Linux User Group of Mauritius Promoting open source software in our beautiful island

11Oct/150

Node.js smart server by Yog Lokhesh Ujhoodha

Posted by Ish

The Linux User Group of Mauritius organized a Node.js presentation yesterday at the University of Mauritius. Logan announced the same weeks ago and the prez was done by fellow Yog Lokhesh Ujhoodha.

The night before I had a “Happy Hour” party with colleagues and consequently Saturday morning left me drowsy. I reached the University of Mauritius before noon and was damn hungry. I was looking for room 2.12 when I met Yog, Logan and Humeira who were chatting near in the corridor. Others were having a casual talk in a smaller room while waiting for another class to be free. We needed the projector and a little bit of electricity to power Logan’s laptop :) The fellow has been doing a nice job by supplying gear for broadcasting the meetups on YouTube and allowing remote participation through Google Hangout. Kudos for that!

Thanks to Veer who was heading for the cafeteria, I asked him to bring me some food too. That saved my life :)

The prez started around 12h30 with a dozen participants in the class and several others through Google Hangout.

yog-nodejs-prez

Node.js presentation by Yog Lokhesh Ujhoodha

lugm-usual-suspects-at-nodejs-prez

LUGM usual suspects :)

Yog introduced Node.js and cleared the myth whether ‘Node.js’ is a webserver. It’s a runtime that executes JavaScript on the server-side using Google’s V8 open source JavaScript engine. I particularly liked the flow of his prez in the sense that he described a problem and what followed was how he would tackle it. Along the way, he gave an overview of web server architectures laying emphasis on multi-threaded vs event-driven; while taking Apache and Nginx as examples.

Yog explained through his code, how he identifies the number of CPU cores in a machine and proceeds with forking of child processes.

var cluster = require('cluster');
var numCPUs = require('os').cpus().length;

if (cluster.isMaster) {
    // fork workers
    var proc = Array();
    for  (var i = 0; i < numCPUs; i++) {
        proc[i]=cluster.fork();
    }
}else{ //forked worker

}

Later on he would explain how he runs the child process on a specific CPU core and thus eliminates delays caused by CPU switching [etc..] which he explained initially when describing webserver architectures. Those who missed the meetup can catch up on YouTube.

As and when Logan would switch to remote participants, Nitin and I grabbed the moment to discuss about his new blog tunnelix.com. I also showed Humeira the Firefox OS running Orange Klif mobile.

While others left after the presentation, some of us headed to Bagatelle Mall for a chill-out moment.

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11Apr/150

Slackware & Debian packaging

Posted by Ish

As announced on the Linux User Group of Mauritius mailing list, today there was a meetup about Slackware & Debian Packaging. I attended the same. I’m usually lazy on Saturdays and no wonder I reached the University of Mauritius late, where the meetup was scheduled.

Good enough for me though the presentation by Pritvi got delayed too. Technically, I didn’t miss a lot. Pritvi brought his O-Droid running Xubuntu and ran his slides on the same. Oh… His prez was on Slackware packaging. In our little group of geeks I think Pritvi is the only human being having survived a Slackware experience :-)

pritvi-presenting-slackware-packaging

He explained the need of a couple of utils necessary during packaging; mktemp, chown/chmod, make, tar etc. He went into meticulous details during the compilation and the need for a temporary directory. By the end of his slides one could understand that Slackware packages are tarballs built with a specific structure that could be then deployed using the pkgtool. Some commands to retain when installing/removing Slackware packages are:

# installpkg option package_name

-m	Performs a makepkg operation on the current directory.
-warn	Shows what would happen if you installed the specified package. This is useful for production systems so you can see exactly what would happen before installing something.
-r	Recursively install all packages in the current directory and down. The package name can use wildcards, which would be used as the search mask when recursively installing.

# removepkg option package_name

-copy	The package is copied to the preserved packages directory. This creates a tree of the original package without removing it.
-keep	Saves temporary files created during the removal. Really only useful for debugging purposes.
-preserve	The package is removed, but copied to the preserved packages directory at the same time.
-warn	Shows what would happen if you removed the package.

# upgradepkg package_name

Next, Cyril talked about Debian packaging. He introduced himself and gave an overview about the Debian distribution and its package management. He had emacs opened and showed us the directory structure of the source files, files that need to be created etc. To create a .deb file from the downloaded source code, one needs a minimum set of 5 files under a “debian” directory in the source folder. The files are:

– changelog
– compat
– control
– copyright
– rules

Cyril went through the contents of each file and explained why they are important during the build procedure. His slides can be found on his website under : Debian packaging talk

cyril-bouthors-debian-packaging

For our better understanding, Cyril created a .deb package after downloading the source code for pbzip2. He explained us each step all while editing the required files.

