OpenTech and Open Knowledge in the Mekong Delta and throughout Asia

The FOSSASIA organization has been very active and I would love to give you a few updates on our activities. One thing why we love to work in this community is because you get the chance to meet some of the most awesome and friendly tech people of the world. Jonas Smeedegaard from the Debian community is one of our guests who has been visiting us three times already and conducted workshops at our events and even stayed several weeks in Can Tho to train students using and developing Debian.

Jonas Smeedegaard at Workshop: Bringing Asian and International developers together

Meetups and Code Sprints

Of course we could not do all of this alone and we would like to thank some of the most outstanding folks we are working together with including HanoiLUG and Saigonlug in Vietnam, Singapore Hackerspace and the Beijinglug.

Coding Projects

We have recently involved and organized activities with the following projects and are glad to feature the following projects on this blog:

  • Wikipedia
  • OpenWrt
  • Crypto-Stick
  • LXDE
  • MoonOS
  • Android
  • GNOME
  • Debian
  • Fedora
  • Gimp
  • Inkscape
  • Linux conversion libraries
  • OpenStreetMap
  • and many more

FOSSASIA Event in Ho Chi Minh City

Internships

In 2012 we welcomed interns in Can Tho. Fifteen students participated in the program as full time interns in the office of MBM International in the biggest city in the Mekong delta. The program took place for 2 months and a core part of it was to learn how to use collaborative tools liker issue trackers and contribute to OpenStreetMap. Our students also love the Wikipedia sprints and we got a lot of positive vibes as everyone was happy to learn how to set up the Mediawiki software, that empowers the encyclopedia, share their ideas and spread Open Knowledge and Open Data about the Mekong Delta.

Event activities

We also continued to organize the FOSSASIA OpenTechSummit in 2010 and 2011 in Raffles College and Van Lang University in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam. Plus we had a Mini-Debconf in Saigon and organized the event series OpenDesign.Asia Weeks bringing together designers and Open Source developers. We have links to the LXDE project and GNOME community and we have sent developers to the GNOME.Asia Summit 2012 in Hong Kong and supported the TYPO3 conference 2012 in Phnom Penh.

Also globally FOSSASIA starts to receive more attention. We have received the opportunity to introduce Asian projects at the Libre Graphics Meeting in Montreal (2011) and Brussels (2011), at the Linuxtag in Berlin (2012) and many other community events.

Please Join us and Get in Touch

The FOSSASIA organization supports activities and Open Tech development and Open Knowledge projects of the community active in Asia. If you are interested to cooperate for a project, need support for a development sprint or an event, please contact us on the FOSSASIA mailing list: http://groups.google.com/group/fossasia

 

FOSSASIA community meetup at GNOME.Asia 2012

GNOME.Asia Hong Kong 2012

 

FOSSASIA members had a wonderful get together at GNOME.Asia 2012 in Hong Kong. 

About GNOME.Asia Summit. The event is Asia’s GNOME user and developer conference, spreading the knowledge of GNOME across Asia. The event focuses primarily on the GNOME desktop and other devices that use GNOME, and also covers GNOME-based applications and GNOME development platform tools.

It brings together the GNOME community in Asia to provide a forum for users, developers, foundation leaders, governments and businesses to discuss both the present technologies and future developments.

The FOSSASIA team presented the two projects: crypto-stick and the x-mario gaming distribution.

A big thanks for this fantastic event goes to the local and global organization team and the GNOME Foundation, in particular to Max, Haggen So and Sammy Fung.

Hong Phuc Dang also received travel sponsorship from the GNOME Foundation and thus increased the participation numbers from Vietnam to three contributors.

 

GNOME.Asia Hong Kong 2012

FOSSASIA Summit 2011 Wrap Up

The FOSSASIA OpenTechSummit 2011 was held at Van Lang University in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam from November 11 to 12, 2011.

The event attracted 798 participants in 2 days including students, developers, business professionals and government officials. Ninety percent of the participants were local from Vietnam. There were a total of 24 speakers, 60% were local speakers and 40% of them were from other countries, including USA, France, Denmark, Cambodia, Germany, and Singapore. There were 26 talks and many workshops took place over the two days of the event.

It has been a great event. Thank you for joining the community at Van Lang University in Ho Chi Minh City 2011!

 

FOSSASIA Google Summer of Code 2011

FOSSASIA was prominently featured on the Google Open Source Blog. I wrote a short sum up of the student summer projects.

FOSSASIA is participating in Google Summer of Code for the first time this summer. The goal of the FOSSASIA network is to bring young Open Source developers together with experienced international developers to join or start new Free and Open Source projects.

FOSSASIA’s Google Summer of Code projects focus on open source for social change and communication. All the students are putting in a lot of effort, however their progress is varying as students have different skill levels.

The project of “foo-script” (Adam Rakowski) is moving forward most quickly. He expands the uses for the next Crypto-Stick (an USB hardware device with an integrated openGPG smart card firmware) edition and develops plugins for popular applications like Firefox. With the Stick you can easily encrypt your emails and achieve convenient online authentication.

