26th August 2010 was a special day for twitter users of Sri Lanka. ‘Why?’ you may ask. In order to make the 26th a special day, we need to go back to the 1st August when Lasantha David (@rebelinpurple) and Udara Madushanka (@udaraumd) decided to meet up with Moshanthi Suzuki (@moshanthi). Then Shazly Makeen (@mack005) joined in and they made an open request for anyone else to join in. And the result was the first ‘Tweetup’ in Sri Lanka.
A few more people joined in and took the role of ‘organiser’ and made sure that the Tweetup was well organized. These include our fellow diGIT contributor Amitha Amarasinghe (@amisampath), Nazly Ahmed (@nazly), Milinda Tillekeratne (@milindat).
Some of the organizers in discussion during the Tweetup
Participants queuing up for registration
It was a pleasure to watch as each twitter user joined in via the Twtvite site. By the 25th August over 85 users had confirmed their participation.
Even though the event was scheduled to start at 5pm, such was the enthusiasm of some that by 4pm the twittersphere was filled with tweets from some of the participants that they were already at Coco Veranda.
Each participant got hold of a free tshirt from Dialog Axiata upon registering their details.
A special (one time only) card was given by Coco Veranda to each of the participants (to get discounts for future visits to Coco Veranda).
Loyalty card from coco Veranda for Twitter participants
In order to make the meetup lively a few entertaining games were organized where the participants were shown twitter messages and asked to guess who said it. Gifts were given by Future World where Chandika Jayasundara (@chandika) walked away with a free iPod Shuffle. Another winner was Chandra (@himalk) who won a free dongle from Dialog Axiata.
Malinthe, a former contributor of diGIT giving Chandika the book ‘World Wide Rave’.
Chandika Jayasundara (@chandika) (yes again!), Chamila De Alwis (@chamilad), Paheerathan (@Paheerathan), Nipuni Jayasuriya (@morbidAngel_86), Harshana Weerasinghe (@wmharshana), Deependra Ariyadewa (@Gnudeep) and Yshani Anne (@yshiromi) got a social media book (7 different titles) from diGIT magazine & Wiley (published by Wiley).
Chanuke giving Harshana ‘DigiMarketing’.
Amitha Amarasinghe giving Nipuni ‘This is social media’, a Wiley publication.
All in all, the event was a great chance to meet up in person and have lively discussions with like-minded people (though ages differed). With the brief duration and many turning up, I would guess that some of the participants missed out on chatting with some. There were even a few on twitter after the event wishing they had a chance to talk in person.
Well, the good thing is that it can happen at the next tweetup. If you missed out, then do tag along when that happens. I hear there might be a cricket match tweetup. My guess is, with such a success for the first tweetup, the second one is sure to be a carnival.
What is twitter?
Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read other users’ messages called tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page. Tweets are publicly visible by default, however senders can restrict message delivery to their friends list. Users may subscribe to other author tweets—this is known as following and subscribers are known as followers.
Source – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter
Thanks to Udara Madushanka for helping out verifying the names of some of the winners.
Quality as a Differentiator
The Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM)
18th of August 2010
Cinnamon Grand, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Navyug Mohnot: Founder and CEO of QAI, India. He is a member of the Board of Directors of QAI, Singapore and QAI, China. A pioneer of the Quality revolution in India IT/BPO industry, he was awarded the IIT Alumni Award for “Outstanding Contribution to National Development” for his contribution to the space of Operational Excellence in the IT industry.
Kishan Kishore: Manager, IT Advisory Practice, KPMG. He has around 11 years of rich industry experience in the Quality Assurance domain in various industries and functions, as well as expertise in process design and implementation support to organizations based on CMMi, Six Sigma and ISO models.
Geoff Thompson: A founder member and Chairman of the TMMi foundation and the Vice Chairman and Treasurer of the BCS SIGiST. A co-author of the biggest selling testing book on Amazon – “Software Testing: An ISEB Foundation”. Won the 2008 European Testing Excellence award.
