Reviewing an activity from Sugar Labs – Cookie Search

In my last two blog posts, I reviewed two activities from Sugar Labs – Story and Labyrinth. In this blog post, I am going to review another activity from Sugar – Cookie Search. I may be reviewing more of such activities in the near future, so please stay tuned!

Sugar has a wide variety of activities that suit children, and these activities can be published by anyone in the community. Before I begin my review, I would like to share with all of you what Cookie Search is about.

About Cookie Search

Cookie Search is a simple mine-sweeper game, which I’m sure many of you have played before. Instead of the typical mines and water, cookies and turtle shells are used. The objective of Cookie Search is to clear the board of cookies by clicking the turtle shell icons. So basically the cookies represent mines in Cookie Search. If you click on a turtle shell and it turns out to be a cookie, that’s it. You lose the game.

Otherwise, a number is shown indicating the number of adjacent squares that contain cookies. If there are no adjacent cookies, the square is blank, and the surrounding squares are revealed. If you determine that a turtle icon cell contains a cookie, click to mark it as such. After all cookies have been marked, open the remaining turtle icon cells to finish the game. As a memory aid, you can mark a square that you hypothesize has a cookie behind it by clicking on the cookie icon.

Clear all the cookies to win the game!

Clear all the cookies to win the game!

Using Cookie Search

Main toolbar in Cookie Search.

Main toolbar in Cookie Search.

The activity button (the cookie highlighted in blue) opens the activity toolbar.

The new game button (the cookie with an asterisk) launches a new game.

The stop button (the icon at the far right) is for exiting the activity.

You can even view your scores in Cookie Search!

You can even view your scores in Cookie Search!

What I like about the game

  • Appeals to younger children. I remember fondly that when I was still a child and played mine-sweeping games, I often wonder what mines were. In Cookie Search, this confusion is not present as the children are introduced to an everyday food object – Cookies.
  • Simple to understand and play. I’m sure that many people will still understand how to play Cookie Search even though they have no prior knowledge or experience in mine-sweeping games. After a few tries of trial and error, even young children will be able to comprehend Cookie Search.
  • Interesting concept and concept is straight to the point. Cookie Search really defines mine-sweeping games in a brand new way, as its concept is just like the original mine-sweeping games – straight to the point. Other mine- sweeping games are so littered with other distractions that the player is confused about the true essence of mine-sweeping.
  • Helps you think in a more strategic way as the number of adjacent squares that contain cookies are reflected when you click on a turtle shell without cookies. This will help your mind think more strategically as you try to avoid clicking on cookies with help to these numbers.
  • Able to replace turtle and cookie icons with artwork of your own. If you are the kind that avoid mine-sweeping games as you will become bored easily after seeing countless water and mine icons, then Cookie Search is suited for you. In Cookie Search, you will be able to change the icons into something you like, and you will not grow bored seeing the same icons again and again.
  • Fun to play for a long period of time. When playing Cookie Search, it is not easy to grow bored as the concept of the game is interesting, which is also why mine-sweeping games are still so fun. On a long bus journey, you may want to play Cookie Search as it is time consuming (in a good way) and you will have a lot of fun.

What I dislike about Cookie Search

  • Concept is not original. There are many mine-sweeping games out there, and I was expecting Cookie Search to have a feature (replacing icons with artwork is not enough) which will help set it apart from other mine-sweeping games. However, Cookie Search does not have a feature to help make it more interesting, and it resembles all the other mine-sweeping games out there.
  • Unable to view the high scores of others in Cookie Search. In other web based mine-sweeping games, you are able to view the high scores of others and you will feel a sense of satisfaction seeing your name high up in the ranking. However, Cookie Search makes it feel more like a person playing alone rather than with the whole world.

Bugs in Cookie Search

After playing Cookie Search for quite some time, I was unable to spot any prominent bugs present.

Projects I can complete with Cookie Search

I don’t think that there are any projects I can complete with Cookie Search apart from the occasional playing when I am bored.

