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Google Announces Summer of Code 2008 110

Posted by kdawson
from the endless-sunshine dept.
morrison writes "The 2008 Google Summer of Code is on. We have discussed this four-year-old tradition before (2005, 2006, 2007). Google will once again be hosting a program that gives computer science students a $4,500 stipend to work on open source software projects. Last year, Google funded over 900 students' projects in more than 90 countries. As noted in the program FAQ, this year they hope to do even more. The #gsoc IRC channel on Freenode is already buzzing with activity."
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Google Announces Summer of Code 2008

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  • Insert worthy projects below here.
    I personally hope Blender gets work.
    • by Breakfast Pants (323698) on Monday February 25, 2008 @10:46PM (#22554302) Journal
      Obama needs some tweaks.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 25, 2008 @11:01PM (#22554458)
      Fix the Firefox memory leak! No wait, something more realistic... how's about world peace?
      • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew&gmail,com> on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @01:17AM (#22555218) Homepage Journal
        This is a bit of an urban legend at this point.

        1 - Any complex app will likely have some memory leaks. The code has been very thoroughly examined and cleaned up for Firefox 3.
        2 - Most "leaks" come from poorly written extensions/add-ons. Run without them and check out the difference.
        3 - There is a feature in Firefox that you can easily turn off, that people mistake for a memory leak. Firefox keeps fully rendered versions of pages in memory, in addition to the standard cache on the hard disk. If you hit back, Firefox doesn't need to re-render the page. Browse a while, and Firefox will use up plenty of memory. If you don't like this behavior, then turn the feature off.
        • Most "leaks" come from poorly written extensions/add-ons.

          Isn't Firefox supposed to be a bare-bones browser that requires tons of addons in order to be useful? This is what I hear every time I criticize Firefox for being so useless in its out-of-the-box state. Defective by design?

          • What feature does Firefox lack out of the box that others provide? Mouse gestures?

            People keep saying they want Firefox small and fast, and now you're complaining about modularity?
    • by Nimey (114278) on Monday February 25, 2008 @11:05PM (#22554486) Homepage Journal
      The anti-ballistic-chair defense system. Google's going to need it some day.
      • Naw I want to develop a file system that will effectively deal with with massive files >4GB and all hook up to a distributed file system spanning over 9000 computers...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Matt Perry (793115)

        The anti-ballistic-chair defense system. Google's going to need it some day.
        I'm surprised that Microsoft doesn't star their own "Summer of Code" considering how they keep saying that developers are so important.
        • they already have winter, spring, and fall. MS allows free (as in no cost, not five finger discount) downloads of all their programming/OS/Server software at my uni. (This is something MS "donated", they aren't getting paid for it).
          • by Matt Perry (793115) <perry,matt54&yahoo,com> on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @01:19AM (#22555236)

            they already have winter, spring, and fall. MS allows free (as in no cost, not five finger discount) downloads of all their programming/OS/Server software at my uni. (This is something MS "donated", they aren't getting paid for it).
            It isn't about donating software. Software is cheap. Those same students can get free operating systems and development software that's non-Microsoft too. What Google is doing is donating the organizational skills to help students. They get to work on something that's larger than just a small personal project. They learn how to work within a larger team structure that may have established rules for code style, structure, documentation, etc. Most importantly, they are assigned a mentor who can help them navigate this new environment and help them to become better programmers. The financial reward isn't bad either. Microsoft isn't doing anything like that.
        • by NotBorg (829820) *
          Developers, developers, developers
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Emacs, though thought by some to be older than the Renaissance, could enter one...

      Regarding the Obama ad served on this page: "It's a cookbook!!!"
    • by mithro (1079591) <slashdot@NosPaM.mithis.com> on Monday February 25, 2008 @11:21PM (#22554596) Homepage

      Thousand Parsec [thousandparsec.net] (a game framework for turn based strategy games) was one of the mentor organisations last year [google.com].

      The effect on our project was really huge, not only did the students do some very [thousandparsec.net] cool [google.com] work [thousandparsec.net]. We now have the creditability to approach Universities and help get their students involved with our project.

      We already have one student working on Thousand Parsec as part of a high school internship [ohloh.net] and two students from the University of South Australia [unisa.edu.au] working on a Java MIDP client.

      Thanks a huge amount to Google and the Summer of Code team, hopefully we can get in again this year and have even more fun!