Dhanushka Ranganath: Heads the Test Engineering Solutions group at Virtusa, He has Twelve years of experience in the Information Technology industry in diverse areas of Project Management and Software Quality Assurance with Extensive experience in working with clientele of independent software vendors to enterprises both onsite and offshore. He is a member of QAI Sri Lanka chapter.
Raghunath Basavanahalli: Vice President (Asia Business) – Raghu is responsible for business operations in Asia. Before joining Digite, Raghu held senior client management position at Infosys and HCL Technologies in America. He is a graduate from IIT Delhi.
Mohamed Hisham: COO of HelloCorp. He is a Certified Trainer on Services Exporting by ITC – Geneva and Export Marketing Management by CBI – Netherlands. In 2007, he was youngest ever finalist for the inaugural “Young ICT-BPO Professional of the Year Award”.
Mano Sekaram: CEO of Eurocenter DDC, an ISO 9001 and CMMI certified Software Engineering Organization. He serves as Chairman of the “Open Sources Initiative” – Lanka Software Foundation, Board Member of IT/BPO apex body SLASSCOM, Head of SLASSCOM Quality Forum and a member of the “Presidential Task Force on English and IT”.
Chandana Ranasinghe: Heads the Test Engineering team at Virtusa Corporation in Colombo. Assumed may leadership roles, delivering many projects in the capacity of QA Manager and architect, both onshore and offshore. A founding member and Senior Consultant to QAI Worldwide, Sri Lanka Chapter.
Chinmay Pradhan: A Process Consultant at QAI with full life cycle definition and implementation experience with models such as CMMI 1.2 Dev, CMMI 1.2 SVC, ISO 27001, As9100b and ISO 9001:2000. A co-author of a paper on “Stochastic Optimization modeling” published in IEEE.
Computer gaming and e-sports have fast become the most popular choice of interactive entertainment among both teenagers and adults the world over. Gamers have formed competing leagues and today computer and console gaming is a professional sport (e-sport) in many countries, with millions of dollars being invested in tournaments by sponsors, and IT companies rushing to put their name on tournaments featuring these cyber athletes. Professional cyber gaming is still in its infant stages in Sri Lanka and proper competitive tournaments are few and far between. With this in mind, the organizers set out to fill this void. Hence, Sri Lanka Cyber Games was born.
The 13th, 14th and the 15th of August 2008 saw the gathering of Sri Lankas’ cyber gamers, l33t and n00b. SLCG 08 was the first cyber gaming tournament in the island to have international standards and structure. With over 350 participants and another 100 in the waiting list, gamers crowded the viewing room. SLCG 08 went beyond all expectations and also went on to win the Rotaract District 3220 award “Best PR project for the Rotaract year 2008/2009”. The response from the crowd at last year’s finals highlighted the potential of our gaming community.
Scheduled for the 18th, 19th and the 20th of December 2009, SLCG 09 promises to build on the successes of its predecessor. SLCG 09 becomes the first cyber gaming tournament in the country to receive formal endorsement by the ICTA (Information, Communication and Technology agency of Sri Lanka). SLCG will also have a presence at the e-Asia exhibition from the 2nd to the 4th December at BMICH.
This year SLCG expands into the console and mobile gaming communities with the introduction of the SLCG console tournament which includes Halo 3, Guitar Hero World Tour and Project Gotham Racing 4. Racing enthusiast will be happy to discover that Need for Speed Most Wanted is included in the SLCG PC tournament line-up along with the ever popular Counter Strike 1.6, Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare, Defence of the Ancients, FIFA 09 and Starcraft.
Having partnered with GTS game studios, the developers of Colombo Ride 2.0, SLCG is proud to have Colombo Ride 2.0 as its official mobile game. Activities for the crowd are one of the most important aspects in terms of hosting a successful event. In addition to the widescreen televisions showing off the ongoing frag fest, a mini cafe, interactive stalls, exhibition of locally developed games and gaming- consoles are all available for visitors.
