GNUnify 2018

GNUnify is one of the amazing event where each and every year Mozilla India community make sure to participate. GNUnify is an annual gathering consisting of Free and Open Source software workshops, talks, seminars and BOFs (Birds of a feather), hosted by the Pune Linux User Group(PLUG) and the Symbiosis Institute of Computer Studies and Research(SICSR) in Pune, India. It is an amazing opportunity for people from FOSS communities all over India to meet each other and a good chance for newbies to find out how to get involved in FOSS projects and learn more about the free and open source culture. Mozilla has been actively participating at GNUnify since 2008!

GNUnify tracks

This year along with the Mozilla contributors around pune I got opportunity to organise a workshop on WebExtension at GNUnify 2018. One of the main reason for my visit is to bring some more contributors to WebExtension community and bring more webdevelopers into WebExtension development.

Our Mozilla track was very strong we had some many topics to cover

  • VR session by Prathamesh
  • Marathi localization session by Narendra
  • Cook up Firefox- Privacy Settings by Ankit
  • Rust session by Mehul
  • Hardware track by Tripad
  • WebExtensions Workshop by Viswaprasath

In one room we had talks and in another room I was organising workshop. It was jam packed and very tight schedule, we Mozillians were not able to talk till 3 PM.

I was very excitied to talk on GNUnify, from 2015 (I wanted to talk about FirefoxOS previously) I wanted to give talk there as it was one of the big event we have related to open source technologies in India. As I got opportunity this year I was very happy to delivery it there.

I reached the venue sharply at 9:50 and was having some discussion with volunteers about the event in past and how it grew, the story they had about this event was amazing and it gave some more energy to me. And we started my session at 10:15, I started why we need WebExtension and backgrounds of it. But 10:35 the whole lab was filled with Students and Professors (I remember talking to 3 professor at middle of session and around 50 were there).

After some thoughts on WebExtension I showed them the demo of my favorite extension (Youtube controller), shared the story behind it. People got excited to know why I developed it, and the next one was to search a particular word in different search engine sites.

Around 11:15 we started to have hands-on session. First I started explaning them explaning about manifest.json and what are all the mandatory keys and values that has to be present, once they get familiar with it I started explaning the background.js file which we coded for our “search add-on”, using contextmenu. I showed the code sample with duckduckgo, but some of them understood the logic and tried to bring their favorite search engines (like Google, youtube, bing, wikipedia). Then we had a small break. After this we developed another add-on where we will be having our own custom shortcut keys for close the tab.

The attendees were interested to learn more on hacking WebExtension API. One of the amazing unique thing they felt is they are able to build similar to browser internal features. They wanted to dig more and bring some amazing Extensions in future. The response from faculty and students is amazing. I had personal talk with students for more than a hour and got chance to talk with Faculty who is handling Web Programming session. She shared it is interesting session and told she will ping back to discuss how WebExtensions can be made into their college syllabus.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

In future I am sure, lot of amazing contributors will be coming as a effect of this event. One note which I came to know at the end of event is most of Reps from India who are present today came from this event.

I personally would like to thank all the Mozillians around Pune who made my day great and memorable one. Special thanks for the care shown by Prathamesh parenets, I didnt felt I am going for the first time to his home. The garden at their home is really good and well glued with nature. I am inspired a little bit by his father, may be in future will start gardening in my apartment.

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