BOB Konferenz’18 in Berlin

Recently Pranav Jain and I attended Bob Conference in Berlin, Germany. The conference started with a keynote on a very interesting topic, A language for making movies. Using Non Linear Video Editor for making movies was time consuming, ofcourse. The speaker talked about the struggle of merging presentation, video and high quality sound for conferences. Clearly, Automation was needed here which could be achieved by 1. Making a plugin for non linear VE, 2. Writing a UI automation tool like an operating system macro 3. Using shell scripting. However, dealing shell script for this purpose could be time consuming no matter how great shell scripts are. While the goal to achieve here was to edit videos using a language only and let the language get in the way of solving this. In other words a DSL Domain-Specific Language was required along with Syntax Parse. Video (https://lang.video/)is a language for making movies which integrated with Racket ecosystem. It combines the power of a traditional video editor with the capabilities of a full programming language.

The next session was about Reactive Streaming with Akka Streams. Streaming Big Data applications is a challenge in itself by ensuring there is near to real time processing, i.e there is no time to batch data and process later. Streaming has to be done in a fault tolerant way, we have no time to deal with faults. Talking about streams, they are two types of streams Bounded and Unbounded! Bounded streams basically mean that the incoming stream is batched, processed to give some output whereas an Unbounded streams just keeps on flowing… just like that. Akka Streams make it easy to model type-safe message processing pipelines. Type-safe means that at compile time, it’s checks that data definitions are compatible. Akka streams has explicit semantics, which is quite important.
Basic building blocks for Akka streams are Sources (produce element of a type A), Sinks (take item of type A and consume A) and Flow (consume element of type A and produce elements of type B). The source will send data via the flow to the sinks. There are situations where data is not consumed or produced. Materialized values are useful when we, for example want to know if the stream was successful or not, result of which could be true/false. Another concept involved was of Backpressure. When we read things from file, it’s fast. If we split that file based on \n, it’s faster. If we want via http from somewhere, it can be slow due to net connectivity. So what backpressure does is that, any component can say ‘wooh! slow down, I need more time’. Everything is just as fast as the slowest component in the flow, which means that slowest component in the chain would determine the throughput. However, there are situations when we really don’t want to/ can’t control the speed of source. To have explicit control over back pressuring we can use buffering. If many requests are coming and reaches a limit, can set a buffer after which the requests can be discarded or we can also push the back pressure upstream when the buffer is full.

Next we saw a fun demo on GRiSP, Bare Metal Functional Programming. GRiSP allows you to run Erlang on bare metal hardware, without a kernel. GRiSP board could be an alternative to raspberry pi Or arduino. The robot was stubborn however, interesting to watch! Since, Pranav and I have worked on a Real Time Communications projects we were inclined towards attending a talk on Understanding real time ecosystems which was very informative. Learned about HTTP, AJAX polling, AJAX Long polling, HTTP/2, Pub/Sub and other concepts which were relatable. Learned more about protocols/ layers in the last talk of the conference, Engineering TCP/IP with logic.

This is just a summary of our experiences and what we were able to grasp at the conference and also share our individual experience with Debian on GSoC and Outreachy.

Thank you Dr. Michael Sperber for the opportunity and the organizers for putting up the conference.

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KubeCon + CloudNativeCon, Austin

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon, North America took place in Austin, Texas from 6th to 8th December. But before that, I stumbled upon this great opportunity by Linux Foundation which would make it possible for me to attend and expand my knowledge about cloud computing, containers and all things cloud native!

cncf

I would like to thank the diversity committee members – @michellenoorali ,  @Kris__Nova, @jessfraz , @evonbuelow and everyone (+Wendy West!!) behind this for making it possible for me and others by going extra miles to achieve the greatest initiative for diversity inclusion. It gave me an opportunity to learn from experts and experience the power of Kubernetes.

After travelling 23+ in flight, I was able to attend the pre-conference sessions on 5th December. The day concluded with amazing Empower Her Evening Event where I met some amazing bunch of people! We had some great discussions and food, Thanks

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With diversity scholarship recipients at EmpowerHer event (credits – Radhika Nair)

On 6th December, I was super excited to attend Day 1 of the conference, when I reached at the venue, Austin Convention Center, there was a huge hall with *4100* people talking about all things cloud native!

It started with informational KeyNote by Dan Kohn, the Executive Director of Cloud Native Computing Foundation. He pointed out how CNCF has grown over the year, from having 4 projects in 2016 to 14 projects in 2017. From having 1400 Attendees in March 2017 to 4100 Attendees in December 2017. It was really thrilling to know about the growth and power of Kubernetes, which really inspired me to contribute towards this project.

