Grants:TPS/Harsh4101991/Open Source Bridge 2013

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This had been a submission to the Wikimedia Participation Support process, but was withdrawn or otherwise cancelled (not denied).

User name
User location (country)
Event name
Open Source Bridge
Event Web site
Event date(s)
June 18–21, 2013
Event location (city)
Portland, Oregon
Amount requested (remember to specify currency!)
USD 2500
  • Sharihareswara (WMF) (talk) 15:10, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Christiekoehler (talk) 21:13, 14 May 2013 (UTC) I am co-chair of Open Source Bridge and we look forward to having Harsh4101991 speak at our conference this year.
  • Harsh has been active in the MediaWiki community for more than half year and now it's one of the top promoters of Wikimedia tech in India. He has done some code contributions and took part in a couple of tech events where the WMF staff meet him and caused very good impression. The question about two speakers for a single session is understandable but our interest in sending Sucheta and Harsh to OSB (their first "Western" free software community event) goes beyond that session since they are both promoters and event organizers. There they will help us promoting Wikimedia tech and will see how things are done at this side of the Pacific.--Qgil (talk) 17:32, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

Budget breakdown[edit]

  • Travel (Round-trip economy class fare from India to US and back): USD 2100
  • Acommodation: USD 60 per night x 4 nights = USD 240
  • Visa fee : USD 160
  • Total cost : 2100 + 240 + 160 = USD 2500

Proposed Participation[edit]

About me[edit]

I am Harsh Kothari, final year engineering student of L.D. College of Engineering. I am from Gujarati Wikipedia community, and also a contributor in Mediawiki for almost 8 months now. I have developed Mediawiki Extension : TwitterCards. I am a promoter of 1st Mediawiki group of India. I have localized and ported different gadgets in Gujarati Wikipedia as well as other indic wiki. i.e HotCat, Reference Tooltip, PopUps.

Apart from Mediawiki, I am also an active contributor of several open source communities such as Mozilla, fedora etc.I am also the ambassador of FOSS program of Government of India and Promoting open source technology across Gujarat. I was also invited as a delegate to share my knowledge on open source in various open source events. I was a speaker in the workshop of Mediawiki Gadget Kitchen held at Gnunifyand Avenir.

Past Speaking experience

My Talk[edit]

We, the people - the talk that I am going to present at the conference, along with my fellow Wikimedian Sucheta Ghoshal.

Contribution to Wikimedia Foundation Mission:

I have had a submission accepted at Open Source Bridge 2013 – on which I am going to present a talk about my story – how I came into this community and how others could come forward and start doing something very meaningful for themselves as well for the others by contributing to this very mission which Wikimedia is concerned about. It could be an inspiration for the people who want to contribute but need a little guidance on the whole process and of course a little support, it could as well be an awareness for those who are still not aware of the mission and need to know how simple yet important this whole mission is. So precisely, my participation should help Wikimedia Mission by:

  • Increasing Reach : It would obviously be focused on spreading the cultural awareness about Free Knowledge - which is one of the very important missions of this movement.
  • Increasimg participation: This talk focuses the most on encouraging new contributors to participate and more. I am from India, and I have a fair idea of what are the things that are blocking the ways of these new contributors to come forward. I shall be talking about the problems I have faced, the way I have overcome those and also the problems new contributors may face, the way they can handle it and keep going.

Goal and Expected Impact[edit]

Goal: In Brief:

I hope my participation at Open Source Bridge would give other FOSS enthusiasts from different parts of the world a chance to get to know about the general situation in India - the good, the bad, the real story. This should work as an inspiration for many people. Problems, if discussed any, might not be solvable in few minutes just, but they are important enough to be considered to be thought about.

Goal: In Detail:

My talk at Open Source Bridge 2013 would mainly focus on:

  • The situation in technology and overall hacking culture in India: Although we are going towards having a great IT industry over here in India, the culture that is needed to nurture technology in rather innovative ways, is often missing. For example, we think twice before calling any coding event as hackathons, as the participants would come up and ask if we would be teaching them skills to 'hack' the friends' Facebook password. This is one of the many unfortunate incidents that we face while organizing outreach events and such.
  • Academic culture and Open Source: Students are often forced to use proprietary softwares for laboratory purposes, even though there exists Free and Open Source alternatives for the same. This is so wrong in so many levels. This culture is more often due to curriculum. Student may not get encouragement to use FOSS for curriculum.
  • Open Source communities and their activities: There exists Open Source communities in India, but a lot of them are not active enough (in a poductive way) to encourage enough people to contribute. Organizing outreach events cannot be the only way to keep your community work productive, sadly, this is the scene in many cases. I fear we might just get FOSS 'enthusiasts' good enough to organize outreach events this way, but hardly any contributors to stick around.
  • Our Story: We believe in Open Source. We call oursleves a part of the Wikimedia Community. My journey to Open Source, more precisely to Wikimedia was not very easy either. I would love to talk about how things were for me, how I did overcome the obstacles that came, the fights, the failures and the victories. At the same time, I would want others to know how amazing it was to be a part of Wikimedia all the while. I have seen passionate Wikipedians, Volunteers working for the mission out of nothing but sheer passion. I want the new faces in Open Source, who want to be a part of our community to know how simple things get when you really want them to happen, and work hard on what you really want.
  • Suggestions for the new contributors: I would rather say, I would like to support the new people. We are not the ones to make suggestions, we shall tell our stories, we shall talk about the problems in general, the way we see the problems are, the way we can overcome those, we shall talk about your stories too. I hope to inspire the new contributors by the talk, I hope them to join us, and work towards making the world a better place.

Planned collaboration

We, the people - is a story of us. This story is not a very short one to finish just yet. I plan to stay connected with the enthusiastic partcipants via email, mailing lists, and IRCs. I am anyway always on IRC, would be happy to keep in touch with the people concerned and help others with their troubles with Wikipedia, MediaWiki or FOSS in general.

Anticipated Impact

As a result of my talk, I hope everyone in the audience will get to have an idea on how things are here in India, the overall approach towards - Open Source, the hacking culture, the technologies around. It is not a very decent situation in many cases, but that need to be discussed and thought about. While this is one very important aim of the talk, I shall also be talking about how I came to this community, MediaWiki, how tough it was for me, and how amazing it is to be here. I may not be a very important person to give suggestions, but I sure am experienced enough to support the new people coming or having a desire to do something good to our Open Source Community, in general and MediaWiki in particular.