code sprint

Arab Techies mentioned in an academic research on Access to Knowledge in Egypt

Arab Techies and our code sprint are mentioned in the new academic publication Access to Knowledge in Egypt: New Research on Intellectual Property,
Innovation and Development Edited by Nagla Rizk and Lea Shaver:

"Efforts to promote eCulture should also be encouraged from the bottom
up. In parallel to the MCIT projects, initiatives on a grassroots level
are also endeavoring to expand the Arabic-language presence on the web.
The Arab Techies Group is a case in point. Convened in 2008, the group
first met to discuss ICT issues that pertain to community support and
access to knowledge, concluding that Arabic support problems are
consistent. For example, existing Arabic search technology, an
important pillar for research and development, does not match with the
rapidly growing content on the web. The group also agreed that
improving Arabic digital content will require a broader spread of
language processing tools, ideally in the form of widely affordable
OSS. Hence, the group came up with the idea of developing a code
sprint, whereby they will work together on creating an open source
solution around language tools.


إصدارات ماراثون البرمجة

يعلن تقنيون عرب بكل فخر عن نتائج و إصدارات ماراثون البرمجة الذي عقد في القاهرة 20 - 23 مايو 2009.

أصدرنا 10 مشاريع، منها: مكتبات برمجية لتحسين البحث و فهرسة النصوص العربية للغات PHP و Python و Ruby، وحدات و ملحقات لدروبال و وريدبريس تعزز تجربة المستخدم العربي، مصرف أفعال و مفرع صرفي.

و لكن ليس كل ما ينقصنا في تحسين و تشجيع المحتوى العربي على الوب و تعزيز تجربة المستخدم العربي يمكن حله بالبرمجة. فنحن نفتقد بشدة لمجاميع لغوية عربية مصنفة جيدا و مفتوحة الوصول، و هو موضوع أثير كثيرا فى تجمع تقنيين عرب الأول، ديسمبر 2009.

كمساهمة متواضعة منا لتحسين المجاميع الغوية مفتوحة الوصول، أصدرنا قائمة مصنفة بالكلمات العربية المستبعدة.

وبصرف النظر عن البيانات اللغوية و البرمجيات، توجد مشاكل آخرى يواجهها المستخدم العربي، تحل على نحو أفضل من خلال توثيق أفضل الممارسات. و لذلك يسعدنا أن نقدم لكم المسودة الأولى لوثيقة "نصائح لتطوير واجهات مواقع ويب عربية أو ثنائية الاتجاه".

المشاريع مستضافة على مساحة مشاريع تقنيين عرب.


Code Sprint Releases

Arab Techies proudly announce the release of the first outcomes of a four days Arabization Codesprint, which was held in Cairo, 20 - 23 May 2009.

We are releasing 10 projects including libraries to improve search normalization and indexing of arabic text for PHP, Python and Ruby, Modules and Plugins for Drupal and Wordpress that enhance the user experience of arab speaking users. and a Arabic stemmer and Verb conjugator.

But some of the missing pieces in improving and encouraging Arabic content on the web and a providing a better computing experience for Arabic speaking users are not solved by code.

Well classified open access Arabic language corpora and linguistic data is sorely missing, a point that was strongly emphasized in the 1st Arab Techies gathering.

As a modest contribution towards improving open access corpora Arab Techies has released a classified Arabic Stop-Words list

Apart from code and linguistic data some problems are better solved by documenting best practices, we proudly present the first draft of the "RTL design best practices and examples" document.

The projects are hosted on Arab Techies Projects Space. For more details visit each project page. We crave feedback on the projects' discussion pages, whether it's a bug report or a suggestion.


عن ما حدث في ماراثون البرمجة 2009

عقد ماراثون البرمجة 2009 بالنادي0السويسري بالقاهرة، مصر وقد بدأ يوم 20 مايو بحضور
15 مشارك من دول عربية
مختلفة: الأردن، تونس، الجزائر، سوريا، لبنان، المغرب، مصر و اليمن.

بعد التعارف و التعرف على توقعات المشاركين، حوافزهم للمشاركة بالماراثون،
اللغات البرمجية التي يودون استخدامها و المشاريع مفتوحة المصدر التي
يرغبون في إثرائها، بدأت البرمجة.

