Friday, September 3, 2010

On The Internship

Finally I am out of the university after the final exam of 4th semester. After the finals my intent was to have some rest and then get admission in M Phil. But nor rest neither M Phil looks near to me. I was called just after a few days by the department for internship at Little Angles School System. And due to thesis yet to submit, I may not be able to get admission in M Phil this year. So I am on the job actually with a little less than 10000 rupees are paid to me.
The school has three branches in the city and I am in the main branch on Canal Road. It is well built and having an organized structure. Because this is the first time for me to get a chance to be a teacher, it is exciting for me to learn and observe how things are done practically regarding language teaching. My bookish knowledge regarding teaching language will be converted to a more practical one. Currently I am just observing and learning as 7th class, to whom I would be teaching has still to come after summer vacation. This observation is giving me much as well I am trying to analyse the situation critically.
The school offers Cambridge O Levels and A Levels as well as local Matric and Intermediate courses for students. Cambridge students are obviously considered superior on others. The course of this university is good for English. But what I got from this, is that it focuses on reading and writing very much. Listening is also there but lesser, and there is no component of spoken part. The students have to learn reading comprehension, writing narratives and summaries and understand and then write after listening. All this, in my opinion, very much revolves around teaching writing, although this writing is superior than that of local English teaching system which utilizes translation method to teach English.
Another thing is the use of foreign materials. What I am going to teach is printed in Singapore, having all the contexts and pictures from that country. There is a lack of local touch in language teaching. Perhaps they think that foreign materials are more trust worthy to teach English. Although this is true that local materials are not available for these levels, or if available are not of that much standard. Even the books created by provincial text book boards are thin and make only one third or one forth of their Cambridge counter part.
These were some initial thoughts about my new activity, going to be a language teacher. I'll be writing more on this topic. 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Indian Rupee Gets Symbol Like Dollar, Pound

India is making its international presence more stronger and influential day by day. Their economy, like of China, is one of the biggest economies of the world. Their currency is getting attention due to high investments by multi nationals. Now the Indian Rupee has got a symbol.
And where is Pakistan?
چھڈو جی

Monday, July 12, 2010

Prezi: Presentations with Zooming

EFL 2.0 posted a presentation on the use of technology in language teaching. The thing I liked about it is the idea of creating a zoom able presentation. Prezi is a nice way to create innovative presentations. The website structure tells that it uses Adobe Flash for presentation creating, another Flash product.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mr. Zardari with His Family on An Offical Visit?

Can someone tell me who'll pay for his family members on an official visit in China?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Selecting Range of Filled Columns and Rows in Calc

In Microsoft Excel you have to select End Mode by pressing End button on Keyboard. Then Shift + Arrow keys let you towards the end of the series of rows or columns which are filled with data. I was looking for same solution for OOo Calc and it was pretty straightforward. In Calc you just have to press Shift key which will tell it that you are going to select every thing and then press Ctrl + Arrow keys, the range of cells which is filled would be selected. :-)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Regular Expressions: Facility, Ability and Haste

Regular Expression or regex is a powerful tool for text processing. People like me who encounter with text processing on daily basis know the ease and power they provide. Regex are full fledged language actually, a mini language with its own rules and very systematic and organized structure. Regex as they are known today are mostly borrowed from early days of Perl, that's why they are mostly called Perl Compatible Regular Expressions. No high level language can ever miss this most demanding feature in today's circumstances, and even the parent of many new languages C++ will have regex library in its new C++0x version/standard.
I came to know about regex 3 years ago when I was working with my teachers on their corpus research work. I was unable to grasp the meaning of regex initially and the power they had behind them. But after some time I got books and article on the topic and started learning them. The book most helpful for me was Friedl - Mastering Regular Expressions 3e (O'Reilly, 2006). I completed only 2 chapters of this book but it made me speedy panther in text processing from a lame lamb. Being a linguistics student and a corpus linguist I am always seeking ways to get text patterns automatically with least possible time. And regex provide me this facility. Along with regex I use C# 2005 which gives me a powerful capability to do everything I want with the texts.

