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Google Launches Summer of Code 2007 74

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the back-once-again dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Looks like Google has announced that it will be doing Summer of Code again this year. The program looks pretty much the same this year but they have built time into the program schedule for students to get up to speed before they start coding. Nice job, Google."
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Google Launches Summer of Code 2007

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  • Nerd much? (Score:5, Funny)

    by svunt (916464) on Friday February 16, 2007 @05:13AM (#18036166) Homepage Journal
    I just can't get over the name...'summer of code' seems exactly right for a nerded-up spring break.
    • by svadu (858161)
      "nerded-up spring break" - lol I need to write that down!
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 16, 2007 @06:20AM (#18036464)
      Nerds Gone WILD!!

      Buy it now, $9.99

      These nerds just cant wait to show you their interconnects. You've never seen anything like THIS before!
      • These nerds just cant wait to show you their interconnects. You've never seen anything like THIS before!
        And I'll make sure I never see anything like it again! Where's my H2SO4?
    • by rjshields (719665)
      Who modded this troll? It seems pretty insightful to me. Do yourself a favour and do something else instead. Travel, meet new people, see new places. You have the rest of your life to spend in front of a computer!
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by edschurr (999028)
        Retirees have more time and money to travel than anyone else, and your mind is at its peak when you're young.
        • by rjshields (719665)

          your mind is at its peak when you're young
          That's exactly why you should do something interesting rather than sitting behind a computer! All the people I know that "didn't get out much" are (now) very dull indeed.
          • your mind is at its peak when you're young

            That's exactly why you should do something interesting rather than sitting behind a computer! All the people I know that "didn't get out much" are (now) very dull indeed.
            You're apparently not the target demographic for this sort of thing then. I have a feeling that the successful applicants will find coding a real project very interesting indeed.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by rjshields (719665)

              You're apparently not the target demographic for this sort of thing then. I have a feeling that the successful applicants will find coding a real project very interesting indeed.

              Yes you're right. When you've spent all year sitting behind a computer studying or writing code, who could think of anything better to do than spend all summer sitting behind a computer writing code? Presumably this is aimed at same sort of person who closes all the blinds in the daytime and fills their room with artificial light.

              • against photophobics, you insensitive clod!
              • Whatever gave you the idea that PHP, Gaim, Xorg and so on are not real open source projects? While there's obviously no reason for you to participate, I don't see why you're saying that other people shouldn't - I'm sure most if not all people who take part find it interesting. In the case of CS students, it will probably give them something to put on their CV that they wouldn't otherwise have.
                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by rjshields (719665)

                  Whatever gave you the idea that PHP, Gaim, Xorg and so on are not real open source projects?

                  That's not what I said or thought and I'm not quite sure how you inferred that from my post! The point I was trying to make is that people who are really "into" their work will already be involved in projects in their spare time and so would not need anything extra to put on their CVs. They can then spend their summer break doing fun things other than coding. I really don't think it's healthy to spend 365 days a ye

      • by Vexorian (959249)

        Who modded this troll? It seems pretty insightful to me. Do yourself a favour and do something else instead. Travel, meet new people, see new places. You have the rest of your life to spend in front of a computer!
        Says an slashdot user...

        It is not really a nerded-up spring break, since it is a summer of code.
        • by rjshields (719665)
          Thing is I'm not sat behind a computer 24/7/365, just for the hours of my job and a few hours at home. I certainly wouldn't consider spending my holidays/vacations sitting behind a computer. Getting a balance of interests and experiences helps you to become a more rounded person instead of just a gibbering nerd...
          • Thing is I'm not sat behind a computer 24/7/365, just for the hours of my job and a few hours at home. I certainly wouldn't consider spending my holidays/vacations sitting behind a computer.

            From the Summer of Code goals page: [google.com]

            Google Summer of CodeTM has several goals:

            • Get more open source code created and released for the benefit of all
            • Inspire young developers to begin participating in open source development
            • Help open source projects identify and bring in new developers and committers
            • Provide students
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Look, you're on Slashdot. It really doesn't make sense to complain about nerdyness here.
      • by svunt (916464)
        Wow, so much reaction...I've got nothing against nerds, I just found the name amusing.
    • by TeknoHog (164938)

      "It was a summer's tale: just a boy, his Linux, and a head full of dreams..."

      (as seen on somebody's sig)

    • by hernyo (770695)
      Right - students should be motivated to fill their holiday with social activities instead. This geekism or workaholism will have side effects. Sooner or later.
  • by commisaro (1007549) on Friday February 16, 2007 @05:18AM (#18036198) Homepage
    Couldn't they make it the Winter of code? That was programmers could use the summer to maximize their sun exposure over the 2-3 days/year they spend outside!
    • by Trogre (513942) on Friday February 16, 2007 @05:53AM (#18036342) Homepage
      For half the world, they have.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by kestasjk (933987) *
        I'm in Australia, so it'll be for the winter, but the problem is that the winter holidays aren't as long as the summer ones at my uni. :(
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by chengmi (725888)
        The northern hemisphere (having much more land mass than the southern hemisphere) is home to 90% of the human population. So it's "Winter of Code" for only 10% of the world's population. That figure is much lower if you apply the "programmer" constraint.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by edschurr (999028)
      Four hours of minimum wage work will pay for a year's supply of Vitamin D3; who needs the "outside"? (As I understand it there is no ceiling).
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by hachete (473378)
      BALMER:
      Now is the winter of our discontent
      Made glorious summer by this sun of Google;
      And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
      In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
      Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
      Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
      Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
      Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
      Grim-visaged war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
      And now, instead of mounting barded steeds
      To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
      He capers nimbly in a lady's chamb
  • by PoopDaddy (1064616) on Friday February 16, 2007 @05:28AM (#18036228)
    "Nice job, Google."

