Good news everybody :-)
I found out yesterday that my proposal was one of ten from the Debian project selected for the Google Summer of Code 2009. So right now I’m getting pretty excited to start working on things.
I have quite a few things to do once exams finish – they begin with e-mailing the KDE-Bindings mailing list and finding the most appropriate home for a code repository. Likely this will be in the kde-bindings subversion, if I can get a commit bit there.
Another thing I need to do is contact the current maintainer of perlqt4 and make some plans there. I’ll probably need to take a first look at that module too.
In all, there were about 1000 accepted proposals and 4000 total. In the Debian project, we had 40 proposals and 10 finally accepted, so the odds were roughly the same as the average. I’m glad I get to work on something I love for the summer, but right now I’ve gotta focus on exams.
The good news is that exams will finish in a week, and then I can get coding!
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As some of you know, I’ve applied to this year’s Google Summer of Code (GSoC). In particular, I am interested in working with the Debian project, but my proposal has impact in a few other communities, including KDE’s Qt project and Perl.
Every year, Google provides students with a $4500USD stipend to work on an open source proposal that they submit. Additionally, they provide $500 to the organizations that mentor students.
Last year, there were 1125 students/proposals accepted for the Google Summer of Code, which means that Google was prepared to invest over $5M in the development of open source software, the development of which does not directly benefit them. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a pretty good case of “Don’t be evil” to me.
My proposal is mainly on two fronts:
- The Debian control files are the backbone of Debian’s package system. Each package has a file that describes things like dependencies, so that tools like APT and Aptitude can use them to provide access to a rich package-based repository of software. Part of my proposal involves providing a programmatic interface for handling these files, which I’m told sounds like a boring task. That might be true, but the huge positive ramifications it has for my favourite operating system are compelling enough for me to want to work on it.
- Perhaps more interestingly is the K Desktop Environment, which is a project to provide a pretty easy-to-use graphical interface for Linux. Along with this is a toolkit for creating applets called Qt (and indeed, the resulting interfaces are cuties). One of the problems for Debian though is no complete implementation of a Perl interface to this toolkit, which is something I hope to change.
While the second task looks a bit scary at first (since I don’t know anything about KDE4 or Qt4 yet), I’m confident my experience playing with foreign function interfaces in Perl using XS will reduce the learning curve substantially.
I’m quite anxious to find out the results. My project is one of twelve that have been shortlisted by the Debian GSoC people as projects that they would like to see funded. If you’re bored or otherwise interested, you can read the full text online. The results will be published and announced on April 20th at some point, so I’ll be getting increasingly nervous as we get closer to that date.
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