Regex are good but they are like knife in your hand which can be used to cut your own hand also. You should be very well aware of the pros and cons of using regex. The very first thing you should consider as a corpus linguist is to search the regularities in the text. These regularities or patterns will help you find the perfect regex for the purpose. The best strategy is to analyse the data manually e.g. by inspecting concordance lines in search of the required constructions. After you have inspected and found the ways in which the construction is occurring, you can create a good and regex. But remember cross check, double check and recheck your regular expression to verify does it doing the maximum? Does the loss is minimum? And finally does it affordable? Affordable here I mean if it is hasty to add every construction and thus increasing your work. Regex give power and flexibility but they should be carefully used. They should be constructed with great care and also verified with manual analysis. And the most important thing, use regex to get concordance lines which you will inspect manually thus you can reduce your work as well as quality would be maintained.

Friday, May 28, 2010

ELT in Pakistan

To the Headmistress
Govt. High School
I have an urgent piece of work at home. Therefore I cannot come to school. Kindly grant me leave for two days.
Yours Obediently
This was the lesson my younger sister cramming when I was taking my breakfast this morning. She is in 5th grade and goes to a coaching center for extra help in studies also. Both at school and at coaching center the teaching system of English is same. They make them cram the lesson. Initially there are no rules of the language but simple cramming of big and small chunks of language in the form of vocabulary items like names of colours, simple sentences, and afterwards stories, applications, letters and essays. Initially stories etc. are simpler having a few sentences and simple structures. Afterwards things start gonna complex and lengthy. And this goes upto B.A. i.e. 14 grade.
I still remember the good old days, when I was a school boy and used to cram things just like my younger sister was doing. Initially it was just cramming for me but in later grades 7, to onwards I remember myself trying to do some 'creative' work. I used to add a few sentences in essays like My Best Teacher, or stories. It was an intentional effort to get more marks as compared to other class fellows, but afterwards this creativity somehow expanded and now at this stage of my life I am able to write a blog post in English.
English Language Teaching System in Pakistan just makes you cram the rules and the vocabulary. It just pushes you to the sea of language now if you are a good learner you may learn to survive in this world, you may start getting points on your own. Otherwise you won't be able to write sentences or essays other than you crammed during your education. We produce crammers or if they are lucky enough good writers. We need English for writing mostly and our system of teaching is thus writing oriented.
But things are gonna change now. Our govt. educational system produces writers still but there is an urge to learn spoken English. So there are numberless institutes which offer spoken English classes. They provide a low quality version of communicative language teaching methodology but they somehow are trying to cope with the problem.
But we need to redefine our needs of English and our system of education as well.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Oka: A variant form of Okay, O.K. prevailing in Punjabi Youth

When I first heard this phrase "oka fer" (okay then) I laughed for hours because it was too funny for me. I remembered it again after few minutes and again started laughing but after that I forgot the laughing. Now I use this word quite frequently with my close friends, class fellows and collegues.
O.K or Okay is a word used for affirmation in colloquial English. The history of this word tells that its usage was started from America, perhaps some American president wrote o.k. on a file and then it "officially" came into being. It is also used as a discourse marker along with right, etc. It is pronounced as:
 /k/ in this word is as usual aspirated like /kh/ by native English speakers of American and British origin.

As per the suggestion of Wikipedia, this word is used in colloquial English and adopted in several languages of the world. This word is also borrowed by local languages of Pakistan like Punjabi and the National Language (Urdu). In Urdu it is pronounced as "okay" same is the case with Punjabi. But there is a variation in Punjabi. As Punjabi is a more informal language and used among closed friends, at homes etc., an informal use of okay is prevailing in Punjabi youth specially young boys. They use it as fun, while saying "oka" they initially have a smile on their faces but after that they accept it as a form of okay and try to use this new word in their friends' company. It can be called a slang word because it is being used informally only by youngsters in their sittings but the change is underway. It is being used by young university girls also with their close male friends and collegues in informal situations. They are also using it more frequently within female to female interactions. Another variation "oki" among girls and "oku" among boys is used at rare occasions when motive is to create more fun and laughter.