      • Hey, how can I get on board helping with Thousand Parsec? I'm a sophomore level CS student (currently learning on my own while saving money to continue school) I've done most of my programming in C and C++.
    • I'm a Windows developer who's gradually moving to Linux and I use MD more and more as time passes,I believe it's an important strategic tool for helping programmers switch to Linux. It needs lots [monodevelop.com] of work, though.
      I'd mentor someone myself for some of these tasks, if I were related to the project as anything more than "user" :(
    • YAML needs a c++ implementation and could use something like XML style sheets to make it the complete replacement for XML.
      • by nuzak (959558)
        YAML needs a bullet to the head, it's such an ad-hoc goofy format that makes wikitext look rigorous. Or perhaps just a subset that isn't barkingly insane. Like JSON, perhaps.

    • by dgarbett (833374)
      My vote is for a linux blue-ray player.
  • by Breakfast Pants (323698) on Monday February 25, 2008 @10:44PM (#22554282) Journal
    My open source Visual Basic extension for Word 97 has been rejected 3 times already; I'm gonna try one last time.
  • Granted pretty much nobody in high school will write quality code (even if they honestly think they do, like I once did), the chance to get paid experience and a mentor to help you improve is fantastic.
    • by calebt3 (1098475)
      This isn't high school. It's CS students.
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        It's college students, but not necessarily all CS majors.
    • Summer of Code is college level :)
    • by redalien (711170) <matthew@matthewwilkes.co.uk> on Monday February 25, 2008 @10:59PM (#22554430) Homepage
      Actually, Google Highly Open Participation contest produced some excellent pieces of code that were all submitted by "high school" students. If I didn't know better I'd say they were professional developers.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by LetterRip (30937)
      Granted pretty much nobody in high school will write quality code (even if they honestly think they do, like I once did), the chance to get paid experience and a mentor to help you improve is fantastic.

      Actually Nick Bishop who did SoC with Blender 2 years ago, and with Inkscape (I think?) last year, had pretty good code quality already as a high school student.

      LetterRip
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Corsix (1178253)
      While you are correct about many people in high school, some can write high quality code, as shown in the Google Highly Open Participation contest. With the Drupal project, there is a 12 y/o who is too young even for GHOP who writes very good code. Corsix -- GHOP Drupal grand prize winner
  • by Anonymous Coward
    GO!

    Too bad I get paid too much and actually have a real job. I'm being serious, it would be awesome to do a summer of code.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The development team is meeting for the first time in March. It is a rather ambitious project, but the code itself seems like it would be simple.

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/metascore/ [sourceforge.net]
  • a database intergrated reporting tool like ms reporting services, but without the crap limitations and odd behaviour, would be awesome.

    without it OSS in business still has a big FAIL stamped on it's forehead.

    • without it OSS in business still has a big FAIL stamped on it's forehead.

      What you really mean to say is that, without this specific tool, you'd have to change some of your business processes in order to use different software. The funny thing is that it's a different tool for each person who makes this complaint.

      It's perfectly possible to use FOSS to support running pretty much any business. The only real exception is where the business itself is to produce data in proprietary file formats - i.e. acting a

      • by timmarhy (659436)
        I've worked in many industries and without fail they all have a requirement for automated generation of reports based on database information.

        reporting sevrices provides a really good tool for this, and OSS has no answer to it. it'd be nice if there was one.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by DNS-and-BIND (461968)
          No way, man! Do you know how boring that would be to develop? What we really need is transparency and alpha channel blending effects. And skins! There is a serious dearth of quality skins for mplayer!
        • I've worked in many industries and without fail they all have a requirement for automated generation of reports based on database information.
          reporting sevrices provides a really good tool for this, and OSS has no answer to it.

          There are quite a lot of OSS database reporting tools (or generic reporting tools that can be used with databases and other information sources). What specific features do you think business needs that are not provided by any of the existing open source reporting tools?

    • I don't know MS Reporting Services, so I don't know if they are on par with it, but there are several free reporting tools available already, like BIRT, JasperReports, iReport, OpenReports, Pentaho, SpagoBI, etc. Did you have a look at them ?
  • My hope... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bogaboga (793279) on Monday February 25, 2008 @11:47PM (#22554754)
    ...is that enough resources get geared to having KDE 4.1 as complete as can possibly be. Guys, KDE 4 rocks and can be made better. Go guys.
    • by Carewolf (581105)
      KDE 4.1 is scheduled for a release before summer. KDE 4.2 is more likely to benefit from SoC.
    • by neumayr (819083)
      It does not "rock". Not in any conceivable sense of the word.
      It may, at some point in the future (I'd guess in around 2 or 3 years), when some of the stuff they dreamed up actually gets implemented, but not now.
  • Awesome (Score:4, Interesting)

    by katterjohn (726348) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @12:18AM (#22554920)
    I successfully participated last summer working with Nmap. Leslie (from Google) and Fyodor were wonderful to work with, and I hope I can get in again this year!

