Notes : Mediawiki Hackathon 2017 – Day 3


Today is the the last day of the mediawiki hackthon.

An email from Pablo woke me up. He said that he added a docker container with all the software I asked for like python2.7, wikitools, poster etc. Was waiting for this setup, to build a connector for Lingua-Libre, a web based audio recording tool and to commons, wiktionary.

Rushed to him, to set them all. He is a  super cool guy with so much of patience. He answered me for all my small questions. Wow. Now, its my game to write a connector. Python is an awesome language, which has libraries for most of the stuff we need. wikitools is a simple python library to interact with any mediawiki server. We can automate all the stuff that we do manually with mediawiki.

Learned the difference between wav,ogg and oga formats. Commons supports only oga, ogv files. Not plain old ogg files.

Connector is ready. Now, the audio files are uploaded to commons and relevant wiktionary page is updated to show the audio file. Pushed all my changes to Pablo’s repo.

Here is the sourcecode –

Its time for the showcase time. We got 46 presentations. Each one got 3 min to demonstrate what they did on the hackathon. Myself and Hugo were preparing for the demo.

Here is the big list of all the hacks showcased with the links for the sourcecode. There were many demos, which made the crowd to shout “Wow. Cooool. Awesome”. etc.

Its our showtime. Hugo introduced our team and the project. I connected the laptop to the projector. Errrr. It is not showing my laptop. Switched the cables from HDMI to VGA and reverted. No luck. “Press it again, strongly” someone suggested. Now, it showed my screen. I started to speak. “Hello everyone. This is the demo on Connector for Lingua-Libre and wikipedia.”

“Time UP…..”. The timekeeper announced. And we had to stop there. The shortest demo I did is this. 🙂

Fine. There were so many wonderful projects created by awesome people, here.

Listing here a few, which I like.

The telegram bot idea, gave me lot of new ideas. We can create a telegram bot to translate the strings for OpenStreetMaps in Tamil or any other language easily. People can do the translations on the go, using the mobiles. No need of fancy translation systems.

Another bot can be written to show a word, record its sound, upload to commons and connect to wiktionary. We can even use it to create crowd sourced audio books by recording paragraphs.

Will explore on them and come up with new bots soon.

Wikidata is a hot-cake nowadays. Lot of magic is happening around wikidata. Explored about SPARQL, Quarry, Quickstatements etc.

Our team planned for the further activities to do.

  • Add english translation to master branch
  • Improve the connector to use it with any wiktionary, any wiki user.
  • Install it on a server, so that public can start using it.

Will continue work on these, once I am back to chennai.

That all. The end of the hacking celebrations in Vienna.

Its time for a City Tour with friends. Roamed around the city. Vienna, is a heritage rich city with many good monuments. Went to a big church, crossed nice parks, parliment building, mayer office etc. Found a good restaurant and had dinner.

Had fun discussions on Indian people nodding head for everything, English accent on various languages, songs/music/dance on various countries, Vienna history,  Food culture in Europe/India, The issues Internet Explorer gives to the designers, Study options in Austria and more.

At 11.00 pm we returned to the event venue. Still there are so many monks, staring the laptops, hacking somethings for the benefit of human kind. Long live monks. This world owe you a lot.

Will be spending tomorrow, exploring the Vienna city tomorrow.

Are you interested in what we did for the hackathon? Do you feel sad for my laptop not connected with projector on time? I know, there are few of you are eagerly waiting for it. Here is a youtube video on our works, this weekend.


Thanks for all the team of Wikimedia Austria, for the wonderful event. It will be memorable event for me to work with the people, from various countries, speaking various languages. We all are passionate about contributing to wikipedia, making the world even better, by one line of edit/code per time.

World is so small. Hoping to meet you all sometime, sooner.

Image credits: commons

Todays Photos : –

Notes : Mediawiki Hackathon 2017 – Day 2

Just now returned from a party by the event organizers, at a nearby pub Arena. It is so much refreshing, to dance after a long time.

