Posts from November 2013

Google Summer of Code Veteran Orgs: phpMyAdmin

Friday, November 29, 2013

For our eighth guest post from veteran Google Summer of Code organizations the org admin from phpMyAdmin discusses his organization’s student projects below.

Google Summer of Code 2013 was a resounding success for phpMyAdmin. All six of our students finished their projects and their code is merged with the phpMyAdmin codebase and will be part of the upcoming 4.1 release. phpMyAdmin is a free software tool written in PHP, intended to handle the administration of MySQL over the Web. phpMyAdmin supports a wide range of operations on MySQL, MariaDB and Drizzle.

Students Bin Zu and Supun Nakandala refactored many scripts this summer. All the scripts in the Server view and those regarding the SQL executor, along with scripts dealing with the table structure were cleaned up. Code was moved into functions, variable names were improved, and one of the students wrote unit tests for his newly-created functions.

Through Google Summer of Code, Kasun Chathuranga worked on implementing new feature requests and improving the user interface of phpMyAdmin.

Mohamed Ashraf has successfully contributed an error reporting tool to the phpMyAdmin code base. The tool will aid end users in reporting JavaScript-related issues and help phpMyAdmin developers deliver fixes for such issues quicker.

Ayush Chaudhary and Adam Kang were selected for the Automated Testing project. While writing unit tests for string manipulation functions in phpMyAdmin, one of the students identified that the functions were not implemented in a way that would facilitate unit testing and went on to refactor them to add new classes before writing unit tests for them. Selenium tests for interface testing were also added this summer. Existing tests were migrated to Selenium2 and helper classes were added that are needed to write Selenium tests. Overall the test coverage of phpMyAdmin has increased.

Some of the students are still around fixing bugs, we look forward to more contributions from them in the future.

Thanks to Google Summer of Code, we again had great contributions and improvements to the phpMyAdmin project. Now that GSoC 2014 has been announced, we can start preparing for the next application period and will hopefully be able to have another awesome summer of coding and mentoring.

By Dieter Adriaenssens, phpMyAdmin organization administrator

Google Code-in: a student perspective

Monday, November 25, 2013

We have a guest post from former Google Code-in student, David Li, discussing his inspiring Google Code-in experience.  Enjoy.
Panic. Confusion. Bewilderment.
Scrolling down the infinite list of tasks, my face shifted from a merely quizzical expression to one of befuddlement as I saw task after task involving C, Perl, or some other knowledge that I did not understand. 
And then I saw SymPy. Hey, that's written in Python, right? 
For me, Google Code-in was an easy way to get involved in real programming - in writing code that other people would use - as a high school student. The competitive nature of the program naturally held my interest, and the mentors were perfect for novices like me, as I began knowing barely git commit and git status. And even though I still couldn't handle many of the tasks - "Implement ODE solvers", with my two months of calculus was rather intimidating to see listed - I found a niche that I could contribute to.  
My first tasks were not that exciting: formatting docstrings and cleaning up warnings and then I moved on to Sympy's website. I felt much more confident with HTML than with Python and found that I enjoyed these tasks the most. Other students and I fixed bugs, implemented a mobile website, and most noticeably, redesigned the theme of the site. I was proud of our contributions. 
After the competition concluded I felt that we had unfinished work left. SymPy Live had bugs and the mobile interface we wrote was rather unpolished. Naturally, I couldn't let those bugs stand, especially after having put in so much effort implementing some of those features in the first place...and so I submitted another pull request. And then another. SymPy's developers didn't have the time to focus on their websites, so I began to maintain them, fixing bugs and adding features. 
While digging through SymPy's repositories, I found an abandoned website - SymPy Gamma. The site had had no updates in years. But its premise interested me - an open source Wolfram|Alpha competitor - and I began to dream up and implement new features: basic plotting, a new design, steps for differentiation. By now open source had become my hobby, more so than just programming for its own sake had been; I could contribute to and work with a community, and that was rewarding beyond the task of simply writing code. 
I am glad Google offered this opportunity to get involved in open source. I learned more about software development than any school could have taught, and I was introduced to a welcoming community, one that appreciated any contribution made. I hope that the users of the myriad projects of Google Code-in enjoyed the improvements that we, the students, made, and I hope other students take the opportunity to involve themselves with open source communities. 
By David Li, former Google Code-in 2011 student and current Sympy contributor
Google Code-in 2013 just started last week and will continue until January 6, 2014. Interested pre-university students (13-17 years old) can register at and start earning prizes. Good luck students!

