Bhimashankar

23rd September, 2018

I am writing this account with the hope that many more about the trips I made this year would follow.

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Basically I invited myself on this trip and I am glad I went out of my comfort zone because it was totally worth it. This weekend when I am at home for the entire time and I am now completely sure that the days without sleep are much better than lying on the bed with your lone thoughts.

To begin with, luckily Gaurav was in town and I met him on Saturday where I got to know about his little outing plan. He, Itishree and Animesh were planning to go on a road trip that was all that I knew and I asked Gaurav to take me too because as per my experience, trips with Gaurav are fun and so I was instructed to be ready by 9 am the next day. I woke up by 7:30 am and called Gaurav up and the trio was in deep sleep and they told me to sleep again cause ‘its okay to be a little late but I was too excited to go back to bed. So I got ready by 8:30 am, cut some papaya for the trip packed my bag and waited for them to come pick me up.

They came in a maroon car and I wished Animesh a happy birthday and sat beside Itishree. We started with some small talk about the weather but it was only after we had breakfast that we all got comfortable(that’s what I like to believe). It was sunny but when we crossed the city and entered the countryside the area was beyond my expectation. The rains had resided a month ago but yet there was greenery.

Halfway through the journey, we found a lake. After returning from the trip I searched about it and I guess it was the Chas kamam dam.

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We spent nearly half an hour or so there. Clicked some pictures. Prevented Itishree from doing stunts. Got wet in the water. Enjoyed the coolness of it and then even skipped stones in water. Animesh and Gaurav were good at it and when I couldn’t learn it quickly I took to throwing heavier stones in the water, sending them to where they belonged. The water was emerald and I saw that color for the first time in real life.

During the drive, I got to learn that we were going to Bhimashankar, which is one of the 12 jyotirlingas. Well, it’s not my ignorance but my efforts to not know where I am headed. I like surprising myself. Animesh and Itishree counted all the jyotirlingas on their fingertips and I felt like a noob. The childhood memories of such videos playing at home that displayed all the holy places of India started coming back to me.

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I thought that my mother would be really glad to know that I am visiting a holy place on Sunday. Ahead of the lake, the scenery turned more beautiful. The weather became cooler we had good music playing in the background and the water of the lake turned into a stream by now was glistening. The green was bright and then the whole route had purple and yellow flowers on both ends. The shades of green and these colors gave me the impression as if I was driving through some painting that usually hangs on walls.

Bhimashankar was less crowded so it was a relief. We climbed down some flights of stairs. Bought flowers and leaves to present to the God and all the way Gaurav and Animesh talked about which all sweets they’ll eat on the way back and from which stall. As at all the temples in India nowadays, we were given only 30 or so seconds to really bow down and offer prayers in the main temple. Indian temples force the fact upon you that it’s about the journey and not the destination.

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We had all kinds of sweets and all of them even got some boxes packed. Gaurav pointed out that we were the youngest people there who weren’t there with family and I was somehow proud of it.

On the way back, after lunch, the sun started setting and the drive was pleasant because I was sitting on the front seat now. A flock of birds flew by and as it was the day of Ganesh visarjana, we passed so many groups who were leaving for the ceremony covered in gulal and then there were groups who were dancing on bhajans and one group was immersing Ganesh by the lakeside in that peaceful evening. Itishree told me about some awesome tracks and we also listened to Enrique. We clicked some pictures along the roadside and the valley reminded me of Mangalore. In the entire trip, the memories of Rishikesh kept coming back too.

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With them, I felt comfortable. I didn’t have to think twice before playing my playlist cause it was the first time I felt no one would find me weird rather they knew the songs by heart. Plus they preferred tea over coffee. 😀 To be confident of you are and not questioning your own identity is what I learned that day. Accepting and being proud of my childhood was something new. When we crossed the bridge where the whole community was participating in Ganesh visarjan. We slowed the car and could see so many colorful idols of different sizes. People were there with their lords in hands offering the best they could to their god and then letting him go with the promise to have him back the next year. Maharashtra and Pune shocked me that day. That was the first time I was happy to be here. Settling here hasn’t been easy.

This is the bhajan that Itishree shared and she said I can always ask her if I want to know some more prayers.

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A day at GIDS’18

Great Indian Developer Summit is India’s longest running, independent polyglot conference series for the software practitioner. It took place from 24-28th April this year in Banglore.

