* Name:Michelle Harris
Web Page / Blog / Microblog:twitter.com/djafifa
Education completed or in progress (i.e., university, major/concentration, degree level, and graduation year)::University of the West Indies Mona, PhD Sustainable Development 2014
How did you hear about this program?:Through FLOSSIE on Facebook. “Flossie is a network for women using Free/Libre Software in digital arts, social change movements, research, education and NGOs”.
Please describe your experience with Debian as a user and as a contributor (Please include the information about the required contribution you made to the project you are interested in here): I have not used Debian before now. I have a general interest in open source operating systems/GNU/Linux so I was aware of it before. I have attempted to install Debian one of my machines but I was experiencing hard drive problems. My contribution to the Debian community was around translating the Debian installer into my native language (Patois or Jamaican English). I translated 42 strings into patois. It was exciting doing the translation and the documentation and the tools that were provided to guide this was very clear as well as the support from my mentor. This made the experience good and I felt that I had discovered new skills and interest because of the interaction.
Please describe your experience with any other FOSS projects as a user and as a contributor::I have not made any contribution to FOSS projects to date. This Debian Project would be the first.
Please describe any relevant projects that you have worked on previously and what knowledge you gained from working on them::I worked on a Technology in Education Programme for 2 years with the Government of Jamaica. The Government endorses the use of Microsoft Products in its Ministries and Schools and there is always a huge cost involved in acquiring and equipping a new computer for schools. I began to understand the relationship between different groups in the school system and technology, computer and computer software. I gained knowledge around identifying the technology needs of teachers administrators and students and how to design training programmes for teachers to understand and use technology in their classroom. I also began to understand better what kinds of software applications were needed and could be created for both teachers and students. While working on this project I created a prototype for an ebook series that would be used to address the problem of Adult literacy in Jamaica.
What project(s) are you interested in (these can be in the same or different organizations)?:At the moment I am mostly interested in Non-coding projects. It gives me an opportunity to understand and work on different ways for diverse groups of people to interact with technology and software. The non-coding projects allow me to take an anthropological approach to technology. I am very interested in the Localization and internationalization of software opportunity created by Debian and therefore the possibility for translating the installer into my native language. I am also interested in User design research and testing/starting a open source movement in regions such as the Caribbean.
Who is a possible mentor for the project you are most interested in?:Christian Perrier
Please describe the details and the timeline of the work you plan to accomplish on the project you are most interested in (discuss these first with the mentor of the project)::December-January 2014 Completing the initial steps ( The New language process)-3 weeks
January – March 2014 Sublevel 1-5 translation on average 20 strings per day for 100 days
Will you have any other time commitments, such as school work, another job, planned vacation, etc., between December 10, 2013 and March 10, 2014?:NO
Background: something about yourself: technical skills, experience, etc. Who are you?:I am an artist and a dj. I explore all dimensions of life through art and music. I have recently become interested in video games and comics. I am always research interesting things and thinking about the idea of creativity and innovation. I completed a PhD in Sustainable Development focusing on Information and Communication Technology Policies in Jamaica. I follow the history and development of technology and the relationship between technology and society. I have explored website design and the use of Content Management systems such as Joomla, Drupal and Wordpress, as well as graphic design. I have explored computer repairs and e-waste management. I have worked for two years on a technology and education programme for a Adult literacy organization in my country. I am currently working as a programme manager for a technology innovation project with the government.
Why Debian? Why are you choosing Debian? What attracts you about Debian? :I like the idea of Linux distributions as an alternative to proprietary software. I believe that more persons organization and governments should understand the value of free and open source software. The philosophy of the GNU/LINU project is one I think has changed the world of technology and has created valuable examples of the positive power of community and technology. I am choosing Debian because it allows me to work on two interesting and valuable ideas; firstly How do we recognize global diversity and how do we create something that people all over the world can feel apart of and feel like they own. Secondly how do we allow more people to utlise the software by presenting it in their own language. So far I have received very good support from my mentor. Even though I have never worked on FOSS projects before I believe Debian is a good place for me to learn more about the community, the software and develop my interest in coding and working with technology.
Are you applying for other projects in OPW? Note that letting us know about this does not impact your chances of acceptance or rejection with us; we ask this because it helps us to resolve deduplications wherein an applicant is accepted for multiple projects.:No