GSoC Meetup at LinuxCon Europe: There are many more than “10 Things” to like about Edinburgh

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

LinuxCon Europe drew a great crowd of 1000+ free and open source developers to majestic Edinburgh, Scotland during the last week of October. Attendees were there to meet and learn about a wide variety of open source technologies, including Yocto, Gluster, GStreamer, Xen, embedded Linux, Linux in cars, the Linux Kernel - are you sensing a theme?

This week of crunchy codey goodness started our Google Summer of Code “10 Things” campaign visits with a “Birds of a Feather” (BoF)  session on the evening of Monday, October 21. Roughly 50 GSoC mentors, past students and interested “yet-to-participate-in-GSoC” attendees came to enjoy brownies, beverages and lots of conversation.

Attendees of the BoF represented a wide range of open source projects, including but not limited to: LibreOffice, Debian, PulseAudio, Apache, Gentoo, Battle for Wesnoth, OpenMRS, Code For America, and Gnome.

My hearty thanks to all of you who came, especially for not making me present a slide deck; it was great how you all pitched in and talked, asking questions and sharing your experiences with the program.

By Cat Allman, Open Source Programs

From your CS class to the real world: a deep dive into open source

Monday, November 18, 2013

Cross posted from the Official Google Blog

Today marks the start of Google Code-in, a global online contest for pre-university students (13-17 years old) interested in learning more about open source software. Participating students have an opportunity to work on real world software projects and earn cool prizes for their effort.

For the next seven weeks students from around the world will be able to choose from an extensive list of tasks created by 10 open source projects. Some tasks require coding in a variety of programming languages, creating documentation, doing marketing outreach or working on user interfaces.

Participants earn points for each task they successfully complete to win T-shirts and certificates. At the end of the contest, 20 students will be selected as grand prize winners and flown to Google’s Mountain View, California headquarters. Winners will receive a trip to San Francisco, a tour of the Googleplex and a chance to meet with Google engineers.
Google Code-in 2012 grand prize winners at the Googleplex with a self driving car

More than 1,200 students from 71 countries and 730 schools have participated in Google Code-in over the past three years. Last year, our 20 grand prize winners came from 12 countries on five continents!

We hope this year’s participants will enjoy learning about open source development while building their technical skills and making an impact on these organizations. Please review our program site for contest rules, frequently asked questions and to get started!

By Stephanie Taylor, Open Source Programs

Google Summer of Code Veteran Orgs: Systers

Friday, November 15, 2013

For our seventh guest post from veteran Google Summer of Code organizations the Org Admin from Systers recaps their six 2013 student projects and tells us about plans to continue their work.

Systers has a mission to support women in computing across the globe and in various disciplines. The 2013 Google Summer of Code program gave our Systers the opportunity to learn more about our open source software, Mailman, to learn coding and software development practices and to collaborate on a large scale with technical communities.  Our students did an amazing job this summer, completing their projects and continuing to build on their projects/features after Google Summer of Code 2013 ended.


Julia Proft worked on enhancing the new membership form for potential Systers. She designed a new User Interface that clearly differentiates the required essay fields thus eliminating much of the additional follow up administrators previously had to do for incomplete essays.

Ioana Croitoru's assignment this summer was to add scripting for easier reporting. The original assignment was to add scripts to capture very specific statistics, information that Mailman already provides.  During code review, Ioana was asked if she could add options in the administrative screen so that administrators would be able to see this statistical information without Her Systers’ Keeper (community manager for Systers) generating this data from back-end scripts. The last admin feature is really a testing framework.