Final Verdict

Good. Even though you are able to replace icons with your own favorite artwork, that is barely a redeeming point, as there are no other features which help Cookie Search stand out from the crowd. Also, you are unable to view the high scores of others conveniently, which will make you feel less motivated to play Cookie Search. However, if you are looking for a simple mine-sweeping game which retains the essence of mine-sweeping games as simple as possible, you may want to check out Cookie Search.

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Reviewing an activity from Sugar Labs – Labyrinth

In my previous blog post, I reviewed Story, an activity from Sugar Labs. I am going to review another activity from Sugar Labs again in this blog post – Labyrinth. Sugar has a wide variety of activities that suit children, and these activities can be published by anyone in the community. Before I begin my review, I would like to share with all of you what Labyrinth is about.

About Labyrinth

Labyrinth is a mind mapping activity which allows you to create mind maps from a mixture of text, freehand drawings, and images from your Journal. There is an infinite sized canvas for your map that can be panned and zoomed while you work. Maps can be “Kept to PDF” for uploading to web sites, sharing, and printing by others who may not be using Sugar.

A mind map of what Sugar is

A mind map of what Sugar is

Using Labyrinth

Here are the keyboard shortcuts to make your mind mapping work more convenient:

  • Esc deselects thought, stops editing current text though
  • Ctrl + A select all thoughts
  • Ctrl + E for Edit mode (bounding box selections, and allows editing of existing thoughts)
  • Ctrl + T for text thought mode (click canvas, or click and drag, to add new thoughts)
  • Ctrl + D for drawing mode (click canvas, or click and drag, then draw inside thought boundary)
  • Ctrl + I for image add mode (click canvas, or click and drag, use Journal object picker to select image)
  • Ctrl + L to link two or more selected thoughts
  • ERASE to erase one or more selected thoughts
  • Ctrl + + to zoom in
  • Ctrl + to zoom out
  • Ctrl + 9 zoom to fit window
  • Ctrl + 0 for original zoom size
  • Alt + Enter to toggle full screen
  • Ctrl + Q or Alt + Esc to stop the activity

Here are the mouse/trackpad shortcuts:

  • Single click on the canvas with left button in text/drawing/image mode to create a thought
  • Drag with left button in text/drawing/image mode to create a thought of a specific size
  • Single click left button to select an existing thought (typing will append to the thought text)
  • Double click left button to select a thought and begin editing the text content (all thought text starts selected)
  • Hold shift and left click thoughts to make multiple selections
  • Hold ‘hand’ key on XO keyboard and use left button to drag the canvas to pan/scroll
  • Hold right button to drag individual thoughts
  • When in drawing mode, hold Shift and draw to erase

What I like about Labyrinth

  • Sleek and simple design. Many other mind mapping applications are feature heavy, and these features tend to distract you from your main aim of using the application – to mind map. However, this is not the case with Labyrinth. Labyrinth does not have any distractions so you can focus on your mind map.

 

  • Simple to understand. Even though the name of this activity does not reveal much about it, I am sure that many people will not find it difficult to grasp Labyrinth’s concept, and they should be able to come up with a mind map of their own in a short period of time.

 

  • Appeals to everyone, regardless of their age. The young and old can use Labyrinth, despite their aim or purpose. Pictures can be included in their mind maps, which will make the young/elderly feel less bored. This brings me to my next point.

 

  • You can include freehand drawings or images into your mind maps. Long gone are the days that your mind maps are only restricted to text. A picture can paint a thousand words, and you may find it hard to convey what you are thinking through text, or you may require a lot of text to do so. Now, you can find pictures that convey your meaning exactly and include them into your mind map.
Labyrinth allows you to add images and drawings to your mind maps.

Labyrinth allows you to add images and drawings to your mind maps.

  • Creating a mind map is simple. Those not computer smart can still figure out how to create a mind map, after all, the icons on the toolbar are quite easy to understand. Hence, those using Labyrinth will find it easy to create a mind map.

 

  • The canvas is infinite and you can zoom in/out. If you want to add a lot of text to your mind map yet worry about the lack of space, you needn’t worry with Labyrinth. Labyrinth has infinite space so that your mind maps will never feel restricted.

