Who’s New in Google Summer of Code: Part 4

Friday, June 24, 2011

This summer we are writing a series of posts featuring the new organizations participating in their first Google Summer of Code. This is our fourth installment where the organizations explain their project in more detail and discuss the tasks the students are working on this summer.

Elgg is an open source social networking project that began as an experimental thesis project in 2004. The technical goals for Elgg are to create a social engine that is accessible to end users but easily extensible for developers. Elgg’s participation in this year’s Google Summer of Code is an amazing chance for Elgg to get involved with the larger OSS community.

As a first year organization, we were humbled and surprised by both the quantity and the quality of applications we received. Narrowing it down was difficult, but in the end we picked three talented and eager students with ambitious ideas.

Francisco Hidalgo is implementing a method to allow user-generated content to be translated into multiple languages -- an important feature for sites with a large international user base.

Ravindra Nath Kakarla is working to streamline the Elgg user experience by Ajaxifying large parts of the application. This is a high profile project that Elgg users (and core developers) can’t wait to see.

Saket Saurabh will implement a standardized web services API and build an accompanying Java client. This API will allow alternative interaction with Elgg sites and provide developers even more flexibility in how they work with Elgg.

By Brett Profitt, Elgg Organization Administrator


OpenIntents is an open source project entirely focused on Android. Early-on, in 2008, we believed that more could be done to develop key concepts of the Android operating system and generate awareness. OpenIntents is one of the few open source projects actively targeting extension of the mobile operating system, and housing expert knowledge on it.

OpenIntents educates and empowers developers to use revolutionary new key features of Android, most notably the Intents mechanism that enables applications to reuse and interface with other applications. We provide a registry that brings developers together so they can make their applications compatible, and we act as a standardization body.

OpenIntents also aims to develop general functionality that is not in Android currently, but we feel should be, as well as to pioneer new ways of working. To illustrate or push forward the above we develop samples and free applications. Some of these applications have grown to be quite popular and we support them in the Market, like OI File Manager or OI Shopping List.

In 2011 OpenIntents was selected to mentor two projects in the Google Summer of Code. The first student, Elena, will enhance our SensorSimulator which is used by developers to debug applications that make use of the device sensors, and in particular, she will look into improving the device representation and handling. Our second student, Andras, will develop Historify, a new application that will become an open timeline module that 3rd party apps can post to. The timeline shows the interaction history between the user and contacts regardless of technology, like phone calls, messages, or social media.

By Peli Oi, OpenIntents Organization Administrator


SymPy is a full fledged computer algebra system written completely in pure Python. It presently has some very powerful features, like symbolic differentiation and integration, series, limits, symbolic matrices, solvers, simplification, polynomials, and quantum physics. SymPy can be used as a library, or executed like a calculator from a Python or IPython prompt using the isympy script.

The SymPy code is written to be easy to read and easily extensible. This and the fact that SymPy is written in Python has made it a very popular open source computer algebra system. The code for SymPy is all BSD licensed, so just about anyone can use SymPy in their code. Also, SymPy does not require any external dependencies to run (other than Python), which means that SymPy can be used in any environment that can run Python, such as Google AppEngine or any desktop computer.

SymPy has participated in Google Summer of Code since 2007 under umbrella organizations such as the Python Software Foundation, Portland State University and the Space Telescope Science Institute. This year for the first time we were accepted by Google as a mentoring organization. We were able to accept nine student projects. You can follow the student’s progress on their projects here.

We look forward to what should be our best year for SymPy development ever!

By Aaron Meurer, SymPy Organization Administrator
These are just a few of the 50 new organizations participating in Google Summer of Code this year. Please check back next Friday when we highlight 4 more new organizations. For a complete list of the 175 organizations participating in the Google Summer of Code please visit our program site.

By Stephanie Taylor, Open Source Programs