FOSS.IN, an annual technology event first organized in 2001 under the title ‘Linux Bangalore’, quickly went on to become a significant event for die-hard supporters of both Free & Open Source Software (FOSS) and other advanced software technologies.
The event took a hiatus in 2011 after a 10 year run, and is now back following a huge public demand. The Call for Participation is currently open till July 8th, 2012, and can be accessed at http://foss.in/cfp.
A primary focus of the event is to increase the involvement of Indian developers and technology enthusiasts in both Free & Open Source Software as well as general technologies, through interactions with technologies and developers from across India and the world.
A common misconception is that the difficult technology problems can only be solved by Engineers in the West. “FOSS.IN is not about easy tasks – the low-hanging fruit,” says Atul Chitnis, Team Lead of the organising ‘Team FOSS.IN’. “We get technically inclined people , of which there is no shortage in India, involved in high-end technology problem-solving and development,” he adds.
FOSS.IN does this by bringing Indian and international developers and technologists together on one platform, letting them interact and explore technology problems, as well as each others’ strengths.
PROJECTS & COLLABORATION
The event often sees different people and projects getting together to spawn something completely new. Such collaborations benefit general consumers in the long run by providing more comprehensive and rounded technology implementations. An example of this would be web developers interacting with the core developers of PHP – the language that is used to build many major web properties, including Facebook, Yahoo and others.
“FOSS.IN also sees what is probably the largest congregation of international Linux kernel hackers in India. Linux is of course the poster-child of the FOSS world, being the core of just about every technology implementation today – whether mobile phones, web servers, search engines like Google, wifi and other network devices, and even desktop computers,” says Atul.
THE HUMAN SIDE
FOSS.IN also has a very human angle. “FOSS.IN isn’t just about the talks and the tech, but also about people,” says Kishore Bhargava of Team FOSS.IN. “The event provides a chance for people who have collaborated across the internet on projects to establish ‘human contact’ – right here in India,” he adds. This is important because almost all major technology community events with international attendance take place abroad, out of reach for most people from India.
Unlike commercial events, FOSS.IN is organised by volunteers. Entry costs are at Rs.2500/US$56 per head (Rs.1500/US$27 for students) to cover food and access to the various activities on all three event days. FOSS.IN caters to technical topics, and marketing and product-related topics are kept at bay. “The event is defined by world-class facilities, including free access to internet and high-speed WiFi, conference halls and areas for individual and teams to work on projects,” says Atul.
More information about the event can be found here.