Posts from April 2013

Google Summer of Code meetups, Episode 7: Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Friday, April 26, 2013

On March 23rd a Google Summer of Code meetup was held in Romania as part of the GDG Cluj-Napoca meeting with almost 50 students in attendance. The event featured a couple of experienced open source developers, Stas Suşcov and Attila-Mihály Balázs, who were interested in inspiring university students to participate in open source development. Stas is a former Google Summer of Code student and Attila-Mihály is an open source enthusiast. They discuss their experiences in open source and some of the benefits of participating in the Google Summer of Code program below.
I participated twice as a student in Google Summer of Code, in 2010 and 2011, for the WordPress Foundation. For my first summer project I worked on a social learning platform called Courseware for BuddyPress social network. Two years later, together with my friend David, we launched our own startup based on my Google Summer of Code experience, The Courseware Project. Before becoming a student in the program, I had already been involved in a lot of local and global open source communities (Ubuntu, Mozilla, WordPress) and being part of Google Summer of Code was a natural outcome which greatly improved my professional abilities and relationships with people involved in these projects.  
During the meetup I tried to share my experiences and answer as many questions as possible about being a Google Summer of Code student and give helpful tips on how actions to take so the organization will want you for another year as a participant or mentor once you finish your current project. 
By Stas Sușcov -  former Google Summer of Code student and Developer/Operations at  
As a user and creator of open source technology I’m a big believer in its benefits. That’s why when I saw this year’s Google Summer of Code announcement I thought: I need to promote it to as many students as possible. My presentation was a very quick introduction to the concept of open source, the possible reasons for contributing and what steps somebody should take when starting to work on an open source project. The slides used in the presentation are available under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license. 
In my opinion the main benefits for students who contribute to an open source project through the Google Summer of Code program are:
  • learning how to use tools like IDEs, VCSs, issue/bug trackers, build systems, etc. - these are integral parts of a programmer’s daily life but rarely mentioned in studies at universities
  • learning how to work with an existing project and its infrastructure - most of the projects people end up working on already exist, but in university most of the projects students are taught about are described as being created from-scratch
  • learning how to communicate with others, especially remotely - as much as 80% of a programmer's job is communication and working on an open source project is a great way to practice this
  • having something tangible to show on one’s resume
  • and finally the monetary benefits are also nice 
By Attila-Mihály Balázs, developer at Udacity

I would like to thank again the organizers (GDG Cluj-Napoca) and my co-presenter, Stas. My goal is to make Romania the number one contributing country to Google Summer of Code.

By Attila-Mihály Balázs, developer at Udacity and open source enthusiast

Google Summer of Code meetups, Episode 6: Cairo, Egypt

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

With a lot of passion and enthusiasm, around 80 Computer Engineering students attended a meetup hosted by GDG Cairo at Faculty of Engineering of Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt on Saturday, April 13th. Students were from all levels of schooling with a majority being 1st and 4th year students.

Under the guidance of PhD Bassem Amin, from the Computer Engineering department, GDG Cairo hosted a panel of Google Summer of Code alumni to give an introduction about the Google Summer of Code 2013 program to prospective students.
The meetup started with a presentation by Mostafa Muhammad, a 2008 and 2009 Google Summer of Code alumnus who worked with the Joomla! organization. He gave an introductory speech about the Google Summer of Code program and the 2013 program timeline. He emphasized that participating organizations understand that applicants are students with moderate skills and that they are still learning, which is why a mentor is paired with each student to help with questions they have when working on their project. Mostafa stressed the importance of the students’ written project proposal and their general fit with the project when organizations are choosing their students.

Cat Allman, from the Google Open Source Programs Office, joined the live Hangout giving a very interesting talk about the program, exciting the students who then asked her questions about the background needed for the program.

Next, Mohamed Tarek, a former Computer Engineering student and Google Summer of Code 2009 and 2010 alumnus, explained in more detail the steps for applying to the program using the Google Summer of Code 2013 website. He gave a demo on choosing an organization and reviewing their ideas list, how to use the mailing lists, using the IRC channel for questions, and where to look for other contact information provided by each organization.

The microphone was then passed to our youngest speakers, Google Summer of Code 2012 alumni, Islam Wazery and Ahmed Refaat, both Shrouk Academy Computer Science graduates. Islam discussed how to write a quality proposal and gave a demo on his own accepted proposal to KDE from 2012, complete with a slideshow.
Islam Wazeery talking about writing a proposal

Seif Lotfy, a Google Summer of Code mentor for the past five years with KDE and GNOME, gave a final talk on how to increase the chances of your proposal being accepted by the mentoring organizations from the perspective of a mentor reading through the proposals.

