Tag Archives: google

Sri Lanka and GSoC, en route to the true premise of the internet and computer science

Chris DiBona
Chris DiBona (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today is a great day. A pioneering advocate of open source software, Chris DiBona accoladed Sri Lanka for the contribution in GSoC and FOSS, in this interview with TechRadar/LinuxFormat. In his own words:

Every year that goes by we see more people from outside of the US take part [in GSoC]. The US still has a healthy proportion – 250 or something – but it’s amazing to see where people pop up – like Sri Lanka. Even during the civil war we still had Tamil and other Sri Lankan students taking part in the Summer of Code; it’s like, how did it transcend borders in that way in that country? And so, Sri Lanka has always been really interesting to us in ways that even India and China are not.

Here’s basically a very small nation, and if you look at it, there’s a couple of universities that really glommed onto Summer of Code as a way of expanding their curriculum. Think about that. 79 Computer Science students in a small university in a small country in the midst of a civil war, all doing remarkable work. This is the promise of the internet and computer science made flesh.

I think we should all take pride, as students, mentors, well-wishers and finally as Sri Lankans, for contributing with small steps, inspiring people around us, making a mark on the world map for a good thing! I should specially thank few people like Pradeeban Kathiravelu, Kasun Gajasinghe, Thilanka Kaushalya (from University of Moratuwa), Arunoda Susiripala (from University of Kelaniya), Buddie Kurera (from University of Peradeniya), Suranga Nath Kasthurirathne (from IIT) and many who came before them, for pioneering in spreading the word, organizing meetups and going places! AFAICR we did sessions in University of Jaffna, Pera, IESL etc and we used to hang-out in the #gsoc-lk irc channel in FreeNode too.

So let’s pat ourselves on the back once more and get motivated to do better in the coming years, not only in GSoC or Code-In, but in the open source community as well. As Sri Lankans let’s all have a greater impact on realizing “the true promise of the internet and computer science” as Chris DiBona said.


[This post was adapted from an e-mail initially sent to GSoC Sri Lanka Mailing List]

Some Sri Lanka FOSS Facts

  • Sri Lanka has a higher per-capita rate of Apache developers than any other nation on earth.
  • Sri Lanka is home to The Lanka Software Foundation (LSF) founded by Dr.Sanjiva Weerawarana, which has successfully incubated globally renowned open source projects such as Apache Axis 2 and Sahana Disaster Management Software.
  • WSO2 Inc, the open source middleware company backed by Intel Capital, is based in Sri Lanka.

Some more links – just for the kicks – [UPDATED]

WebGL in Firefox 4 and Google Chrome 10

If you are experimenting with WebGL, with a non-nVidia based graphics chip like Intel or AMD/ATI, you may have noticed it no longer works after an update to Google Chrome 10. Even in Firefox 4 with its much awaited WebGL support, things are not working well.
WebGL makes use of OpenGL to render 3D graphics in the web browser. Seems OpenGL and drivers are “disastrously buggy” that both Chrome and Firefox have decided to blacklist certain graphic cards. If you are feeling brave and want to bypass these restrictions, here’s how to go ahead..

DO this at your own risk. Engineers at Google and Mozilla must have very important reasons to block these and cripple 3D support in the browser like this for many users, considering the awesomeness of WebGL

In Google Chrome

You just have to run it with ‘–ignore-gpu-blacklist’ startup switch.
At the terminal use the command

google chrome --ignore-gpu-blacklist

In Mozilla Firefox

If you are using an Intel graphics card, you might have to install OSMesa first, which is a software implementation for OpenGL which enables off-screen rendering. You’ll find the package as ‘libosmesa6-dev’ in Synaptic Package Manager or try the old school method

sudo apt-get install libosmesa6-dev

Then run the following command to run Firefox, bypassing the blacklist.


Goto about:config and search for following parameters and make sure they are set as below.


To check whether its working properly Goto a page like Google Body Browser or examples like this at Learning WebGL. To know more about your graphic card in Ubuntu try the following commands.

inxi -G
lshw -C video
glxinfo | grep render

Here are some more related resources:
Learning WebGL http://learningwebgl.com/blog/
Planet WebGL http://www.planet-webgl.org/
WebGL on Intel cards http://www.guciek.net/en/js/webgl_intel
Awesomeness of WebGL http://www.slideshare.net/evilhackerdude/webgl-awesomeness
WebGL @ Mozilla Developer Documentation https://developer.mozilla.org/en/WebGL
News Story at OSNews http://www.osnews.com/story/24264/No_Hardware_Acceleration_Firefox_for_Linu

Few Funny Google Tricks

Use Google to download movies for free


This a little bit of a trick to search for movies, TV series or any video that is available for free on servers all around the world. Just copy the following code into Google search box and press enter.

-inurl:(htm|html|php) intitle:”index of” +”last modified” +”parent directory” +description +size +(wmv|avi|mpg) “dvdrip+xvid”

Screenshot-20% - 1-5 - 49.1 KB-s - DownThemAll!.png
Just substitute the word “dvdrip+xvid” with the name of the film, if you think it is more likely that the file will be available with that filename. Search Results will direct you to the directories that videos are available. Words like “dvdrip”,”xvid”,”axxo” generated very successful results for me. Since it gives links to directly download from the server, it is way faster than torrents මට හිතෙන හැටියට.

When you own google…

Are you bored with the google’s Home Page? Dreaming about customizing your familiar google Home page with any name you want? Click here to experience it yourself.

See what I did!
Screenshot-Funny-Google - Flock.png

Just Google It!

If you think that your friend still doesn’t believe in the power of google (I don’t know may be he/she was living under a rock..!) and missing out many interesting things around the world of web…Just send him/her this link.


If you find out many more interesting things about google or any other search related stuff just post them here as a comment.