A one day Free Software seminar was held at CEG on March 11 , 2012 .
It consisted of philosophical and technical sessions handled by Mr.K.Sibi and Mr. Alagunambi Welkin respectively. There were about 60 student participants from various colleges
The morning session covered the Introduction to Free Software philosophy.Mr. Sibi made sure that the audience participated enthusiastically in the discussion. His talk was packed with examples of everyday events which we could relate to. This made us understand that the 4 freedoms which formed the core of Free Software were equally relevant in our daily lives. He brought forth several issues we conveniently take for granted, as a result of an education system which glorifies rote learning and hence lose our freedom without realizing its worth. He also highlighted the applications of free software such as localization, which were all the more important
and would have a progressive influence in a diverse country like India as the language barrier could be demolished, greatly reducing the gap due to digital divide. We enjoyed the discussion, and at the same time, grasped it's significance
The afternoon session was hands-on. Mr. Welkin gave an introduction to Ruby language and explained its advantages by making us code with it. He then got us to ride comfortably on Rails. He made us aware of the power of Ruby on Rails by showing us how to set up a blog in a matter of
minutes. He introduced the basic concepts of the vast Rails framework through an example which was simple, and yet gave a clear idea of the enormous potential of Ruby on Rails. His enthusiasm was motivational and infectious and he had the students attention for 3 hours. The participants
were so absorbed that they did not even go out during the break. The session was, as one participant put it, an eye-opener.
The co-operation of faculty members and support of student volunteers made the event a successful one. Student volunteers made sure that none of the requirements were overlooked. This avoided several last-minute hassles and enabled the event to proceed smoothly. Kudos to them!!!
We look forward to extending the interaction through more workshops
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