Day Two - GNOME Asia 2023

The second day of GNOME Asia 2023 consisted of a set of intriguing presentations on technical and community-related topics. We also covered some ground on the Community Operations 2.0 discussions for Fedora Council and made a failed attempt to visit the Pashupatinath Temple for the evening Aarti.

Day Two - GNOME Asia 2023
Photo by Raimond Klavins on Unsplash

The second day of the GNOME Asia 2023 conference began with me waking up at around the same time I woke up the previous day on 02 December 2023. The events were to begin at 1000 am Nepal Standard Time that day so I quickly got myself freshened up for the day. As I had donned the Fedora Ambassadors-themed tee shirt the previous day, I decided to wear the CentOS Project-themed shirt on that day for a change. I prepared some coffee using the electric kettle available in the hotel room to soothe my still sore throat before heading down for breakfast. I asked about how far the presentation prep went from Nikita Tripathi whom I met in the breakfast area, and I got myself a masala omelette with cheese and mushroom to begin with. While munching on some boiled potato chaat with chicken sausage, we discussed how the pursuit of an elusive perfection causes delays at times. With Nikita Tripathi leaving for her room to fetch the backpack, I had a conversation with Amita Sharma at the breakfast table and we talked for a bit. We were soon joined by Sumantro Mukherjee and Sudhir Dharanendraiah, who just returned from the Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) after dropping off Saheli and Shivranjani for a day trip at Pokhara. After the folks were through with their meals, we headed off to the Softwarica College of IT and E-commerce, Nepal on a taxivan that was arranged for us by the hotel receptionist.

We joined the keynote talk on "Open Source Code, Community and Culture in Nepal" by Hempal Shreshta at around 1000 am Nepal Standard Time where the origins of the now-deprecated NepaLinux GNU/Linux distribution and its influence on localization of other GNU/Linux distributions piqued my intrigue. This was followed by a change of rooms to attend Nikita Tripathi's talk on "Creating with Krita" at around 1100 am Nepal Standard Time where a demo was made on the graphic design workflow, accessible even to the newcomers. With discussions on her journey in the FOSS communities asked by Sudhir Dharanendraiah and an unbiased comparison against proprietary graphic designing tools asked by myself, the talk was completed. Justin W. Flory suggested to Sumantro Mukherjee and me that we make use of our in-person presence to further the discussions around the Community Operations 2.0 community initiative and we gathered to discuss my suggested revisions. In the hallway area, we were joined by a curious Amita Sharma chiming in her thoughts whilst we discussed the data-driven approaches towards improving community health. The discussion seeped into the designated coffee break time and while we were invited to join the following workshop on "Community Building: How To Welcome Newcomers In GNOME" by Anisa Kuci, we continued on with the discussions.

From left to right - Sumantro Mukherjee, Justin W. Flory and Akashdeep Dhar discussing the revisions suggested on the Community Operations 2.0 community initiative proposal for Fedora Council
A glimpse at the attendees of the conference at the near evening part of the second day
This is one of the rarest times where I would find myself bearing both the legacy CentOS Project logo and the modern CentOS Stream logo at the same time

By around 0100 pm Nepal Standard Time, it was time for the lunch break and Buddha Ram Gurung volunteered again to pick a restaurant called "Haadi Biryani" that day. We were also joined by our friends from the GNOME Foundation here for the meal and we took a small walking trip to the place. Sumantro Mukherjee, Sudhir Dharanendraiah, Jens Petersen and I got ourselves a serving of Mutton Biryani each while the rest ordered a bunch of other dishes after dismissing some confusion regarding combining servings and we joked about the possibility of delayed servings while we waited for the meal to arrive. I discussed with Matthias Clasen whether a WYSIWYG GUI creator for the GNOME ecosystem exists much akin to Qt Designer for the Qt ecosystem and I got to know about an application called Cambalache. He also mentioned that such tools are immensely crucial to help with the rapid prototyping of applications and help focus more on the functionality and less on the look-and-feel of the application so one should definitely not feel guilty of using such a tooling. The meals arrived after a while and we joined the discussion with folks from the Young Innovations company folks joining us at the lunch table. Once we were through with the meal billings, Jens Petersen booked a cab for Amita Sharma who was not feeling well at around that time and was escorted back to the hotel with Nikita Tripathi's assistance.

Event organizers took extra care to ensure that they not only award the speakers for sharing their experiences but also to recognize the attendees for their contributions

As we got back to the event venue at around 0245 pm Nepal Standard Time, Sumantro Mukherjee, Sudhir Dharanendraiah, Samyak Jain and I decided to sit out of Khairul Aizat Kamarudzzaman's talk on "Open Source Community supporting Malaysia Government Open Source Initiative" in an adjacent room. The room were were in was soon occupied by attendees participating in the next talk by Bhawna Chauhan on "Exploring the Package Management Ecosystems of Different Open-Source Distributions". As Samyak Jain had prior experience in packaging applications on Debian-based GNU/Linux distributions, Sudhir Dharanendraiah encouraged him to convey his questions to the speaker when the talk was wrapped up around 0350 pm Nepal Standard Time. The four of us decided to continue sharing conversations and somewhere half an hour later, Sumantro Mukherjee and Sudhir Dharanendraiah decided to leave the event venue early to be able to pick up their wives, Saheli and Shivranjani from the airport. I suggested that we let Justin W. Flory and Jens Petersen know about the same when we were held back by one of the emcees of the event who earnestly requested us to wait for the proceedings to wrap up before departing. We stayed back for the closing note and felicitation for both the speakers and the attendees before departing from the venue in a cab at around 0500 pm Nepal Standard Time.

There is no bad time to click selfies in an elevator equipped with a bunch of mirrors and that is truer when you are accompanied by a parka-equipped Samyak Jain

We were pleasantly surprised to see Jens Petersen and Justin W. Flory reaching the hotel in a cab right behind us and even they got involved in Samyak Jain's and my plans to visit the Pashupatinath Temple in the evening. As the Saheli's and Shivranjani's flights got delayed, Sumantro Mukherjee and Sudhir Dharanendraiah joined us too in our rush to the Pashupatinath Temple before the gates closed around a couple of hours from that time. Sumantro Mukherjee, Sudhir Dharanendraiah and I played some fushball as we all waited for the hotel receptionists to arrange some cabs for us. Unfortunately, we ended up arriving late and the gates were already closed for the evening Aarti so we decided to purchase some specialized variants of Rudraksha and naturally formed Shaligram Shila stones surprisingly with the use of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) app from a nearby shop. We headed back to the hotel at around 0830 pm Nepal Standard Time and following Samyak Jain's restaurant recommendation, we walked our way to a rooftop restaurant named "The Penthouse". Saheli and Shivranjani joined us after returning from their trip to Pokhara and I got to hear about their adventurous experiences too while the dinner was served and wine-tasting was underway. At around 1000 pm Nepal Standard Time, Sumantro Mukherjee, Amita Sharma, Saheli and I decided to wrap up early and catch up on some respite.