Google Summer of Code projects announced!

Google has announced which summer of code projects and MetaBrainz accepted three sexy proposals. A big, fat round of congratulations go out to:

  • Niklas Berglund, Music Collection: “This project aims to make it easy to keep track of new releases of your favorite music artists, and making it easy to see which of their releases you are missing in your collection.”
  • Oliver Charles, Port the existing mb_server code base to use Template Toolkit templates, “I will split the current Perl code base of mb_server into separate Perl files, and corresponding Template Toolkit templates. I will do so by writing some in-between bridge Perl code, and extracting existing HTML from the mb_server code into templates.”
  • Alexander Hupfer, Wizard for PicardQt: “New users often find that PicardQt is difficult to use or/and have problems to use it the right way. The wizard will solve both shortcomings by guiding the user through the necessary steps when using PicardQt including file import, library organisation and handling of duplicates.”

We’re quite excited by the applications we received this year — our experience from last year allowed us plan our approach better. We were able to quickly identify good students with proposals that we liked and help them along to make their proposals better and to have them fit smoothly into our plans for the next few months. Also from this you can see that we’re going to stick with perl for a while longer while we clean up the existing code base to make it ready for adding more complicated features drawn from the NGS proposal.

This is quite exciting! Thank you to Google for supporting us again and congratulations to Niklas, Oliver and Alexander!

Google Summer of Code 2008

After a bumpy ride in 2007 we plan to participate in Google’s Summer of Code project again. However, we’re going to change quite a few things since only one of our three projects reached completion last year. At the Summer of Code Mentor Summit in 2007, I learned quite a few things about Google’s project that give me a much better clue about what to do for this year.

At the summit I learned that the most successful projects are the ones that are proposed by the students. And, given the number of students who spammed us by pasting our project ideas into their GSoC applications verbatim, we’re likely to not accept any projects based on our own ideas this year. This forces applications to dig into MusicBrainz, if they’re not already part of the project and understand what the project needs before submitting an application.

I will actively encourage students in the MusicBrainz community to participate in GSoC. Even though students may respond with: “I’m not good enough for that!” we’ve seen these students make excellent contributions outside of GSoC that are on par, if not better than accepted students. Students from our community already understand open source and MusicBrainz. Bringing in new students, especially students who are new to open source, can be a lot of work and result in culture shock.

If we do not have enough qualified applications to fill all of the Summer of Code slots that were allocated to us, we won’t fill all of our slots. We’ll give them to other organizations who have too many qualified students, but not enough slots.

This year we will conduct detailed interviews with all of the students applicants who make it close to the final round. We may even devise some sort of test to ensure that the students possess all the skills they claim on their CV.

Summer of Code 2008 should be kicking off very soon — once we have any information for students, we will post them here. Stay tuned!

UPDATE: Leslie let me know that providing an idea list is actually required. It is, however, not required to accept any proposals for these ideas. The above has been updated to reflect this.