Olga Maciaszek-Sharma worked on a Selenium Testing framework for Python.  She worked with Julia and Ioana on specific test cases for their assignments and integrated these cases into Selenium Tests.  Olga also provided the team with a demo of the Selenium Testing framework by running through some of Julia and Ioana’s test cases; a great example of team collaboration.

Since Systers is running an older version of Mailman, 2.12, we didn’t have the new features of RSS feeds from Mailman 3.0.  Joanna Skrzeszewska extensively researched Mailman 3.0 and created a RSS feed for the new Mailman 3.0 as well as making it possible for individual list owners to enable and disable a set of archivers they want to use.

Shanu Salunke also submitted a proposed project with her application about improving our current user interface for Systers Mailman 2.12.  Her assignment allowed her to work with Django and the latest Mailman 3.0 web interface.  Shanu was very detailed in documenting her work and her design and test cases.

And our final Syster, Sneha Priscilla, worked on adding global user preferences. Her code is checked into Mailman 3.0 Postorious and is currently being reviewed.  The Systers community is eager to upgrade to the latest Mailman 3.0 and experience the new user interface. Sneha was a student last year working with Systers Mailman 2.12 and the additional knowledge she gained from this summer is going to be truly invaluable when we upgrade.

Our Google Summer of Code would never be successful without our dedicated mentors. They donate their time and talent for an incredible opportunity to help provide development guidance to the next generation of coders.

After Google Summer of Code was complete and all of our students successfully passed, they quickly became mentors.  How?  Every year, Anita Borg Institute’s Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing holds an Open Source Day where attendees come to Code-a-thon for Humanity.  All of our Google Summer of Code students were available on IRC to answer any questions the participants had during some of the initial environment setup, thus the students immediately stepped into the role of mentor.  Fantastic!

We are planning to port students’ work into our current version and hopefully their work will also be accepted in the Mailman 3.0 main branch.  Students have agreed to continue with the work and now we have an incredible pool of volunteers to help us maintain our Mailman software.  What an experience! We are already planning our next projects to submit our application for Google Summer of Code 2014.

By Rose Robinson, Systers Organization Administrator and Her Systers Keeper

Eclipse Day returns to Google

Thursday, November 14, 2013

At Google, one of the tools we use in building external and internal products is Eclipse. In addition to that, we also release Eclipse-based tools. To celebrate this and say thank you to the developer community, we’ll be hosting Eclipse Day at the Googleplex on the Mountain View, CA campus on December 18th, 2013.

Eclipse Day is a great opportunity for both Eclipse users and contributors to network and share ideas. This year we have sessions that cover Orion, the Eclipse M2M tools, BIRT, Gerrit, CDT, Dart, Hudson, performance tuning in Eclipse, and scaling Eclipse to work with Google’s massive code base. During the one day conference, Eclipse projects and Eclipse-based products created here at Google will also be highlighted.

In previous years some of the most popular sessions have been the Eclipse Ignite talks: 5-minute, 20-slide presentations by attendees sharing what they are doing with Eclipse.

A big thank you to everyone at the Eclipse Foundation for assembling this great event. We are happy to welcome the Eclipse community to our campus and are always looking for ways to make this conference better. Please share your ideas and let us know your thoughts about this year’s program.

Pre-registration, which includes a $40 contribution to the Eclipse Foundation, is required for attendance. You may pre-register until December 17th, 2013, 2pm PST.

Hope to see you there!

By Alex Ruiz, Android Development Tools

Dart 1.0: A stable SDK for structured web apps

Today we’re releasing the Dart SDK 1.0, a cross-browser, open source toolkit for structured web applications. In the two years since we first announced Dart, we’ve been working closely with early adopters to mature the project and grow the community. This release marks Dart's transition to a production-ready option for web developers.