Today, was filled with so much of hacking the project I am working on. Learned a lot of new jargons in Docker arena. Finally, I could install the LinguaLibre software in my laptop with the help of dockerisation by Pablo.

LinguaLibre is a web application, which can help you to record audio files with the web browser itself. I am thinking on adding a backend job for this software, to send all the audio files to commons and add them in relevant wiktionary pages.

Schematic image

I tested all the docker fixes by pablo for new installations, so that any one with docker can install the software easily. I am working on integrating python backend scripts. stuck somewhere in the deep hole. Hope pablo will help to create new docker containers for the python scripts.

I helped Dafna, who is next to pablo, on installing Lingualibre on her laptop. She speaks arabic language. She wanted to give support for arabic writing. i.e right to left to this software. She started to hack the Javascript files and to play with PHP files immediately. Pablo is a great mentor. He explained all the internals of symphony, doctorine, git etc to her. She is almost done with her fixes. Good to see the things are happening so fast.

LibraLingue is in French. I translated all the french strings to English, with the help of google translator. Hmmm. Now, I feel better to use the software. Finally, I know what I am clicking on the screen.

Was discussing with praveen, to have some time on fixing the iOS app, for commons. Few years ago, it was there on the iTunes store. But now, it is not available. He agreed to explore on this. If you are an iOS developer, and can help to work on this app, comment to this post. Will connect the interested people. The source code is on GitHub .

Met Tim on the steps. He worked with OpenStreetMaps. Asked him for the tools available to add street names to OSM with any mobile. Most of the mobile apps for OSM, give the facility to add Point of Interest(POI) like shops, buildings. But, India, what we need and miss mostly are the street names. He asked to explore vespucci. we can get it from Googles play store and from amazon and from f-droid.

Attended a session on Future of LDAP Extensions, by Robert Vogel. We discussed about dropping this and moving the Pluggable SSO extension, as it gives more features. Brainstromed on the requirements and ideas to implement. I asked to give a web interface to test the server and authentication details, and to show the error messages on the screen. You can read the notes here.


Attend a session on ORES. It is an XRay engine to the wikipedia contents. It has all the interesting buzz words like machine learning, artificial intelligence, building models, training dataset etc. explored on how to use it in English wikipedia, how the training and scoring works. Asked him if this can be used to score and filter the contents apart from wikipedia like wordpress/facebook comments. He will look on this.

Someone asked as what will happen if I train the ORES wrongly and use it to score all my bad edits to good. He replied as to remove all yours training data and train again with some good person.

Remembered this XKCD in machine learning.


Checked with the design team, if it is possible to add a floating tool bar to the wikisource text area, so that we can easily add the formatting strings and symbols. They agreed for this. Tried to do as a simple hack. But it needs more efforts. So added an issue on phabricator to work later.

Petr Bena demonstrated his tool Huggle.  One of the great part with this hackathon, I found is to meet and discuss with the people, who created the software we use in our daily life. ORES, Huggle and lot of software were demonstrated by their original creators. Huggle is a desktop application to do gatekeeping the wikipedia articles easily. We can see the recent changes, allow them or delete them quickly.

File:Huggle3 kde ubuntu.png

Asked him to provide support for Tamil wikipedia. He raised a ticket for this immediately. Dear Tamil Wikipedia patrons, Here is a great tool for you. Let us explore it.

Met a photographer, Manfred werner. He lives in Vienna, doing photography as hobby. He helps to shoot all the events of Wikimedia Austria. The chapters lends him good cameras with big lenses. He is so passionate on commons. He explained me the guideliens he follows on uploading to commons, the photography workflow he follows, about copyright issues on various countries.

There was a group photo session. A paronamic view is available here.

There was a DJ party for us, in a nearby pub. We reached there around 10. It was excited to see the hardcore hackers are dancing like regular dancers here. Enjoyed dancing with the geeks. These english songs are for mild, easy dancing. I asked the DJ guy, if he can play any Tamil Rap song for a high energy dancing. Downloaded the song, “Night Varia” from Pudupettai. That is one of the song for which I dance like a monster, with all my heart and bones. Thought of introducing this song to Vienna. Unfortunately, the DJ system does not support input from mobile. Have to check with my audio engineering friends on how to fix this.