 

  • Completed mind maps can be saved as PDF files. With this feature, you can now share your mind map with your friends say when you create a mind map for an upcoming exam. You can even print out your mind maps so that you can look through them when you do not have any electronics with you.

 

  • Labyrinth helps your thoughts flow more fluently. With mind maps, your thoughts can flow faster as you process them quicker. Not only that, pictures will also help your thoughts flow more fluently.

What I dislike about Labyrinth

  • Even though I only dislike this point of Labyrinth, it is a quite major one – Labyrinth has nothing to help it stand out from the other mind map applications. Sure, Labyrinth allows you to add images or drawings to your mind maps, but this feature is also present in other such applications. Moreover, some of the other mind map applications are in the cloud, so you can share with your friends through social media immediately. However, this is not the case with Labyrinth. You have to download the mind map as a PDF file first before you share it, which may prove to be quite a hassle in the long run.

Bugs present in Labyrinth

After using Labyrinth, I found out that there are no prominent bugs present.

Projects I can complete with Labyrinth

I can complete several projects with Labyrinth. I can use Labyrinth to prepare for an upcoming exam, use it to process my thoughts better for a school project, or even use Labyrinth to summarize what I have learnt. I think that the projects I can complete with Labyrinth is really endless; it can even help me in day to day activities!

Final Verdict

Good. Despite the simplicity of Labyrinth, there is almost nothing which can help it stand out from the crowd – other similar applications can beat Labyrinth easily. Currently, with so many mind mapping applications with features similar to Labyrinth, I am certain that I will not be drawn to it. Moreover, other applications are cloud based, so sharing your mind maps with your friends may be more convenient. However, if you are looking for a simple and easy to understand activity which will fulfill your needs, you should definitely meet Labyrinth at http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Activities/Labyrinth1!

 

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Reviewing an activity from Sugar Labs – Story Activity

Sugar has a wide variety of activities that suit children, and these activities can be published by anyone in the community. Today, I am going to review one of Sugar’s activities – Story Activity. Before I start with my review, let me share with all of you what Story Activity is about.

About Story

Story Activity uses images to prompt the young learner to tell a story. Here’s a screenshot to make it clearer:

Can a picture indeed paint a thousand words?

Can a picture indeed paint a thousand words?

As you can see, there are 9 images loaded. The young learner has to invent a story based on these images; he or she has to try to tell a story that ties the images together into a comprehensive narrative. For example, I may begin the story like this: A lock is needed to open a tent. There is a strong wind blowing currently, and the palm tree outside the tent is almost uprooted.

Stories could start like that, but more details could be included in the story and the story could make more sense.

Using Story

The toolbar in Story.

The toolbar in Story

The first icon, the one in blue and has a question mark opens the standard Sugar activity toolbar.

The second icon, which reminds you of a refresh button in a browser, loads nine new images.

The third icon, with an eye on it, saves an image to the Journal.

The fourth icon, which looks like a disc, records what you are saying for your story.

The fifth icon, which is similar to a “play” button, plays your audio recording.

The last button, which looks like an ancient coin, is used to exit Story.

Now it’s time to start my review of Story.