    Great job, Google!
  • Check out Gladex (Score:5, Interesting)

    by charlie763 (529636) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @12:27AM (#22554974) Homepage
    I don't think we'd make it into GSoC, but if you are into Python and Glade you should checkout Gladex [launchpad.net]. We're even a Featured Project [launchpad.net] on Launchpad.net! Gladex isn't in the Ubuntu or Debian repositories yet, but we do have a PPA [launchpad.net] going of an alpha release. Alternatively, you can download [launchpad.net] the stable packages directly.

    Gladex is a Python application which takes a .glade file created in the Glade User Interface Builder and generates code in Perl, Python, or Ruby. The generated code uses libglade to draw a GUI and is not raw pygtk code (support via a plugin is in development). Support for additional languages can be added through the plugin API.
    • Re:Check out Gladex (Score:4, Interesting)

      by AlXtreme (223728) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @04:07AM (#22556028) Homepage Journal
      Looks interesting, but one question that I couldn't find on the site: Why generate code at all?

      I might be missing something, but libglade has a python wrapper (and probably Ruby/Perl too, I'm too lazy to check). You can connect signals and handle events, everything you can do with generated or self-written GTK+ code. Calling libglade in Python is about 4 LOC. Why would anyone need a generator for this?

      Again, I'm not trolling here, just curious and both an avid GTK+ and Python user.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ricegf (1059658)

        You can connect signals and handle events, everything you can do with generated or self-written GTK+ code.

        The one very important thing you can do with generated code that you can't do with a 4-line call to libglade is customize the code. A library can't do everything custom code can do, though good libraries seem to cover 80-90% of the most common use cases. For many applications, the libraries do everything you need. For everything else, you'd like to generate the commonplace code from your glade design

        • For many applications, the libraries do everything you need. For everything else, you'd like to generate the commonplace code from your glade design and then customize the small portions that are unique.

          I agree, there are some things that UI builders are not that good at. AFAIK, though, you can access the various elements of the UI through the GladeXML object that is returned when you load a .glade file. Why not just use the glade library to load the glade file, then use GladeXML's get_widget command to

          • by ricegf (1059658)

            what kind of modifications you can make when you have the source code that you can't make otherwise?

            I'm not certain that Python can't create any arbitrary GUI out of a .glade file - certainly, Python's incredible flexibility has surprised me before. :-)

            However, when I'm creating a GUI dynamically based on a configuration file (for example), taking a basic framework of code generated by a GUI designer and modifying it to be dynamically tailored is more direct that trying to learn the details of the GUI

  • by batkiwi (137781) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @12:32AM (#22555000)
    I know from looking the last 2 years that the projects for both PSI and MythTV were accepted and started but never completed to a point where the maintainers put code into the full product.

    Are there ANY success stories?
    • by katterjohn (726348) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @12:38AM (#22555036)
      Are there ANY success stories?

      Absolutely. My fellow SoC students and I participating with Nmap last year have lots of code in Nmap proper. And the years before that (Nmap has participated every year of the SoC) there were a whole lot of cool things added to Nmap proper from SoC work.
    • MythTV? You're joking, right?

      More importantly, are they going to work on anything actually *useful*, instead of sexy stupid stuff that is the 2008 equivalent of "skinning" mp3 players? Every time I heard about SoC participants, I noticed that a)it wasn't something really useful or important and b)the main development team was really lazy about integrating in the work the student had done.

      A great example of where some SoC lovin' would be great: Netatalk *blows*. It doesn't handle sleeping clients that

      • by batkiwi (137781)
        MythTV is the only reason 3 people I personally know run linux. How is sharing files with an obsolete protocol any more worthy?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jesser (77961)
      I believe Firefox 3's implementations of resumable downloads and the APNG image format came from GSoC participants. The continued support of MathML in Firefox 3 may also be due in part to the work of a GSoC participant. We've also had a few not-so-successful GSoC projects.
    • Na. They can't even get google earth to play nice with gpsd. Just folded proprietary GPS crap into the windose version and left it at that.
    • by IBBoard (1128019)
      There are apparently several SoC changes [ubuntuforums.org] in Pidgin (formerly Gaim)
    • by richlv (778496)
      quite a lot, actually.
      i've only followed the ones in projects i am interested in, and there hve been some very nice finished features (as well as some disappointing failures).

      a quick estimate on things i paid attention to, some 3/4 to 4/5 of projects were completed succesfully. remaining either delivered less than promised or failed completely (student just disappearing...).
    • by Fweeky (41046) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @06:58AM (#22556674) Homepage
      Quite a few FreeBSD SoC projects make it into the system or ports, or at least had some of their work help with it; a quick glance at the SoC wiki pages I see enhancements to libalias and ipfw (I think some of this eventually made it; we now have kernel NAT with ipfw), bsnmpd bridge monitoring, FUSE port, gvinum enhancements, GEOM storage virtualisation, Apple hardware support enhancements, and what became the name service caching daemon.