Variation is underway which is the destiny of language. Continuing our discussion on variation I would like to document the variation in romanized variety of Urdu and Punjabi which is being used in text messages specially by youngsters and university students while messaging their peers and friends.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Urdu in Google Translate

Urdu started flourishing on the internet after 2003. Initially there was a single website which was known by Urdu lovers as being a "true" Urdu website, true in the sense that it was a text based website which was built on brand new unicode UTF8 standard and which was very quick to load. After 2005 there was a boost in Urdu web publishing and we saw forums as well as blogs created in unicode Urdu. And then the trends started changing from purely inpage generated .gif images to simple but elegant text based websites which were quicker to load and which were searchable by search engines. Forums like emerged which were totally in Urdu, a strange phenomenon in those days. Now a days websites like use a blend of pictures and text based Urdu, where default and front page matter is in unicode while poetry and other stuff is still generated through inpage in the form of gif images.
The trends to use Unicode Standard are accelerating now and it is being enhanced by various factors. Lots of people know how to write Urdu even in notepad, how to build your personal blog in Urdu (thanks to a great Urdu Forum and mother of most Urdu Blogs), of course the spread of internet, and the factor that Urdu can be machine translated now. is online for a year or so, they are working and providing good machine translations between English and Urdu but they can never meet the experience and resources the giant of search Google has. And now google has added support of Urdu in its service. It is still in alpha stage but very much usable and acceptable.
Urdu is now among the 56 or so languages which are supported by Google Translate. Hindi, a step sister of Urdu, was already supported and so the case was with Arabic etc. I was just watching the progress of, the Microsoft's reply to google translate. It just supports 30 or so languages yet, lagging behind a lot. Bing will have to add support for Hindi, Urdu also to prove itself. Long live Urdu, we'll see more advances in just a short span of time.
Update: Bing has an Indic Transliteration Tool also, similar to Google Transliterate. But it is still behind because it does not support Urdu as well as it does not have an API to add its support to other applications, which google transliterate services has.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sorting a Dictionary in C# 2

During corpus processing tasks, I need to create and sort dictionaries for very simple tasks of frequency list generation. For this purpose I always have to seek on the web for solutions. C# is now at version 4 and it has lots of variations and innovations in its syntax. There are additional typing conventions, keywords, namespaces like powerful System.LINQ and extension methods. But being a linguistics student I am unable find time to upgrade my skills from C# 2005 a.k.a C# 2 to latest versions. It is not necessary perhaps also because I need C# for text processing tasks which is done very easily with C# 2 and its System.Collections.Generic namespace.
So here is a code sample which can be used to sort a dictionary with respect to its values. I have blended 2 or 3 methods into one so that it takes input as dictionary and gives output as dictionary. Code may be inefficient due to my inabilities in programming but still it works for me. Hopefully for you it would work also. :-)
public static Dictionary Sort (Dictionary dict)
List> list = new List>();
foreach(KeyValuePair kvp in dict)
delegate(KeyValuePair firstPair,
KeyValuePair nextPair)
return nextPair.Value.CompareTo(firstPair.Value);
Dictionary d = new Dictionary();
foreach(KeyValuePair kvp in list)
d.Add(kvp.Key, kvp.Value);
return d;

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Qt Gets Multitouch Support

Qt is one of the very first things I encountered in Linux and Open Source world. I was very fond of KDE 3.x.x and the mother of KDE was Qt, a GUI tool kit which was used to develop KDE and its applications. I always liked the light white and blue interface of KDE as compared to brownish one of Gnome. Then after the release of the adventurous KDE 4, I had to move to a stable desktop environment, Gnome. But KDE is still my love. I always try to use KDE whenever possible. Actually once I tried to develop for KDE as well, of course through Qt. I was looking for some way to develop C# applications using Qt, but since then I am unable to get it done. There is a way (Qyoto) to build applications using Qt and C# but this is not for beginners. A person like me would like to have a GUI designer as there is one in Mono Develop for GTK#, and a very good easy to use IDE to write the applications, and also the documentation to get help. But all these things are still not available in case of Qyoto. It is a good potential project, but still it is not usable for persons like me.
So that was the history of my love regarding Qt and KDE Qt was bought by Nokia a few years back and now it is being developed by Nokia in their own way, to make it fit for smarphones and other such devices. Qt was once dual licensed but now it is released under LGPL and code can be accessed more easily. The news which let me write this post was this one actually. Qt gets multitouch support, means it is now more easy to develop applications for hand held devices. Additionally Qt's software model would be changed to a more modular nature in coming days.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

WebOS based HP's Tablet ??