    Google: "Thanks, Google PR employee"

  • project benefits (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Grumpy Wombat (899702) on Friday February 16, 2007 @05:50AM (#18036328)
    The SOC project might be worthwile from the point of view of the students gaining experience, but from what I have heard there has been a mixed reaction to the results from the projects they have been working on. Are there any metrics showing the net benefit (or otherwise) to the projects and the relative cost in supervision & reworking code (ie, we got equivalent productivity of say 0.7 of the mentors normal productivity for the time spent mentoring) and how many of the students went on to continue contributing to that or another open source project?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by TheoMurpse (729043)
      Yeah -- two years of Summer of Code funding for students working on gaim, and it still has yet to have a new (non-beta) release. It's getting close, to be fair. Also, from hearsay on the IRC dev channel on Freenode, the reason that video/voice hasn't been integrated into gaim like it was promised a year and a half ago is because one of the SOC workers changed the codebase so much that there was no way they could integrate v&v as easily as was originally planned.

      So basically, from my POV as a pretty inte
      • Re:project benefits (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 16, 2007 @06:19AM (#18036460)
        Or maybe the Gaim developers aren't very good managers and/or have poor code modularity, Inkscape just released a new version with blur coded via a GSoC project, Blender is about to release a version with the insanely great sculpting tools also done via GSoC.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 16, 2007 @08:35AM (#18037006)
        Gaim devs have years of practice doing exactly what you describe. If you had any familiarity with the project you shouldn't have expected anything else to have happened. Getting some SOC coders to work on the project is not going to completely turn it around.
      • by Jorrit (19549) on Friday February 16, 2007 @08:47AM (#18037072) Homepage
        That's only one case that you now mention. In our case (Crystal Space) every SoC programmer worked in his own SVN branch so there was no risk of the code being changed too much. I think most other projects also handled this in a similar way. So I don't see how this can qualify as a problem with the SoC program. If that same student had come to work for Gaim outside of SoC and if he would have done the same job then the same problem would have occured.

        Greetings,
      • Exactly! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jeffmeden (135043)
        This is just what I was going to say. This time around, google, PLEEEEASE put someone good on GAIM!!! Not that it's bad software, and I know that if I want it to improve I should shut up and fix it, but it would be nice to hear about SoC working for this project for once.
        • Google doesn't decide which students work for a particular project; the students apply to whatever project they want, and that project's administrators rank the proposals. The only thing Google decides is how many students each project gets to 'hire'.
      • by RLaager (200280)
        I'm a Gaim developer. This should be taken as my opinion, not as some statement from "the Gaim project". Certainly I don't claim to speak for other developers, though their opinions are likely to be similar.

        While I wish 2.0.0 "final" was out, the fact that it's called a "beta" is really irrelevant to everyone except plugin writers. Effectively, it's out, but we're not guaranteeing source/binary compatibility. I realize this is very sub-optimal, and I really want to see a 2.0.0 final soon as well. But, the l
        • I don't want to start a flame war here. I hope my tone comes across properly in this written medium, but in any case, my desire is to inform.

          You succeeded quite well, and I'll attempt to be as courteous to you when answering your questions.

          First, I want to preface this entire post with a thank-you, because I appreciate all development work that goes into gaim and don't want to make anyone think their work goes unnoticed or unappreciated. In any case, here I go...

          October 12, 2005 [sourceforge.net], Gaim news page - "On a rela

          • by RLaager (200280)
            Well, someone was working on merging the -vv stuff, and Sean was working on Google Talk voice support, but it turned out the toolkit we wanted to use (GStreamer) wasn't ready enough.

            As for infrequent news updates, yes, that's been a problem. Hopefully that will be improving very soon.

            As for donations... currently we don't accept donations at all. I'd like to see that change in the future so that we could have resources to pay for some development work, but I'm not entirely sure what framework would be appro
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Keep in mind the mentors approve the person.
      This is the same as if you hired a consultant for 3 months.

      The results you get from the students are a direct result of the support the mentor and the community around the project provide.

      Also a large influence is the students ability to take advantage of both the community and the mentor. But this is hopefully less an issue as the mentor gets to chose the student.

      Its only in its third year now. And I imagine the mentors have had no experience being a real mentor.
      • by LetterRip (30937)
        "Keep in mind the mentors approve the person.
        This is the same as if you hired a consultant for 3 months."