What I like about Story

  • I like that Story appeals to young children and even people of older ages. After I downloaded Story, I tried to piece a story with the nine images and it was quite interesting as it helped to fuel my imagination. Even though I got bored after forming several stories, I still think that this activity would definitely appeal to me when I was young. Even adults can try out Story, they might not get bored too!
  • I like that Story has a simple yet interesting concept. Newcomers who have never interacted with Story before would be able to understand its concept. Those who did not read the first section above would still be unable to grasp the concept and tell a story of their own.
  • Story is an example of how electronics can play a useful part in our lives. Many people are grumbling that electronics only do harm to their kids, but Story is an exception. It blends in story telling, a real life activity, with electronics, and people can learn a lot from Story. Children can even tell their stories in front of their parents, which will definitely bond them as a family.
  • Story helps to fuel our imagination. With Story, your imagination can become even more fertile when you tell a story which is based on nine images.
  • The recording and playback features. In many similar activities like Story, you only narrate a story and that’s it. But Story allows one to record his/her story and play it back. Not only will you feel a sense of satisfaction when hearing your story, you may even find ways to improve upon your story and you can record again!
  • No rules in Story. Many children nowadays will feel pressurized when they participate in activities such as Story. They may have to start with the first image, then proceed to the second image horizontally in a sequential way. But with Story, it is definitely not the case. For a challenge, you can start your story in any manner, vertically, horizontally, diagonally, or even backwards! This will surely help your imagination to become more fertile.
  • Some images are not clear enough. You may be wondering why this point appears in this list. For example, a unclear image may seem to me like a flame, while my friend may see it as a water droplet. With Story, both are accepted! This will fuel your imagination as an image may represent many things, which will be a greater challenge when you tell your story.
  • Story can be extended. Just when you think that you have narrated plenty of stories and feel bored, you realize that Story can be extended, like a post game. Children can participate in Story with their friends or create a written story! First, the children have to transcribe and refine their stories using the Sugar Write activity. They can save to the Journal the images used to prompt their story and then embed this image into their Write document. Thereafter, Story can be shared, so the narration can be created amongst multiple students. They can chain together a story by taking turns; each turn involving generating narration for one image. Now your children can learn from their peers and vice-versa.
A written version of your child's story

A written version of your child’s story

  • Story is free and does not cost anything. You can download Story for free and need not pay a cent. Other similar games require you to buy them with cash while the same is definitely not true for Story.

What I dislike about Story

  • I could not understand some of the icons on the toolbar at first as their icons may not represent what they are for. For example, the exit button is similar to an ancient coin, which may be confusing. A suggestion would be to replace the icon with the text “Exit”.
  • The images are inanimate. If images are given short animations, the young learner may be able to narrate a more comprehensive and detailed story. For example, the image of a still aeroplane can be replaced with a short animation of an aeroplane flying. This will also enhance the imagination of the young learner. However, not all images should be given animations, just some. This will make Story even more interesting since young learners have to narrate a story with some animated images and the rest of the images are inanimate.

Projects I can complete with Story

Honestly speaking, there are not much projects I can complete with Story given my age (13 years old). Only two ideas come to my mind. The first one is that I can narrate a story and share it with my friends, and my friends will have to continue the story (say like a sequel) with their given set of images. Then they share it with their other friends and so on. One person can only narrate one story.

The second idea is that I could inform young children in my neighborhood about Story and encourage them to download it. These young children are Story’s main target audience, and I think they will enjoy Story a lot as they can share their own narrated stories with their friends.

Bugs in Story

After navigating through Story for a while, I found out that I could not spot any bugs nor lags.

Final Verdict

Excellent. I strongly recommend anyone, regardless of their age, to give Story a try. Story boasts many features and the minor problems I pointed out can definitely be fixed. Moreover, since Christmas is round the corner, perhaps you could ask your entire family to download Story and the adults can help their children become better story tellers. In the 21st century of today, public speaking skills are a must and perhaps you can hone these skills by practising with Story. You can also make your imagination more fertile with Story. What are you waiting for, go download Story now at http://activities.sugarlabs.org/en-US/sugar/ !

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Self Introduction

I am Gabriel Lee from Dunman High School, Singapore. I am currently 13 years of age and I am participating in Google Code-in at the moment.

Why I am participating in Google Code-in

A few months back, I saw an advertorial regarding Google Code-in and became interested in participating. After navigating through the websites of previous Google Code-ins, I learnt that this contest has the goal of encouraging 13-17 year old students to contribute to open source projects such as Sugar Labs through it. This immediately caught my eye. I have always wanted to contribute to open source projects, as open source projects are collaborative efforts from everyone for the development of the project, and I think that’s just amazing. I have always wanted to be introduced to the many kinds of contributions that make open source software development possible and Google Code-in provided me with the opportunity to do so. I was also interested in how teenagers such as myself could contribute to such projects, hence my participation.

