I had already talked to the guys about going to FSCONS 2008 and do a talk about Rockbox and reverse engineering when I realized that the very same weekend we’re going to Rome, Italy with my company and if that isn’t enough, the Google summer of code mentor summit is also taking place that weekend in late October so if Italy somehow got canceled I would probably rather go to California… I quite enjoyed FSCONS last year so I’m a bit annoyed about this situation.
Isn’t that just the irony of life? Here I have an entire autumn with nothing much planned and then all of a sudden three events all take place on the same weekend.
I’m still on for another talk in September in Stockholm though but since I haven’t seen any public details about it I’ll refrain from being specific just yet.
On the gsoc mentors list one of the Google admins brought up the suggestion that the application period should be extended another week to allow students somewhat longer time to apply. This caused a flood of responses from many organizations and a lot of them (although not all) told stories that we share in the Rockbox project: at this time (with only some 13 hours left until the deadline) we have less applications than last year and they also seem to be of lesser quality. At the time of me writing this there have been no verdict if the period will be extended or not. Of course voices have been raised against the idea as well citing well-argued reasons such as the students who did manage to apply before the deadline might be less favored by an extension and that it will affect the time line in general etc.
In the #rockbox IRC channel we figured out that the total sum a gsoc student gets (4500 USD) has gone down quite considerably to a European student as last year’s students got about 3500 Euros but the same amount of USD is currently worth not more than about 2800 Euros. And remember that this is payment for a supposedly full-time work during twelve weeks. Ok they’re students and everything ,but still… and this 700 Euro drop (ok since currencies fluctuates it may be more or less at the end of the summer) may in fact be a contributing factor why less students apply.
A lot of poeple also suggested that having the application period over the easter period might’ve hampered this as well, as easter time is holiday time in many countries all over the glob.
It was just announced in an email sent to me:
Your organization “Rockbox” has been accepted in to the Google Summer of Code(tm) 2008.
So let’s get more possible mentors to sign up and let’s get talking with potential students and what they can work on this summer!
Update: the full list of projects is now up at code.google.com/soc/2008/
To get good results from Google’s Summer of Code, we need a fair amount of volunteering mentors and we need a good set of interesting projects to make students get attracted.
If your interest is in the Rockbox project, add your project ideas or add yourself as mentor on this wiki page.
If your interest is in the cURL project, read this page about the existing ideas and provide new ones or submit yourself as mentor on the mailing list!
Organizations can apply for becoming part of this starting tomorrow, March 3 2008.
As I was involved in gsoc 2007 within the Rockbox project, I ventilated the idea on the libcurl mailing list just yesterday that perhaps this is a good year for the cURL project to apply to become a mentoring organization to be able to host students doing gsoc work?
If so, this is no point unless we can at least present a bunch of interesting projects to lure students to us to have them work to improve (lib)curl and do stuff we otherwise might have a hard time to get done.
What things would you like to see that you consider would be a good project for a student to work on during the summer 2008?
New protocols? Fixing the last remaining blocking calls within libcurl? Fixing up/replacing language bindings? It’s not strictly a requirement that we come up with the best ideas since students apply with their own suggestion anyway, but we can provide good suggestions and ideas that will make students attracted to us and make them select to work for our project – should we be selected as a mentor organization.
Yes, as I hinted earlier Google is indeed going to do their very much appreciated program once again this year. Google’s summer of code accepts mentoring organizations to apply starting March 3rd 2008.
Now let’s get our imaginations and get some even better project ideas added to our gsoc 2008 wiki page!
There is reason to suspect that there’s an upcoming announcement from Google about their Summer of Code 2008, so for the Rockbox project it might be just about time to start thinking about what particular projects we’d like to see done this time!
Of course it is also time to look back on how we performed last year and to consider what we should improve to make sure we do it better this time (should we be accepted again). After all, we got 4 projects assigned, two are now in SVN, one was a complete failure and one was half-done.