Google Summer of Code Veteran Org: KDE

Friday, January 31, 2014

Next week the application period for mentoring organizations for Google Summer of Code 2014 begins. For our 11th veteran GSoC post, the KDE team talks about a few of their students and their overall experience in the 2013 program.

Google Summer of Code 2013 saw 50 enthusiastic students coding for the summer, guided and assisted by their KDE mentors. In a span of ninety days, the students learned, innovated, created and contributed to one of the largest free and open source communities, and developed software that may affect users all over the world. As members of the KDE community, they've gained insights into the way the community functions and have had enlightening interactions with enthusiastic community members.

GSoC students and mentors have shared some quick thoughts on their experiences below:

Matěj Laitl (who worked on Amarok) joked that what he loved most about GSoC was that he got to spend his summer flipping bits instead of burgers!

"The satisfaction of working on a real life project and writing code for software which would perhaps be used by millions of people is indescribable.” -- Akshay Ratan (Plasma Media Center)

“The entire journey was truly remarkable and cannot be forgotten." -- Lukas Appelhans (Muon

Albert Vaca (KDE Connect) felt that he learned a lot throughout GSoC and was happy to work with such awesome mentors and believed that without their help and advice the project wouldn't have been possible.

"I first saw the GSoC poster in 2012, but at that time I didn't believe myself to be qualified enough to participate in it. But this year, my final year in college, I had made up my mind and this entire journey was a great learning experience for me!"  -- Yiou Wang (DigiKam

"It has been an amazing summer during which I've learned so much. I have evolved from a web newbie to a web enthusiast and had the chance to meet great people." -- Andrei Duma (Marble

Claudio Desideri working on Gluon as a part of GSoC said, "the possibility to learn new things, work on so many parts of a project, with so many technologies" kept him motivated!

Utku Aydin discovered something interesting during GSoC, "...that one can have a love–hate relationship with C++."

Lydia Pintscher, the main org admin and a driving force of GSoC in KDE, said, "I'm thrilled to see our community take such a large number of young bright people by the hand. Google Summer of Code and KDE have made such a profound difference in the lives of the students of previous years. I am looking forward to seeing where this year's students are going and how the projects they worked on are going to turn out."

Students worked on a vast array of KDE projects and developed new features this summer including:

  • A new collaborative text editor based on KTextEditor and KDE Telepathy
  • Animation support in Krita, a digital painting suite for real artists—professionals and those who create for the love and fun of it
  • Communication between a user’s Android phone and their KDE desktop, with features such as desktop notification of new messages, syncing photos over WiFi, pausing music automatically during a call and more.

New KDE applications were added by GSoC students, such as:

  • Artikulate – a foreign language pronunciation trainer
  • Khipu - an advanced mathematical function (2D and 3D) plotter
  • A web interface for KDE project reporting that provides information along with statistics and graphical reports
  • A localization team management tool that handles tasks such as application booking and the review process. Localization includes translation, documentation, and internationalization. KDE is translated into more than 100 languages.

To learn more about KDE participation in Google Summer of Code, please read this comprehensive report.

Thank You
A big thank you to the people in the KDE community who have been so supportive and have encouraged students to contribute to open source as part of the community. And thank you to the mentors for the time and effort put into guiding these students and for your assistance from the beginning—proposing meaningful GSoC projects—to the completion of those projects. And many thanks to the GSoC students who worked so diligently on their projects, helping to bring new ideas and energy to free and open source software.

Google Summer of Code is many months of hard work for everyone involved. It produces surprising results and fresh enthusiasm. It helps shape minds and attitudes, provides valuable experiences and delightful, life-long memories. It fosters a new sense of freedom and opens possibilities for the participants and the people who are touched by their work. The program and its participants are the epitome of the power of free and open source software.

By Devaja Shah, KDE team