picture of Sumana's head

Sumana Harihareswara's Writing, Software, Art, & Zines

I've made a lot of things -- nonfiction and fiction, art, software, zines, and whatnot. Below I list many of them -- though there's a separate page for my speeches, presentations, and interviews, and I don't list below individual entries in the weblog I've been keeping since 2000, or entries among my posts on the Geek Feminism blog or the Wikimedia Foundation blog. And if you're only interested in the technology-related works, my list of resources on the Changeset Consulting site lists several talks and essays I've produced that have useful or interesting things to say on open source software management.

Nonfiction

  1. Sampler ebook of Getting Unstuck: Advice For Open Source Projects: December 31, 2020
  2. A series of short story recommendations on MetaFilter: August-October 2020
  3. "Rejuvenating Autoconf" in LWN: October 23, 2020
  4. "On The Art of Python 2019" ("Why I Did This" and "How I Did This"): October 9, 2019
  5. "A new package index for Python" in LWN: April 11, 2018
  6. Testimony in a New York State public hearing on government oversight of forensic laboratories: February 8, 2017
  7. "Toward a !!Con Aesthetic" in The Recompiler: September 2016
  8. "Intertextuality, Feminism, and Reinforced Arguments in Thessaly" in Crooked Timber: February 1, 2016
  9. "The Uses Of History in Hamilton: An American Musical" in Tor.com: December 21, 2015
  10. "Software In Person" in Model View Culture: September 16, 2015
  11. "Where are the women in the history of open source?" in Crooked Timber: May 21, 2015
  12. "Games, simulation, difference and insignificance in The Restoration Game & The Human Front" in Crooked Timber: May 13, 2015
  13. "User Experience is a Social Justice Issue" in code4lib Journal: April 15, 2015
  14. "Codes of conduct and the trade-offs of copyleft" in Crooked Timber: April 10, 2015
  15. "Mailman 3.0 to modernize mailing lists" in LWN: March 27, 2015
  16. "Open food developers have an ancient message for you" with Alex Bayley in opensource.com: November 25, 2014
  17. "MediaWiki" (a history and architectural overview), with Guillaume Paumier, as a chapter in The Architecture of Open Source Applications, Volume II: March 30, 2012
  18. Description of the Launchpad code review and deployment process on mediawiki.org: September 2011
  19. "PyGTK, GObject, and GNOME 3" (interview with Tomeu Vizoso and John “J5” Palmieri) in GNOME Journal: April 6, 2011
  20. "PHP-GTK, Widgets & Gadgets: An Interview With Elizabeth Smith" in GNOME Journal: June 10, 2010
  21. "Canonical, Upgrading GNOME Bugzilla, and Commercial Sponsorship" (a case study of commercial open source sponsorship, specifically Canonical's investment in GNOME bug-tracking infrastructure) in GNOME Journal: March 30, 2010
  22. "Telepathy Overview" (an overview of the Telepathy real-time communications framework) in GNOME Journal: November 23, 2009
  23. Legal Summit for Software Freedom 2007 (summaries of speeches by the Software Freedom Law Center): October 12, 2007
  24. Intellectual property crash course: Patents, copyrights, trade secrets, and trademarks (notes from a law and technology class: February 12, 2007
  25. My weekly column (called "MC Masala") for the ANG Newspaper Group (several newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area): April 2005-August 2007
  26. Several articles in Salon (Major works: on Star Trek, an Indian call center, and TV cooking shows. Minor works included a poem about my pinky finger, a review of an organic food delivery service, an interview with the makers of "Uncle Morty's Dub Shack", and criticisms of "Star Wars" and "Friends"): 2003-2005
  27. A comparison of consumer products concerning menstruation, providing simple explanations of the pros and cons of pads, tampons, cups, and similar women's products: begun circa 2001, last updated July 2014.
  28. Syllabus and essay prompts/suggestions for "Politics in Modern Science Fiction", a course that I conceived, developed, and taught at UC Berkeley while an undergraduate there: spring 2001
  29. My editor's note as Youth Editor for the 2001 Kannada Koota Magazine: 2001

Fiction

I write a bit of fanfiction now and then at Archive of Our Own. More interesting works include:

  1. "Security Question", a thought experiment about security infrastructure in Star Wars: January 4, 2016
  2. "Pops Real Nice", three glimpses of a family from 1975 to 2015: December 19, 2015
  3. "Swine's Arrow", topical political satire as Star Trek fanfiction: September 21, 2015

In 2009 I edited Thoughtcrime Experiments, an anthology of new, previously unpublished science fiction. It's available online and in a print-on-demand edition under a Creative Commons license.

I also wrote "If Shakespeare Wrote Error Messages", a Segfault parody piece that you might have received as an email forward.

Software

Randomized Dystopia: Are you tired of the same old dystopias? Why not write about tyrannies that deny different rights?

An iCalendar file munging script.

Technothriller Book Review Partially In The Form Of A Python Exercise.

Code for the site for my old newspaper columns, using Beautiful Soup and a simple search engine.

(Less worth your attention: A fake presidential speech generator with a Mad Libs element, a "missing from Wikipedia" tool, an "obscure fact from Wikipedia" tool, a short Ren'Py game, "Where on the Oregon Trail is Carmen Sandiego?", a scifi novel title generator.)

My software is mostly on GitHub or GitLab. (One exception: "Brrrasaurus!" is my small, silly interactive fiction game in Inform 7. You can download and play "Brrrasaurus!" if you have a Z5 interpreter, such as Frotz.)

I have also contributed to several large open source projects, such as Zulip, GNU Mailman, MediaWiki, and GNOME; for more, see my consulting site.

Art

Leonard and Sumana at a
filming of 'Uncle Morty's Dub Shack' My stand-up comedy earned me a funny interview with Robert Berdahl on "Bear in Mind" (summary, transcript, RealAudio recording link that probably does not work anymore) and a reference on InPassing. More of my stand-up is available via my Talks page.

I made a video to help the Software Freedom Conservancy in its December 2015 fundraiser (text script).

I made a music video for Leonard Richardson's song "The Whiskey Rebellion Activity Zone".

I made the fanvid "Pipeline" which reuses Taylor Swift's song "Blank Space" and approximately 50 distinct sources of visuals to critique the technology industry's approach to diversity. (I also made a much smaller vid, "In the Pale Dublight", along the way.)

Zines

  1. Cat, Dog, and Badger Each Own A Bookstore. They Are Friends.: February 2014
  2. Quill & Scroll (with Brendan Adkins): December 2014
  3. Playing With Python: Two of My Favorite Lenses: October 2016

Sumana performing stand-up comedy at A Cuppa Tea in Berkeley, California circa 2002

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