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Home Ashwin Date
Ashwin Date

Ashwin Date

Twitter: @coolbung

Experience with Joomla!:
Ashwin has been working with Joomla since the days when it was called as 'Mambo'. Ashwin actively participates in Joomla development when he can spare the time by submitting patches & helping point people in the right direction on the Joomla community forums. His hands on experience in Joomla Extension development & up to date knowledge are huge help in making our sessions effective.

Short Bio:
Joomla Freak, Cook , Mad about Biking, Entrepreneur - part of company that does Open Source & outdoors!  Director at Tekdi Web Solutions, An Open Source Product & Services Company.

OS of Choice: Fedora, Though likes to experiment.

Ashwin is a Mechanical Engineering Graduate from Pune University.

Website URL: E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Saturday, 21 May 2011 21:51

How Joomla will help rural employment

NREGA LogoA few months back I came across an interesting website - It's a great place for technology experts to lend help to non-profits. And a few days back, someone working on a NREGA project called me up asking for help. It turned out it he was a fellow trek - mate and an old friend.. Small world indeed! Now I have a weekends-only, non-paid but highly rewarding job :) Apart from  myself, there's Nikhil, Suvikas, Milind & Mrinmayee on the team and we expect a few more to board ship soon! And of course there's Priyadarshan who's going to be the first client for the application!
Now to the interesting part -

Some Background

NREGA is the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act passed by the Indian parliament in 2005. With this act, employment has become a right of rural citizen as it guarantees 100 days of unskilled employment to a rural household. Last year budgeted expenses were at Rs 40,000 Cr. The budgets and spending under this scheme are meticulously uploaded to the NREGA website. The current project aims to making available the information from the NREGA website in a user friendly way to the target users - NGOs, grass-root activists, administration -  thereby empowering them with information, and (in a later phase), provide a collaboration platform for them  to work with each other.

The challenges

Though the NREGA site has a lot of data - state/district/taluka/gram panchayat level details of the works, expenditures etc it's represented poorly and not very easy to work with. They do offer an export to excel but that too has the same issues. Here's an example link - The data itself definitely seems to come from a database, but its hard to get hold of the database, so an alternative means of fetching, storing, processing & displaying the data is needed.

The solution

Since there's no direct database access, we revert to good old scraping to get all the data and store it in a MySQL database. Next, we lay the data in a neat, meaningful format with lots of options to be able to sort, filter and drill down the data. I learnt a lot about the power of Nooku at JandBeyond and am planning to put that knowledge to good use. Once the database & scraper is ready we plan to implement a Nooku based extension to show the data. Here's the mockup of the page done by one of the team members -

eNREGA layout

Joomla's Role

Providing a robust and scalable platform to build this application on. Extensions like Nooku and Joomfish will provide the much needed power to implement the drilldowns and multi-lingual facilities for non-English users.

Finalising the database structure is something that is being done right now, and once that is done, I hope I would be able to work up the UI pretty soon with some Nooku magic!  I will be writing more as we proceed through this project. Ideas, thoughts any kind of help is appreciated!

Monday, 18 October 2010 13:55

Khandenavmi, Dasera Celebrations at Tekdi

Dasera is a celebration of the triumph of good over evil. The celebration starts with paying respects to instruments and then proceeds with distribution of the apta leaves which are considered auspicious.

We started with decorating all the computers, printers laptops etc with bright orange marigold flowers and then distributed a prasad of Coconut and sugar, and later had some tasty bhel.

Finally, in keeping with our resolve to preserve nature, we distributed Apta saplings instead of chopping branches to gather leaves. Here are some photos from the event -

Saturday, 16 October 2010 13:34

PHP,Joomla Developers

PHP-Joomla Developers

If the you are a Problem solver, Team player and love accepting challenges while delivering with utmost perfection, then we are eagerly awaiting your application!

We are looking for dependable Joomla Developers who are Self driven and give importance to details to create great quality Joomla applications which can be integrated and run smoothly as per International standards.

The work demands creative flair, up-to-date knowledge of industry software and a professional approach. Excellent English Verbal & Written communication is a must. 

Open Positions

Jr. Developers (3 Positions Open)
Sr. Developers (3 Positions Open)

Compensation Range

For Jr. developers - 10k to 25k CTC pm

For Sr. developers - 25k to 40k CTC pm


BE (IT / Computers) / BCA / MCA / MCM


For Jr. Developers - Min. 1 year to 2 years PHP experience necessary. Joomla experience will be advantageous.
For Sr. Developers - Above 2 years and below 5 years of experience in PHP and Joomla both.