I attended the conference on 27th April. The track for the day was GIDS.DEVOPS & ARCHITECTURE, aimed at deepeing one’s knowledge on DevOps, Reactive Architecture Patterns, Getting Things Done (GTD), Evolutionary Architecture, Agile Design, Functional Design, Serverless, FaaS, Machine Learning, TensorFlow, TLS, Encryption, Docker DSL, Git, Gradle, Jenkins, Value Driven Development, Pipelines as a Code, Continuous Delivery, Containers, Microservices, and much more.

The day started at 8:20 AM with the welcome note as the main hall swell up with developers. The first session was by Mark Richards on “The Move towards Architectural Modularity”. Following it we had Siddharth Roy and Ashish Atre. I attended the session of Neal Ford on “Stories Every Developer Should Know”, “Serverless? Not so FasA!” by Matt Stine, “Supporting Constant Change” by Neal Ford, “Reactive Architecture Patters – Part 1” by March Richards, “The Architecture of Universal Design: All Devices, All Users” by Scott Davis and “Why Containers Will Take Over the World” by Elton Stoneman.

8:30 – 9:30
“The Move towards Architectural Modularity” – Mark Richards
The drivers of modularity are:
1. Agility
2. Testability
3. Deployability
4. Scalability
5. Avalaibility
Distributed modular architecture has 3 methods.
1. Microservices
2. Service-based
3. Event Driven
Modularity is a must, though not every portiion of producation has to be a microservice. Microservices need collaboration instead of communication and only when there are one or more drivers present should one make use of microservies.

10:45 – 11:45
“Stories Every Developer Should Know” – Neal Ford
One who doesn’t remember history
I am sharing some of the stories that he talked about in the session and the cause of the unfortunate event:
Debugging in production
Too little infrastructure
TOo much infrastructure
Don’t reuse when cleanup needed
Meta work > work

Most of the stories had one common mistake, reusing the code.

11:55 – 12:25
“Serverless? Not so FasA!” – Matt Stine

Lunch and Food

13:50 – 14:50
“Supporting Constant Change” – Neal Ford

15:00 – 16:30
“Reactive Architecture Patters – Part 1” – March Richards

16:10 – 17:10
“The Architecture of Universal Design: All Devices, All Users” – Scott Davis

17:30 – 18:30
“Why Containers Will Take Over the World” – Elton Stoneman

Live from Great Indian Developer Summit 2018

27th April, 2018 and here I am at GIDS, fortunate enough to attend such a marvelous conference before the beginning of my career as a software developer. I am thankful to my Outreachy mentor Marielle Volz, Wikimedia nad Software Freedom Conservancyfor providing me the chance to visit Bangalore and attend the 11th edition of this conference.

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Salthmarch along with other sponsers has organized this 5 day extragavanza. I will be blogging in detail about all the talks that I will attend today and my learning, but what could be better to blog live.
In the beautiful location of J. N. Tata Auditorium, we have the speakers who are best in their domains and the delegates who are of all ages. Data scientists, architects, backend developers, designers, etc.

The opening talk was by Mark Richards, about architectual modularity, its benefits and the trade offs. Given that it was a keynote, he took the opportunity to give an overview about the need for modularity and microservices. He would be conducting a hands on session tomorrow for putting everything he delieverd in a pratical way. Next, there were 3 15 minutes keynote sessions and my favourite out of them (or the one I understood the most) was Congnitive Serverless Architecture.

Mark Richrds after the session 1

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After some hot tea, I was lucky enough to attend the session of Neal Ford. He covered stories of projects that failed, what and why happened. I couldn’t get enough of him and I am glad there is a keynote session of him after lunch. He kept holding the audience for the entire session and there was good learning.

Neal Ford’s talk

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Next, I am attending “Serverless? Not so Faas!” by Matt Stine. I wanted to know what serverless architecture is and how it is better than cloud native architecture. The talk has demos and interesting content, but for me, given I have no experience with Azure, I am not finding it asy to understand. There is maven, containers, Spring, Azure and many more tools in action. But the idea of Faas, Function-as-a-service is new to me and hence I am glad I attended this session.

**************Lunch Break**************
For lunch and other meals, I must comment that the quality was pleasant and everything here is well management. The tactic for handling such a crowd it to have multiple table toh handle same food. I also visited the __ of Sapient and IBM. Parual Bansal, an employee of Sapient showed us her work on virtual reality. She painted objects on a page and made them move through a camera and language processing. She even gave me a card and hand wrote all the tools she used, and also her email id. At the IBM__, I got to know about IBM cloud, providing around 140 services for free and the attendant also told me about the developer platform by IBm where they take up challenges, project, tech talks and webinars.
**************During talk**************
Currently I am attending the session of Neal Ford on embracing change because technology will always be changing. For this there is evolutionary architecture and Fitness function. Next will be Mark Richards’ talk on reactive architectural pattern.

