Event Notes – Mini Mapping party at Kanchipuram

I went to my home town Kanchipuram, India for Christmas holidays. We had a good active Linux Users Group called KanchiLUG there few years ago. We still have few members there doing nice works there.

Decided to have a mini mapping party at kanchipuram on Dec 25, 2017. sent a mail to our mailing list and asked people to join the party.


We had one volunteer replied. T. Dhanasekar. We met on dec 25 10 am. Created an account for him in openstreetmaps.

We both dont use smartphone. I borrowed my wife Nithya’s phone. He did not get any. I dont have a motor bike there. I already took his bike. Hence, we decided to roam around the city together and add interesting places to OSM.

I explained maps.me app and how to add POI. We found many schools, temples, shops, clinics etc and added them. For few POI’s, we did not find suitable types in maps.me

Will ask the maps.me team to add more types.

In 2 hours, we added 75 places. There are still tons of places to add at Kanchipuram. We will add them in upcoming days.



Project Idea – Location aware mobile apps to explain historical places

Last week, met my old friend siva, of Tamil Heritage Trust, after few years. Their group is serving the community, by explaining all the history of great places of tamilnadu.

He explained me about a requirement of new mobile app.

Location aware app to explain on historic places.

Imagine, you goto tiger cave, near mahabalipuram. While wondering what is that, how it will be an app displays all the history about that place, when you go near or search for it.

Like that we can give details about all the monuments at mahabalipuram.

We can extend that to all the temples at kanchipuram or all around tamil Nadu.

The app should be released as free/open source software.

It can be a native or react native or hybrid app.

If you are interested in contributing for this, reply, comment here or mail me on tshrinivasan@gmail.com


Installation script for Tamil Text to speech System

The Tamil TTS system provided by IITM and SSN College of Engineering, has a lengthy installation process.

I have written them here. https://goinggnu.wordpress.com/2017/09/20/how-to-compile-tamil-tts-engine-from-source/

It may not be easy to follow and you may find some issues. To make the life easier, I have created shell script, to automate the entire process.

Here it is – https://github.com/tshrinivasan/tamil-tts-install

System requirements:

Ubuntu 16.04

How to execute:

git clone https://github.com/tshrinivasan/tamil-tts-install.git

cd tamil-tts-install

Edit the file, install-tamil-tts.sh

Fill the following details.

DOWNLOAD_PATH=/home/ubuntu/tts/packages #to download the required packages

COMPILE_PATH=/home/ubuntu/tts/compiled # to place the compiled files and folders

Register here http://htk.eng.cam.ac.uk/download.shtml and get a username and password



Then, execute the file as

bash install-tamil-tts.sh

How to convert a text to audio?

export FESTDIR=/usr

cd COMPLIE_PATH ssn_hts_demo/scripts/complete “தமிழ் வாழ்க” linux

This will convert the text and store as wav in


you can play it with any audio player.

The full details of what is on the compile process is explained here. https://goinggnu.wordpress.com/2017/09/20/how-to-compile-tamil-tts-engine-from-source/

To hear a demo on how the tamil TTS system sounds, click here

Thanks for IITM Team – Prof Hema  and Anju for their great support on helping us to get installed the tamil TTS system.


Filed a RTI to get info on Tamil TTS by IITM and SSN

I blogged on the topic “How to ask IITM to release IndicTTS as Free/Open Source Software?” recently.

Had a good discussion about this on the ILUGC mailing list too.

As a followup on this,  filed a RTI on this.

We can request for any information online in the portal https://rtionline.gov.in itself. Registration asks for our address and phone number. Then we can fill the request form.

Note : The content box does not allow Question mark and URL.

Asked for the below information.

Is there any government policy or G.O to release the software developed by or funded by Department of Electronics and Information Technology (Deity) and Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (M CIT) as Free/Open Source software

2. Is IITMadras funding SSN engg college to develop a Tamil Text to speech software

3. If so, how much is the funded amount

4. Send me the project plan, roadmap, and cost splitups for the development

5. There is a open source android app for Tamil text to speech at IITM site. (IITM donlab site)
This is very very old. But the latest development by SSN college available at  [ speech DOT ssn DOT edu DOT in ]  is very new and works well. Why it is not released as Free/Open Source Software with source code

6. When can we get the latest Tamil Text to speech software from SSN college, as free/open source software with source code

Once submitted, paid Rs 10 via its online payment gateway. It was smooth.