Teams to watch
Counter Strike 1.6
Call of Duty
Don’t miss out! If you haven’t registered yet, go to http://slcg.lk and register now!
Sri Lanka comes alive with some of the best and brightest IT minds in the world.
On the 3rd and 4th of December, Sri Lanka will play host to some of the best and brightest IT minds in the world as it plays host to Apache Asia ’09.
If you have used the Internet – and many, if not most, of us have – you have come into contact with Apache.
The server software that powers well over 60% of all websites on the Internet, Apache comes into contact with millions – even billions – of visitors a day. It is an example of how Free Software can create a product that is better, more robust, and more flexible than the proprietary competitors.
A well known fact in the IT field is that Sri Lanka is one of the major contributors to the Apache Project. Applications created by Sri Lankan programmers have increased the Apache server’s functionality by leaps and bounds. Websites like Facebook and Google are based on technology developed in Sri Lanka.
In order to develop and improve the community of Sri Lankan contributors to Apache, the local community of contributors, along with the Sri Lankan Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) community, have organised ApacheAsia ’09 – a developer-oriented conference that will feature speakers from around the world as well as developers from the Sri Lankan community.
Held at the HNB Tower in Colombo, the event will feature speeches by members of the Sri Lankan Apache community as well as speeches and presentations by Justin Erenkrantz, President of the Apache Foundation, and Greg Stein, one of the Foundation’s Directors. The opening keynote speech will be by Professor Mohan Munasinghe, the Nobel Prize winner from Sri Lanka.
On the 3rd and 4th there will be speeches on all aspects of the Apache server as well as services that run on top of it. There will also be a panel discussion on Friday evening.
Saturday will be a special invitation-only gathering and “unconference” allowing speakers and audience to meet, mingle, and exchange ideas in an informal environment.
ApacheAsia ’09 is the second Apache-oriented event to happen in Sri Lanka. In 2006 the country played host to ApacheCon Asia ’06 – the first of the Apache Asia events.
Three years later, with ApacheAsia ’09, the Sri Lankan Apache community is taking steps to ensure Sri Lanka’s position as a global player in the FOSS community in general, and the Apache Community in particular.
You can register for the conference at its website at http://www.foss.lk/events/apacheasia09/. There will also be a limited number of tickets at the conference itself. Students only Rs 500/-.
ApacheAsia ’09 is organised by foss.lk and sponsored by WSO2 and Virtusa.
IEEE Computer Society’s International Workshop on Technology for Education was held at Radha Regent Hotel, Electronic City, Bangalore, India during 4-6, August 2009.
Sixty five people were participated and there were about 25 papers presented over three days. Papers were categorized as “Invited Papers” and “Contributed Papers”. Only twelve contributed papers were selected out of 65 that had been submitted.
The paper submitted by part-time batch of Informatics Institute of Technology, Sri Lanka (IIT) was also presented as a contributed paper at the workshop.
The paper was based on the project named “QuizFun”, which was researched and developed for the “Software Engineering Group Project” that was completed in the 2nd year of our BSc Software Engineering course.
The project team consisted of M. Isuru Tharanga Chrishantha Perera, Hiranya Mudunkotuwa, Madura Kularathna and Nevindaree Premarathne.
The senior lecturer, Ms. Kulari Lokuge was the Module Coordinator for Software Engineering Group Project. She really encouraged us to write a paper on the project and she was the source of inspiration.
She submitted the paper to “T4E” and finally our paper was accepted for the presentation.
Hiranya and I were privileged to have the opportunity to present the paper at the workshop. We went to India on 3rd of August and returned on 6th of August.
We presented our paper at “T4E” on 6th of August.
There were also very interesting papers. We were amazed by most of the research papers presented at the workshop.
Following are few of the papers that caught our eye
You can view the program schedule and download some of the presentations presented at T4E from http://www.iiitb.ac.in/t4e09/TandSS.html.