What I hope to learn from Google Code-in

After completing a few tasks, I learnt that there can be many roles to play when contributing to open source projects, such as Outreach, Coding, and also User Interface. Hence, I hope to learn a wide variety of such skills and not just skills from one particular area. Having a wide variety of skills, for example marketing and coding, will definitely help in the future. More particularly, I hope to learn more marketing and outreach skills, as I feel that marketing and outreach is an important part in both open source projects and other computer fields. The third thing I hope to learn is more about open source projects. Prior to doing research and participating in Google Code-in, I had totally no idea open source organisations existed. Therefore, I want to learn more about open source organisations and why they are very important in the 21st century of today.

How Mariah Villarreal can help me

Mariah is working as a mentor with Sugar Labs for this year’s Google Code-in. She wants to expose more people to free and open educational software; you can run a quick Google Search for her name. Mariah is a mentor mentoring Outreach/Research tasks and I think that she can help me by providing more of such tasks. As mentioned above, I would like to hone my outreach skills and I feel that the best way to do this is by practising more through tasks. Hence, I would like Mariah to add more tasks, more specifically blogging tasks such as this one. The current Outreach tasks do not have much to do with blogging (which I enjoy) and I hope Mariah can help add more of such blogging tasks.

Thanks for reading until here🙂 Please remember to check out Google Code-in‘s website!

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Self-Introduction (Sugar Labs) by Gabriel Lee is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

FUEL Project – Content, Collaboration and Consistency

Thanks to Google Code-in, I had a chance to interact with Fossasia and FUEL Project. I will be sharing with all of you what FUEL is and what it does. Before doing so, let me share with all of you the link of FUEL Project. Do check it out if you are interested! It really is worth your time checking out🙂

Website Link: http://fuelproject.org

What FUEL is: 

FUEL project is an open source effort that aims to solve the problem of inconsistency and lack of standardization in computer software localization. FUEL works to create linguistic and technical resources like standardized terminology resources, computer translation style and convention guides, rendering reference standard, assessment methodologies, translation assessment matrix etc. Currently FUEL is working with 60 languages worldwide.

Initiated by Red Hat, the free and open source community project FUEL has grown into a larger effort. Resources created by FUEL are now used by several language communities, organizations, companies, tools, and pieces of software. Govt of Maharashtra has chosen FUEL for its e-Governance standard. TDIL uses UTRRS as a rendering reference standard. C-DAC has cited FUEL in its Localization Guidelines for term consistency in context of Indian Languages. FUEL is cited as a reference standard in Best Practices for Localization of e-Gov Applications in India.WMF’s translatewiki.net’s community collaborated with FUEL and the result of collaboration is again awesome. 

Why FUEL Project is an unique idea for software localisation:

FUEL works to create linguistic and technical resources like standardized terminology resources, computer translation style and convention guides, and assessment methodologies. The effort of FUEL is unique. It is a set of steps that any content generating organization or a localized content creating team can undertake and adopt, to ensure quality and consistency. The FUEL approach of creating linguistic resources is not different from any software development. FUEL has a version control system allowing evolution of development, a bug tracker and ticketing system and a mailing list. It is of modular nature and concentrates on base registers. This feature makes FUEL citizen-centric, and therefore FUEL has great potential to be an ideal solution even for e-Governance work. Collaborative innovation is the most important aspect of FUEL.

Current state of FUEL:

As mentioned above, FUEL is currently working with 60 languages worldwide

FUEL GILT 2013 Conference:

To commemorate the five-year anniversary of FUEL, Red Hat and C-DAC GIST will hold a GILT conference focusing on the linguistic aspects of software translation. This GILT conference will gather industry localization experts, linguists, internationalization engineering, and testing professionals.

FUEL GILT Conference 2013 is being organized by Red Hat and C-DAC GIST.

Participants in the conference will get a chance to meet localization experts working in the industry, and learning sessions will be held for localizers who are just starting out. The conference will focus on the democratization of content.