As we talked about previously about the acquirement of Palm by HP. We also discussed a little about the consequences of this move in the future or near future. The predictions in technology are not very difficult to make. You just have a wise brain and good analytical skills which can tell you what can be there next. So the IT Gurus are making two plus two four and a rumor regarding new HP Tablet is on the way on Internet.
Looks promising? It may be a new competitor of Apple iPad and other such products. So let us see whats gonna happen next.
Update: Here is something more about it

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My New Old Laptop

Just got a new OLD laptop, IBM Thinkpad. More specifications are underway because it is not currently with me. I was trying to have a laptop since 2007 and now finally got one. Thank to Allah G. :-)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Forensic Linguistics in Pakistan

Forensic Linguistics is the sub field of Linguistics which is used to identify criminals, gangsters and solve legal cases as well. In foreign countries it considers as a vital part of investigation. Linguists are serving in this field as a phonetician, stylistician, and discourse analyst and so on. That’s why the legal institution is very much responsible and efficient, that the crime rate of that countries is very low.

Now, if we look at Pakistan’s condition, why crime is getting its root deeper and deeper in Pakistan? Gangsters, underworld etc. because Pakistan has not a fully fledge system of investigation.

I personally think that forensic linguistics should be in Pakistan with its full sense. At this time, not even a single university offering forensic linguistics as a subject or its specialization. If it would be in Pakistani Universities it can help students or professionals in near future. It also would help our legal field specially for finding criminals out (which is very unusual in our country).

A forensic Linguist can be:

Phonetician, Stylisitican, discourse analyst, semanticist etc. These things are also very much important in our legal way of investigation rather “3rd degree”.

So in my point of view it would be a dual process like the competence of students would be improved as well as it would help our country to sustain the anti-criminal cell. May be a little hard effort in this field can serve a lot.

Ahh! But our bad luck is this that we do not have a single subject on it. Students like me who love forensic field in any discipline would be very happy… InshahAllah I will try my level best to introduce forensic linguistic in Pakistan as a subject. Because I know that efforts & struggles make dreams come true. This field would serve a lot at national level & may be Criminals get civilized 

Anyway, my dream is to be a forensic linguist inshahAllah.

Friday, April 30, 2010

sudo apt-get upgrade -d

If your update manager is not working and a new LTS version of Ubuntu is out there. Follow this method as I always does.
Hit Alt+F2 and in the run box type
sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list
Now replace 'karmic' with 'lucid'. Save the file and now write in terminal
sudo apt-get update
and then
sudo apt-get upgrade -d
Put your computer on a scheduled shut down and sleep. As I always does. :-)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

HP Buys Palm

Ohh, my goodness HP Buys Palm. Ohh, what a hot topic it is. The whole world is going mad to tweat it, share it and talk about it, HP just announced to acquire Palm for 1.2 billion dollars. That's great man, really great. But let me ask one thing, DO YOU KNOW WHAT IS PALM?
Ops, if you don't know let us try to know what is Palm, or more specifically Palm OS :-).
Palm OS is a mobile operating system which was introduced in mid 90s and since then it is being used on mobile and hand held devices like PDAs. Palm was sold and purchased by several other companies in the past also. Palm Inc. was suffering these days so HP came to rescue them. Now they would be a sub part of HP and a new addition to HP's product line.
What next? Well next would be a new player in the smart phone market. As Nokia enhancing its business capabilities buy acquiring various software and hardware related companies, Google has entered into the market by introducing Android and NexusOne, Apple is a big stack holder as an iPhone producer, Microsoft is already producing Windows Mobile OS so why not HP? HP will enter into the market with the experience and goodwill of Palm and its products and both will get benefits. You may hear in a few days that Palm OS or its products are open sourced, HP is going to introduce a new smartphone and things like that. So next days are going to be really interesting regarding the smarphone market.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sentence Analysis through Systemic Functional Grammar

Systemic Functional Grammar is based on Michal Halliday's Systemic Functional Linguistics. It addresses lots of basic issues regarding grammar and sentence analysis which cannot be tackled by traditional grammar. It has a very systematic way to analyse sentences and understand their constituents.
  • At clause level it has simple structures of α and β.
  • At group level it provides constituents of Subject, Predicate, Complement, and Adjunct (which is the default category for any non-sense word or group)
  • At word level it has structures like modifier, head, qualifier; before verb, auxiliary, verb, extension; preposition and completive.
  • While at morpheme level it provides various labels to address the issues related to word construction: infix, suffix, prefix, ending, base, addition.