Do find time to read the detailed blog that I’ll writing later. Well, this has been a happening conference, with great management, wonderful speakers and diverse crowd. Hats off to the volunteers. I am  looking forward to attend this conference in future, more than once, and I am glad such conference takes place in India. Thank you Saltmarch

The World Around

How can your world turn up-side down if you are always in contact with the ground. Technically your world will be turned relative to one position, and that too when the Earth would have revolved 180 degrees. So basically at every second there is an upside world relative to it that will exist in future and was in past. Yet, so many of us feel there world turning upside down now and then. Lately, I don’t find this world as mine, and neither I have found my world yet.
All through childhood I studied that humans are the smartest animals. We are lucky to be born as humans because we can think and act and preserve and pass our knowledge through generations. That is how we have evolved and are better than other species. But as I am growing up, I don’t really appreciate the human race I meet. I have stopped feeling it is better than other species.
It’s a vacant place, with dusty wind blowing, difficult to open eyes in this air. I don’t see a soul, only flesh covering bones, shapes and sizes but no charm. I see physical entities but no power and no energy. Only dark shapes moving. For these objects, everything boils down to physical contact. None of them can communicate without touch. No words flow through the air. It’s all void. If you want to be a part of this place, if you want to belong here, you need to learn the language of body. Else you will really feel alone here. Sometimes when I do catch a frequency or a wave of energy, I am mocked by others who are present here.
Why am I thrown on this vacant place I often wonder. Maybe because I am same as these objects made of flesh. But then, why don’t I feel it. Why is it so difficult for me to talk to these objects, and when I do, why don’t anyone really understands me? Many a times, I have tried to adjust and learn the language of the body, of touch, but there too I fail. I guess its time the controller of this environement realizes that there has been a mistake, either in my system or this place that I am put into, this is not my surrounding, I must be put somewhere else. My world doesn’t turn upside down, it’s not my world at all.
I don’t really give up that easily though, I turn left, I turn right, I turn 180 degree like the Earth with my back to my old position but well, I haven’t succeded yet. Maybe some fraction of degree remains where I have not looked. Maybe that is because the most powerful things are the most easiest to find and hence often we miss to notice them. Well I am looking till the I find success or the entire experimental environment changes. Living in this present vacant place with all these winds flowing, it’s really difficult with no communication or exchange of ideas. Where are you soul?

Nightout on 8th December’17 Jaipur

I had my last exam of Btech on 7th December, from 8 to 11 am. Next day, on 8th December, from 5 to 7 PM I had my lab exam of Real Time Systems. Luckily, It went pretty well. There was a farewell dinner organized for us in the college mess-A, but we had other plans. All of us rushed to our rooms, called each other to confirm if the plan was on, and started getting dressed up. I begged Neha and Anupriya to join but they didn’t. Nevertheless, I got dressed up in all black, picked a coat, kept my brush in the wallet and ran to the main gate. We settled on the last seat. We were 6, Mukesh, Simran, Somya, Nema, Sharma and me. Since this was a secret escape, we gave our keys to Seren. After a little argument in the bus, the places to visit for the night were decided.

Around 9 PM, we reached the Indian Coffee House for dinner and the waiter literally threw us out, but the receptionist was kind enough to offer us some food, but we were allowed to make the order only once. So after some good South Indian food that was served, the place was closed and we were pushed out. We made calls to the hostel we planned to stay at, and because of Swati and their group, we were offered a place. Since this problem was solved, we went to McDonald’s for another round of dinner. I tried their ice tea, it was good. Some Instagram posts were made, and a lot of crap was created. From there we left for 100% Rock Bar, it was around 10:30 PM when we reached there and after ordering the drinks we jumped on the dance floor, the music was loud AF.

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We danced so much, the songs were a blend of Punjabi songs and some Bollywood. If I remember right, only two English songs were played. We were joined by a foreigner too who was in shorts and was enjoying way too much, joining every group once in a while. We made formations, copied each others’ steps and I screamed at the top of my voice. The bouncer had to come and tell Mukesh that one was not allowed to sit on the dance floor. Near 12:30 AM when the music was turned off, we headed out, clicked a lot of pictures and booked cab for the hostel.