Received an acknowledgment as below.


Fine. Let me wait for 30 days for the responses.

Will share the results here.




Will you buy a Digital Product that allows you to share and remix?

Today, My beloved Tamil author Mr.N Chokkan, asked a question in twitter.

புது நூல் / இசை PDF / MP3 கிடைக்குமா என்றுதான் 99.99% ட்வீட்கள். சும்மா ஒரு பாவனைக்குக்கூட, ‘எங்கே வாங்கலாம்?’ என்று கேட்பதில்லை


புதுப்பட / பாடல் / புத்தக download லிங்க் பகிரங்கமாகக் கேட்போர் ‘அரிசி அரை கிலோ வேண்டும், எங்கே திருடலாம்?’ என்று ட்வீட் எழுதுவார்களா?


He asks that

People ask for download link when a new Book/Movie/Audio is released.
99.99% tweets are regarding download links. Nobody asks for a link to buy them.
Will people ask for a how to steal rice, when they need to buy it?

This questions raised a lot of thoughts and sharing them here.

Sharing is a nature of human. When we are kids, our moms asked us to share the foods with our friends. They put extra food in our tiffin boxes for sharing.

She share the food with neighbors even today.

They all know that sharing is caring.

It is not about the cost. I have a thing with me. I will share it with anyone.
Its my right.

It historic days, Ramanajur, the Hindu saint, was asked to keep a secret of god.
He reached to a temple tower and announced the secret to all public, proving that all good things should reach all.

Check Chapter 11

All the world literature is being transformed for ages and ages to next generation just make sure that all the good should reach all. Nobody cared about the copyright laws.

Let us come to the modern era.

There are Analog Products and Digital Products.

Let us compare an Analog Book or Motor Bike.

To make a Motor Bike, the manufacturing company should invest atleast 30-40% of the selling price. For each MotorBike, the company should invest the same 30-40% cost of the bike.

Once I bought the Bike, Its my own property.

  • I can ride it anywhere.
  • I can share it with my friends.
  • I can make it into parts on to know how it works.
  • If I am a mechanic, I can repair or rework on it to customize it.
  • I can resell it.
  • I can donate it.

I can do whatever I want.

Let us come to a Digital Product.

It is a Software/Music/Ebook.

Let us say the Company invests 30-40% of the selling cost to create the first copy of the product.

What is the cost the company invests for the second copy? 0 Rs or 10 Rs for the CD or DVD. But they sell all the copies to the same rate. How this is correct?

Fine. Its their wish to sell for any cost. As a buyer what rights I get?

  • I should not make copies of it.
  • I should not share it.
  • I should not modify it.
  • I should not study it.

When a mechanic can study a Bike, As a software engineer why should not I study the software I buy? Why I dont get the source code?

When I buy a music cd, why I should not share it with my friends, when I share my Bike? Why I should not resell the CD, when I sell my bike?

Business people may come with some weired answers for these questions.

They need to make tons and tons of money with one time effort and to sell million times.

They say with lot of buzzwords like intellectual property, copyright laws etc, just to make sure that the digital products are not copied and shared.

Fine. It will be nice, if anyone replied here on what are the fears of a Digital Product creator to sell his products for a cheaper price with all rights to the buyer?

Do you think that we can not make money when there is no secret?

Take the Food Industry.

Most of us know, how to make Idly, Sambar, Rice and all other delicious Food.
But still there is Saravana bhavan making money. HotChips makes money.
Name a branded hotel. It makes Millions of money, where all the recipe are open to public. They sell the Food with all the rights to the buyer to share, resell, remix, etc.

If they can make money, with open recipe and rights to share, we also can make it. Yes. Need to make a lot of changes in business model and have to reduce the greediness of making million dollar by investing only one time.

Let us think on the other way.

We are living in a era of sharing.
Though there are tight laws, we can not prevent online sharing of digital products.
Though it is illegal, people love to share their contents. Because, Sharing is in our blood.

People will pay and buy any product that is affordable and encourages them to learn it, hack it, share it and remix it.

Still in doubt?

Write a book and release the PDF for 20-30 Rs with all rights to share and remix in Creative Commons license.

Choose a suitable license from here. http://creativecommons.org/choose/

I am sure you will get more money then you get as royalty when you release as a printer book by any publisher.