We are having a course titled Advance English Grammars in which we are studying Systemic Functional Grammar as a component. We are being taught the model of Margret Berry. Using the model I have tried to analyse a sentence from a Pakistani news paper (The News). Below is the image having the tree diagram.
From My Thoughts in Remote Language

I have spent 3 hours to create this diagram. :-) It doesn't mean I do not know the grammar but it indicates the limitation of computer based tools. It was not of more than 15 minutes by hand but by doing it with Draw application, it took me 3 hours to complete it.And still it may not look very smooth. Anyhow, that was not the point to post this diagram here. The aim was to highlight the deficiencies in systemic grammar. This model is very well organised and have a clear cut straight forward style to analyse sentences. But as the sentence is complexified, this model goes on failing to address the issues. And it becomes really difficult to handle larger chunks having complex relations with each other.

In this sentence I had to add two qualifiers after the head noun because I did not know where to put the extra relative clause. The extra long prepositional phrase the crucial issue of immediate hosing down of the crime scene of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination made me think and think again: from where should I dissect it so to put which led to the destruction of all critical evidence (the relative clause) in a parallel alpha-alpha construction. It was really difficult to decide because the apparent function of this clause is a sentence (or at least a phrase level) modifier. But in Systemic we have no such mechanism so I have to put it down as a qualifier.

Systemic does not ends here. The same sentence can be analysed in a different way. Would you like to add something?

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Rise of Android against iPhone: Google, Apple and Adobe

Apple Mac is too much conservative regarding iPhone. There are pretty much sufficient restrictions on the development process of iPhone applications. And recently Apple has announced to restrict the developmental platform should base on Objective-C, C++, C and Java Script. This step blocked the development of other third party tools which several companies were offering to develop applications for iPhone in different languages and frameworks.
One of the third party frameworks was Adobe's development tools for iPhone, which were used to develop flash applications for iPhone. But after this move Adobe stops the development of these tools although the previous version would be shipped with Adobe CS5. A similar framework is Mono which provides a compact framework for iPhone named Mono Touch. It is very interesting to see that Mono Touch applications wont affect very much as this link says. I was expecting the same for Mono Touch also, but it looks that Mono is more integrated into the native APIs of Mac and iPhone that's why they will take the advantage of being on the platform.
This was the move from Apple, what from Adobe? This is the move from Adobe. Adobe and Google partner to bring Flash and AIR technology to Android. Android as you know is the famous and creating its market quickly, new smart phone OS which is based on Linux and Java. While iPhone OS is proving itself too much conservative, Android is proving its flexibility. The other advantage is that it is installed on multiple phones, devices while iPhone OS is used on iPhone only. Adobe and Google's partnership is not ignorable in the present scenario when Apple just has banned somehow the entrance of flash on iPhone. Although they have (at last) provided a framework for flash on Mac OS X.
The scenario is going to be very interesting in the coming days. Flash is something which was always a powerful RIA framework and multimedia format. Microsoft Silver Light is lacking behind somehow now and Java Flex is still in coma. We do not hear what is going on under the cover in Flex. So lets wait and watch, what's gonna happen.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Should A Translator be a Native Speaker of Target Language?