The objective of this conference is to establish a common and universal platform to support continued development and adherence of GILT standards by building the consensus for it’s development, establishment and promotion with the help of community and organizations working towards the aim of democratization of content and wider awareness and acceptance of these standards.

The expected audience for this conference are people working or interested on translation, font development, language standardization, machine translation, glossary development, rendering, style guide, assessment matrix, spell checker, language testing, script grammar, unicode, content generation, input methods, tools and applications, dictionary, content licencing under GILT (Globalization, Internationalization, Localization and Translation) for local language.

fuel

FUEL GILT 2013 Conference. Photo taken from fuelproject.org

 FUEL GILT 2014 Conference:

The 2nd FUEL GILT Conference – the largest event of FOSS language technology – its challenges, solutions, best practices and its conventions. FUEL GILT Conference is all about language technology world, all about GILT industry – G11N, I18N, L10N, and translation world. The event is showcase of the efforts of volunteer communities and different organizations in the field of language technology. This event also tells us the pain and conflicts of different cultures and languages. All things are revolved around the language – related to words! FUEL GILT Conference 2014 is organized by Red Hat and C-DAC GIST and supported by Mozilla. The expected audience is the same as the one in the 2013 Conference. The conference, which has just been over, started on 2:30PM IST – 14th Nov 2014 and ended on 6PM IST 15th Nov 2014.

FUEL_GILT_2014

(FUEL GILT Conference 2014, largest FUEL event ever. Photo taken from fuelproject.org

 Terminology of FUEL:

Plenty of languages are offered, such as German, French and Japanese. You can even choose which module you want! You can also navigate through searching. Here is a screenshot which depicts the language Assamese, in Desktop module. You can access this feature through FUEL’s website.

Untitled

Assamese in Desktop module. Screenshot taken from fuelproject.org

Style Guide for FUEL:

On the FUEL Project’s website, you can choose to view the style guide for a particular language. Languages such as German, French and Tamil are offered. Here is a screenshot which depicts the language Assamese style guide. You can access this feature through FUEL’s website.

Untitled

Computer translation style & convention guide for Assamese. Screenshot taken from fuelproject.org

Unicode Text Rendering Reference System (UTRRS):

The Unicode Text Rendering Reference System (UTRRS) is a open source web-based application which compares a rendered text character with a reference image of a text character, for comparison of differences between the two.

Comparing the results of a text rendering engine to actual text can be done without the ability to read or comprehend the language in question. This ability is available for Codepoints (Unicode Character Set), GSUB (Glyph Substitution), and GPOS (Glyph Positioning).

UTRRS development instance please visit: http://utrrs-testing.rhcloud.com/
UTRRS production instance please visit: http://tdil-dc.in/utrrs/

For each Indian language listed, this system has been developed according to the IDN Script Grammar rules published by the Government of India.

The UTRRS Tool has been developed by the Red Hat Language Technology Group. It is used within various internal projects, including localization support and desktop rendering.

Assessment Matrix:

There is a translation quality matrix on FUEL’s website. It allows you to give minor or major error points for a category. Each category is then further split into sub categories. For example, the Accuracy category is split into Meaning and Additions, Subtractions. Marks will then be calculated for the category. Here is a screenshot of the matrix:

Untitled

Translation quality assessment matrix. Screenshot taken from fuelproject.org

Here is the link of the matrix:

http://fuelproject.org/tqam/index

Screenshot Comparison Method (SCM):

Screenshot Comparison Method, shortly called as SCM provides an easy means of verifying your localization by simply comparing source and target screenshots from the applications, softwares or programs. Having an SCM would give a thorough idea about the context of the source and target while comparing them. The advantage is to bring a good quality localization. 

Here is the link of the webpage so that you can view the related document:

http://fuelproject.org/translationquality/index

Here is a screenshot of the first page of the document (Please go check the webpage out to view the rest of the pages :))

Untitled

Localization quality assurance: screenshot comparison method. Screenshot taken from fuelproject.org

How one can contribute to FUEL:

FUEL is an open source project, so those who are interested can help contribute to FUEL. Since collaboration is very important for FUEL, FUEL welcomes any contribution made to the development of FUEL. You can help contribute by simply sharing this blog post with your friends so they can learn more about FUEL, or better still, write a blog post about FUEL (just like me). If you are aiming to contribute in a more tangible way, you can help by:

1. Create a ticket by reporting at https://fedorahosted.org/fuel/newticket if you find any improvements with FUEL’s terminology.

