Google Summer of Code 2016 wrap-up: GitHub

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Every year open source organizations, mentors, and university students come together to build and improve open source software through Google Summer of Code (GSoC). This guest post is part of a series of blog posts from people who participated in GSoC 2016.


Open source maintainers at GitHub mentored 5 students in Google Summer of Code last year. The students did great work that we’d like to highlight and congratulate them on:

Updates to GitHub Classroom 

GitHub Classroom helps teachers automate their work and interact with students in issues and pull requests. Last summer two students took on projects to help teachers work more efficiently and with greater insight into their classrooms.

Classroom Project #1 

Cheng-Yu Hsu is a student who worked to implement new features suggested by teachers using GitHub Classroom, including due dates for assignment submissions and visualizations of classroom activities. In reflecting on the project, Cheng-Yu said:

"Having a great community is one of the most important factors of a successful open source project, so participating [in] the community is also a huge part of this project. It is great to have chances responding to user feedback, helping people resolve issues and brainstorming new features with them."

Classroom Project #2

Shawn Ding worked on student identifiers and team management for GitHub Classroom. This means that teachers using GitHub Classroom can use things such as student emails to identify their assignments. Teachers can also now manage their students and teams of students using GitHub Classroom via drag and drop in the settings page which then updates the data on GitHub.

Front-end controls for Jekyll

Jekyll Admin is a Jekyll plugin that provides users with a traditional CMS-like graphical interface to author content and administer Jekyll sites from the comfort of their browser. GSoC student Mert Kahyaoğlu has been using Facebook’s React framework to create the front-end that will allow you to write a new post, edit existing pages or add new files. And it will all work with GitHub Pages.

Best of all, Mert's plugin allows people to author content and administer Jekyll sites without knowledge of command line or installing an external text editor like Atom. Once installed, Jekyll users start their site as they would normally and simply append “/admin” to their site's URL to launch the WordPress-like administrative interface. Jekyll Admin's initial release is ready for use on your own site. 

Alexander Efremov added support to for interacting with the GitHub API using a repository ID, alongside the existing support for providing the owner and repository name. This means integrators do not have to update their systems when a repository changes ownership. The changes to support these APIs were rolled out incrementally over a number of pull requests, and 0.21 release of made these new APIs available to the public.

We had a great time mentoring these students on their projects last year!

By Carol Smith, John Britton and Brandon Keepers, Organization Administrators for GitHub