Then, DJ played some fast instruments. Those drums made all of us to dance. It started to rain. So, we could not go out. Continued to hangout there till 1 pm. Then reached JUFA hotel.

It is 3.41 am now. Can see still there are some monks are sitting in the lobby and hacking on their projects. I am done for the day. Tomorrow, will be more interesting.

Thanks for all who encouraged my blog posts and photos.

Here are todays photos collections –

Notes : Mediawiki Hackathon 2017 – Vienna, Austria – Day 1

Reached Vienna yesterday evening. It is a nice, clean, low crowd, cold city. Walked around the city till midnight.

The Day 1 of the hackathon started with a welcome session. Organizors explained about the event. Then, mentors introduced themself and many people pitched for working together with their projects.

We are 260 participants from 48 counties. This is the very first time, I work with these many multi country people. Though we are from around the world, everyone followed friendly space policy. It gave a good feel of being with my own friends.

After the intro session, I was roaming around the halls/sessions to find a team for me. I did not even know what project to do. Was thinking on few issues on the task board.

Met Abbas and Ibrahim in Cafe. Abbas is from Iran and living in Austria. He is a Journalist. He explained the issues faced by refugees. It takes around 5 years for them to be accepted here as refugees. Till then, they can not work anywhere. They have to live politely here. He is thinking of making them to contribute for wikipedia and get good score from the wikimedia austria, so that they can get some goodwill and faith to get accepted as refugee.

He spoke about how the arabic wiki community is growing slowly and the issues they face. It is similar to Tamil community’s issues and growth.

Met Praveen. He is an indian student who studies masters here. He is an iOS developer. Gave some project ideas like audio recording app for wiktionary for iOS. He is interested on this. Routed him to the newbies intro session to wiki development.

Met Aaron Halfaker. He is the developer of ORES. An Xray engine for the wikipedia. It can be used to determine the edits are good or bad. It involves machine learning based on the manual scoring training. Asked him, if we can use it for Tamil wikipedia. He demonstrated how it works. Will attend his session tomorrow for a deeper demo. He asked me to collect the list of bad words in Tamil and to collect the patterns of the pages we delete in Tamil Wikipedia. Will explore on this further.

Met the Magioladitis, the developer of AutoWikiBrowser. Happy to know that they are working on a web version of it. They are using javascript to develop it. Wished and thank the team on behalf of GNU/Linux users community.

Had a discussion with Maxlath, founder of A book inventory application based on the wikidata. He uses wikidata to get all the info about the books automatically. Explored the site and gave few feature requests so that all of us can use the site.

Met Vivek Maskara, a guy from Banglore. He was a windows application developer then. Now an android developer. His team is adding more features to commons android upload tool. Explained him about the windows tool to bulk upload the images to commons. We need a windows application to add metadata line name, details to images offline. Then, with single click, all the images should be uploaded to commons.

This is the very first community event for him. He asked why you guys are contributing to wiki and other open sources.

Demonstrated my wiki tools.

  1. OCR4WikiSource –
  2. Audio recorder for wiktionary –
  3. Photos uploader for commons –

Explained him how these open source projects are helping indian language communities to grow and how programmers can help to the core wikipedia content contributors.

Dear photographers. Wait for few more days. The mass upload tool for windows is on the way. Vivek, Spend some time on this in the upcoming days.

Found Hugo Lopez, from France, who is working on a Massive Open Audio Recording Project, LinguaLibre Got the  source and tried to install. Got some issues on installation. Will fix it soon.

He is a linguist, teacher, OSM, wikipedia contributor. He found his anchestors language Gascon, was destroyed by the french, just to promote french as one language form France. In 1910, there were 6.7 million people who spoke Gascon. In 1990, it is 2.11 and in 2010 it is only 0.2 million people who knows Gascon. The French government pushed french everywhere. School kids were beaten of gascon or any other language was spoken except French. This is how a language dies. The same thing is happening for Tamil. To kill and to promote Hindi as one national language, Indian government is doing all the things, it can do.

