Arun Tejasvi Chaganty about articles blog thoughts research

Google Summer of Code 2008 - A preview

The list of selected applicants for GSoC 2008 is out! And I’m on that list (big grin here). Honestly, I lack the ability to express my nearly orgasmic joy. It only happens to be my birthday today as well, so this is like the best birthday present eva. Um, a hi-5 anyone?

For those of you who aren’t familiar with what GSoC is all about, it’s an awesome program conducted by Google to promote open source development. A lot of open source projects register mentors with Google, after which students start applying for these mentoring organisations. This year, the mentoring organisation list was pretty diverse. Students can either implement some of the ideas proposed by the organization, or propose some ideas of their own (like I did). The mentors go through applications, deciding what’s best for their project, and checking to see if the applicant is capable of pulling it off. If selected, the student spends his summer directly interacting with the project. Google steps in only as a mediating body, and of course to pay the cash. ’Course they’re responsible for putting this all together. Kudos to them.

What’s in it for the student? Well, first of all you get to do something you really want to, and get recognized for it. It’s a quick access into the the world of open source. You’re guided by someone whose been there, done that, and is all in all a ‘cool’ dude (as all open source contributors are). For those who aren’t satisfied by the thrill of contributing, well… they probably shouldn’t be doing this in the first place. All the same, you get a credential from Google, and that’s no joke to have in your resume. Finally, Google does spend a large sum on each applicant. A special Google SoC t-shirt and a whooping 4500 USD to be precise (plus an additional 500 USD to the mentoring application for each student they mentor). Rumours are that Google’ll be sending a book to all applicants as well.

The best part of GSoC is that it’s a concentrated effort to improve the state of FOSS applications. Looking through the applications, there’s going to be a quantum leap in FOSS quality before and after this summer. Let’s have a look at what this summer will bring us all. This is of course a biased list, I’m only writing about what I am personally interested in.

Well, this summer, I’ll be working on integrating (or actually, embedding) gVim (the best text editor eva) into Anjuta. Anjuta already supports two editors GtkSourceView and the popular Scintilla (both of which are nice, but hey it’s not Vim). Another reason that I’m enthusiatic about this project is that once it’s done, I should be able to write plug-ins for Anjuta a lot easier. That means I can try and automate a lot of the code reports I’ll have to make for my future CS assignments into the IDE. Go open source!

P.S. I’ve seen another proposal to integrate Vim into Microsoft Visual Studio. Wow.

As always, this isn’t an exaustive list of awesome GSoC projects and again, this is simple a sample of projects that interest me. Have a look at the list yourself and see what’s in store for the future of open-source. I’d like to end by thanking my mentors, Johannes Schmid and Sebastian Granjoux, and of course, Leslie Hawthorn for her excellent work in coordinating the entire application process. A hearty congrats to everyone else who got through.