Key Responsibility Areas

1. R & D and prototyping
2. Innovating on process and development
3. Coding as per productivity matrix
4. Guide and Train Juniors
5. Contribution to common code
6. Contribution to open source
7. Project Documentation
8. Effective communication
9. On Time project delivery
10. Following company defined coding standards

Essentials Skills

1. Must be passionate about open source technologies
2. Must be proficient in PHP, Jquery, Javascript
3. Must be excellent in Joomla development
4. Must do basic testing, HTML - CSS
5. Must have Problem solving & Analytical skills
6. Must possess ability to multitask, prioritize and work under tight deadlines and high volume.

Wednesday, 01 September 2010 18:55

Joomla turns 5 at Tekdi

Joomla turned 5 on the 1st of September 2010. We had a short celebration in the office today. Here are some snaps of the same.

The Tekdi & Techjoomla team

Birthday cake for Joomla

Joomla turns 5

Friday, 06 August 2010 23:22

SugarCRM & redmine integration

At Tekdi we've been using SugarCRM since long to manage all the customers leads and other possible data. The part after that - a solid project management system has always been a point of contention and we've switched to and fro with many systems, notably dotproject (DP). Recently I got to know about redmine and since then have shifted over to the same.

To ease things, previously I had created a small bridge between Sugar and dotproject that automagically creates a project in DP once an opportunity is marked as 'closed won'. This was easily managed since both systems are PHP.

Enter redmine and I was looking at a something written in ruby/rails - hieroglyphics to me ! I soon realised that it had a rest api that allowed creating projects. However when I tried to use the API it kept on giving errors and I was left with directly dealing with the MySQL db. Upon seeing that redmine uses the Nested set model to store data I simply gave up  the idea of creating a bridge.

Redmine then released v1.0.0in late July and the API is dramatically improved and works well. Now I could get my bridge to work. Creating a custom override in Sugar did the trick and I was now able to create projects in redmine.

To use the  bridge, place the Opportunities folder in the following folder in SugarCRM
[sugarcrm root]/custom/modules

Download bridge files

Tuesday, 13 April 2010 13:52

CB profile gallery to Jomsocial photos

A couple of weeks back, I wrote about a component that can convert posts from CB profilebook to JomSocial wall posts. At the same time we'd also developed another one to convert the images from the BC profile gallery plugin into JomSocial albums.

CB profilebook to JS walls migration

The tricky part here was the mammoth 5GB worth of photos that needed to be resized and refit to Jomsocial size & standard. I've implemented a batch size option so that only some photos are processed at every run.

The component created a single JomSocial album for each user and adds all their CB photos into that album.

As before, I'm attaching the script to this post so that people who're stuck at the same problem benefit from my script :). It's a simple single file component that you need to put in your administrator/components folder. Once done, simply run the component via the admin -

Download icon CB profile gallery to JomSocial photos

Saturday, 27 March 2010 10:15

CB profilebook to Jomsocial wall

Lately we've been receiving a steady flow of requests from people wanting to convert their Community Builder based websites into JomSocial ones. I'm not the best person to comment if this is a good trend, but it definitely does seem logical given the variety of features JomSocial offers. Add to that the developer-friendliness of Jomsocial and suddenly you have everyone wanting a JomSocial community!

CB profilebook to JS walls migration

We'd recently had one such request where there was a largish Joomla 1.0 based community site that needed to move over to JomSocial.

You'd say - Hey, use the JomSocial migrator (From CMS Market) and you're done. Of course we used it, and all the tables covered by that component were migrated. Though, a big problem I see for that component is that it does not seem to have a staggered import mechanism, so It always gave a memory error or a maximum execution time error. To overcome that I'd to copy that obese half a GB table on to our local development server, raise the limits to ridiculous levels (Both the execution times were made 1500s and the memory limit was 512MB) and then use the Jomsocial migrator. It worked this time and I was able to import the User data, connections and UDDEIM messages! The hits table which is 150M is still giving problems though. Agree this was a crude trick, but was the fastest option considering how fast clients need their projects delivered these days :)

The client also had several extra features apart from the regular CB ones. There were around 90,000 entries (worth 20MB) made using the profilebook plugin. These needed to go as JomSocial wall posts. I did some scrounging around and did not find any good script that did that, so ultimately needed to write one.

I'm attaching the script to this post so that people who're stuck at the same problem benefit from my script :). It's a simple single file component that you need to put in your administrator/components folder. Once done, simply run the component via the admin -
Note that this does not support staggered import either so you might get a memory issue if you have a large table.

Download icon CB Profilebook to JS walls migrator

We also needed to migrate the profile gallery plugin into Jomsocial albums. Will post the same later.

Thursday, 11 March 2010 17:45

Flying colours at Tekdi

The Tekdi office literally came out with flying colours a few days back! Everyone decided to play holi (rang panchmi) and suddenly the entire office was a much more colourful and lively. Below are some pictures from the holi-day!

Rang Panchmi at Tekdi
Rang Panchmi at Tekdi
Rang Panchmi at Tekdi
Rang Panchmi at Tekdi
Rang Panchmi at Tekdi