Huge found Lingua Libre, as a great tool to preserve the languages. We can speak any words and it can record all the sounds. This is the one web application I am dreaming of so many years. And it has been done already. Agreed to add few features like connection with commons and wiktionary. For this have to learn PHP. But it will be worthy effort to add more features to this.

Met Johan Uhle from He came with his cute girl kid. Asked him about the workflow, tools for translating the OpenStreetMaps in Tamil. He is wondering to know these possible with mapbox and the localized maps are happening slowly.

Evening was filled with fun events with Karoke. Enjoyed the songs sung by various people. Had dinner with fun discussions about marriages on India VS Europe, education systems etc.

There were many sessions for newcomers, wikidata, semantic wiki, and more. Will plan for attending few talks tomorrow. Wikidata is getting more like a rockstar. Seems it can do tons of magics. Will explore it soon.

The day 1 is ending now. Its around 12.00 midnight. Hearing the “Wow.Awesome” sounds from the Karoke floor. Still they are singing. Going to join with them for a group song now. See you all tomorrow.

Here are few snaps I took –






Attending MediaWiki Hackathon at Vienna, Austria

Hackathons are the events I love most. We sit together with fellow developers, pick any task, focus and work till we make some minimum viable product or complete the project.

I have attended mediawiki hackathon, chennaigeeks hackathons, and Tamil Open Source hackathons in chennai. They gave great results and good projects.

For the first time, I am going to attend an international hackathon at Vienna, Austria on 19-21, May 2017.



Get full details here –

Happy to know that my application got approved. Visa process went smoothly and I am all set to go.

Planning to work on these projects.

1. Upload/import wizard for Wikisource works –

2. Notification: Your file was used –

3. Statistics dashboard for data on Wikidata –

Will blog my experiences here.

Hoping to meet other contributors for mediawiki.

Thanks for the organizers for the opportunity.

Book Review – Flask by Example

Flask By Example Book Cover

Learning a web framework for Python is a long time dream for me. When I was working with PHP, it was easy for me to develop web applications. Then came frameworks. They are good for bog projects. But for the small projects I did, learning them was a nightmare.

Ruby on Rails was another tough road I traveled. Learning Django was a never ending project for me.

Finally, Found Flask. It is simple. we can develop web pages, add db backed, add user login, add maps, what else? We can add whatever we want.

Was looking for a good book to learn Flask. There are many online tutorials to learn Flask like

But, I like learning from books as they are packaged completely. There wont be any missing info. Still found few Flask books are not worthy.

Recently, PacktPub gave the book “Flask By Example” for free on its free learning program. Tons of thanks for them for doing a wonderful service. Giving a tech ebook for free.

This book introduces the Flask framework by all examples and explanations for all the lines. Starts with simple RSS reader, it explains getting users inputs, processing forms, handling Google maps, Creating users, cookies, login, reports, mysql and mongogb, in 10 chapters.

Reading this book is a gives good exposure to flask as I can not resist trying all the sample codes by typing them myself.

It took around 20 days to complete the book. (only 240 pages). by reading and practising ten pages per day, done with the book.

Hoping to give web interfaces for all the command line applications I had done and doing.

Strongly recommending this book to all who wants to learn Flask.

Buy this book here –

Thanks for packtpub for their great service once again.


30 days blogging challenge – Failed with good results

On march 2017, I decided to write at least one post, on this blog for the next 30 days. I know few writers write on their blog daily like Vaa.Manikandan, Pa.Raghavan, Jeyamohan. I thought I too can start to write more, as I had too many ideas and thoughts running on mind. Wanted to share here. Hence started.

Initial few days, went well. But, after the second week, felt it so tough. To write something, I had to stay awake extra in the nights. Eventhough, I stay awake and hitting the keyboard, I did not get any ideas to write. I already wrote everything, what I was thinking for few months. RTI, Consumer communities, Project Ideas, Bigdata etc. I could not write something, for the sake of just to write something daily. So dropped the posting often.

