A poor joke on doctors. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sdasmarchives/9465774357

A “Poor Joke”, aka, PJ, is a form of art. It is meant to be felt and realised, not described. A PJ loses its essence when someones needs an explanation of it. It does not mean one has to laugh at it. PJs are addressed to different type of audience, the ones who would calmly understand and crack another in rebuttal. As such, the most successful PJs are the ones which leave a ripple of PJs in their trail.

Take a look at XKCD, the epitome of nerd PJs. You either get it, or you don’t. You get it only if you know the context, otherwise you just stare at it blankly and move over to the next one.

Being able to crack PJs does not make anyone intelligent or talented. Similarly, not understanding one does not make anyone less intelligent. For instance, I doubt either Winston Churchill or Mahatma Gandhi would have ever laughed at the jokes by Randall Munroe, Bill Watterson or PG Wodehouse.

I hope you agree. If you don’t, you may try to press this button.


Speak out

TL;DR Mozilla India has launched an Evangelism Task Force that will consist of speakers who represent the Mozilla community at public events. The Events Task Force will use this pool of speakers to send to conferences for which it receives speaker requests. The members of this task force can be from any functional area across Mozilla, including Webmaker and Localization. They are the best advocates of their functional areas in front of new contributors.

India is full of hidden treasures. You need that ever-observing eye to discover them. Look at the Mozilla India community. Now, who dare say there is a lack of good developers in India? What’s more, we have a good chunk of people who are passionate about sharing their knowledge and help newcomers onboard the wagon. Continue reading

If you install packages from npm locally, i.e. without using -g option, the packages are downloaded to ./node_modules folder in your current directory. Some of these packages, like JSDoc and JSHint, come with an executable file that you can execute from the command line. When installing these packages globally, npm puts their executables on PATH so that you can call the package executables from anywhere on your computer. When doing a local install, you may often need to call these executables from the current directory.

On OSX, npm automatically exposes these locally installed binaries on path. So, if you are at the root of your NodeJS project, you can call the binaries or executables of the packages you have installed locally. But, for multiple Linux distributions, like Debian, Ubuntu or Arch Linux, the local binaries are not available from the root of the NodeJS project.

The way out is to add ./node_modules/.bin folder to PATH. npm puts all executables in that folder when doing a local install. Continue reading

This is the extract of the talk I was supposed to give at Barcamp Bangalore Spring 2014. It was a short presentation on the status of gathering information about web technologies and making them available publicly through resources like the Mozilla Developer Network and WebPlatform.

The target audience for this presentation were supposed to be newcomers to the field, so the presentation talks of everything at a very basic level.

Continue reading

Mozilla Paris office

I was one of the chosen ones to attend the first MDN workweekend in Paris from March 7 to March 9, 2014. The experience I had there was way beyond normal words. I am out of adjectives to sum up the time spent there. But let us take some of them: awesome, thrilling, unprecendented, unexpected, inspiring, and most importantly, learning. Add up some excellent colleagues to work it, it was the perfect experience any Mozilla volunteer could ever have (I am really trying to make you guys out there jealous about this!).

What it meant for me?

Meeting Christian Heilmann for the third time, David Walsh and Luke Crouch for the second time, and having a hearty chat about MDN was the best thing I had done for months. On top of that, add the fact that I helped shape up requirements and initial SOPs for events for the Mozilla Developer Network (MDN) with Janet Swisher, the community head for MDN. Overall, it was a learning experience like never before. Continue reading

Rant alert. Honestly, I am tired of seeing non-technical people at tech conferences and workshops, especially across Mozilla. They linger around, not knowing what to do, not knowing why they are there and not knowing understanding a thing that the speakers are trying to convey. These category of people have nowadays become too common in Mozilla’s workshops across Indian engineering colleges. Lack of infrastructure is not the only culprit as I had noted before.

This rant is supposed to be read in the context of hackathons, particularly Mozilla hackathons in India, where the expected audiences are developers with playful cleverness, those who can be termed as hackers.

We need some filtering, some way of ensuring only tech audiences are part of these workshops. And the responsibility of ensuring this rests largely with the organizers who invite Mozilla to conduct workshops or present tech sessions at their colleges or universities. But this cannot happen without enforcing some strict set of conditions and rules without which Mozilla would not visit those institutions.

This is a call-to-action to the Mozilla India community to gear up and prepare specifications (which is already cooking) which would ensure base level quality of the workshops we conduct. This will in turn ensure that we get some output out of our efforts. Continue reading

MozCamp at Kshitij 2014, IIT Kharagpur

In an entirely unexpected turn of events, I ended up presenting to a gathering of over 700 people at a Mozilla event today. The event, titled “MozBoot Camp“, was organized as part of Kshitij, the IIT Kharagpur techfest. Initially, we had hoped to have around 70-80 participants, but later on it turned out that there are way more people interested to attend a Mozilla Session.

Our workshop was actually planned to be conducted in a lab at the Computer Science and Engineering building, which had a capacity of 120 seats. But due to popular demand, it had to be moved to an auditorium with a capacity of around 900 people! And that was because all the people who were left out, were practically rebelling to getin! The enthusiasm was at its extreme! Continue reading

Introduction to Mozilla by Priyanka Nag

The past couple of weeks have been a blur for me. It started with a FirefoxOS AppDay at Vizag last week, followed by another FirefoxOS AppDay and MDN sprints at Kolkata this week. The challenges we faced at both of these events made us reconsider the way we organize events in partnership with local organizers. Here is a brief sum up of what we faced and what possible solutions we propose. Continue reading

Last week we did a major infrastructural and architectural change on the FusionCharts blog. We finished the whole thing in a hackathon! The hackathon aimed at finding the key culprits causing performance issues and fixing them in a span of 48 hours. How cool can it be if you work in a company that organizes such code sprints time and again! I love this attitude :-D Continue reading

Maker Party and MDN Days Bhubaneswar 2013

Over the last two days, Bhubaneswar witnessed the first Mozilla event in the city. A huge thank you to College of Engineering and Technology, Bhubaneswar, for hosting this event and the four of us from Mozilla. A special thanks to Tarashish Mishra for his idea, efforts and enthusiasm in organizing this event in his college. We learnt a lot and tried to give our best to spread the love for Mozilla and open-source, and we made a number of new friends who would love to be a part of the Mozilla mission. Continue reading