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Inviting coding collaboration

Dear All,

We would like to share some ideas about possible collaborations
between anyone interested in coding and the work that is taking shape
within Sarai. 

One of our projects that especially demands addressing by programmers
- and will benefit a lot of people - is the
CyberMohalla. Cybermohalla is a project that is primarily trying to
develop a computing culture within non-elite social spaces. Our first
experimental lab has been set in the basti adjoining the LNJP hospital
(between Ajmeri gate and Delhi gate).

Some possible areas of collaboration:-

1) Network based collaborative tools - by this we mean tools that are
very easy to use and fun to play around with. These tools would make
it possible for different users within the network to work together
and create content. Basically, tools that facilitate a play with
image, text and if possible sound. Over a period of time these tools
could be available over the Internet as well. 

2) Programming tools for beginners - This is especially keeping in
mind that the first (and even later participants) of CyberMohalla are
young people, and people who have no past experience with computer
cultures, but would/could be excited at the idea of going beyond the
veil. At the least, it will make programming a point of conversation
among many people who otherwise would not enter it because of having
missed formal education. We can publish both CDs and the manuals
in large numbers and do workshops to continuously develop these tools.

3) Games reflecting our conditions and environment - These could be
simple games involving, say, crossing the ITO criss-cross, or
Daryaganj crossing. In that sense, they would help comment on the
experience of being a pedestrian in the city. 

These could later develop into serious games involving complex
movement within the city. 

4) A good Hindi desktop - Perhaps it is already available, and
someone merely needs to inform us of the details...

5) A Database Interface - that makes for the visualization of an
image-sound-text database's internal schema and allows the user to
navigate with ease.

The procedure:

1) Our Public Project Space will be open to the programmers - we have
4 linux boxes, and hope to have 2 more very soon.
2) We will be willing to host intensive workshops, where design and
development plan for the project can be further worked out by all the
3) We are committed to covering material costs (travel, books,
photocopies, etc.) as well paying out a decent honorarium to the
project participants.

What interests us is that in collaboration we can create possible
approaches and possibilities that will facilitate the establishment of
an interesting computing culture. A culture that speaks to a wider
audience by creating social software (in absence of a better
term!). All the software that will be generated will be put under
GPL and we would be very keen to support a long term development plan
for each/any of these softwares.

If there are any other suggestions and ideas, we would be happy to
begin joint thought on those as well. Student projects are
especially welcome.

Sarai Media Lab

Monica Narula
Sarai:The New Media Initiative
29 Rajpur Road, Delhi 110 054