(Ask your known writers on how much they make money as royalty. They get very less and they even dont know how many books are sold. Publishers wont share any business data with the writers.)

Reply here, If you agree to buy such a Digital Product that is cheap and in Creative commons license.

FOSS Contributors in TamilNadu code

Mr. Dorai from Chennai Geeks asked for a list of contributors for Free/Open Source Software from TamilNadu.

We are planning for a showcase of these projects and skilled persons to startups and enterprises.

Please fill this form, if you are contributing to any Free/Open Source Software.

If you know some one else is contributing, add their details too.


View the result here.

Note: As a first phase, only code contributions is being collected.

We will look for other contributions like support, documentation, artwork, marketing in future.

Share this info with friends too.

Free Software Event Checklist

I am being part of some of the Free Software Events happening in Chennai.

Sometimes the events are small gatherings and some times they are really huge.

Many times, we have missed some critical stuff and we were running behind them in the last minute.

Hence, this post to not down all stuff we need for any event.

1. Event Team

Create a event team with some volunteers. They are the pillars who are going to share the following tasks.

Make the team’s contacts like phone number, email are shared with all and announced publicly.


2. Venue

Fix the venue for the event.
Check with Colleges, Private Office, Govt Offices and Auditoriums.

Some times we get the hall for free. Sometimes, we may need to pay.


3. Date

Fix the date of the event.

Make sure that there are no big political, social, national, devotional or any other “al” event matches on the same day.

This is to make sure that the traffic is free for people to attend the event.


4. Web Page

Set a website or a blog for the event.

Post all the event planning and announcements regularly.


5. Posters

Create some digital posters on the event and share them across.

If possible print handouts/posters and share them too.


6. Marketing

We need people to attend the event.

Make sure your marketing team announce the event in the following channels.

  • Mailing lists
  • Social Media groups/events/pages
  • Event websites
  • Newspapers [ event of the day ]
  • If possible, Advertisements on TV and FM


7. Agenda


Plan the agenda. It may be a training, talks, cd/book release, etc.

Fix the time for event start/end/sessions start end/lunch/break times


8. Call for participants – Online regisration


Set up an online space to register, if it requires.

A wiki or google docs or similar can be used.


9. Update the participants


Keep on updating the participants via email on the event progress.


10. Freebies


  • ID Cards
  • Tshirts
  • Stickers
  • Books
  • Pamphlets
  • Flyers
  • Printouts
  • CDs/DVDs
  • PenDrives

can be given as freebies. Prepare them all two days prior. Put them all as packs to share easily.


11. Venue


Visit the venue one week before and check the following stuff.

1. Power

2. Chairs

3. Projector

4. Screen

5. Ventilation

6. Water Supply

7. Food Supply

8. Rest rooms

9. Place for banners

10. Mike/Speakers

11. Lights

12. Internet Connectivity

13. Shops nearby for stationary/medical/food

14. First Aid & Safety

15. Emergency contact person from the venue.

16. Stay facilities nearby



12. Call for Donations


We need money for all the events. We can call for individual donations or sponsors.

Check for interested companies and contact them to sponsor the event.

Then, Announce a call for donations with all the account details to do online money transfer. Send the receipts to the donors.



13. Press Release


Write up a press release and share it to all the media like TV/Newspapers/FM.

Make sure that they come to the event and cover the event.


14. Chief Guests


Fix the chief guest.

Check for their stay/travel to the event.



15. Gifts


Plan the gifts for the guests /participants/winners and buy them in prior.




On the Day of the event


16. venue


Make sure one or two persons reach the event in 3 hours before to check the venue for all the 15 items told before.


Tie the banners in front of the venue, hall and on the stage.

Check for power supply/lights/chairs/Rest rooms/Mike/Speakers

Store all the freebies in a room

Stick Posters around the venue.

Place route map/arrows to reach the hall, all around the venue.



17. Registration desk:


Setup a registration desk.

Use notebooks or laptops to get information about the visitors

Give the freebie pack



18. Food


Arrange for Food/Snacks/Cool Drinks/Water from nearby canteen or hotels.

Make sure that they reach on time.


19. Photos/Videos/Audio


Make sure that you have colunteers to capture the event via Photo/Video/Audio.


20. Live telecast/blog/tweet


If possible arrange for live telecast of the event. Live blog/tweet also fine.


