Archive for the ‘BCB 4’ Category

SoC work status

Current mitwi status:

The problem:
For any project, publication of user documentation is always a big part. Now for a GNU/Linux OS like Fedora where so many packages are part of the system, users look for the man & info pages through web also. As these documents changes very fast it is always a good idea to have permanent URLs for the docs using some dynamic technologies. And always update them for new release of the packages (in rawhide).

The solution:
Extract all man or info source files from the packages and convert them to html, then show them as requested.

The implementation:
The first big problem is to collect all pages. Collecting Man pages is little bit easier as they can be easily identified from RPM files. But it is not same for Info files. As I found, the best way to convert them into HTML is to use texi2html, but for this I need not compiled texi files. So, the generation of HTML files from the Info pages is handled by the InfoExtractor.py script. It takes SRPMs and extracts .texi files from them & then convert them to HTML. In a database, I am keeping the records of all generated HTML files so that, I can search or browse from it.

In the frontend, a simple index.cgi is doing all works 🙂 . It is showing all commands according to the releases. I encountered the second big problem here. Man pages are being translated into different languages, so one command can have multiple man pages. To solve this problem, user should select his/her preferable language first. Then index.cgi will show only pages in that language. There is a simple search option also available to search between different Man/Info pages.

The next problem where I am still stucked is permanent URIs. As this version of index.cgi is not capable of doing that, I am trying to implement it using URL rewriting.

I will be continuing my work and bring about further improvements in it soon.


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Last weekend I enjoyed a lot here in Bangalore. 28th and 29th July Bar camp 4 was held at IIM Bangalore. This was my first time here. The unconference was truely amazing. Here I met so many people, whose name I had only heard of earlier, but never met them. It gave me an opportunity to meet different people and increase my knowledge as ideas were shared here, not only technical but also non-technical.

The first day I was little bit tensed thinking of what will happen. I stepped into the campus. First went and collected the identity card bar camp and also a notepad and a pen. I moved to the auditorium then and on the stage people were speaking the time and venue of different collectives they have organized. Earlier i was confused about the idea of collective. But soon I realised. Till then I came to know many people– great programmers, also python programmers :-). After that I was wondering which collective to visit. I had a cup of coffee and then went and sat at the Blogger’s collective. Got to know many things from there which I did not know earlier. After that again talked to different people and had lunch. The lunch table I was sitting was termed as the python table, as everyone there were python programmers :-). After lunch went to the Python collective, then the Bicycle collective and finally the Photo collective. There I gathered lots of informations about photography, about which earlier I had no idea. It was a very interesting one for me. at the end of the day we all went to the auditorium to refresh ourselves with music. Guitar, drum, casio and a flute together created a wonderful music for us. Finally we also enjoyed the songs with which our first day ended.

After enjoying the first day so much I was truely excited for the second day. The second day also started at the auditorium with the announcement of different collectives. After that I attended the social collective which was a very interesting one. It was an interactive session. We introduced ourselves. Lots of comparisons were made between India and China. Ways were thought to develop our nation, increase it’s economical condition. I learned a lot of unknown facts from the discussion. We shared our ideas. We also expressed what we expected from the Bar camp and what we got in return. The interactive session was really an interesting one. After that we had our lunch, I went to the python collective and then to the photo collective. learned a little bit about the way to use Gimp. Then we all were chatting. Finally we went to the auditorium, where we had the feedback session. People who came from outside Bangalore were asked to stand up. I stood up too as I was not from the city. Again the music put an end to the next and the final day of the bar camp.

These days were a beautiful experience for me. I am looking forward to the next bar camp, I will surely attend it, provided I am in the city then.

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