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Dan Kohn Keynote talk at KubeCon+CloudNativeCon

It was hard to choose what session to attend because there was just so much going on!! I attended sessions mostly which were beginner & intermediate level. Missed out on the ones which required technical expertise I don’t possess, yet! Curious to know more about other tech companies working on, I made sure I visited all sponsor booths and learn what technology they are building. Apart from that they had cool goodies and stickers, the place where people are labelled at sticker-person or non-sticker-person! 😀

There was a diversity luncheon on 7th December, where I had really interesting conversations with people about their challenges and stories related to technology. I made some great friends at the table and thank you for voting my story as the best story of getting into open source & thank you Samsung for sponsoring this event.

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon was a very informative and hugee event put up by Cloud Native Computing Foundation. It was interesting to know how cloud native technologies have expanded along with the growth of community! Thank you the Linux foundation for this experience! 🙂

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Keeping Cloud Native Weird!
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Open bar all attendee party! (Where I experienced my first snow fall )

 

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Goodbye Austin!

Hack4Climate – Saving Climate while Sailing on the Rhine

Last week in Germany, a few miles away from the meeting in COP23 Conference of political leaders & activists to discuss climate there was a bunch, (100 to be exact) of developers and environmentalists participating in Hack4Climate to work on the same global problem – Climate Change.

COP23, Conference of the Parties happens yearly to discuss and plan action about combating climate change, especially the Paris Agreement. This year, it took place in Bonn, Germany which is the home to United Nations Campus. Despite the ongoing efforts by the government, it’s the need of the hour that every single person living on the Earth, contributes at an personal level to fight this problem. After all, we all have, including myself, somehow contributed to the hike in climate change either knowingly or unknowingly. That’s where role of technology comes in. To create a solution by provide pool of resources and correct facts such that everyone can start taking healthy steps.

I will try to put into words explaining all about the thrilling experience Pranav Jain and I had in participating as 2 of the 100 participants selected all over the world earth for Hack4Climate. Pranav was also working closely with Rockstar Recruiting and Hack4Climate team to spread awareness and bring more participants before the actual event. It was a 4 day hackathon which took place in a *cruise* in front of the United Nations Campus. Before the hackathon began we had informative sessions from the delegates  of various institutions and organisation like UNFCC – United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and MIT Media Lab, IOTA, Ethereum. These sessions helped us all to get more insight into the climate problem from a technical and environmental angle. We focussed on using Distributed Ledger Technology – Blockchain & Open Source which can potentially help to combat climate change.

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Venue of Hack4Climte – The Scenic Crystal Cruise stopping by the UN Campus in Bonn, Germany  (Source)

 

The 20 teams worked on creating solutions which could be fit into areas like identifying and tracking emissions, carbon pricing, distributed energy, sustainable land use, and sustainable transport.

Pranav Jain and I worked on Green – Low Carbon Diamonds through our solution, Chain4Change. We used blockchain to track the carbon emission in the mining of the mineral particularly, diamond. Our project helps in tracking the process of mining, cutting, polishing for every unique diamond which is available for purchase. It could also certify a carbon offset for each process and help the diamond company improve efficiency and save money. Our objective was to track carbon emission throughout the supply chain where we considered the kind of machine, transport and power being used. The technologies used in our solution are Solidity, Android, Python & Web3JS. We integrated all of them on a single platform.

We wanted to raise awareness among the common customers by putting the numbers (carbon footprint) before them such that they know how much energy and fossils were consumed for the particular mineral. This would help them make a smart and climate friendly and a greener decision during their purchase. After all, our climate is more precious than diamonds.

All project tracks had support from a particular company, who gave more insights and support for data and business model. Our project track was sponsored by EverLedger, a company which believes that transparency is the key to ensure ethical trade. 

Copy of H4C-Slides
Project flow, Source – EverLedger

Everledger’s CEO, Leanne talked about women in technology and swiftly made us realize how we need equal representation of all genders to tackle the global problem. I talked about Outreachy with other female participants and amidst such a diverse set of participants, I felt really connected with a few people I met who were open source contributors. Open source community has always been very warm and fun to interact with. We exchanged what conferences we attended like Fosdem, DebConf and what projects we worked on. Outreachy current round 15 is ongoing however, the applications for the next round 16 of Outreachy internships will open in February 2018 for the May to August 2018 internship round. You can check this link here for more information on projects under Debian and Outreachy. Good luck!

Lastly and most importantly, Thank you Nick Beglinger, (CleanTech21 CEO) and his team who put up this extraordinary event despite the initial challenges and made us all believe that yes we can combat climate change by moving further, faster and together.