The Dart SDK 1.0 includes everything you need to write structured web applications: a simple yet powerful programming language, robust tools, and comprehensive core libraries. Together, these pieces can help make your development workflow simpler, faster, and more scalable as your projects grow from a few scripts to full-fledged web applications.

On the tools side, the SDK includes Dart Editor, a lightweight but powerful Dart development environment. We wanted to give developers the tools to manage a growing code base, so we added code completion, refactoring, jump to definition, a debugger, hints and warnings, and lots more. Dart also offers an instant edit/refresh cycle with Dartium, a custom version of Chromium with the native Dart VM. Outside the browser, the Dart VM can also be used for asynchronous server side computation.

For deployment, dart2js is a translator that allows your Dart code to run in modern browsers. The performance of generated JavaScript has improved dramatically since our initial release and is in many cases getting close to that of idiomatic JavaScript. In fact, the dart2js output of the DeltaBlue benchmark now runs even faster than idiomatic JavaScript. Similarly, dart2js output code size has been reduced substantially. The generated JavaScript for the game Pop, Pop, Win! is now 40% smaller than it was a year ago. Performance of the VM continues to improve as well; it’s now between 42% to 130% faster than idiomatic JavaScript running in V8, depending on the benchmark.

DeltaBlue benchmark results
The Dart SDK also features the Pub package manager, with more than 500 packages from the community. Fan favorites include AngularDart and polymer.dart, which provide higher-level frameworks for building web apps. Dart developers can continue using their favorite JavaScript libraries with Dart-JavaScript interop.

Going forward, the Dart team will focus on improving Dartium, increasing Dart performance, and ensuring the platform remains rock solid. In particular, changes to core technologies will be backward-compatible for the foreseeable future.

Today’s release marks the first time Dart is officially production-ready, and we’re seeing teams like Blossom, Montage, Soundtrap, Mandrill, Google's internal CRM app and Google Elections, already successfully using Dart in production. In addition, companies like Adobe,, and JetBrains have started to add Dart support to their products.

To get started, head over to and join the conversation at our Dartisans community on Google+. We’re excited to see what you will build with the new stable Dart SDK 1.0.

Posted by Lars Bak, Software Engineer and Chief Dartisan

Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit 2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

We are excited to have a guest post from Remy DeCausemaker highlighting his first Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit. Enjoy.  

The first photograph was taken by Matthew Dillon. All other photos taken by Thomas Bonte, CC-BY.

Photo by Matthew Dillon

Over 280 attendees representing 177 mentoring organizations gathered for a two-day, code-munity extravaganza celebrating the conclusion of Google Summer of Code with the annual Mentor Summit held at Google in Mountain View, California.

Friday Night
Mentors and admins began arriving on Friday night, and walking about you could catch bits of conversation, spoken in a plethora of languages and accents, spanning from pixels to bits.

The Summit
No less than four trips of double-decker bus loads, from two different hotels, shuttled everyone into the Googleplex. The morning began with a hearty breakfast, and coffee from Google's expert Baristas. With trays piled high with eggs, bacon, muffins, and other breakfast-y goodness, mentors took their seats in the massive company cafeteria. Under a quartet of stage lights in that familiar Google colored glow, Google Summer of Code lead Carol Smith stepped up to the microphone, and welcomed the crowd.

Once folks were acquainted with the schedule of events, places of interest, and policies to follow, FOSS Advocate and Director of Open Source Programs at Google, Chris DiBona, addressed the audience:
"The reason you are here is because you deserve to be. The whole point of GSoC is to introduce new developers to FOSS, create more FOSS code, and support projects we think are great. We look at reviews, and the aftermath and say 'did it work?'
You are here because it did. 
Thank you for being there for Open Source Software. Thank you for being there for Free Software, and for being there for Google. Open source matters to us. The future of Open Source matters to us. This room--and the people you bring in--without you, it wouldn't be as wonderful in 5-10 years as it is today."
The "Big Reveal”
Prior to the summit unconference, attendees had a chance to suggest and vote on session topics using Google Moderator. Sessions were assigned to rooms of a size proportionate to their level of interest. Ample space was also provided for sessions that were proposed on-the-spot, often inspired by discussions from previous sessions.

