On 11th March

This 11th March, we have planned to host one Wikipedia Event at Avenir, the annual technical festival of Netaji Subhash Engineering College, Kolkata. It happens to be the college where I am doing my B.Tech now. So, that makes it MY college, I guess. Well, let us just say it is. But that is not the point.

Point is: The Event. It is going to be a 4 hours Wikipedia Event – 1 hour of an Edit-a-thon with Kolkata based Wikipedians, followed by 3 hours of MediaWiki coding session on Wikipedia Gadgets and UserSrcipts.

What it is not?

  • It is not a lecture session, so you will not be meeting people wearing black suites with scary voices and thousands of slides to show. Please do not address us as Sir/ Madam. It makes us feel distant. We’re community. 🙂 
  • We don’t give certificates a thought. Its not like, we hate it! But we just don’t think about it as a reason for you to meet up with us and work together. So, frankly, you won’t be getting any! 
  • It is not the end. It is the beginning of something very meaningful. We request people to bring their own laptops, as we don’t want you to leave your code/ setup to leave in our lab computers. We know you don’t love our lab machines. I know, they suck. 
  •  It is not just about knowing a technology and doing a project. It is more about contributing to a website, without which you could not have managed to write any of your college projects. You love Wikipedia and it isn’t a secret. 🙂    

The Schedule and The Plan:

I do not really care, if this event turns out to be a very successful one or not. I am not even sure about how people measure the success of some event. But, I do feel, if at the end of the session, I even get just one of the participants to come up and ask – ‘Erpor?’ ( What next? ), I would be glad enough. The good part of this particular event is that I sat with most of the students who have registered almost thrice in last one month. We talked about Free Software, Open Source, JavaScript, Wikipedia and more. Yesterday we met up for an informal discussion – on why we are going to have this event at all. We shall have an hour of Edit-a-thon followed by Three Hours MediaWiki coding session. Yes, I want my people who will code for MediaWiki, to edit on Wikipedia as well. Otherwise they will never get to know, why Wikipedia needs us. To fix a bug posted by an user – you need to see, what exactly that user sees. Then see some more. And yes, do code. Fix it. But its important to know, why you are writing that piece of code. Isn’t it?

I wish us all the best. May we code happily ever after.

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