Cyril Bouthors is a Debian Maintainer since around 2000 and has been maintaining several packages and Python modules. He explained us the procedure of package verification once the same is uploaded on the Debian infra before it goes public on the repository.

We had a short Q&A session and he gladly answered our queries.

ish-slackware-debian-packaging-meetup

Me, with my freedom-support laptop :-)

We finished around 15h00. Some of us dropped to Bagatelle Foodcourt for munching, drinking and chatting.

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25Apr/140

UoM Computer Club – Career & IT Fair 2014

Posted by Ish

The University of Mauritius Computer Club organized a Career & IT fair on 23rd and 24th April 2014. Ibraahim, president of the club, invited LUGM and MSCC. I liaised with other folks within the Linux User Group to present stuffs. Nadim, Pritvi, Ajay and Pawan answered the call for volunteers. On the first day I reached Octave WiehĂ© Auditorium (where the event was happening) around noon. In fact, Nadim called me earlier asking to get a few copies of the LUGM membership form as some students desired to join the force. Well … That was something done already. The day before I printed around 25 copies of the membership form and a couple of LUGM info sheet as well.

As I walked across the auditorium’s corridor I could see several companies busy interacting with students. It’s a career fair after all. I was late, so I rushed till the stand that was allocated to LUGM. Ibraahim sent me a layout two days earlier. I knew where we should be. Jochen, Nadim & Pritvi were already there busy explaining stuffs to the young folks. I took out the printouts and handed them to Nadim. I met Computer Club folks who were seemed very taken up by the event. Yunus, Ratna, Ubeid, Kishan, Saamiyah and several others greeted me. It was lunch time & before I could even start advocating, Yunus came up with food. That was great, I needed to eat. Once I start talking about FOSS I might skip lunch.

The first few students I talked to seemed very much interested with our activities and wanted to be involved as well, by learning & sharing. I was happy to see such a spirit. The membership forms were filled up quickly.


MSP caught signing "agreement" with Linux geeks Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Prospective LUGM members (^^,) Folks at Spoon Consulting Kishan wondering something while Saamiyah signs up with LUGM Microsoft folks
 

On day two, again I woke up late. Rushed to the bus-stop with two heavy bags carrying my laptops, cooling pad etc. I get in the bus and on the next bus-stop Pritvi gets in. #facepalm The day before I boasted that I’ll reach early next time but I am late again. Anyways, we had some geeky chat till university and he helped me carry the heavy load.

Pawan & Ajay called while we were still on way. They reached before us & started doing some advocacy. Nadim reached a couple of minutes later as we entered the auditorium. Saamiyah popped from somewhere cheering that she finally saw us in the bus. Well, long story cut short, Saamiyah, Pritvi and I we actually travel through same route except we never saw each other along the way (except Pritvi who lives nearby with me). That morning she saw (^^,)

Okies. Time to rock the floor. I fired up my Ubuntu laptop & my mom’s Manjaro notebook. Ahaan, I had to ask mom if I could borrow her laptop for a Synergy demo, she agreed. I was still hopping here & there, when Ratna showed up asking if I could do my presentation earlier. It was initially scheduled for 14h30 but since a slot was free I could do it at 11h30. I was all ok for that. My presentation would cover the aims of Linux User Group of Mauritius and a mini-demo of Synergy.

When it was presentation time, oops, auditorium had more college students than university folks. Now, how do I present a technical stuff to these cute creatures? I fired up my presentation slide, introduced myself and changed the topic completely. There was a mini round of clap with cheering when I did that. I guess they preferred a casual presentation than technical stuffs. So, I took the kids back in time & told them the story of Free Software and Linux. Oh! Not to mention, in the story of Free Software, Microsoft stands as a villain. It seemed like the kids enjoyed the story-telling since it ended with another round of cheering.

In the meantime, outside Ronny brought Linuxfest 2013 certificates. The day before I posted on facebook, calling those who’d be around the university to come and collect their’s. A few showed up.


uom-it-fair-8 uom-it-fair-6 uom-it-fair-7 uom-it-fair-9 uom-it-fair-10

In the afternoon I asked Ratna if I could have another presentation slot targetted towards university students. She agreed as a slot was free, however, by 14h00 there was practically no one in the auditorium. I took a small group of geeks with me and hopped around the university calling for people who’d be interested with a Linux presentation. Some answered our call positively. Others went un-interested. We even went knocking a classroom & asked the tutor. The gentleman turned out to be another supporter of Free Software and granted his students a short break to attend the presentation. That was how I did my final presentation about the aims of the Linux User Group of Mauritius (^^,)

The event ended on a happy note with a bunch of folks cheering in the cafeteria having tea, coffee & water.

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