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Google Launches Summer of Code 2007 74

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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  • 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:project benefits (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TheoMurpse ( 729043 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @06:03AM (#18036376) Homepage
    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 interested gaim user, SOC has prevented the integration of v&v into gaim and there has yet to be a new (non-beta) release since before SOC began. Screw any more features added to gaim except v&v and fixed file transfers. Those are the two things preventing many people from fully switching from the official clients of other protocols. I hate having Skype and AIM installed just so I can video chat with non-power users. For the same reason I cannot switch to Linux.

    But hey, I guess Google taught the SOC coders well -- don't push out finished products; instead, just push out betas and keep them beta for years [] and when users complain: "Hey, it's just beta."
  • Re:project benefits (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 16, 2007 @06:12AM (#18036420)
    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. And those that do, this is much different then how they normally operate.

    Most people say "read the list", they expect you if you wish to join the community to put out the effort. Projects that fail I think are a result of mentors failing to grasp the key difference.

    Summer of Code is 3-months. And after that three months expect the person to disappear.
    So you can't say be a mentor by just going around saying "check the mailing list".

    You have to be a mentor the same way a normal company deals with a contractor.
    The students have to be helped and hit the ground running with the communities backing.

    So far a lot of failures I've seen is this lack of understanding.
    Some do, but by and large students are not joining the community.

    So many projects complain that now they don't have a 'maintainer' for the code the student wrote.
    Yeah, well, what do you expect? You hired a contractor.
    The contract is up. You now have to maintain it.

    I believe once this difference is understood, and once mentors and the community around the project realize this as well, there will be a lot more projects the succeed rather then fail.

  • 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 kestasjk ( 933987 ) * on Friday February 16, 2007 @07:05AM (#18036616) Homepage
    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. :(
  • High School (Score:1, Interesting)

    by koreaman ( 835838 ) <> on Friday February 16, 2007 @09:01AM (#18037162)
    Is this open to high school students as well?
  • Re:Nerd much? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rjshields ( 719665 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @10:14AM (#18037748)

    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. Besides, all the best students will likely already be involved with real open source projects.
  • Re:Nerd much? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rjshields ( 719665 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @03:14PM (#18042312)

    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 year behind a computer.

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming