Doing Little Creates A Major Difference Part-2

The Ubuntu & Edubuntu Story

Says Jerome S.G., "I tend to overdo stuff like instead of developing new stuff all the time instead of just forking the code so I moved on for better opportunities and empower myself to do something new and I learnt from scratch again, installed Solaris, exploring new code spending nights trying to find some work. I eventually stumbled upon this not-so-secret project by this south African millionaire guy and studied their mailing lists and code exploring where I could contribute new stuff. When these guys came out with Ubuntu, this was definitely the project I wanted to join. I never knew how they worked and never had dreamed of working with them as well as was never active on the international mailing lists and only contributed back at home. I did contribute to KDE but never to anything else and big. I joined the KDE Journal guys because of my advanced XML and Markup experience."

Looking into the future, "I am really good at the basics and I am looking into the future. Ubuntu gives me an idea about what I should do in the future. The Ubuntu Team itself is really unaware of the popularity of Ubuntu in this region, yes, they know we use it, but they don't know that one of Asia's largest and foremost geek training camps like Asia Source uses a lot of Ubuntu for empowering so many people from NGOs and SMEs still being a very highly untapped market. India and China are definitely large users of Ubuntu but the rest of South East Asia is even growing at a faster pace on FOSS especially when our regions are moving towards cheaper bandwidth and universal access."

Participating within local FOSS communities, "I was part of local FOSS community in my country, with good English speaking subscribers and to discuss technical and political issues related to FOSS at Philippines Linux Users Group where I got in contact with the the very first Eric Pareja, one of the first people that introduced Linux into the country. He was not that much involved with software development but was involved in localization of Debian and the GNU project with a focus towards doing localization of core applications first and then jumping into the desktop side."

Celebrating Ubuntu, "I joined Ubuntu community with my first experiences of their free Distribution CD's. Since they started giving out CD's, the first was pretty rough but the live CD ran good just like Knoppix. Hey when i saw the live CD running, I saw most of the applications to do my daily work are already there and earlier i had to use more than 4-5 CD's to install other distros. I installed the localized version of Ubuntu in Tagalog localized by Eric and his team members but it was fairly done well.

Localization in Philipines, "The concept of localized desktop in our country was considered silly since the command over English in my country is strong and there is not much need for it. If I was to do something new and really beneficial for my country. I was introduced to that had great potential to localize applications removes the typical barriers to actually do it since you could do it through a browser but its development version was still not stable. I got hold of the .PO and XML files and i started localizing things related to About Ubuntu. My contributions started being shown up on the Ubuntu CD even though it doesn't show my name, I know its there for other people to benefit."

Documenting Ubuntu, "The documentation of Ubuntu was also not that good and I visited the documentation channel asking questions, I thought since I was good at technical documentation writing,I started doing patches and eventually was given commit access sending my contributions into mainstream and direct involvement with the creators of Ubuntu. I rewrote most of the Ubuntu documentation with Mark Shuttleworth. Since a lot of people were involved with Ubuntu, they dived in. Though I am a GNOME guy, I really like to use KDE but do my stuff in GNOME. So I also made the documentation of Kubuntu. I did almost 3/4th of the documentation. Two students including Jonathan joined in to contribute to it managing us to complete it before the new real ease of Kubuntu."

Meeting the International FOSS Community, "When the Ubuntu Sprint took place in Sydney in April 2005 I was called into join them possibly due to the fact of contributing to the Ubuntu project. Doing so little had got me something so big like meeting all the great guys of Ubuntu making great contacts in the FOSS community. They were pleased that a South East Asian had contributed something great. Then I joined the Ubuntu Specifications Documentation Team giving birth to Edubuntu with specifications. I loved working with Edubuntu due to the fact that technology was not so good in education and I wanted to help people gain access to quality education technology and Edubuntu was that source."

LTSP, "I have contributed to various educational applications in Edubuntu including bug fixing. I also contributed documentation about Edubuntu as well as the testing of the distribution itself on the AMD 64 and x86 platforms. The LTSP guys helped the distribution fly being the best LTSP out-of-the-box distribution establishing a solid distribution. One of the frustrations I have with Edubuntu is that I don't know how many people use it but still I know it is paying off with people using all the good contributions that I have made to the community. Money is the second for me, my priority is doing all the good i can with my ?ls. The need now is that educators and the education community contribute back to us telling us how to make it better.

Growing with Edubuntu, "I have since then ventured into newer things along with Edubuntu and carry on debugging of applications including Bluetooth for my love of gadgets, synchronization with Palm devices, laptop testing that was actually contributed by the project. I have also prepared some specifications on testing."

author: Fouad Bajwa