Dear smartphone user,

You have been used to sophisticated features and cluttered interfaces for a long time. Remember those days when you had used a smartphone for the first time? Do you recollect that extra cognitive overload you had to face to figure out what each gesture does? Why were there so many round and square and rounded rectangle icons staring at you? That you were supposed to shake and twist your handheld device in a myriad sort of way to get a task done.

All these are cool now. You may have been “the cool guy” among your peers because you owned one of those devices, and you had spent hours mastering those subtle moves that saved some micro-seconds of your life with each swipe. Continue reading

The ultra low-cost Firefox OS devices to be launched in India are built on Spreadtrum chipsets. Here are the quick steps for people running Linux or OS X to connect their Spreadtrum devices through adb:

Make sure if the device is detected

  • Connect the device through a USB cable.
  • Enable Remote Debugging on the device from the Developer menu.
  • Run lsusb on Linux and ensure that the device is detected. the output of lsusb will have a line like this:
$ lsusb
Bus 003 Device 008: ID 1782:5d04 Spreadtrum Communications Inc. 

Continue reading

I have fallen in love with the word “risk”.

For many people, this word carries a negative connotation. It signifies a sense of dread and apprehension. This is what we are taught from our childhood to avoid. In a regular middle-class family in India, this is one word that you learn to fear. Millions of talented young individuals take up steady, medium-paying, dreary jobs to avoid risk and have some stability in their lives. This stability becomes stagnation for those few individuals, like me, who strive to explore new horizons each day.

My life is littered with instances where I had to take terrible amounts of risk just because I have been confident with myself. Against all advices, all arguments and all warnings, I have usually chosen the past of highest resistance; the one that was least likely to succeed. These decisions, interestingly, have been the ones where I have been most successful. Continue reading

The upcoming launch of Firefox OS in India needs the Mozilla India community to revisit the ways in which it has approached Firefox OS promotions till now. So far, Firefox OS has been promoted solely to developer audience. It made sense because we needed more apps and more code contributions for Firefox OS. Now we have to reach out to consumers as well. They are the people who would buy Firefox OS devices and will determine whether the OS will ultimately be successful in Indian market.

We have been successful with Firefox OS AppDays, and that event format served as a good platform to engage Indian developers. My plan is to extend that format and give a general outreach tone to it. This will let contributors across other pathways to participate in this event. Continue reading

This is not a post about how was the MozCamp Beta. This post is personal in nature. We wrapped up MozCamp Beta today at Bangalore. I think it was a bigger success than we had hoped for. People returned from the event with increased confidence and more willingness to contribute something meaningful to the community.

But, from what I see, a section of community members were not happy about the selection process for participants of the MozCamp Beta. I had written about the MozCamp Beta India selection criteria nearly a month back where I had mentioned the factors that drove the selection process. But that has failed to deliver the right the intended message. I received feedback that a significant portion of the community are under the impression that I was the main person behind randomly picking participants for MozCamp. Let me clarify this. Continue reading

RootConf 2014 banner

RootConf is a one of its kind conference for DevOps and SysAdmins, organized by Hasgeek in Bangalore. This year was the second iteration of the conference. For me, it was the first time at any DevOps conference. I did not propose a talk given that it is not my field of specialization, but I definitely have a good amount of interest in the field. I had an interesting experience being present there as a participant and have some observations to share. My views are limited to Day 1 of the conference as I was not present for the workshops and Day 2 of the conference. Continue reading

The Evangelism Task Force in Mozilla India was formed with the initial goal of empowering existing community members to speak at conferences and successfully represent Mozilla at other community events. This task force has been heavily focused on quality from the very beginning. So, the first set of members were invited to the task force based on the training/evangelism efforts they had already shown and we count on them to train new enthusiasts and help them onboard on the crazy journey of community evangelism.

The task force team members had two meetings till date and we meet every third Thursday of a month at 10:30pm IST. In these meetings, we have discussed about how we can contribute to the goals of expanding the Mozilla community to 10x and reach out to regions where we do not have any presence yet. Based on those discussions, the task force is now planning to expand its scope and presence in the country. Continue reading

Subproject commit

If you update a git submodule and send a pull request for that changeset on your project on Bitbucket, the diff in the pull request page does not show the change in the submodule commit hash. As a reviewer of the core repository in FusionCharts, I have to deal with plenty of submodule updates that do not reflect in the pull requests. You can always see the diff if you download the branch on your local machine and use git diff or a tool like SourceTree. But what if you wanted to see them live on Bitbucket? Continue reading

A poor joke on doctors. Source:

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