This is the question my juniors were asking last day from me. They are actually having a course titled Translation Studies in their second semester of Masters in Applied Linguistics. And this was the assignment topic they got from Javed Sahab. I was moving to my class room when they surrounded me and asked Shakir bhai we need your help. And after knowing about the topic I tried to convince them why a translator should be a native speaker of the target language.
There may be other cases as well, like native speaker of source language but having good proficiency in target language. But my point of view was that in today's world, translation agencies and firms restrict recruitment of only those translators which are native speakers of the target language. I am a native speaker of Urdu and Punjabi and work as a freelance translator from last 3 years, so I know the rules of the business. Why they do so? What are the advantages of all this restriction? I tried to explain in the light of my personal experience. And below I'll try to summarize the points I discussed with them.
  • Translation studies moved from a textual focus to contextual focus and now a days having a focus on culture and cultural meaning and information. If the translator is a native speaker of the target language it would be easy for him to understand his own context and to select appropriate structures while translating.
  • Cultures have differences. While I am a native speaker I can work better to bridge these differences because I know my culture very well than any one else who may be proficient in my language but may not be equally aware of the culture.
  • We have two kinds of knowledge of language: productive and receptive. I am a native speaker of Urdu and I have thousands of words for expressing my thoughts in Urdu, but at the same time I know English very well, but as compared to Urdu I do not have that such a wide range of words and vocabulary available to express my thoughts in English. There is a certain kind of hesitation. I personally prefer to translate from English to Urdu rather than Urdu to English (even the reverse is done by me several times, but again the preference is the first choice). So I have very good productive knowledge of Urdu but not of English. So I take help of dictionary to help me in understanding English and then I translate it to Urdu.
  • Being a native speaker of Urdu, I have the communicative competence. Although the same I have for English as well but the knowledge of usage, idiomatic expressions, phrases etc which I have for Urdu, I cannot have for English because I am not a native speaker. So I would always have more than 1 choices available while translating from English to Urdu which would be less likely true in case of Urdu to English. And I would choose best word or expression according to context and formality level.
  • One of the participants was disagreeing with me, she had the opinion that to understand the sense of the word we should be a native speaker of source language. While this may be helpful to understand the sense, again the point is the cultural knowledge, productive knowledge and usage conventions are the areas where a native speaker proves his superiority over a second or foreign language speaker.
Nothing is perfect in the world and so are the translations. We have to risk one thing for another. Meaning can never be conveyed 100%, there are always connotations, associations and hidden meaning which are left behind in the source language. But the goal of a translator is to get the maximum out of source language through the process of translation. This is the essence of translation.

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010

    Ubuntu Sources List Generator

    Ubuntu Sources List Generator is a simple web page based GUI which helps you to generate a sources list for your Ubuntu installation. It includes official repositories, partner repositories and other 3rd party tools' repositories like Skype. If you are new to Linux, and wondering what is a repository? A repository is a software store for a Linux distribution which contains all the software packages you can use on that distribution. Thus you use reliable sources for software installation. This strategy increases the security and defense against badware.

    Monday, April 19, 2010

    The State of Affairs at Government College University Faisalabad

    GCUF is the university created in the 'revolutionary' period of general retired Pervaiz Musharaf. It is one of the govt. colleges which were converted to universities in bulk after the 'revolution' back in 2000. It was given the status of university in 2001 and since then this newly born university is in problems.
    The biggest of all is the attitude of the administration and students of this university. The administration of the university always tries to create monopoly. They pull each other down to progress and they do not want to bear anyone who is 'outsider'. Here outsider means someone appointed as vice chancellor from an other city/university. The administration is too corrupt, monopolist and seeking for their own benefit from the official funds of the university. Current vice chancellor is on his designation because he has a link with the current governor of Punjab Mr. Salam Taseer, otherwise this person is not of worth to even be considered as a dean of university. Far more superior and having high impact factor officials who can run the university far better are waiting outside to be considered for this post, but the governor just wrote a line on the appointment letter of this vice chancellor 'till November 2010', so he is enjoying this job politically. There are two lobbies in the university, pro-vc and against-vc. And the pro-vc lobby is obviously dominant, always suppressing others and always seeking for their own benefit. The corruption of the administration and illegal usage of the funds let the university at a state that sometimes it does not have funds to pay for daily expenses of the departments e.g. the stationary expenses. There are four blocks in the university, 1 is funded by a former student and it was the very first constructed portion of the newly born university, a new block is constructed by govt. funds and other two are left unreconstructed, the structure is complete but for the furnishing university has not funds and so the case with government which also does not have any funds. Like other universities, it has the problem of political parties. After the rehabilitation of 'democracy' various sub-organizations of parties like PML-N and PPP started showing their power on the walls of university. Now they have groupings within themselves, they quarrel with each other, they break the rules of university but no one can stop them because of their strong political back hand. At last the teaching system of university is too week, their is a reputation of this university in the marked as a time-pass university: people say that it is the best place in Faisalabad where you may go and have a date with your partner. This negative image is being 'positivised' by banning 'couples' and even mixed groups of students sitting in university, they are fined and warned but again the ones with political back hand are exempted. But there are no serious efforts made to create a study oriented environment.
    The current problem is related to study. We are always facing new marking schemes, GPA rules, passing criteria and soforth. Same happened last weak when the passing and marking criteria was changed and students showed their anger. The next day a notification was distributed telling that the previous criteria is restored but again there were hidden problems. There was a distinction made in the criteria for morning and evening (which are studying on self finance basis) students. So the rebels created violence, they lambasted the security guards and eventually police was called. After the inner violation they marched towards district council and raised slogans for the removal of current VC. The university remained close last 2 days of previous weak and the signs are still not positive. It looks that this violence would continue. A video is shared here to let you have an insight of the current situation. More can be seen here.