Photo 1: Group Photo Taken on Last Day of the Workshop. Left to Right:
Hiranya Mudunkotuwa (Student at IIT, Sri Lanka),
Isuru Tharanga Chrishantha Perera (Student at IIT, Sri Lanka),
Ms. Sandhya Kode, IIIT-H, India (http://bit.ly/DAXe3)
Dr. Kinshuk, Athabasca University, Canada (http://bit.ly/kinshuk)
Dr. Srinivasan Ramani, IIITB, Bangalore, India (http://bit.ly/ramani)
Dr. Nian-Shing Chen, National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan (http://bit.ly/nschen)
Our paper title is “QuizFun: Mobile based quiz game for learning”.
Following is the abstract of the paper. You would get a general overview about the paper.
“This research paper is based on the software that was prototyped in order to increase students’ interactive participation in learning. The software also intended to motivate students to be engaged in specific subject content. The students were inspired to use the activity by encompassing the gaming mode in teaching and learning. Further, excitement was created by mobile enabled game mode. The mobile game consists of two modes as multiplayer mode and single player mode comprising of three levels with an embedded scoring mechanism. The scoring system provided students with immediate responses making the game fun and highly interactive. In-depth studies were carried out in relation to teaching and learning methodologies, which enriched the gaming environment that was prototyped, facilitating the students encouraging learning environment. Encouragement through quick feedback and hints showed a change in the participant’s attitude towards assessments. Use of smiley faces and other symbols for communicating emotions was an added feature in the developed prototype. The mobile application was built using Java Platform, Micro Edition (Java ME) while the web application was created using ICEfaces, which is an integrated Ajax application framework for developing Rich Internet Applications (RIA). The prototype built to implement the proposed idea was evaluated by several users. The research found high interactivity among students and found students becoming enthusiastic in participating in learning activity.”
Photo 2: Hiranya presenting “QuizFun”
QuizFun project is based on the client-server architecture. A web application is used as the server, and the mobile application is the client.
Lecturers can enter and manage questions on the server. Students can download the mobile game from the internet and install to the mobile device.
Using the game, students can test their knowledge by answering questions, which are categorized into three levels: “Easy”, “Medium” and “Hard”.
Mobile game was developed using Java ME using MIDP 2.0 and CLDC 1.1. Therefore the game can be used on any mobile device supporting Java.
Game retrieves questions from the server using HTTP and the data interchange format is XML.
You can see some screenshots of the mobile game (screenshots were taken from a Sony Ericsson mobile)
Screenshot 1: Login form
Screenshot 2: QuizFun Menu
Screenshot 3: Question
Screenshot 4: Correct Answer Display
I am very happy as we got an opportunity to attend an international workshop. This is our first time participating to such workshop.
Most importantly we got an opportunity to meet many great people around the world. It was a great experience for us and we cherish the fact that we were the only undergraduates participated for the workshop.
We are also very happy to say that we could attract the attention of all the people gathered in the workshop. Most of the people were interested in our project and we also could show the game using our own mobile and laptop to few interested people.
As mentioned previously, there were only 12 contributed papers, which included papers from highly esteemed institutions in the world such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Infosys Technologies Limited. Therefore it was a great success as our paper was also included in contributed papers.
In the end, on behalf of our team, I would like to thank everyone for their tremendous support given. We specially thank the Dean of IIT, Professor Alfred Perera, Department Head of Computing Ms. Naomi Krishnarajah and our lecturer Ms. Kulari Lokuge for their wonderful support.
I especially thank my batch mate, Hiranya for her support throughout the project (and for the help given in writing this article). She really helped a lot to make “QuizFun” a successful project.
I would also like to thank Mr. Neil Seneviratne HR Manager of Informatics, Ms. Gayani Mendis HR Manager Informatics International Limited Kotahena, for their support.
I would also like to thank every single person who extended their help, encouraged and interest taken on our project.
At last but not least we would take this as an opportunity to thank our parents for their undying support given by standing beside us and holding our hands.
