Monday, April 21, 2014

Sharing of Ownership to encourage collaboration in the Community

Mozilla Hindi Community Meet 2014 was a meet-up with a difference in the sense that it brought together the young and the old, the active and the not-so-active, those with experience and skills, and those with great optimism, enthusiasm and know-how. But the chemistry between the two 'generations' and diverse teams was quite magical, and communication near perfect. That is why it was a meet-up that promised little but delivered quite a bit and every participant went back with a sense of enthusiasm, energy and expectation. We did some solid concrete hands-on work and promised to continue the conversation. Mozilla Hindi Community Meet was organized on March 22-23, 2014 in Pune (India). The two-day event was organized by Mozilla. The meet was hosted by Red Hat at its Pune, India office. Different contributors working with different projects of Mozilla from different parts of India working for Hindi language participated in the meet. Ravikant, Vibhas Chandra Verma, Ashish Namdev, Umesh Agarwal, Shahid Farooqui, Guntupalli Karunakar, Meghraj Suthar, Suraj Kawade, Sangeeta Kumari, Chandan Kumar, Rajesh Ranjan, Aniket Deshpande, Himanshu Anand, and Ankit Gadgil participated in the meet.  

Agenda of Awesome

The event started on 22 March 2014 in the morning. I, being a co-ordinator of Mozilla Hindi team, welcomed all the participants. I initially gave a brief summary of all Mozilla projects and explained the need and agenda of the meetup. I also discussed about Mozilla products' translation, its various tools, related linguistic resources etc, necessary for the work of localization in Hindi. I discussed why I moved the translation from VCS hg to Pootle and how it hugely helped in the growth contributor base.

Hindi, lingua franca and its structure

A fellow of Center for Study of Developing Societies, a great open source enthusiast and theorist, Ravikant talked in detail about the basics of translation, its importance and its socio-cultural history and importance. He said that generally in India people take translation as a non-creative, boring and second rate work. We must give respect to our translators, and we must enjoy the creativity involved in the act of translation. He added that historically dominant languages have been used to create a gap between peoples. Later he gave elaborate examples to show how and why translation is an important exercise and how the volunteer open source community are engaged in a very major activity in the age of rapid transitions. A senior lecturer in the university of Delhi, Vibhas Chandra Verma, presented a talk on 'Good Hindi'. He quoted from the great saint poet Kabir to say that language is like free-flowing water, which gathers no mud. He replied about a question between the difference of Hindi and Urdu and said that there is almost no difference between Hindi and Urdu in common parlance, except the their different scripts. It is difficult to distinguish between Hindi and Urdu sentences and grammars. He also cited several examples from Sanskrit, Hindi and Urdu to demonstrate the similarity and difference between Sanskrit on the one hand and Hindi and Urdu on the other.

Style is the Soul - Hindi Style Guide Reviewed

One major agenda of the meet was to review Computer Translation Style and Convention Guide for Hindi prepared by the larger Hindi community under FUEL Project. The participants discussed the positives and negatives of the guide in detail. After discussing the broad parameters of a good guide, Ravikant and Vibhas Chandra Verma took the responsibility of editing the document. On the basis of the guidelines decided upon, we will soon have it ready to be finally reviewed by the community.And then we will be ready to put it in the public domain. The style guide is written in English so that any Quality Engineer can also access it and work on the quality assessment of the translation.  

And quite flows the Fennec - Feel of Fennec is revitalized

The whole team reviewed the major GUI of Firefox for Andriod in Hindi. Fennec is going to be released in all Indian languages including Hindi. Years before, Firefox browser in Hindi was reviewed at Sarai-CSDS, Delhi in a review workshop organized by Sarai-CSDS. A review meet of this kind is essential before any major release and the Hindi Mozilla review team felt the that the review process for Fennec was satisfactory.

Typing made easy - type क, ख, ग in FirefoxOS

 One major progress happened in the area of FirefoxOS Hindi Devanagari Keyboard. There are no Indic keyboard (except for Bengali) for Firefox OS. On the 2nd day of the meet, Karunakar, Secretary of IndLinux Group prepared a Hindi Inscript keyboard for FirefoxOS and added it to GitHub, and this is the pull request for the same. On the basis of Hindi, Aniket added the Marathi Inscript keyboard in no time and it is here. We are thankful to Karunakar and Aniket. Hope this will be of great use for FirefoxOS and create a momemtum for the FirefoxOS keyboards for Indian langauges. Firefox OS KEON is actually very attractive and it was shown around in the meetup. A lot of them had not seen or heard about keon! So, Mozilla Hindi Community requests Mozilla to send keon to its contributors and hopes they will listen to our request.

Share Ownership - Help your language grow

The most important agenda of the meet was to share the ownership and choose one person responsible for each major work area. Initially as a coordinator of Mozilla Hindi Community, myself, proposed the idea of a division of labour and sharing of ownership. I started a thread on the community list and emphasized upon the need of sharing of not just work and contribution but also the sharing of ownership. In the meet it was realized that sharing of ownership gives a sense of responsibility in the new person and it helps enlarge the contributor base, and enhances a sense of collaboration among a bigger network. Karunakar took the responsibility of managing the Hindi keyboard for FirefoxOS. Ravikant and Vibhas happily agreed to mentor the community and help in translating problematic strings whenever in need. And here is the result of division of labour.  

Localization Training and SUMO/WebMaker

On the 2nd day, Chandan Kumar worked with all the attendees and gave them all necessary traning to use efficiently all the resources available. He showed by example and worked with all the volunteers to solve their problem and question related to localization. Ankit Gadgil shared about Webmaker and its localization. Ravikant who encountered the webmaker for the first time, felt that the Webmaker was going to change the web as we knew it. Ashish Namdev discussed issues in SUMO translation and Hindi community agreed to translate all the major 100 frequently used articles in SUMO in Hindi language.The SUMO team should be merged with Pootle to facilitate convenience in and consistency of translation. The community also stressed on the need of holding sprints and agreed to use it in future to overcome lags if any. The etherpad contains several information that came after pooling together of little known links of dictionaries in available in the public domain

Aama adami ka browser - aama adami se dur kyon! ( Why is the common people's browser in languages not so popular amongst commoners)

It is sad that though we work hard to create a better product in Hindi but the market and download numbers are not so convincing compared to the vast population of the Hindi speaking people. A brainstorming session was organized on the 2nd day of the meet. Several suggestions came and we, the Mozilla Hindi community decied that we will try our best to work on those suggestions. Ravikant and Vibhas Chandra Verma told that they will also support the cause in their own little ways.  


First day we took dinner at Tjs Brew Works, Pune that was very near to the venue of the meet. The Khana-Peena both were awesome including the ambience of the the restaurant. The awesome working lunch, pizza and snacks for both days were arranged by the host of the event - Red Hat. The whole facility team of Red Hat was very much helpful. We are thankful to Red Hat and Mozilla for the great food that ignited out thought. I am thankful to all the active volunteer community who attended the meetup. I am thankful to Mozilla for sponsoring the event and to Red Hat for hosting it. We the whole active community are thankful to Ravikant and Vibhas Chandra Verma who have readily helped the community if and when called upon. Chadan help was very important in training the localizers. Last but not the least, Shahid Farooqi took the responsibility of filing bugs for budget and related affairs, and was key in coordinating the event. Thanks a lot to Shahid for shouldering this additional responsibility. We are Hindi, We are India, We are Mozilla, We are Awesome! Ref Link: Event Page Event Pix Team Wiki Page Etherpad Silde