2. Simply feedback at https://fedorahosted.org/fuel/wiki/fuel_tqam/feedback so that FUEL can improve with your comments.

3. Being a volunteer at FUEL. For more information, visit https://lists.fedorahosted.org/mailman/listinfo/fuel-discuss

Please check out FUEL’s website (fuelproject.org) to learn more about FUEL!

download

Picture taken from community.redhat.com

Sahana Software Foundation – Humanitarian Open Source Disaster Management Software

In mid November, I received information that Google Code-in 2014 had announced the 12 open source projects which will be acting as mentoring organisations. Without hesitation, I visited the link on the Google Code-in website to view the mentoring organisations. When I was scrolling through the webpage, I realized that only one open source project had caught my eye – Sahana Software Foundation. I was amazed at what Sahana did – It provided information management solutions that enable organisations and communities to better react in times of disasters. And Sahana did all this for free. Half a month down a road, I immediately jumped at the opportunity to work with Sahara through Google Code-in. Without further ado, let us step into the world of Sahana Software Foundation…

As I have mentioned earlier above, Sahana provides information management solutions that enable organizations and communities to better prepare for and respond to disasters. They develop free and open source software and provide services that help solve concrete problems and bring efficiencies to disaster response coordination between governments, aid organizations, civil society and the survivors themselves. To put it simply, Sahana is dedicated to the mission of saving lives when disasters strike. Sahana’s mission is a touching one, and I am awed by their utmost dedication to their mission and how information management solutions can help save lives.

Sahana has helped many people in various parts of the world, and examples are plentiful. The Chief Executive Officer of Sahana, Michael Howden, has worked with AidIQ, supporting various Sahana solutions for the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, UNDP, Los Angeles Emergency Management Department and the Governments of Timor Leste, Nepal and the Philippines. As you can see, Sahana does not only provide information management solutions to just one continent – It provides solutions to the whole world, reducing the damage done by disasters worldwide. IOTX Sri Lanka : Sahana Camp was held in late June this year, and it was a participatory workshop on the use of Disaster Management Information Systems with a focus on the Sahana Open Source Disaster Management Information System. Sahana does not only aid disaster prone areas; it aids even everyday citizens in learning more about Sahana and how they can reduce the damage caused by disasters.

Sahana has developed many tools and products to help victims of disasters, such as Sahana Eden and Vesuvius. More details on this two products can be found on Sahana’s website.

Sahana also has many deployments. Disaster Risk Information Management System (DRMIS) by National Directorate of Disaster Management, Timor-Leste http://eden.sahanafoundation.org/wiki/Deployments/Timor/NDMD) is an online website that has been developed to allow organisations in Timor-Leste to share a variety of information. All Disaster Risk Management Stakeholders in Timor-Leste are able to share information using DRIMS and this information will also be available to the public. DRIMS will help stakeholders prevent, prepare for and respond to disastersLos Angeles Community Resilience Mapping Tool by Los Angeles (http://demo.lacrmt.sahanafoundation.org) uses mapping and charts to visualize the relationship between hazards, vulnerable people and resources to help communities understand and improve their own resilience. This tool helps people to learn whether they are in disaster prone areas, so they will be better equipped when a disaster strikes.

Personally speaking, I am very motivated to work with Sahana and I am honored that Google Code-in allowed me to do so. Sahana helps the whole world by reducing the death toll during disasters, and helps victims react to such disasters. I feel speechless at Sahana’s work – They chose to touch everyone’s lives through information management solutions for free. I hope that I would be able to work again with Sahana in the future so that I know that I was a part of what Sahana is doing. With Sahana, the world has certainly become a brighter place.

Thank you Sahana!