Please visit http://www.iiitb.ac.in/t4e09/for more information about the workshop. If anyone interested and want to know more about QuizFun project, please contact me. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Chanuke Senevirathne
Mozilla has a great party engine called mozilla party central (http://mozillaparty.com). With that the whole Firefox fan community can celebrate new releases of their beloved browser. People organize parties locally&share the experience with whole world through the party engine.
Among other releases, Firefox 3 release was a huge party element. Because it was not just another release. It was a world record. Firefox 3 holds the Guinness world record for the “Most software downloads in 24 hours”. Hope you can imagine how much hype it has made at the time or better yet you may be a part of that world record.
Firefox has several fan communities all around the world, and they are all glued together by their web site, spreadfirefox.com. Firefox campus reps is a fan community made of Firefox loving University students all around the world. The campus reps of each country had a chance to grab a special Firefox party pack to add more fun to their local Firefox 3 party events.
Lahiru Priyadarshana (http://blog.soundofcode.com), also a contributor to digit magazine, is the one who brought the party pack to Sri Lanka. OK now it’s obvious he is a Firefox campus rep I guess.
So the party pack was here almost right on time but unfortunately the community was kind of busy. Once we almost organized a party but the luck was not with us to take that “Beach Party” in to reality. Anyway the Firefox 3 launch party happened in Sri Lanka few days …err … maybe weeks back, Finally.
The major problem we had is finding a location for the party. We can’t believe that it’s really hard to find an open place to hold a free event in Sri Lanka (or at least WE are not aware of such a place). Anyway the final destinantion for the Firefox party was The Linux Center, which is owned by that cool Linux guy Suchetha Wijenayake (http://raramimu.blogspot.com) fondly known as Such. We were lucky that The Linux Center rebooted recently so Such kindly provided the space&we were busy spreading the word about the event via Linux Users group mailing list, Facebook & Twitter etc.
Finally the event took place at TLC, Nugegode around 16:00 2nd may 2009. Even though some long time Firefox fans missed the event for several reasons the event was filled with fun. Such was kind enough to provide an excessive amount of wade&coke. And there were some cool friends who put some more coke in the event too. And ofcourse I should thank Seejay (http://seejay.net) (AKA Chanaka) for bearing the burden of organizing the event.
Techno&trance music filled the event while everyone had a chance to talk to other Firefox fans. Most of the crowd has never met before even though some were good online friends. So the Firefox party was a great chance for everyone to make new friends&actually talk to their online friends. While the geeky chat was on, everyone was given a *mysterious* number. Sounds like more of a horror movie?
Seejay had a special python script to randomly choose three gift items for each partygoer, who were already wearing Firefox party hats . Did I mention that the party pack was filled with Firefox Stickers, Tattoos, Lanyards, Badges & Wrist bands?. While everyone is getting their portion of gift pack according to the *mysterious* number, the chat was still on, the music was still rocking & some were hacking, the party was really startling.
I would like to thank everyone who dropped by & helped making the Firefox party a happening event & never let anyone feel we are late celebrating the thing. Hope we can have more of these more frequently. Am I becoming a party animal?
It was in 2001 where the faculty of Information Technology, University of Moratuwa was born. It was a quiet start but a one that had filled with great hopes and later on turned into great achievements. Year 2008, marked the golden chapter of the faculty, after moving from the Borella building to the University premises in 2005, the faculty was stated in a temporary building at the university. But there was a dream in every student and a staff member of the faculty, which was to move into a home which is of their own. That dream came a reality in 2008, during the 7th year of the faculty. The building which was under construction for some time was finished and the faculty was moved there. To mark this occasion, the Faculty planned to hold a series of activities on the theme of “Graduation, Entrepreneurship and Success”, with the objectives of preparing students for the future challenges they face, enhancing interaction with the industry, and promotion of the Faculty among industry and prospective students. The events started off with a multi-religious program, which was followed by a symposium and a get-together, a six-a-side cricket tournament.
