Instead of Winter camp, this time FSMK has decided to do a Doc-a-thon, a camp dedicated to coming up with a document. The plan is to put all our efforts to come up with a complete exhaustive Lab Manual for CSE/IS/ECE/MCA students under VTU which will help the colleges to migrate completely to use free software. For long we have heard this lack of an complete manual to be one of the main reason why colleges are not completely migrating to Free Software. Once the manual is released,FSMK through its GLUGs in different colleges would try to spread the manual to various colleges and help them migrate to completely use free software. This we believe will save lot of license fees for the proprietary softwares currently being used in the colleges. It will also help students to practice all the labs programs at home as the colleges can share the distributions and the softwares required to run the lab programs. This will also help students get more comfortable with GNU/Linux environment which will add to their resume as most of the industry currently expects students to have good knowledge of GNU/Linux environment even as freshers.

ToDo List for the Doc-a-thonEdit

  • Venue
  • Dates
  • Sponsorship
  • Finalize Lab Subjects
  • Finalize Targetted participants
  • Prepare poster and other publicity materials
  • Contact well known professors to endorse the manual
  • Mock Doc-a-thon
  • Education Freedom Day celebration


Hosting college for the Doc-a-thon needs to fulfill following criteria.

  • No charge for infrastructure. The college needs to understand the need for such a manual and hence should be willing to support FSMK in this effort by providing their college infrastructure.
  • Part funding of Food expenses during the 3 days of Doc-a-thon. We are currently expecting around 80 participants for the event and calculating Rs. 150 per day for food, the cost would come up to Rs. 36,000. This might increase to Rs. 40,000 since we also might have to provide food the previous evening and also may be extra to mess workers as they are coming during the vacation. Hence college bearing part of this expense would really be good for the event.
  • Good internet facilties. Large part of the activity during the doc-a-thon would be to collate different data at various places and organize it. We are also planning to develop the document on Hence good internet connection is very important.
  • Be Ready to adopt it themselves. This again is an important criteria because the college hosting it themselves need to understand fully the requirement of such a manual. Hence we expect them to one of the most early adopters of this manual.

ToDo: Based on these criteria, following colleges have been listed as most probable venue.

  • GEC Hassan - (Jay and Bhat)
  • JVIT - (Vignesh)
  • SIT- Tumkur - (Prabodh)
  • PES Mandya - (Rameez)
  • DBIT - (?)

ToDo(Aruna) : To finalize the propsal to be sent to college.


Current plan is to organize the Doc-a-thon from 24th to 26th Jan 2014.



  • Thoughtworks (Sarath)
  • Higher Education Dept -(Rameez and Jay)
  • Will VTU be interested to endorse such a manual themselves? (Sarath)

Finalize Lab subjectsEdit

Currently based on various discussions, CSE/IS/ECE/MCA labs which require to use a computer system will be attempted to be fossalized. :).

ToDo(Aruna): To go through various lab subjects and understand the feasibilities.

Currently, in MCA 5th Sem, there is .NET lab which we as FSMK will not be releasing as part of the manual for MCA. If there is some other party interested to come up with a document for this lab, then we can probably give it as part of addendum with the main manual(Subject to inputs from others).

Doc-a-thon will happen on basis of subject areas then branches. So lab manuals of different subjects will be categorized and participants would be combined in groups based on their interest in a particular subject.

Finalize Targetted participantsEdit

Participants would mainly be core FSMK volunteers from various GLUGs. FSMK would also reach out to various colleges to nominate one of their college professor for such an effort. We are expecting around 30-40 professors who would be interested in this effort.

ToDo(Raghuram, Shijil and Aruna): To discuss with various FSMK volunteers and ensure that they understand the importance of this effort.

ToDo(Raghuram, Shijil and Aruna): Need to come up with some way to get registrations of college professors

Prepare poster and other publicity materialsEdit

ToDo(FSMK Creative Group): Need to Doc-a-thon poster to send to various colleges inviting professors.

ToDo(FSMK Creative Group): Also need to prepare publicity material to publicize this effort.

Contact well known professors to endorse the manualEdit

To ensure that colleges dont feel that this is just an amateur effort by students, we need to get the manual reviewed by well known professors and get them to endorse the manual. Some of them can also plan to come on the last day of the Doc-a-thon and be part of the release party.

ToDo (Sarath): List different well known professors and check their availability during the days of Doc-a-thon. Also discuss their opinion on endorsing the manual.

Mock Doc-a-thonEdit

This will ensure that we get a good understanding of various aspects of documentation and prepare ourselves before the actual doc-a-thon. Mock Doc-a-thon is scheduled to conduct on Jan 12th and invite only the available college students(around 20) and get them to start documenting atleast 3-4 subjects. Even if we are not able to complete all of them, this one day effort will help us understand how much time is required for various activities in the documentation process.

ToDo(Shijil): To look into various aspects of organizing this Mock Doc-a-thon.

  • Participants(around 20)
  • Chances of having the tool hosted locally for doing the doc-a-thon.
  • Other preparation need for the day.

EFD CelebrationEdit

Since Jan 18th is also being celebrated as Education Freedom Day across the world, we plan to organize the doc-a-thon also as an event in this effort. Raghuram has registered the event here.

ToDo(Raghuram) : Need to update the wiki at EFD with exact time and plan

Technical ItemsEdit

ToDo: Check various online multi-editors which will serve the purpose.

ToDo: Having a bug tracker which will help us show the various progress made on each subject.

ToDo: As part of the doc-a-thon, we have decided to also have various deb packages for different lab subjects. This will ensure that we dont have to put efforts on customizing the distro everytime and can just pull the deb package from the repo for new Ubunut/Debian releases. This will also ensure that we can support both debian/ubuntu to have support for the various programs. We can encourage colleges to adopt Debian in the lab as they wouldnt have to upgrade regularly and have Ubuntu for students on their personal systems.

ToDo: Have a twitter feed during the doc-a-thon to create news about the progress.

FAQ PageEdit

ToDo: To add a FAQ PAge in the website to list down different frequently asked questions about the Doc-a-thon plan.

Following wiki page can be used to keep updating the FAQs which will then be posted in docathon's website

Frequently Asked Questions about Docathon

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