Tag Archives: GSoC

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]

How Sri Lankan Tweeps are connected in Facebook

I couldn’t resist the urge to create a visualization while playing with gephi for my GSoC project over the weekend. The Netvizz Facebook application was used to get the data extracted from the Tweeps group, a hangout spot for Sri Lankan Twitter users. Imported the gdf file to gephi and did the coloring based on the clusters. Did slight modifications to the Radial Axis layout for legibility of labels. Gimp was used to add the final touches. Node sizes are proportional to the degree of each node (the number of people each person is connected to, within the network). Colors represent the sub networks identified within the social network by the Modularity clustering tool. Click on the image for a larger version.

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Blogging about blogging

Yes this is just to say I have’nt stopped blogging. Don’t take me off your feed readers just yet. Past few weeks have been quite adventurous. I think I’m having one of the steepest learning curves in my life, while living the dream I was yearning for, for years. I got selected to Google Summer of Code this year and currently working on implementing an LDAP diagnostic tool for Apache Directory Studio. You can find my project’s code hosted here at Google Code. It is mentored by Pierre-Arnaud Marcelot and Stefan Seelmann. With their help, I’m getting my feet wet, and learning cool stuff about LDAP and Eclipse plug-in development.logo_2010_GSoC

And the next best thing which happened to me is getting to be an intern at WSO2, a world’s leading open-source middleware company. There, these days I’m working in WSO2 Business Process Server’s BPEL tools which is based on Apache ODE. Learning SOA concepts, Web services and BPEL under the guidence of industry giants is quite fun.

Although I’ve hacked with many OSS projects for few years now, this is the first time I’m doing serious work and actively contributing to the open source community. I’m learning stuff, in a rate I never thought I could. These massive dives into the reservoirs of knowledge and experiences are turning me into a patient listener and a reader…and a sponge with a very high absorption rate 😉 Have lot of stuff to write about, as soon as I get a break. So await!!! 😉 Till then, to keep the feed readers and blog aggregators ticking, I’ll be posting here some of the old articles I wrote to ‘The Gamer’. Enjoy!