I failed on 30 day blogging challenge.

source :

18 posts for 30 days. It is near 1 post for 2 days. Not bad.

I should have eaten the frog as the first task in the morning. But, writing was not my priority.  I missed to make it as a part of daily rituals. Writing really takes more time then we think. Need to read and learn before writing something about. Need fact searches and good linking. It took 30-45 min to write a post.

Though, I failed to write on 30 days, found it very helpful, to organize my thoughts. Few posts evolved into action. I submitted 3 RTI. Had deep discussions about the consumer cooperative community with few friends. Few project ideas impressed few contributors and they completed 3 projects. We had an Hackathon too.

Without writing the ideas, these would never happen. Thanks to the great blogging platform and you, the readers. With your wishes over email, comment, phone and in-person, the dreams are becoming true.

I am good at dreaming. All the ideas like, were just dreams few years ago. When I wrote the ideas in this blog, I felt the transformation and evolution for the ideas into action. When likeminded people read the blogs, they share their helping hands to give live to the ideas. Tons of thanks for all the contributors.

I feel more powered, by writing in the blog. I quit Facebook, one year ago. From then, I use blogging and mailing lists as the only channels to express my thoughts. They give great results and actions.

I will keep writing regularly. May be two weeks per week. Exploring different patterns to find a suitable one for me.

Once again, I thank you. I request you to start writing in a blog. It is free. Start using . Blog all your thoughts and ideas. It will take you to heights and lead to different worlds, you can not imagine before.

blogging க்கான பட முடிவு

Source: CC-BY-SA

Minutes – Hackathon on OpenSource Software for Tamil Language

We conducted a Hackathon on OpenSource Software for Tamil Language, last sunday.

Mohan, Rajesh, Gowtham, Ragunath and myself gathered. I have already listed few project ideas on my blog.

Mohan worked on fixing the Tamil Text-to-Speech engine, provided by IITM. It was an android app. As the source code was given, Mohan made it as a command line application. He tried to build a web application on top of that.

Here is the sourcecode :


Rajesh kumar worked on building a web based report for Ebooks download counts on

Source :

I hosted it in a tools server provided by wikimedia labs :

Rajesh Kumar

I started to work on adding Tamil Books from ProjectMadurai site ( ) to ElasticSearch, for analysing text from various authors. I did adding books and searching books via commandline. But, when tried to explore via kibana, the visualization tool, it failed. Still exploring on that. If done, we can do analysis on various authors text.

Gowtham, is a 2nd year BE(CSE) student. He explored on web scrapping with mechanize and beautifulsoup using python. He will be doing creating mobi files daily by scrapping few news sites. He will continue this by next month, once exams are over.


Ragunath, was translating strings from English to Tamil, to create Tamil Maps using


The day was very interesting. Happy to meet Rajeshkumar. I know him for 5 years. He was one of the initial contributors for site. We had met on a training 3 years ago. Happy to see him as a contributor for open source projects.

We got some special guests too. Atul Jha, Naresh, TamilThenee came in person and wished the team. Got many calls from abroad too. Siva from USA, Dr.Sudhakar from UK, and more.

We are thinking on conducting similar events every month. We should plan prior and announce atleast one week ago, so that you can plan and attend the event.

Thanks for all the participants. Special thanks to the venue provider Dr.Semmal.


Dr. Semmal

Here are few more snaps –



The venue,

Manavai Mustafa Memorial,
A E 103, 6th Street, 10th Main Road
Anna nagar West, Chennai – 600040

is open for such event for Tamil development (500Rs/event) . We can use it for hackathons, gatherings, meetings, book reviews, book releases etc. It can accommodate 20 people. It has air conditioned. Airtel wifi is available.

Send a mail to to book the venue.