    Sunday, April 18, 2010

    Loadshedding in Faislabad

    From last day's morning, suddenly the load shedding is increased in Faisalabad. We usually have a load shedding of 10 hours or less but now it is round about 15 hours or so. Light break down started from 8:10 yesterday and lasted 12:00 am almost.Then from 2:00 pm it lasted uptil 5 pm. I was expecting a 5 to 11 non stop supply but it was again shut down before 8:00 pm and then it came after 10. Again from 11 pm last night to 4 am of this morning, the light was off. The total of all this duration exceeds 15 hours, and it is not the end still upto 8 am of this morning at least 2 hours would be of load shedding means upto 18 hours. It looks again we'll have to some 'strieky' things and violence. I am unable to understand where the lite is going, why they do not tell that the exact situation and why they are doing so. They give light to one city while other cities are doing strikes and violence. Then they suddenly stop providing enough light to one city and start giving it to another becoming more violent city to calm them down.
    That's Rubbish

    Friday, April 16, 2010

    Oracle: Death Eater or Lover for Open Source?

    Sun Microsystems 'was' one of the biggest competitors of Microsoft in open source world. It is true they ruled the world with Java and its bi-products but when Microsoft challenged the rule of Java on internet by introducing .Net framework and a new Java like language C#, Sun became more open. Whether it was a business decision or it was really the love of open source world that Sun opened up regarding Java. Sun opened up Java round about 3 years ago. Sun was the biggest contributor to, the one and only open source office suit which can some how face MS Office. Sun was going well and every thing was going happily. But........ real world is not like the stories of princes and princesses who live happily always, so Sun had to face the challenge. A big fish Oracle proposed Sub to be eaten, and Sun agreed. And now Sun is gradually being eaten by Oracle.
    That is the fate of small companies that they are eaten up or in more 'technical terms' acquired by bigger ones. First MySql was acquired by Sun and then Oracle acquired Sun. And the result was that the only open source and low cost competitor of Oracle Enterprise Database is no longer harmful for Oracle. Because they are now (step) brothers. Though Oracle is promising to run MySQL as it was run previously but they are in better ever position to keep MySQL 'on track' now.
    Java is something for which Sun is known in the open source world, specially after the opensourcing of Java. Java introduced new competing technologies under the banner of Sun as JavaFX. But it is moving slowly since a year or so, obviously it is due to the replanning which is taking place in Sun after the acquisition by Oracle.
    Open Solaris is a Unix like operating system and again it was open source. But the community governing the matters of Open Solaris is now being frustrated by the silence of Oracle regarding the future of the operating system. Would it be of worth for Oracle in the case that they already have a fork of Redhat Enterprise Linux names Oracle Unbreakable Linux. Well, people at Open Solaris community are even willing to fork the project and continue it independently. Whether it would be good or bad, or whether Open Solaris would continue its existence or die slowly, the time will tell about it.
    Sun was a big contributor to open source OOo, Java, Open Solaris and MySQL are now looking at Oracle for the future. Out of all, I think OOo is somehow independent and is going well. MySQL is now more business oriented and no more free bits as yummy as they were some time in near past. Java is still in a state of coma, and Open Solaris: there looks something hot under the surface of calmness. Let us see what happens.