Software Freedom Day 2016, Kathmandu by FOSS Nepal Community (Lead by Mr. Manish Marahatta) was a huge success with more than 10 open communities involved which includes Google Business Group (GBG Kathmandu), Open Knowledge Nepal, Wikipedia, HackProject.org, Kathmandu Living Labs, WliT, Kathmandu University Open Source Club (KUOSC) and many others. With about 500 running and staying participants, this year was one of the biggest celebration of all time. Basically, the event was categorized in three different sections: Keynote and Paper Presentations (Agrawal Hall), Discussion Fora (Stall of different communities) and Hackathon. The two forth sessions were done on the ground floor whereas the later session was conducted parallel on the third floor of Agrawal Bhawan , Kamalpokhari. Stalls were open after 10:00 AM for the visitors.
The main event at Agrawal Hall hosted by Rumi Rajbhandari and Ichchha Moktan started at 11:00 AM. which was formally inaugurated with our Nepali National Anthem. Then, the event started with the keynote session by Mr. Prakash Neupane, SFD Lead 2013 and long time FOSS volunteer, where he spoke about why Software Freedom Day is celebrated and how it used to be celebrated in the past.
Our next Keynote Speaker, Dr. Nama from Kathmandu Living Labs gave a presentation on different projects done on the top of OpenStreetMap and other open source software. He also talk about their new program Nepal’s National Reconstruction Program in the very session.
Finally, the last keynote speech was given by Mr. Mahabir Pun, Magsaysay Award Winner and pioneer of wireless Internet in the villages of Myagdi District. In his session, he talked about the importance of celebrating Software Freedom Day in current scenario. Also, he talked about his new idea and program of establishing first National Invention Center in Nepal. He described how the Invention Centre can help youth and for building the nation.
The keynote session was followed by short break where basic refreshments were arranged for the participants and the presenters. Informal talks with presenters and stall visit were the part of this break.
After the short break, as a part of Paper Presentation session, Mr. Shah Mijanur Rayhan, Mozilla Representative from Bangladesh gave a presentation of Mozilla community and IoT (Connected Devices). He talked about how Mozilla Platform can be used by the developers and normal users for Internet of Things. Thank you Mijanur for traveling all the way from Bangladesh to attend Software Freedom Day in Nepal.
The session was continued by the presentation from Mr. Ajay Mani Paudel from NLP Hub where he talked about Natural Language Processing and presented on how NLP Hub is/will help the researchers and the students who have core interests on Natural Language Processing.
Mr. Nikesh Balami, from Open Knowledge Nepal gave a presentation on “The Knowledge Network” and he described how open data can be helpful for the enhancement of a person, society and the whole nation. Why should the knowledge be open ? Why data should be transparent in the government sectors ? These were the questions addressed by Mr. Balami in his session.
AR/VR Developers from Nepal, Mr. Bobby Basnet and Mr. Sajesh Khadgi talked about how open source technologies can be used in Virtual Reality. They also gave a demonstration on where participants enjoyed experiencing virtual reality.
Representatives from Mozilla Nepal, Mr. Nootan Ghimire and Roshan Gautam gave a presentation on Nepali Wikipedia and Localization. They talked about the benefits of localizing open source products like Mozilla Firefox and presented the current progress in localization of Mozilla Firefox browser on Android, iOS and Desktop.
Last but not the least, Mr. Bikram Dahal from Kaymu Nepal, described the “Role of Data in Business” in his presentation. He presented on how Kaymu Nepal is using data to enhance their businesses rapidly. “To run a online business successfully, data plays a vital role. “ – Mr. Dahal in his session.
All the presenters and the keynote speakers were given Token of Love with Regards and Thanks from FOSS Nepal Community.
While the main event was going on in the ground floor, there was Hackathon going on in the third floor in parallel. Four groups participated in Hackathon. Participants will be given certificate of participation in the next meeting of FOSS Nepal Community and their projects will be uploaded in the official Github repository of FOSS Nepal from where development process will continue.
Overall, the celebration was fun, interactive and successful. Without the involvement of all the volunteers, speakers, supporters communities and participants, the event would not have been a success. Thank you very much all.
P.S – The blog will be updated regularly.