GNUnify 2005 - A Forum to Unite Open Minds
The hills of Pune everywhere reflect Chhatrapati Shivaji’s heroic battles for freedom. Following Shivaji’s tradition, Pune’s Symbiosis held its 3rd annual software freedom fest “GNUnify 2005“. Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) was the call to arms.
The 3-day event from February 13th-15th was organized by students and faculty of the Symbiosis Institute of Computer Studies and Research (SICSR). All aspects of the festival demonstrated the strengths of FOSS — freedom, collaboration, enthusiasm, learning cool technologies and using open source software to build IT infrastructure. The Pune Linux Users Group (PLUG) and extended Pune IT community joined in to make the event a success. The event was open to all and had packed sessions with more than 500 attendees over the three days.
The first day focused on “Linux Eduvantage” — a half day program designed to create awareness among high school students and teachers. Presentations highlighting the advantages of FOSS in education were conducted keeping in mind principals, teachers and students. Mrs. Kanvinde, Director SICSR, started the day with the welcome address and talks topics included demonstration of various FOSS tools as well as discussion on how FOSS can be best used for school education.
The second day brought a flurry of parallel sessions with a Linux Install Fest being conducted simultaneously with a technology track and hands-on workshops. The install fest featured installation of various flavors of Linux with expert guidance by members of the Pune Linux Users Group and enthusiastic learners. The “techie talks” covered topics such as Mono, Ruby, Subversion, Eclipse, PostgreSQL, Zope, Python, OpenSSL, Evolution, CoLinux, embedded databases, data serialization using XML, Unicode, localization projects and more. The workshops on PHP 5, Python, Web Development using FOSS tools, and Mono were also popular with the attendees.
Like last year, GNUnify’s third day highlighted issues related to FOSS faced by industry and government today. The seminar was inaugurated by Symbiosis founder, Dr. S.B.Mujumdar, who was recently conferred India’s top honor — the ‘Padmashree’ award by the President of India. The program highlighted top open source gurus such as Brian Behlendorf, Apache guru and CTO CollabNet, David Axmark, Co-Founder MySQL, Shrikant Navelkar, GM Clover Technologies, Robert Adkins, CTO Technetra, Danese Cooper, Board Member OSI, and Alolita Sharma, CEO Technetra.
These experts talked about a range of topics from applying open source best practices in enterprise software development, MySQL best practices in enterprise software development, MySQL features and upcoming enhancements to the state of OSS in India, challenges in adoption of OSS in India and guerrilla warfare using FOSS. The talks were well attended and the audience had many questions in lively interactive sessions throughout the day.
GNUnify 2005 provided a great forum for open minds. It brought together the enthusiastic student community of Pune, many IT professionals from all across India and the global open source gurus. We look forward to GNUnify 2006!