After the event:


21. Upload Photos


We may be endup with 1000s of photos.

Check them and delete all the unwanted/blurred photos.

Resize them to 2048 resolution or lesser.

Upload them in online photo repositories like picasa/flickr/facebook.

Make sure that they are in creative commons license.

Give proper tags for the albums for easy searching.


22. Upload Videos


Resize the video.

Amplify the audio.

Upload them in youtube or similar sites.


23. Upload Audio


Check and remove the silences, noises of the recorded audio.

Amplify the audio.

Upload in soundcloud of similar sites.


24. Event Notes


Write the event notes with the following details.

Event Minutes

Links for Photos/Videos/Audio/Live blogs/tweets etc

Links for the various press that covered the event.


Update them in the website.


25. Send mail to participants/guests


Send mail to all with a Thanks note and Event Notes.



26. Celebrate


Wow. Congrats. The event is over and you and the team can have some celebrations.

Goto near par/beach and play some games.

Have some food together.




Dont Do:


If it is a event about Free Software like GNU/Linux demo day/Software Freedom Day, make sure that nobody uses any proprietary operating system or software for any of the demo or talk.

Check for any other Don’t do stuff and announce it in all the announcements.


Hope this list will help us to avoid any last minute tensions.

Form a team to take care of each activity and have great team works.


Reply here if you have something to add.



Are you looking to get commercial Support for Git? – Ask CollabNet

The entire IT world is turning towards using Free Software, nowadays.

One of the major issues in implementing the FOSS Solutions in the corporates is

Technical Support for the Free Open Source software.

Though the Free Software Communities are very active in providing free support in mailing lists,IRC channels, Public forums etc, the organizations can not wait till someone answers in these channels when some critical issue happens.

On those critical situations, they need some helping hand, some shoulder to fall on.

even they are ready to pay for the commercial support for Free Software.

Most companies now start to provide commercial support for Free Software.


It is a good thing to see the list is growing and more companies choose the support as their way of making money with Free Open Source Software.

CollabNet, which is providing Support for Subversion from its early days, now started to support Git too.

How does CollabNet support git?

CollabNet has its own ALM product called TeamForge . It can have git as a part of its version control system, which provides easy UI to manage repositories and provide access control.

Apart from that customers can buy only GIT support where they can get the open source git from their repositories and get support from CollabNet.

CollabNet has a expert team on git and it pays for developers who contribute for Git. With the experts in Git, CollabNet provides support via email, phone and remote session.

See here the plans.


CollabNet is already providing same support for Subversion where it pays for Subversion developers and provides Commercial Support and free support via its forums. http://forums.open.collab.net/

Read the git blogs here: http://blogs.collab.net/git where the experts from CollabNet share their experience in Git.

It is providing hosted solution for Git and Subversion too. Check here http://www.cloudforge.com/

Its a great opportunity for organizations to implement git with the support from CollabNet.

Open Source Professionals Are Preferred Over Others: CollabNet

If you are an open source professional, you have an advantage over others, when it comes to finding a job. Professionals with exposure in open source technology are considered better engineers and have an edge over others. Companies like CollabNet are always on a look-out for such professionals and provide them adequate platform for exploring their love for open source.

“If I have to hire for the engineering teams, I would look for open source exposure in every hire. We are always glad to hire such professionals,” said Karthi Swaminathan, vice president, site operations and engineering, CollabNet.


Ubuntu Release Party at Chennai

An Ubuntu release party and the Introduction to FOSS classes to be held in

Madras Institute Of Technology, Chrompet, Chennai

on Saturday, 21st July from 1pm to 4pm.

The agenda of the day:

  • Inspirational talk on FOSS and Features on Ubuntu  by Mr.Ramadoss of Yavarukkumana Software foundation
  • Release of Ubuntu 12.04.
  • Installation Demo.
  • Introduction to FOSS Classes.

The FOSS classes to be conducted by Mr.Ramadoss are to continue throughout, every month on the third  Saturday from 4 to 5 pm.

It will involve a 20 minute session of brainstorming wherein they will share their experiences. The highlight of these classes is that the students are mentored to do projects on various areas in FOSS, with a chance to release an Open source application, certificates and internship at his organization.

We hope this initiative is successful and it is well received. We are looking forward to hear from you.

Entry Free. All are Welcome