The "Pumphandle" Session   
The first "session" of the unconference took the entire GSoC audience, split it down the middle, and formed two long lines for a full morning of meet-and-greet handshaking. This provided attendees with an opportunity to meet each other, and have conversations they may not have had otherwise during the busy summit.

The Chocolate Room
Behold, the annual cocoa cornucopia! Mentors from around the world packed  plenty of sweet treats to share with their fellow hackers. Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, bacon chocolate, and yes, even fish chocolate.

The GSoC Band
In the Open Source Community, ad hoc collaborative teams are an everyday occurrence. But to see it happen outside of a source code repository, with a full drum set, five kinds of stringed instruments, a keyboard, and even an oboe... that is something you don't see everyday. Shout out to Saturday night's Emcee, host, and bringer of instruments, Googler Marty Conner, who got the GSoC band back together for 2013.

The Sticker Swap
Over the course of the summit, Googlers would freshen the tables of swag at the front of the cafeteria. Tshirts, banners, stickers, and even GSoC Socks! But Google wasn't the only team with a horse in the swag race. Mentors brought stacks of stickers from dozens of projects to participate in the annual sticker swap.

The Googleplex Tours  

DSC_0661During the lunch hour each day, Stephanie Taylor and Mary Radomile of Google's Open Source Programs Office gave attendees guided tours of the Googleplex campus.

With each new release of Google's Android operating system, comes a new codename, and a new statue in the Sculpture Garden. Note the new KitKat Android on the right side of the photo.

The Cakes
Thanks to Joel Sherrill with RTEMS, who supplied the templates for the giant Google Summer of Code birthday cakes, celebrating nine consecutive years of FOSS community engagement with the logos for each year of the program on two tasty cakes.

A New GSoC Tradition

Based on feedback from last year's summit, the organizers agreed to put together a whole track of "Google" talks, given by current employees about a variety of projects, initiatives, and technologies. One of the more popular sessions was led by Wesley Chun, Developer Advocate with the Google Cloud Team. Chun talked about the Google Cloud Platform, its variety of services, and special discounts and support provided by Google to FOSS projects.

Big Take-aways

As a first-time Google Summer of Code Mentor attending my first summit, I cannot even begin to recount all of the amazing things that occurred over the course of the weekend. If you clicked on the link at the top of this article for the 177 mentoring organizations represented at the summit, you can begin to imagine the sheer magnitude of talent, passion, and dedication that gathered in Mountain View. As a storyteller, I accumulated thousands of words worth of notes from all the sessions I attended, which sadly, I cannot possibly share with all of you readers in a single post, so we're going to have to do a "highlight reel."
Operating Systems Summit
When else do you see core developers from Gentoo, Debian, Fedora, NetBSD, FreeBSD, DragonFlyBSD, and others, all politicking in one place? 
Gamification in FOSS Session
Tales of developer incentivization were shared by projects such as Joomla, Battle For Wesnoth, and the Fedora Community
HFOSS Session founders and members, met with representatives from other projects such as OpenMRS, Sigmah, PostgreSQL, The Sahana Software Foundation, The Tsunami Information Project, Mifos, NetBSD, SugarLabs, BRL-CAD, and a handful of others, to discuss our role as hackers to improve the conditions of our planet, and our species.
Outreach Program For Women
Led by Karen Sandler, Executive Director of the Gnome Foundation, who introduced the OPW, and discussed ways to bring more diversity to your FOSS project.
The BIGGEST Take-Away
Next year will mark the 10th year of Google Summer of Code! In honor of "the-big-one-oh," Google will be expanding the Google Summer of Code program ten percent across the board:
10% increase in Student Stipend
10% increase in total number of students accepted
10 more accepted Mentor Organizations than ever before

YOU too can join the excitement!