Thank you Debian, for always supporting us:)

A few pictures…

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Pranav Jain picthing the final product
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Scenic Crystal, Rhine River and Hack4Climate Tee

Chain4Change Team Members – Pranav Jain, Toshant Sharma, Urvika Gola

Thanks for reading!

Much awaited.. DebConf’17 in Montreal.

On 5th August I got a chance to attend, speak and experience DebConf 2017 at Montreal, Canada. The conference was ‘stretch’ed from 6 August to 12 August .

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Seasons of Debian – Summer of Code & Winter of Outreachy

Pretty late for me to document my DebConf fun-learning-experiences, thanks to my delaying tactics.. I need to overcome.
But better late than ever, I had amazing time at DebConf. I got to meet and learn from my Outreachy Mentor, Daniel Pocock! 😀

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Picture of Daniel and me captured by : Dorina Mosku

One thing about DebConf I loved was the amount of Diversity in Debian family!

As a beginner, I got to get a big picture of what all projects are there. Daniel helped me a lot in getting started with packaging in Debian. I really appreciate the time he took out to guide me @DebConf and Pranav, remotely.

One specific line I liked about Daniel’s talk on Open Day, 5th August  – “Free Communications with Free Software and Debian” while talking about free RTC (Real Time Communication) is that,

..Instead of communication controlling the user, the user can control the communcation..

I talked about free RTC, my Project Lumicall and about my journey being an Outreachy Intern with Debian. I also covered my co-speaker’s project work on Lumicall being a GSoC 2016 student.

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Picture captured by – Aigars Mahinovs 

 

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Managing Debian’s RTC services – Daniel Pocock

Meeting the Outreachy family feels amaazzing! Karen Sandler, executive director of the Software Freedom Conservancy gave a talk on the Significance and Impact of Outreachy and Debian’s support for the programme.

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with Karen Sandler and Outreachy alumini

DebConf 2017 has been a wonderful conference with the community being very welcoming and helpful 🙂

Outreachy Progress on Lumicall

unnamedLumicall 1.13.0 is released! 😀

Through Lumicall, you can make encrypted calls and send messages using open standards. It uses the SIP protocol to inter-operate with other apps and corporate telephone systems.

During the Outreachy Internship period I worked on the following issues :-

I researched on creating a white label version of Lumicall. Few ideas on how the white label build could be used..

  1. Existing SIP providers can use white label version of Lumicall to expand their business and launch SIP client. This would provide a one stop shop for them!!
  2. New SIP clients/developers can use Lumicall white label version to get the underlying working of making encrypted phone calls using SIP protocol, it will help them to focus on other additional functionalities they would like to include.

Documentation for implementing white labelling – Link 1 and Link 2

 

Since Lumicall is majorly used to make encrypted calls, there was a need to designate quiet times and the phone will not make an audible ringing tone during that time & if the user has multiple SIP accounts, the user can set the silent mode functionality on one of them, maybe, the Work account.
Documentation for adding silent mode feature  – Link 1 and Link 2

 

  • Adding 9 Patch Image 

Using Lumicall, users can send SIP messages across. Just to improve the UI a little, I added a 9 patch image in the message screen. A 9 patch image is created using 9 patch tools and are saved as imagename.9.png . The image will resize itself according to the text length and font size.

Documentation for 9 patch image – Link

9patch

You can try the new version of Lumicall here ! and know more about Lumicall on a blog by Daniel Pocock.
Looking forward to your valuable feedback !! 😀

Speaking at Open Source Bridge’17

Recently, I and my Co – speaker Pranav Jain, got a chance to speak at Open Source Bridge conference which was held in Portland, Oregon!

Pranav talked about GSoC and I talked about Outreachy , together we talked about Free RTC project Lumicall.
OSB conference was much more than just a ‘conference’. More than content in the talks, it had meaning. I am referring to the amazing keynote session by Nicole Sanchez on Tech Reform. She explained wonderfully the need of the hour, i.e Diversity inclusion is not just ‘inclusion’. Focus should be on what comes after the inclusion, Growth.

We also met several Debian developers and Debian mentor for Outreachy (Hoping to meet my mentors someday!! )

Thanks to OSB, I got to meet Outreachy co-ordinator Sarah Sharp! It was wonderful meeting an Outreachy-person! 😀 We talked and exchanged ideas about the programme. and.. she clicked beautiful pictures of us delivering the talk.

Urvika Gola at Open Source Bridge
Picture Courtesy – Sarah Sharp
Urvika Gola at Open Source Bridge
Picture Courtesy – Sarah Sharp

The talk ended with an unexpected and very precious hand written note written by Audrey Eschright..

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Thank you Debian for giving us a chance to speak at Open Source Bridge and to meet wonderful people in Open Source. ❤

Debian goes to Hackathon!