So I, Nema and Sharma were in a cab, others in the other one and we didn’t know the way to that hostel, we were really scared. We turned into a little street that was a bit uphill, plus it was narrow. The locality was dead asleep at that time. At the entry of an avenue, the other three were standing. Our car stopped, the look at my friends’ face was comical, Somya was angry as I climbed out and said,”I am so sorry for suggesting this place, God help us tonight. I hope we stay alive.” I was the one who, after taking in advice from Swati, finalized this place to spend the night at.

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So one guy from the hostel escorted us, some xyz streets we turned and went deep into the neighborhood. There was dead silence except for the noise of Mukesh’s heels and I tried to joke with Nema. Everyone kept asking that guy, “How long, how far?”

Hence, we reached the great place – “Chalo Eco Hostel”

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Low cost hostel for bag-packers, everything there was handmade, the windows above the door, instead of having glasses, had bottles stuck with white cement and they gave out colors. The walls along the stairs had colorful flowers painted, the tables and the door of closets were made from wood planks of carets. There was a swing on the second floor where we were given a room for 6 people (Mixed veg they named it), a dormitory with yellow beds, a lamp attacked to each, blue pillow covers that read “Wild and Free”. The floor had two shared washrooms that were very clean. Below the AC it was written that save electricity because “dharti” needs it. On the door of the washroom it was written that “We wanted to hang a mirror here, but you wouldn’t like to see yourself in this state :P” The terrace was the smoking area, with jute chairs, dumbbells, sigdi for burning coal, and a bed. The walls were painted with bright colors and colorful duppata were hanged for decoration. I sipped my morning tea at 7 AM standing on a bench, looking at the range of the hills.

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All throughout the night, we talked, laughed, giggled and made memories. I dozed off around 4 AM, but the laughter of my friends kept me in a subconscious state.  All in all, it was an unexpected experience.

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In the morning we were running late to catch the college bus, the owner of the hostel took us through the lanes, he was such a helpful person. He took the pain of leading us out of the locality where no cab was coming to pick us up, moreover he booked an auto-rikshaw for us. We got down at the Pink Square mall and got on the bus from there. The sunlight felt warmer, I smiled.

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We went for the breakfast together and the battle to open my room’s lock started after that. That’s another story, for another day.

Outreachy with Wikimedia: 30th May to 6th September, 2017

The internship is coming to an end tomorrow, 6th September 2017. I have mixed feelings. It was a great experience and to know that it is coming to an end make me happy and down at the same time. I wouldn’t be officially an intern at WMF. But the best part of open source is, you can always be a contributor and keep developing, any time of the year.

What was my project?
There is a service named citoid that generates citation data and makes it easy to insert references in the Visual editor. It uses Zotero translators and my work was to document what these translators are, how can we create them and get them deployed.

Find my work
I have created two pages, one is the extension of the other.
Main page with all the information about development
Second page explaining how to create a translator for a blog (and similar sites)

Other microtasks that I did
Before you start documenting, you need to know what is it that you will be working on. My first task was to explore what actually these translators are and what power they hold. Once I got an idea about translators, I really enjoyed developing them. I submitted a few patches to the Zotero upstream during the internship period –
The Economic times
The Open library
The Globe and Mail
BBC Newsbeat
Oxford Reference
TV by the numbers
If you wish to have a translator for any site, let me know in comments, I’ll surely try to write it.

Summary

After preparing a few translators and playing with Scaffold before internship, I started to write documentation from the first day. For the initial draft, the documentation covered the how to write a translator using Scaffold. This included development environment, concepts, working example and code details. First major improvement that was done was to use CSS selectors and remove the concept of Xpaths to define HTML nodes. Around mid-sem I got a new task, to explore how to write a translator at server-side. This was the main motive of the whole project, to find out how we can write code and test it on server, but somewhere around this time, Zotero 5.0 was released. So the documentation was updated to cover any changes that might come in the procedure of development through Scaffold.

To figure out how tests can be carried out on server, was the one task that took the most of the time. I learned about containerization and worked with Docker. A new section came into existence – Developing and testing on server, working example of Mediawiki.

For the last task, I documented how we can write translators for blog-like sites, taking the example  of Wikimedia blog because it the most common use case that people will come across and for someone who wants to skip all the details and quickly learn through an example, it will be a good landing page. This page concentrates only on development on server and not Scaffold.

