduled to talk at the Mozilla Project Day.
We find that our flight is delayed, which means that though we make the flight (joy!), we eventually only get into Pune at 3.30a.m. (*sigh). Our talk is at 10a.m. w00t! We find ourselves chuckling with resignation.
Pune is sethb’s kind of town. This is where most of the Indian language localizers live and work (in particular, Marathi, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati and Kannada), and they’re all attending gnuNify. The enthusiasm and hard work of the students really make sure the trains run on time at this conference. The lead organizer, Professor Harshad Gune, is on the board of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) and is one of the driving forces behind introducing open source ideas to the students at Pune’s SICSR (Symbiosis Institute of Computer Studies and Research).
sethb and I talk to a capacity crowd for about 3 hours. I talk about the Open Web again, and show all the usual demos (SVG, CSS, CSS+SVG, with Video bringing it all home). I also show Bespin running on localhost. I get some fascinating questions. In particular:
sethb’s session on localization introduces Silme and he gets a lot of follow-up questions.
The next morning was a real treat. Navin Kabra (who also runs Pune Tech) organized a “Breakfast with Mozilla” discussion, where sethb and I got a chance to talk to a bunch of technology entrepreneurs from Pune. The crowd is a really diverse one. We get technologists interested in topics like Bespin, addons.mozilla.org, and Ubiquity, as well as extension authors like the folks from Lipikaar. Someone from the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative is in the audience. We also get business folks interested in learning how Mozilla makes money, how extensions can be monetized, and what Mozilla is doing on mobile platforms. I also get a chance to pick the collective brains of the entrepreneurs in the room about how we can increase awareness of Firefox in India. These topics warrant their own blog post.