[PLUG] Invitation to CSLUG

Amit Karpe amitkarpe at vsnl.net
Thu Apr 6 16:24:54 IST 2006

Hello Everyone,

     As you know, the popularity of Linux has been growing rapidly over the 
last few years. Due to this growth in popularity, Linux is now finding its 
way into more and more applications through the creation of an increasing 
number of distributions and variants. To manage such a large number of people 
migrating to Linux, many communities have been formed in recent years to 
develop a self-support system for users without requiring the need to turn to 
commercial organisations (which can, of course, be approached if necessary).

    The Pune Linux User's Group is the core group in Pune to which everyone 
can turn to for anything related to Linux. However, PLUG has now become like 
the ACM or IEEE, a large and experienced community that has been growing for 
about eight years now. The community covers _all_ aspects of Linux and you 
are encouraged to join PLUG for absolutely any discussions on FOSS.

    However, for those interested in covering a narrow range of topics in high 
depth, it becomes logical to create subgroups (much like distributions) of 
PLUG. This motivated us to start a group that would work like a Special 
Interest Group (SIG) under the guidance of PLUG. This SIG has been targetted 
towards the computer science community to discuss the FOSS revolution from a 
computer science point of view. The group is aptly named CSLUG (Computer 
Science Linux User's Group). You see, the discussion of 'Linux' may include 
embedded systems, high performance computing, numerical analysis, multimedia 
codecs, licensing, business models, computer science theory, GIS, databases, 
thin clients, or even future space-craft software (it never hurts to be 

    CSLUG allows us to focus on the aspect of computer science in Linux. 
Discussions may range from the kernel's architecture, APIs, libraries, thread 
schedulers, finite state machines for the TCP/IP stack, syllabus of local 
courses, usability of software for the requirements of the syllabus, to the 
possibly development of custom software for mutual use by the community.

     Another primary reason for beginning CSLUG was to promote FOSS in the 
computer science courses. Due to the large number of educational 
opportunities available in Pune, it is difficult to design a one-for-all 
approach of promotion and we felt the need to focus on one group with their 
interests in mind while leaving it to others to focus on other groups. This 
does not mean that CSLUG will not be involved in other migrations, it just 
means that we focus on the CS community.

     As a result of this objective, the group and its accompanying mailing 
list are well suited for newbies who are afraid to join the more mature 
communities where they are afraid of being flamed. We expressly moderate the 
mailing list to be newbie-friendly, helpful and encouraging at all times. 
This mailing list allows newbies to slowly understand the nettiquettes, 
guidelines, and style of posting on such lists, making them less flamable 
when they move on to larger communities. Also, the list moderators show a 
high tolerance to repetitive questions which might be the result of many 
freshers joining the list each year.

     The final objective of this group is to discuss and suggest usable 
software solutions for laboratory and home use of Linux. Sometimes, this may 
even lead us to develop our own software when the one required is not 
available already. Utilities that help in abstracting the graphics libraries 
of Turbo C under X, or user-management utilities aimed at handling the 1500+ 
users generally required on a BCS server, copy-prevention tools to prevent 
assignment copying, etc. are some of the attempts we have already made 
towards this goal.

      We also attempt to develop our own minor variant distribution based on 
some major distribution like Ubuntu or Fedora that contains a lot of relevant 
stuff for the CS community and removes a lot of irrelevant stuff that takes 
up the space. It also includes pre-configured packages or helper scripts for 
"one-command configuration" of Linux for use. It basically makes Linux ready 
to be used by an absolute newbie without going through a single configuration 
file through just one command which makes the system ready for all syllabus 
requirements of BCS/MCS. Apache, tomcat, postgres, JDBC drivers, Perl, PHP, 
etc. are all up and running without editing a single file.

     You are all welcome to join the group and share your ideas, constructive 
criticism, enthusiasm and experience with the community.

     We also organise regular meetings to discuss various topics in person and 
to hold Q & A sessions. Our members regularly visit various colleges to 
promote the cause of free software and to encourage colleges to migrate to 
Linux or other free operating systems. As a member, you are encouraged to 
spread FOSS in your local community. Even converting a few friends, relations 
or acquaintances to free software can make a huge difference in the larger 

     All newbies are encouraged to join without feeling intimidated or shy. 
Anything and everything can be asked. There are no restrictions. There is no 
such thing as a stupid question, although there may be stupid answers. Come 
in and enjoy the fun.

     You may join the mailing list at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cslug/

     Once on the mailing list you may read annoucements of workshops, seminars 
and meets organised by members. You are also encouraged to propose and 
request meets for specific discussions of your own interest. Project guidance 
and technical guidance is one of the staple discussion topics on the list.

     The main goals that differentiate CSLUG from other LUGs are:
1. A necessarily student-friendly and newbie-friendly atmosphere for 
encouraging more migrations
2. A helpful and supportive community.
3. Promotion of FOSS with focus within academic circles like institutions, 
universities, etc.
4. Everything else that is to be expected from a LUG.

Yours sincerely,
The CSLUG Community
param vaibhavam netum etat swaraashtram
  samrthaa bhavatwaashishaa tebhrusham

           || Bharat Maata Ki Jay ||

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