Outside the internship, I will be refining the documentation further, hopefully with inputs from my mentors and the community at WMF. What’s left to do is to translate all this work in Hindi as I proposed in my application. I will also be looking into other projects at WMF that I can contribute to. It was a great experience. Outreachy Rocks!!!

Looking forward to present my work on 21st September, 2017

Note: Applications for next round of Outreachy are opening soon. Stay informed.

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A letter to a guy I met that day

 

Do you need exact dates, I can give you but I guess it doesn’t matter. We got down from our bus at a place which had flyovers , and did a cab to reach your college. It was nearly 3 AM. I was midst of people with whom I felt really uncomfortable and was trying to calm myself down by saying that it’s fine, it’s part of the experiences that I want to have. We entered through the college gate and I was lost in the college, it was alive even at that time of the night. There were lights and decorations and stuff, things that you see in videos of college fests and I was finally there, coming out of my monotonous life, and out of the shell that wasn’t making me happy anymore. “He’s there”, Garv told the driver, signaling him to slow down the car and pick you up. “Who is he?” I asked Sana. “A friend of Garv”, she told me. “One more person to make you feel a misfit. What is wrong with these people of wonderland? Why do all guys look cleaner and brighter than I would ever be.” That was my first thought about you.

Little did I know, that it was a beginning of two beautiful relationships with two beautiful souls. Urvi and you. We had a great time then, and dear friend, thanks for making all the efforts to make all of your guests feel at home. I don’t really remember what our first talk was like, or when did we start talking but for sure, it was smooth. A group of people who flip like binaries. I was not there to make friends, nope. I was just trying to run from humans and be closer to other aspects of life that I had stopped to understand. The good thing was, I brought a blank state of mind, without expectations, without rules and standards to define joy and you, luckily, filled that blankness with positivity. I will praise you, for being confident about yourself, for your choice to get out of your comfort zone, that too, effortlessly as it seemed, though it might have not been in practice. I will praise you for handling a large group and make people feel together though you were the only one who could have felt the most disconnected for being from some other place, but there were no insecurities and that is commendable.

We have changed a lot, it is almost an year now. Nevertheless, this letter is for the guy I met on that day. I love giving free advice and here is some for that guy who is so eager to make new friends and live the time of his life.

Pages are fluttering desperate to be turned,

Get lost on the road, And sleep on the floor,

Be sure about change, Be ready to break the chains,

Don’t hold your smile and dance a little wild,

There are streets and avenues waiting for your footsteps,

droplets, crystals of sand, shades of green,

Places void and packed and so many things you don’t know yet,

Give chance to life to surprise you, it has waited long to unfold what it holds.

Letters shouldn’t start with a hey and end with a bye

Outreachy with Wikimedia: 21st to 30th August’17

This week I concentrated on finishing all the sections and submit the work for review. The translation-server finally worked, after much help from the developers from Zotero community. I documented on how to build the server through a docker image and test changes on the server. The metadata and test cases are to be added manually unlike on Scaffold, these portions of the documentation hence had more of code snippet and less of explanation.
I am writing another working example of translator for Wikimedia blog. I will show how to use embedded metadata in this case and develop it through translation server.
Within this week I need to prepare a speech and a presentation for my project display that will be happening soon. This is exciting.

Outreachy with Wikimedia: 7th to 20th July, 2017

Week 9/15 + 10/15

I fixed the TV by numbers translator and submitted a PR for it. Following it, I updated the BBC translator for handling old pages. With Zotero 5.0 release, I had to change the document accordingly as the Firefox add-on is no longer supported. I learned what CSS selectors are and will shortly begin to write a translator using them to get clarity on the topic. There are two methods, attr() and text() that have been recently written and will be included into future Zotero versions. So I am trying to figure out where to add them in the docs. Learned about querySelector and querySelectorAll and I am no front-end developer but it seemed such a powerful use of CSS selectors.

The work is fun the new changes in Zotero made me google and learn new stuff. For past two days, I have been going and reading the discussion at https://github.com/zotero/translators/issues/1277 to make sense out of it.I will have to catch up some speed to finish this draft by the end of next week so it can then be reviewed again.

Outreachy with Wikimedia: 30th to 6th July, 2017

Week 8/15

With the mid term approaching, my mentor suggested that the first draft of the doc should be developed such that it can be used to write a translator and then  we can note down things that need improvement. I finished the work on coding a translator and the template. This brings section 5 in  a concrete shape. I look forward to finish the draft this week.

Other than that I am working on a translator TV by the numbers which needs rewriting.