        Actually it isn't. A consultant interview allows a lot greater scope to explore the individuals background and experience. The SoC proposals it is really difficult to know in advance whether the individual has adequate skill or 'stick to it ness' to accomplish their goal.

        "The results you get from the students are a direct result of the support the mentor and the community around the project provide."

        Wh
    • The best metric (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Per Abrahamsen (1397) on Friday February 16, 2007 @06:37AM (#18036528) Homepage
      The best metric for the success of the project on the host side will probably be how many host organizations reapply next year.

      It is worth remembering that the student isn't the only one who learns from a student/mentor relationship. The mentor will know a lot more about how the problem can (or cannot) be solved after the project, this way the student implementation would act as a prototype.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by chx1975 (625070)
      Yes the results are mixed. But the Drupal project got a webchick (really, that's her nick!) from the 2005 SoC and since then we hope that every SoC will have someone like her (hardly possible, but let's hope).
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The only SoC project I've been following is freenet [freenetproject.org], it definetely helped them out with various things e.g. a new portable queued download/upload manager, improved email-over-freenet and network simulations to model routing.
    • Re:project benefits (Score:4, Informative)

      by webchickenator (1064974) on Friday February 16, 2007 @11:04AM (#18038214)
      My view is that SoC isn't so much about getting usable code at the end (though it's always great if that happens), but about attracting and retaining new talent to the project. I will use me as an example. ;) My 2005 SoC project was the Quiz module for Drupal. That module turned into an utter train wreck, because it was assigned to two students (myself and another guy), one of whom (guess which one? ;)) overbooked himself during the summer and wasn't able to get basically anything done. So while half of the project was finished (the backend, storage stuff), the other half was not (the front end, "actually take a quiz" stuff). It then fell on my shoulders to try and finish the other half in between other things after SoC was over. I had it almost working, and then a major API change landed just as I got a full-time consulting job, so the module was stuck in a limbo state for months. So by the measure of "usable code", that project was a miserable failure. However, in the meantime, I had become an active member of the documentation team, I was reviewing dozens of core patches a week, I was responding to user support questions in the forum, I was evangelizing the Drupal project to everyone I came across, and so on. Then after SoC, I went on to do even more things, and am now completely immersed in the community and helping out with core development. So hopefully, in the grand scheme of things, I have helped the Drupal project more than I have hurt it by the lack of usable code at the end of my SoC project. Though as a "happy ending" aside, I did manage to pick away at the module over the months to the point where it was semi-usable again about a year later. And some other people came in and took it the rest of the way, and now it's used on several sites, and has a little mini community of contributors around it. Woohoo. :)
    • by LetterRip (30937)
      "Are there any metrics showing the net benefit (or otherwise) to the projects and the relative cost in supervision & reworking code (ie, we got equivalent productivity of say 0.7 of the mentors normal productivity for the time spent mentoring) and how many of the students went on to continue contributing to that or another open source project?"

      I can't speak for other projects but for Blender - we have had some extremely productive coders join through their summer of code projects and the benefit to Blen
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Just who the fuck are we hating this week? Whenever I think I've got it, you bastards post another "Google/Microsoft is Good/Evil" story, and I'm lost all over again.
  • Summer? (Score:2, Funny)

    by ChipMonk (711367)
    Did Google move to Australia?
  • High School (Score:1, Interesting)

    by koreaman (835838)
    Is this open to high school students as well?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Deltaspectre (796409)
      No, sadly, unless they changed it from last year. You have to be 18 by the time of application deadlines. :(
  • Soon, google will lunch "google summer code" everyday, because everyday will be summer.
  • How much money is given for this? Also what are the requirements if any? I never even heard of this Summer of Code......I must not be in the know!!!!
  • GEORGE: Severance package...The Yankees are giving me three months full pay for doing nothing.

    JERRY: They did it for three years. What's another few months.

    GEORGE: I'm really going to do something with these three months.

    JERRY: Like what?

    GEORGE: I'm gonna read a book. From beginning to end. In that order.

    JERRY: I've always wanted to do that...

    GEORGE: I'm gonna play frolf.

    JERRY: You mean golf?

    GEORGE: Frolf, frisbee golf Jerry. Golf with a frisbee. This is gonna be my time. Time to taste the fruits and let th
  • And Google code of warmed season, and so on. Google code of Tsunamis season, very soon! :)

    Anyway, good idea of Google, but maybe they shouldn't limit the age for participating... :/

    • by gstein (2577) *
      When you come up with a good way to pay minors in 93 different countries, then let me know. Until then, we've had to limit it to adults (i.e. 18 years or older).

      Seriously... paying the students and handling the taxes associated with that is one of the most difficult aspects of GSoC. First year was a mess. Last year was better, but far from ideal. This year, we have some ideas for improving further.
  • plug: if you know any CS students looking for an idea to win Google SOC 2007, check out a multilingual wiki app for the OLPC: http:/wiki.laptop.org/go/WiXi [laptop.org] .. project has OLPC approval [laptop.org] if student provides qualified mentor.. languages: python, javascript..

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