Recently I had the opportunity to be a part of Ultrahack as a mentor which was held in Helsinki, Finland.
Ultrahack is a combination of hackathon and startup accelerators.
As a mentor, my role was to ensure that each team have best possible chances of fulfilling the evaluation criteria for the contest. I also helped teams with the development and pitching.

It was a very exciting place to brainstorm life changing ideas and convert those ideas into working model. I met so many amazing developers who were building cool stuff. There were a few open source developers and student open source developers like me!

Being a Debian contributor, I spread the what Debian is all about. What makes it the best linux distribution. I talked to students about various programmes like GSoC and Outreachy, Debian participates as a mentoring organisation.  I also described my role as a GSoC student under Debian and the free-RTC project I worked under. Many female developers were interested in the Outreachy programme, I described the projects that Debian has currently under the Outreachy programme.

During the hackathon period, I talked to people about the upcoming annual DebConf which takes place. I  informed them that they can still apply as a speaker or for diversity bursaries and about the logo-making competition.

Thank you Debian for always supporting me!

 

 

 

Speaking at FOSSASIA’17 | Seasons of Debian : Summer of Code & Winter of Outreachy

I got an amazing chance to speak at FOSSASIA 2017 held at Singapore on “Seasons of Debian – Summer of Code and Winter of Outreachy“. I gave a combined talk with my co-speaker Pranav Jain, who contributed to Debian through GSoC. We talked about two major open source initiatives – Outreachy and Google Summer of Code and the work we did on a common project – Lumicall under Debian.

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The excitement started even before the first day! On 16th March, there was a speakers meetup at Microsoft office in Singapore. There, I got the chance to connect with other speakers and learn about their work The meetup was concluded by Microsoft Office tour! As a student it was very exciting to see first hand the office of a company that I had only dreamt of being at.

On 17th March, i.e the first day of the three days long conference, I met Hong Phuc Dang, Founder of FOSSASIA. She is very kind and just talking to her just made me cheerful!
Meeting so many great developers from different organizations was exciting.

On 18th March, was the day of our talk!  I was a bit nervous to speak in front of amazing developers but, that’s how you grow 🙂 Our talk was preceded by a lovely introduction by Mario Behling.

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I talked about how Outreachy Programme has made a significant impact in increasing the participation of women in Open Source, with one such woman being me

I also talked about Android Programming concepts which I used in while adding new features into Lumicall. Pranav talked about Debian Organization and how to get started with GSoC by sharing his journey!

After our talk, students approached us asking questions about how to participate in Outreachy and GsOC. I felt that a lot more students were receptive to knowing about this new opportunity.

Our own talk was part of the mini DebConf track. Under this track, there were two other amazing sessions namely, “Debian – The best Linux distribution” and “Open Build Service in Debian”.

The variety of experiences I gained from FOSSASIA was very diverse. I  learned how to speak at a huge platform, learned from other interesting talks, share ideas with smart developers and saw an exciting venue and wonderful city!

I would not be able to experience this without the continuous support of Debian and Outreachy  ! 🙂

 

 

Outreachy- Week 8 & 9 Progress

Working with 9-Patch Images, Adapter Classes, Layouts  in Android.

Before starting this new task I never wondered ..”How does that bubble around our chat messages wraps around the width of the text written by us??”.

The image being used as the background of our messages are called 9-Patch images.

They stretch themselves according to the text length and font size!

Android will automatically resize to accommodate the contents , like–

ninepatch_examples-1
Source- developer.android.com

How great it would be if the clothes we wear could also work the same way.
Fit according to the body-size. I could then still wear my childhood cute nostalgic dresses..

Below, are the 9-Patch image I edited. There are two set of bubble images which are different for incoming and outgoing SIP messages.

bubble_incoming-9           bubble1-9

 

These images have to be designed a certain way and should be stored as the smallest size and leave 1px to all sides. Details are clearly explained in Android Documentation–

https://developer.android.com/guide/topics/graphics/2d-graphics.html#nine-patch

Then,  save the image by concatenating “.9” between the file name and extension.

For example if your image name is bubble.png.  Rename it to bubble.9.png

They should be stored like any other image file in res/drawable folder.

Using 9-patch images these problems are taken care of–

  1. The image proportions are set according to different screen sizes automatically.
    You don’t have to create multiple PNGs of different pixels for multiple screen sizes.
  2. The image resizes itself accroding to the Text size set in the user’s phone.

I had to modify the existing Lumicall SIP Message screen which had simple ListView as the chat message holder and replace it with 9-patch bubble images to make it more interactive 🙂

Voila! What a simple way to provide a simple yet valuable usability feature.

 


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