Secondly Chanrithy Thim, the MoonOS developer from Cambodia has been improving Appshell, a framework for applications that lets developers easily create application bundles. A single file contains all the data and files needed to run an application, so all a user has to do is to launch it.

Google Summer of Code projects will be presented at this year’s FOSSASIA Summit taking place in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) on November 11-13, 2011.

Links:

http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2011/08/whos-new-in-google-summer-of-code-part.html

 

FOSSASIA Summit 2011 in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) from Nov. 11-12

FOSSASIA 2011 was announced officially during the Desktop Summit in Berlin by Chanrithy Thim and Mario Behling from the organization committee. FOSSASIA 2011 will take place from November 11-12 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam with a special focus on “Women in IT” and “Mobile Applications”.

“We had amazing people gathering at events in previous years, starting with FOSS Bridge in 2007 and 2008, GNOME.Asia in 2009, and FOSSASIA and the Open Design Weeks Asia in 2010. With the fantastic support of people from all over the world FOSSASIA 2011 is a place to meet the community, government officials and open source IT businesses. There are many opportunities to learn about existing projects and to meet people to start new software projects.” says Hong Phuc DANG, chair of the event.

GNOME.Asia Vietnam Wrap Up

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GNOME.Asia Summit 2009 was a big success as one of the one of the very first Open Source conferences in South East Asia. The event took place on Nov 20 – 22, 2009 at Quang Trung Software Park in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Quang Trung Software Park is a home of more than 200 tech-companies (including local start-ups, multi-nationals, and state-owned companies such as FDI).

The conference was organized by the GNOME.Asia community in cooperation with the organization team in Vietnam. The Ho Chi Minh City government supported the event through the Department of Information and Communications Technology.

Numbers and facts
* 1000+ attendees
* 79 speakers
* 138 volunteers
* 5 keynotes
* 109 presentations
* 25 lightning talks
* 17 workshops

Main Tracks
Six tracks were organized in parallel during the 3-day conference. The focus was only on GNOME technologies and desktop deployments based on GNOME  but also a variety of topics including:

* GNOME 3.0
* GNOME library and application development
* Localization & Internationalization
* Mobile platforms and thin clients
* Desktop deployments
* School software

Inside the keynote track
Inside the keynote track

In addition to the majority of software presentations, hardware talks such as ‘How to build an Open Source printer’ by Frederic Muller gathered a big interest.

Workshops
A focus of the workshops were applications for thin clients, localization and translation for Asian users. In parallel, there was also Linux course for beginners, map party, installation fest, and Ubuntu release party which was organized by the Vietnamese Ubuntu user group.

Linux Course for beginners Q&A
Linux Course for beginners Q&A

Women in IT Panel
Unlike many tech-conferences around the world, more than 50% of GNOME.Asia 2009 participants were female. They were young, curious and enthusiastic. Therefore the “Women in IT” Panel was somewhat overwhelmed with tons of questions. Stormy Peters from the US, chair of GNOME.Asia, shared her inspired story of being a mother, a housewife, an employee, an active open source contributor and a chair of the GNOME Foundation.

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Women in IT Panel

Pockey Lam and Emily Chen, two founders of the Beijing linux users group explained how to start, grow and maintain a successful open source community.

Hong Phuc Dang, who brought the first open source conference to Vietnam spoke of how her open source journey was started and encouraged female audience to explore the beauty and value of sharing, openness and collaboration which can be found easily in an open source community.

Mini job fair
A mini job fair was organized at the conference site with 15 companies on board. Every year thousands of computer science fresh-graduates in Vietnam are seeking for job opportunities in the tech field. Less 20% is able to get a right job of his/her major. More than 80% is forced to start their career in a non-tech environment. The idea of the job fair is (1) to provide a platform where tech companies can announce their vacant positions, recruitment process, job requirements, expectation; (2) to organize a meeting place of employers and their potential employees; (3) to foster knowledge sharing community which aims to help students prepare themselves with skill sets that fit the current marketplace.

Vietnam – a great host country
Visitors from oversea could not be happier with the hospitality, warmness, and friendliness of their host country, Vietnam. Volunteers welcomed speakers/visitors at the airport, brought them to the hotel, provided them local SIM cards, showed them around city etc.

Speakers and volunteers
Speakers and volunteers

The event ended by a beautiful tour along the Mekong. It was an unforgettable experience for all of us.

Stormy Peters of GNOME Foundation is getting on the boat tour
Stormy Peters of GNOME Foundation is getting on the boat tour
Andrew super enjoys the tour.
Andrew super enjoys the mekong tour.

Sponsors and Partners
We would like to thank our sponsors: Sun Microsystems, IBM, Google and Intel for their support of GNOME.Asia Summit and thank to our media partner PCWorld, DatVietNews, VietnamInvestmentNews for their coverage of the conference.

Bringing forward Asia’s Open Source Communities
The FOSSASIA team and volunteers will continue to grow the community across Asia and to support Open Technologies with the annual FOSSASIA Summit, regional meetups and developer programs.

Links

GNOME.Asia Wiki: https://wiki.gnome.org/GnomeAsia/2009
GNOME.Asia: http://gnome.asia
FOSSASIA Events: http://events.fossasia.org