      Other things may not have made it in, but were good research projects both for the project and for the students; FreeBSD now has a very functional port of OpenBSD's hardware sensors suite, though it wasn't accepted into base because of architectural concerns. gjournal started life as a SoC project, and while rejected it did help spur development of a new more functional one, and the student went on to produce gvirstor, the aforementioned GEOM storage virtualisation layer which *did* make it. The Linux KVM port got far enough to boot FreeBSD 7 as a guest and will hopefully continue development. I'm sure I've left lots out.

      Just because a SoC project doesn't make it into a "product", doesn't mean that project wasn't a success. Even if it never produces something deployable, it's given a student some experience in development, it's given the project some interesting if not necessarily immediately useful code and it's helped lay groundwork for future development, even if it only does so by providing those concerned some experience.
    • by chx1975 (625070)
      The unit testing framework / automation for Drupal that Google sponsored through three SoC and then a huge number of tests were written during GHOP. One GSoC 2005 student is now is one of the biggest contributors to our project. Yay for GSoC!
  • will they offer t-shirts to people who don't participate this time? i've been out of college for a while, but i love the Summer of Code shirts....
  • This isn't limited to computer science students. From the FAQ: "Computer Science does not need to be your field of study in order to participate in the program."

    For example, my program of study is Music Technology, where we have lots of students working on audio-related software projects, and many which become contributions to open source. It's a graduate program, so we have lots of students who came from other disciplines in a previous life, many which were CS, but not all. One student last year wrote a
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      > This isn't limited to computer science students.

      Quite true, but why do Google restrict participation to students?

      The first goal listed on their SoC FAQ is:

      ``Get more open source code created and released for the benefit of all''

      So why exclude professional developers who could crank out code?

      I would dearly like to take a two-month sabbatical from work and
      concentrate solely on writing code. There are huge voids in the
      provision of free astronomical tools that could be addressed. But
      finances dictate othe
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by nuzak (959558)
        Psst. code.google.com works for everyone.

        Some people will bitch about anything and everything I guess.
      • vast swathes of time and money will be wasted as students learn

        I really doubt that the Google consider the time and money wasted that they spend on student learning, especially when they, as you point out, learn the social and technical tools for collaborating on free software. Here are the rest of the stated Google goals:

        # Inspire young developers to begin participating in open source development
        # Help open source projects identify and bring in new developers and committers;
        # Provide students in Computer Science and related fields the opportunity to do work related

  • Google = big winner
    Intern = small winner

    Even when you add the small winners together, Google still wins. Lot's of outstanding brainpower for dirt cheap.

    I guess everyone wins if the interns like the cash and see it as a resume builder, right?
  • I feel like one way that Microsoft is really gaining ground in business is with integrated telepresence software like Communicator, and increased multiuser input into Powerpoint. If Google really wants to help the Unix platform make a comeback for the average business worker, they need to fund someone to create this software.
  • I hope the enlightenment project will be accepted this time around. They provide very nice libraries, though it was a shame that they were rejected in previous instalments of SoC
  • Sorry to be pedantic, but this being the start of it's 4th year of competition, it would now be three years old. After all it was not one year old during the first year of competition, was it? Computer geeks should know better than committing such an obvious off-by-one error.
  • by morrison (40043) * on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @08:19AM (#22556948) Homepage

    BZFlag [bzflag.org] participated in the Google Summer of Code for the first time in 2007 [google.com]. Our participation was documented in this detailed article [bzflag.org] (Warning: 15 MB PDF).

    Another higher-level summary was put together for a presentation and is available here [bzflag.org] (Warning: 5 MB PDF)

    See the presentation for the quick introduction. I highly recommend the article to any students and projects/mentors that are seriously thinking about participating for the first time.

    On the whole, it's a great opportunity for projects but you do have to put in a lot of time and effort. You have to have your act together. If you do, the students and the projects will both have a great time.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    May I suggest the Diva project (see gnomefiles.org) or some other application for video editing?

    Seriously now, Linux needs a good video editor, and I'm not talking about SinOrElla, with an interface that looks like someone threw up on a car's dashboard (yes, I heard there was a recent fork, any progress with that?).

    We need a good video editing app on Linux, I've tried them all and none is an all-around general purpose good video editor, they all have problems and many of them crash or freeze or just act wei

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