Like what you see here? Is your project interested in mentoring? Are you a student that wants to get paid to work on Free/Open Source Software with world-class hackers? Then you should apply for Google Summer of Code 2014. Here are the important dates:

8 October, 2013     GSoC Program announced.
3 February, 2014    Mentoring organizations can begin submitting applications to Google.
14 February, 2014  Mentoring organization application deadline.
10 March, 2014      Student application period opens.
21 March, 2014      Student application deadline.

Be sure to keep an eye on the GSoC 2014 Program Timeline for updates and meetups to be announced in your region.

Though this was my first Google Summer of Code, I sure don't intend for it to be my last. I cannot recommend the program highly enough. Next year your chances of acceptance (and pay check) will be better than ever. The benefits for mentors, the students, and the FOSS community at large should be abundantly clear.

Happy hacking, and I hope to see you all next year!

By Remy DeCausemaker, RIT FOSSBox

Welcoming MariaDB 10.0.5

Thursday, November 7, 2013

MariaDB is a community-developed fork of MySQL, a relational database management system for developers looking for a robust, scalable, and reliable SQL server. Its current version is based on MySQL 5.5 and has the capability to provide powerful multi-source replication for data warehouses, to support subqueries that maximize performance, and to make replication more reliable with global transaction IDs.

Today, the MariaDB team is releasing MariaDB 10.0.5, which includes parallel slave replication threads, a feature sponsored by Google. Parallel replication has the ability to remove bottlenecks in replicated configurations, which is crucial as storage speeds increase to keep systems moving quickly.

Internally at Google, we’ve already deployed MariaDB 10.0 to our non-production MySQL instances to help report bugs and work with the MariaDB team to test their fixes. This release takes the MariaDB 10.0 branch from alpha to beta status, where the team will shift focus from stabilization to bug fixes.

Google’s move and support of MariaDB doesn’t affect our Google Cloud Platform’s Cloud SQL offering for developers.

Congratulations and thank you to everyone who has worked hard to get here!

By Ian Gulliver, Site Reliability Manager

Mentoring Organizations for Google Code-in 2013 are announced

Friday, November 1, 2013

We are pleased to announce the 10 open source organizations that will be providing tasks for young students to work on during the Google Code-in 2013 contest starting later this month. The contest is designed to introduce 13-17 year old pre-university students to open source software development. These open source organizations are all experienced at mentoring students, having all participated in Google Summer of Code in the past; many have also participated in previous years of Google Code-in as well.

Apertium - platform for making rule-based machine translation systems
BRL-CAD - a 3D computer graphics modeling system
Copyleft Games Group - promotes players rights to create, play, mod, and share games
Drupal - content management platform
Haiku - an operating system, fast and simple, inspired by the BeOS
KDE - develops desktop software (desktop globe, music player, office suite and more)
RTEMS - open source real-time operating system for embedded applications
Sahana Software Foundation - humanitarian open source disaster management software
Sugar Labs - a learning platform that reinvents how computers are used for primary education
Wikimedia Foundation - MediaWiki and extensions, powering Wikipedia and thousands of collaborative websites

Organizations will provide a list of tasks for students to work on during the contest in categories such as coding, documentation, user interface, quality assurance and outreach. Each task has a mentor assigned to it to help students should they have questions as they are completing the tasks.

The mentoring organizations are now all busy working on their extensive task lists to have them ready by the start of the contest on November 18th.

Starting on Monday, November 18th at 17:00 UTC, students that meet the eligibility requirements can register on the Google Code-in contest site and start claiming tasks and earning prizes.

For more important contest information please check out the contest site for Contest Rules, Frequently Asked Questions and Important Dates.  We have a screencast and a short video about the contest available to view as well. You can also join our announcement and discussion lists to talk with other students, mentors and organization administrators.

Students, join in the fun – Google Code-in starts Monday, November 18th!

By Stephanie Taylor, Open Source Programs