We concluded the meetup with our speakers hosting a Q&A panel and answering some more detailed and specialized questions asked by enthusiastic students.
From left to right: Ahmed Refaat, Islam Wazery, Mohamed Tarek and Mostafa Muhammad during Q&A panel

We would like to thank all of the attendees and everyone who contributed to making this meetup a success.

By Mohamed Abdellatif, GDG Cairo Organizer

A new kind of summer job: open source coding with Google Summer of Code

Monday, April 22, 2013

(cross-posted from the Official Google blog)

If you’re a university student with CS chops looking to earn real-world experience this summer, consider writing code for a cool open source project with the Google Summer of Code program.

Over the past eight years more than 6,000 students have “graduated” from this global program, working with almost 400 different open source projects. Students who are accepted into the program will put the skills they have learned in university to good use by working on an actual software project over the summer. Students are paired with mentors to help address technical questions and concerns throughout the course of the project. With the knowledge and hands-on experience students gain during the summer they strengthen their future employment opportunities in fields related to their academic pursuits. Best of all, more source code is created and released for the use and benefit of all.

Interested students can submit proposals on the website starting now through Friday, May 3 at 12:00pm PDT. Get started by reviewing the ideas pages of the 177 open source projects in this year’s program, and decide which projects you’re interested in. Because Google Summer of Code has a limited number of spots for students, writing a great project proposal is essential to being selected to the program. Be sure to check out the Student Manual for advice.

For ongoing information throughout the application period and beyond, see the Google Open Source blog, join our Summer of Code mailing lists or join us on Internet relay chat at #gsoc on Freenode.

Good luck to all the open source coders out there, and remember to submit your proposals early—you only have until May 3 to apply!

By Stephanie Taylor, Open Source team

Google Summer of Code Veteran Mentors

Thursday, April 18, 2013

As we near the start of the student application period on April 22nd for Google Summer of Code 2013, we wanted to give a shout out to the other superstars (besides the students) essential to the success of the program, the mentors and organization administrators (org admins). We recently sent a survey to the Google Summer of Code Mentors group list and discovered that the program has come full circle for many of the mentors who once started out as students and had so much fun that they felt the desire to mentor new students themselves.

Of the 132 mentors that filled out the survey, 23 have been a part of the program for four or more years out of the last eight years of the Google Summer of Code program. Below is a list of the mentors and organization administrators* with the organizations they worked with and the years in each role. In many cases they both acted as an organization administrator and a mentor during the summer program.

Thank you for all of your dedication and the guidance you provide the students!

Years Participated as a Student
Years Participated as a Mentor
Years Participated as an Org Administrator
Luca Barbato
Gentoo, Libav and Audacious
Reimar Bauer
MoinMoin Wiki
Olly Betts
SWIG and Xapian Search Engine Library
2008, 2009, 2011, 2012
2009, 2011, 2012
Bastian Blank
MoinMoin and Debian
Marc Delisle
Philipp Kewisch
Luis Gustavo Lira
Hin-Tak Leung
The Linux Foundation
2008, 2010-2012
Scott McCreary
Aaron Meurer
2009, 2010
2011, 2012
2011, 2012
Tom Musgrove
Blender Foundation
Erik Ogenvik
Josef Perktold
Python Software Foundation
Lydia Pintscher
Alberto Ruiz
Kevin Smith
2007-2009, 2011-2012
2009, 2011, 2012
Harlan Stenn
NTP Project, FreeBSD, Google OSPO, GNU
Ian Taylor
2006, 2007, 2010, 2011
David Trowbridge
Review Board
2007, 2009-2012
Francis Tyers
Thomas Waldmann
MoinMoin Wiki
2006-2009, 2011, 2012
Frank Warmerdam
2006-2010, 2012
Marina Zhurakhinskaya

Organizations are currently busy talking with prospective students about their ideas for projects over the summer. For more information about the Google Summer of Code, visit the program site and check out this year’s important dates

 *This is not a comprehensive list of all mentors and organization administrators who have participated 4 or more times in the program, only a list of those who filled out our survey. 

 By Stephanie Taylor, Open Source Programs

Xen Hackathon 2013 at the Google Dublin office

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

We are pleased to announce that the Ganeti team at Google is hosting the Xen Hackathon 2013 on May 16-17 at the Google offices in Dublin, Ireland.

The aim of the Hackathon is to give developers the opportunity to meet face to face to discuss development, write code and collaborate with other developers as well as allowing everyone to put names with faces. Given that the Ganeti team will host the event, there will be more of a focus on management stacks and cloud integration. This year the organizers are planning more structure at the Hackathons and will cover Xen on ARM, Xen 4.4 planning as well as any topics that attendees may want to discuss.

Pre-registration, which includes a $15 contribution to Threshold (an Irish charity that works to prevent homelessness) is required for attendance. Space is limited for the event and usually fills up very quickly. To register for the Xen Hackathon, visit the event page and request an invitation. You will be notified by email within 10 days as to whether your request has been accepted and then you will need to confirm or reject your invitation. Once you confirm your invitation by filling out your registration details you will be officially registered.