“Unlocking young minds” was an IT exhibition and it was last of the series of events which was organized in parallel to the 7th anniversary and the opening of the new building. This was successfully held on 14th, 15th and 16th of May at the new faculty premises. As the name implies “Unlocking Young Minds” is truly an occasion to see the real talents of the students of the faculty. As the final event of this event series, this was the successor to “Unlocking Young Minds”: the Fifth Anniversary Celebrations Exhibition held in July 2006. This was a great opportunity for the faculty students to showcase their talents and to people, students to get some valuable knowledge into the field of IT. And to witness the latest technologies and trends in the industry at present.
Information Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) along with Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) sponsored this edition of ‘Unlocking Young Minds’. The opening ceremony for the exhibition was held on the 14th of May with participation of many. It was a simple but a very nice opening ceremony. SLT Mrs. Chairperson Leisha Chandrasena graced the occasion as the chief guest. Dean of the Faculty of Information Technology Prof. Mrs. Dileeka Dias delivered the welcome speech, there she was very impressed and happy with the way the students had organized this event. It was so great to hear such encouraging words from the Dean of the faculty.
The exhibition was categorized in to several sections based on the exhibits and the field which it belonged. Some of the zones in the exhibition are mentioned below. The Software zone of the exhibition comprised of some of the outstanding projects which were done by the faculty students. This was a great opportunity for those students to show their talents to the rest of the world. These projects were the results the knowledge which the students had gained from the faculty and the researches they had conducted. Hardware zone was another attractive section of the exhibition. This included some of the very old but important hardware components which were used in the earlier computers. Some of these were very rare artifacts; hence this was a great opportunity for the students to see and get to know them. Apart from the older versions of the computer some new hardware technologies too were in show. ‘Motorola’ corporation too had provided some tools to be shown at this zone that too was very interesting. Artificial Intelligence section of the exhibition was an area where most of the keen followers of IT were so much interested in. That zone provided the history of AI and his current evolutions, this too was very interesting.
Geographical Information Systems (GIS) is an area which is rapidly becoming popular in the world at the moment, so the faculty had decided stage a separate section for this field. It included some very interesting presentations as well as provided some valuable intel into this field. A competition for schools was held with related to this exhibition, for that number of schools took part, and some very good projects were on show from them. It was a great opportunity to some schools to showcase their IT knowledge on the big stage. Schools from far away areas like Jaffna, Vauniya, Wallawaya took part in this competition. Another zone in the exhibition was given to ‘Microsoft’, there were some interesting Microsoft technologies like Multipoint were showcased. Apart from that some of the awards wining Microsoft Imagine cup projects were demonstrated there. This was a great opportunity to those who were interested in Microsoft technologies. Just next to the Microsoft stall was the Open source technology stall, there open source projects like ‘Sahana’ was demonstrated, and a good understanding was given on most of the available Operating systems like Ubuntu, Sun Solaris and many more were on display then.
Network zone too attracted many visitors; it displayed the mechanism in which data is transmitted via networks and the tools that are used in network connections. But above all the as with the case most other exhibitions, the game zone attracted the most number of visitors. It was visited by many game lovers and keen followers of latest games. The two things which attracted many were the X Box game controller and Nintendo Wii game controller. For many these were new technologies, so they had the very rare chance of playing these games and getting some really good experience. There was lot of school children from many pats of the country, for them a special series of technical sessions were organized, some renowned speakers from the industry conducted these technical sessions, so it was a great opportunity for those who came from far away places. ‘Intecs’ the Information Technology society of the faculty conducted an IT awareness program to those who came from far away areas. The objective of this was to give them an idea about what IT really is and the opportunities it presents.
Overall the 2nd edition of “Unlocking Young Minds” was a great success; it was praised by many who visited the place. The most senior batch to the most junior batch in the faculty gave their fullest support to make this event a great success. And the staff led by Prof. Mrs. Dileeka Dias gave their valuable advice and guidance to make this event a great success. It was truly a great experience for everyone in the faculty.