كان اليوم يبدأ بلفة على المشاركين
للإجابة عن سؤال معين (الأكلة المفضلة، المكان المفضل، المشروع الذي تريد
تطويره إذا أتيح لك تمويل غير محدود، إلخ)، ثم تقرير من كل مشارك على
المهام التي قام بها في الجالسة السابقة و الموضوع الذي يود العمل عليه في
الجلسة التالية، و من خلال رغبات الجميع يظهر لنا المواضيع الأكثر
أهمية و ينقسم جميع المشاركين للعمل على ثلاثة أو أربع مواضيع، و تبدأ


Arab Techies Code Sprint 2009: Day 4 (final day)

We started the final day of the code sprint with a go-round on each one's favorite place/location/spot limited to this universe ;-)

We went into our last round of report-backs of what everyone has done the day before:
Linuxawy, Mostafa, Riham and Taha spent the last portion of the day before on stopwords, Waheed and Riham worked together on the Ruby plugin for language detection but they faced performance problems. Bassem and Khaled Hosny worked on developing a python bot for the Arabic wikipedia to fix the common spelling mistakes after they had a discussion with Taha. Alaa, Khaled Hosny and Dr. Noha had a discussion on clustering.

Mostafa has also worked on an interface for Taha's conjugator, BooDy and Slim worked on Ar-PHP refactoring and integration, Hjiouij finalised the RTL design document and Djihed documented the discussions they had earlier on social localisation tools.

Khaled Al Shamaa continued working on incorporating some of the work done by the other teams in the new version of Ar-PHP, and Amr released the FireFox Yamli extension and spent sometime packaging a Drupal module to integrate the Arabic comma as a separator for Drupal tags.


ماراثون برمجة مايو 2009

كل ما له علاقة بماراثون البرمجة من تحضير و توثيق و تقارير


Arab Techies Code Sprint 2009: Day 2 & 3

We started the second day with a Go-Round of our favorite meal, it's always interesting to learn about our slightly different cultures, for example techies from the west are fond of eating Whale Kouskous 'Kouskousy bel 7oot' which after some explanation turns out that it doesnt contain any whale at all, but they use the word 'whale' to mean fish :)

Straight away, we had another go round of report backs from each person on their progress the day before and their plan for the day:

Amr was almost done with the Yamli FireFox extension and wanted to work afterwards on a new topic, Waheed was almost done with Yamli and wanted to work on language detection, Slim who also worked on Yamli was less optimistic than Amr and Waheed because they kept finding bugs.


Arab Techies Code Sprint 2009: Day 1

After 2 months of ongoing planning, communications and discussions, the Arab Techies Code Sprint has finally started on May 20th.

Although a couple of participants were not able to join us due to some personal emergencies, we cant complain! In the end we got more participants than the original 10 we planned for, and we will hopefully get a couple more guests to visit us over the weekend.

The first day started smoothly and on time. We arrived 15 minutes early to the Swiss Club where the sprint is held. Arab Techies has rented this lovely space which provided us with multiple comfortable areas for the group breakouts and a lovely garden to enjoy a bit of sun and fresh air in the breaks.


Code sprint planning


Participants list :
Flamenco Hotel Zamalek
Swiss Club - they have a map on the website.
Venue directions
go to Kitkat square, then go int Sudan st., take the 3rd left and in the end you will find the Swiss Club
Wed 20th - Sat 23rd May 2009


Pickup from Hotel Flamenco
Sessions Start
Coffee Break
Sessions Continue
Lunch Break
Sessions Continue
Sessions End (Soft ending, participants can stop when they get tired or can continue after 6 if they want to.)


suggest a task for the code sprint, please add detailed description of the problem you want addressed, on what projects do you expect to use the code and which programming language should be used.

Arabic text normalization

Normalize text for searching stripping away tashkil, kashida as well as normalize for common spelling mistakes like wrong hamza, confusion over ya2 at end of word, ha2 marbouta instead of t

Non availability of arabic keyboard

Solution :

What we can do :
  • make a yamli greasemonkey script that can embed yamli in any page
  • make a yamli bookmarklet that can embed yamli in any page
  • make a yamli firefox extension that can embed yamli in any page

I, personnaly, find yamli very useful and I use it very often in situations where I can't have an arabic keyboard.

-- Slim

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