We hope to see you in May!

By Guido Trotter, Ganeti team

Google Summer of Code Meetup Episode 5: Graz, Austria

Monday, April 15, 2013

In the last eight weeks, over 18 Google Summer of Code meetups have been organized by students, mentors and open source enthusiasts in locales as diverse as Turkey, Sri Lanka, France, Italy, Macedonia, Canada, and Austria. A handful of meetups will be held in the next couple of weeks all leading up to to the start of the student application period for Google Summer of Code on April 22nd. Below is a summary of a recent meetup in Austria held by members of the Catroid Project.
The Catroid Project has been lucky to be a part of Google Summer of Code for the past two years (we were just chosen for a third year). During that time we have noticed that European students are less likely to apply for the Google Summer of Code program, or at least for our project. We believe that there is a lack of information about Google Summer of Code and Free and open source software (FOSS) in general here in Europe and we feel there is great potential for FOSS projects to acquire more contributors if students only knew about initiatives like Google Summer of Code. Our goal with these meetups is to inform university students about Google Summer of Code and to spark interest in FOSS. 
We held a Google Summer of Code information session at the University of Technology in Graz, Austria on the 13th of March 2013 where there were over 50 students from various information technology fields. We held a second session at the Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey on the 11th of April with 10 students in attendance.
 Meetup at University of Technology in Graz, Austria
Our information sessions are designed as a general introduction into Google Summer of Code including what the program is, who can participate, a short overview of projects that participated in previous years, how to apply, and who should apply. Next Sercan Akpolat did a presentation on the Catroid Project and Peter Grasch presented on KDE. They discussed their projects, the mentoring process and the way they go about choosing students from their many applications. We then ended with a question and answer (Q&A) session. 
We had very positive feedback and realized that none of the students had ever heard of Google Summer of Code before walking into the room. During the Q&A, the students expressed their concerns about the workload necessary for Google Summer of Code. Most questions regarded the expertise and working hours required for successful participation in the program.  
Based on his experience in previous Google Summer of Code years, Sercan explained that the typical workload is challenging but achievable. Regarding the expertise level required for the program, Sercan and Peter explained that intermediate knowledge is sufficient. The Google Summer of Code is designed to inspire young developers to begin participating in open source development, to learn and to broaden their minds. 
By Annemarie Harzl and Sercan Akpolat, The Catroid Project 
You can visit the Google Summer of Code website for more information on the 177 mentoring organizations that students will be working with this summer.

By Stephanie Taylor, Open Source Team

FOSS talk at Google Zurich office

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

March 8 celebrated Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Day in the Google Zurich office. Google employees gathered to listen to talks by Chris DiBona, Director of Open Source at Google, and Karsten Gerloff, president of Free Software Foundation Europe. The evening wrapped up with a FOSS game where the new hires proved they were better at answering tricky questions than old-timers.

Open Source at Google
As Director of the Open Source Programs Office at Google, Chris DiBona leads exciting initiatives like Google Summer of Code and Google Code-in that encourage university and pre-university students, respectively, to participate in open source software development. Chris also spearheads other initiatives to encourage Googlers to contribute to FOSS projects - for example, he advises Google employees on how to open source their code and how to bring open source code into Google. Most importantly, Chris mentioned that the major FOSS licenses are in fact not difficult to comply with.

Chris’ talk is part of the internal training for new-hires at Google and focuses on various internal procedures and guidelines for how to deal with open source, licenses, and patents.

Free Software Foundation Europe
As president of Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE), Karsten Gerloff promotes Free and Open Source Software, educates politicians, regulators and businesses on the benefits of FOSS.

In his talk “All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace”, Karsten explored the tremendous benefits a networked world is to society, information sharing, and personal freedom. Only within Karsten’s lifetime, we’ve gone from very expensive long distance phone calls, to virtually no-cost communication anywhere and anytime. He pointed out that the various technologies which make this possible came to be because they built on simple open standards. Thus, the Internet was based on mostly general purpose computers, the word-wide-web was realised on top of neutral networks and TCP/IP, and Wikipedia on top of WWW, and so on.

Karsten highlighted how Free Software Foundation works to promote an alternative to the locked-down centralised world through the use of free and general purpose and distributed systems and FOSS. Some examples includes the FreedomBox, GNU/Linux and other free operating systems, Diaspora, Bitcoin, YaCy, and GNUnet. Furthermore, FSFE will support developers, shaping the laws guarding against patent trolls. See for information on how to give your support.

How much do you know about open source?
For the last part of the evening, a hand-full of FOSS contributors in the Zurich office demonstrated their work. This was based on both contributions related to Google projects, and projects people dedicate their free time to outside of work.