Open Source Projects for Tamil – Hackathon – Sunday – April 23 – Chennai

Are you looking for an interesting project to do?
Can you share some time and your programming skills for Tamil Language?
Do you like to meet the fellow open source contributors in Chennai?

Here is a Hackathon for Open Source Projects for Tamil.

Date : April 23, 2017, Sunday
Time : 10.00 am – 5.00 pm

Venue :
Manavai Mustafa Memorial,
A E 103, 6th Street, 10th Main Road
Anna nagar West, Chennai – 600040

Contact : T Shrinivasan 98417 9546 Eight

Send a mail to
to confirm your participation.

Wondering what projects you can do?

Pick anything from here.

or, you can come with your own ideas and implement there.

Come, let us contribute to Tamil with our programming skills.

Project Ideas – Part 2 – Looking for contributors

Here are few more project ideas.

1. mobile/web app to record voice for wikisoure – Show a word, record it, upload to commons, link back to wiktionary.

2. mobile/web app to record audio books  – FreeTamilEbooks needs audio books too

3. wordpress to android app convertor – Why cant we convert a wordpress site as android app with RSS feeds?

4. epub to apk convertor – Let us publish ebooks as mobile apps too.

5. blog to epub convertor – fix, add images
Add a feature to download images and add them to ebooks.

6. Daily mobi files for tamil newspapers
Crawl newspapers daily, make mobi, send them to kindle in email daily.

7. Send to kindle – feature for FTE
Add Send to kindle feature to site

8. Lime survey – SAAS – alternate to google forms
Explore limesurvey and make it as alternate for google forms.

9. Collect politicians info and release as app, site

How can we collect all politicians details as education, assets etc and publish for public?

10. setup ELK for tamil literature search, build a search engine on top of it

Explore using ElasticSearch and Kibana for Tamil Text analysis.

11. fix android app to record audio for wiktionary –
done at

12. Analyse tamil tv/radio show audio, find how many english words are used/hour
This paper may help
Contact Ganesh for python implementation of this algo

13. gui for voice record/upload – wiktionary

This needs a GUI version for windows users

14. gui for csv uploader

This needs a GUI for windows users

15. gui for open-tamil font convertor

Need a web application or GUI for all features of open-tamil

16. mobile app to teach tamil – pollachi nasan

17. wiki massuser create

Sometimes, we need to create 100s of users on wikipedia, for any training/event. Currently, only 6 users can be created. Admins can create multiple users, one by one. Automate this process using mechanize and beautifulsoup.

18. OCR4wikisource web version using google vision api

Rewrite with google vision api and give a web interface.

19. create a command line TTS from the source of a mobile TTS app.

Here is a open source TTS mobile app for tamil.

Register and download the source and apk.
The voice named “Naveen” is good.

There are many c files in the folder

Can you compile those files and give a binary file as a command line tool?

Explore these code and share your thoughts on how to convert this as a
desktop/command line application so that we can use it in our

20. Create a GUI app for bulk photo uploader for

Dark everywhere in my KDE Desktop

Few days back, bought a 21.5 inch LED IPS Slim Monitor, to get rid of neck pain.

தொடர்புடைய படம்

It is really nice one. I am enjoying the good big display. Dont know why I missed such a big display for so many years. The ease it gives for neck and eyes are awesome. I strongly suggest you, to go for a big monitor, if you are working for many hours in laptop.

Once the monitor is setup, I felt that it is emitting much of brightness and contrast. Reduced both. Still getting high illumination from it, as most of the websites, applications use huge white background.

But, reading and writing in terminal(konsole) is a breeze, as it has dark, black background. Suddenly, remembered, the black, dark themes. I was always wondering, who in the world will love these dark, black backgrounds. When I tried few years ago, it was not nice for my laptop screen. But, this time, for big screens, the dark themes are a great gift to our eyes.

Sharing few screenshots of my desktop.

KDE Desktop




Atom Editor




All these dark theme applications, look very cool on the big screen. Enjoying all the works now. Tons of thanks for the people who found that the dark theme is good for big screens and for the people who made the great dark themes for KDE and other individual applications.