There was also a contingent of “Nooglers” (new Googlers), who had to answer rather tricky questions about FOSS. The game was set up so Nooglers and old-time Googlers were competing, and the new-hires won the game, remembering which printer it was Richard Stallman struggled with in 1980 (Xerox 9700), and that even though Linus Torvalds is Finnish, his native tongue is Swedish.

The evening was an eye opener for many in the audience who weren’t familiar with open source and with the inspiring talks from both Chris and Karsten, hopefully even more Googlers will release open source code and work on open source projects in the future.

By Havard Rast Blok-Monsivais, Software Engineer in Test

Mentoring Organizations for Google Summer of Code 2013 Announced

Monday, April 8, 2013

We are excited to announce the mentoring organizations that have been accepted for this year’s Google Summer of Code program. It was tough, but after reviewing 417 applications, we have chosen 177 open source projects, of which 40 are new to Google Summer of Code. You can visit our Google Summer of Code 2013 program website for a complete list of the accepted projects.

Over the next 14 days students interested in applying for the Google Summer of Code 2013 program can learn more about the 177 accepted open source projects before the student application period begins on Monday, April 22, 2013 at 19:00 UTC.

Each organization has compiled an Ideas Page that students will want to review carefully and consider how they might be able to contribute to the project. Some of the most successful proposals have been completely new ideas submitted by students, so if you don’t see a project on the Ideas Page that appeals to you, don’t be afraid to suggest a new idea to the organization.There are points of contact listed for each organization on their Ideas Page so that students can contact the organization directly to discuss a new proposal. All organizations list their preferred method of communication on the organization homepage, available on the Google Summer of Code program website. Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

Congratulations to all of our future mentoring organizations! We look forward to working with all of you during this exciting 9th year of Google Summer of Code!

By Carol Smith, Open Source Team

Blink: A rendering engine for the Chromium project

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Cross-posted from the Chromium Blog

WebKit is a lightweight yet powerful rendering engine that emerged out of KHTML in 2001. Its flexibility, performance and thoughtful design made it the obvious choice for Chromium's rendering engine back when we started. Thanks to the hard work by all in the community, WebKit has thrived and kept pace with the web platform’s growing capabilities since then.

However, Chromium uses a different multi-process architecture than other WebKit-based browsers, and supporting multiple architectures over the years has led to increasing complexity for both the WebKit and Chromium projects. This has slowed down the collective pace of innovation - so today, we are introducing Blink, a new open source rendering engine based on WebKit.

This was not an easy decision. We know that the introduction of a new rendering engine can have significant implications for the web. Nevertheless, we believe that having multiple rendering engines—similar to having multiple browsers—will spur innovation and over time improve the health of the entire open web ecosystem.

In the short term, Blink will bring little change for web developers. The bulk of the initial work will focus on internal architectural improvements and a simplification of the codebase. For example, we anticipate that we’ll be able to remove 7 build systems and delete more than 7,000 files—comprising more than 4.5 million lines—right off the bat. Over the long term a healthier codebase leads to more stability and fewer bugs.

Throughout this transition, we’ll collaborate closely with other browser vendors to move the web forward and preserve the compatibility that made it a successful ecosystem. In that spirit, we’ve set strong guidelines for new features that emphasize standards, interoperability, conformance testing and transparency.

To learn more about Blink visit our project page.

By Adam Barth, Software Engineer

Google Summer of Code Meetups, Episode 4: CUNY Hunter College, New York City, USA

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

On Wednesday, 13 March 2013, Sumana Harihareswara of The Wikimedia Foundation, Daniel Packer (2011 alumnus), and Robert O’Connor (three time alumnus and mentor for the past 2 years) ran an information session at CUNY Hunter College to provide prospective students with information about the Google Summer of Code program.

Students received a fun and informative presentation on Google Summer of Code basics including mentoring organizations, application and program timeline, project structure, and all the awesome benefits of Google Summer of Code. We fielded questions from the 30 students in attendance, all of whom showed strong interest in the program. The interests of those in attendance was broad and ranged from bioinformatics to computer vision and just about anything and everything in between.

A trail of links was followed from the Google Summer of Code site to the mentoring organization site, and then to mentors themselves, with a discussion on how to approach particular mentors and projects. Students also enjoyed sending a greeting to the #gsoc IRC channel and receiving replies and cheers from others in the channel. All in all it was a fantastic meeting which promised to result in some excited Google Summer of Code applicants.

By Robert O’Connor and Daniel Packer 

Stay tuned for another Google Summer of Code meetup post next week. Currently the Google Open Source Programs Office is busy reviewing hundreds of mentoring organization applications and deciding which organizations will be accepted into this year’s program. Participating organizations will be announced on the program site on April 8th.