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Summer of Code Update

Journal written by Eric Wilhelm (6389) and posted by brian_d_foy on 2008.04.23 18:34   Printer-friendly
Google has officially announced the funded proposals for Summer of Code 2008. I'm very pleased with the quality of proposals and we're all looking forward to a great summer.

The following is a brief run-down of the projects. We'll be putting all of the progress into an aggregator for the students to post updates as they work (I'll link to that when it is up.) The following oversimplifications of these projects are my own words -- the students wrote excellent proposals (and I think we might post the fulltexts soon because the above google link contains only the abstracts.)
Flesh out the Perl 6 Test Suite

Adrian Kreher will be transforming the Perl 6 Synopses into running code.
Mentored/supported by: Moritz Lenz, Jerry Gay, and Will Coleda


Samuel Tyler is going to create a wxPerl GUI for CPANPLUS.
Mentored/supported by: Herbert Breunung, Jos Boumans, and Steffen Müller

Native Call Interface Signatures and Stubs Generation for Parrot

Kevin Tew will be making it easier to use NCI (e.g. at runtime) for all parrot-hosted languages.
Mentored/supported by: Jerry Gay, chromatic, and Will Coleda

Incremental Tricolor Garbage Collector

Andrew Whitworth will be tackling the task of creating a Parrot garbage collector which doesn't need to stop the world to take out the trash, and hopefully turns into the 1.0 GC.
Mentored/supported by: chromatic, Jerry Gay, and Will Coleda


Thierry Moisan will be writing, documenting, and testing a swig-based binding to the GNU Scientific Library.
Mentored/supported by: Jonathan Leto, Alberto Simões, and Steffen Müller

Full Text Search Implementation for Bricolage CMS

Krishnanunni P.N will be adding postgresql-based full text searching to the Bricolage Content Management System.
Mentored/supported by: Vivek Khurana and David Wheeler

A big thanks to these mentors and congratulations to these students.

Note that I'm listing multiple people as "mentor and support staff" for each project. In all cases, there is at least one person to backup the mentor, Herbert and Jos will be tag-team mentoring on wxCPANPLUS, some of the backups might end up playing assistant, and there is always somebody assigned to oversee things. In short, we've planned everything with an N+1 failover architecture and usually a supervisor node. This should make sure that students always have someone to turn to (though I think we might need to order more Jerry.)

Huge thanks and gratitude to all of the students who submitted proposals (which were of great quality, making it very difficult to decide) and all of the mentors and managers who volunteered, as well as all of you readers who helped promote the program. Of the mentors who volunteered, some ended up without a project, but many put a good deal of effort into working with students and helping evaluate proposals. Thus, I will mention them here and remind them that they might not be off of the hook yet: Andy Armstrong, Ash Berlin, Shawn Boyette, Tim Bunce, Nik Clayton, Kieren Diment, Darren Duncan, Rodrigo Fernandes, Shlomi Fish, Urivan Flores, Richard Foley, Jeff Horwitz, Paul Johnson, Mark Keating, Adam Kennedy, Yuval Kogman, Jonathan Leffler, Stevan Little, Zbigniew Lukasiak, Joe McMahon, Shawn M Moore, Greg Sabino Mullane, Steve Peters, Chris Prather, Marcus Ramberg, Allison Randal, Jonathan Rockway, Daniel Ruoso, Michael Schwern, Gabor Szabo, Matt Trout, Reini Urban, Jesse Vincent, Mike Whitaker, Brock Wilcox, Simon Wistow, and Ruslan Zakirov. Wow, what a list! And again: thanks!

I hope I didn't miss anyone, but if I did it is the fault of my filing system and not a reflection of my appreciation ;-) Thanks also to anyone who contributed to the wiki pages -- that effort played a role in getting us accepted into the program at all. A special thanks to Andy Armstrong for hosting the mailing lists, Richard Dice and the Perl Foundation for supporting my efforts, Steffen Müller, Alberto Simões, Jerry Gay, and Will Coleda for helping carry the load and keeping me sane, Vivek Khurana for writing the aggregator app, and all of the folks at Enlightened Perl for getting organized (or should I say "organised"?) and making the effort to get a second, slightly different Perl umbrella through the door.

I do wish we had gotten more slots and it is unfortunate that so many mentors who volunteered were left with nothing to do. But, I think the only way to change that next year is going to be to get more students interested in Perl/Parrot and get them to apply. Most of what determines the number of slots an organization gets is simply how many students apply. It seems cruel, but this is a competitive program, so Google basically gives each organization only the top 20% of their applicants (and we actually got 30% of ours.) So, yes: we had more mentors volunteer than the number of students who submitted proposals. I think this says a lot about the Perl community's enthusiasm, but maybe also says something about our demographic. We should try to do better with the publicity next year, but I am content with having gotten a 20% increase in slots from 2006 and an Inf% increase from last year (where we had a whopping zero because we didn't try hard enough to get in.) In any case, I'm glad that so many mentors stepped up to pledge their support and the entire Perl community should thank them.

Stay tuned for more updates. We'll be working on getting all of the students onboard with their respective projects, svn access, etc over the next few weeks and should have everybody ready to go by May 26th when the program officially kicks into coding mode.
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  • I think if we could have a standard deck of cards introducing perl as something like the

    Practical Easy Real world Language

    for presenting to students in universities/colleges, this might go towards increasing mindshare. I'm thinking of an emphasis on the positive and interesting things like Perl::Critic, Moose, Test::More and co, Catalyst, Rose::*, DBIx::Class, Catalyst and Jifty.

    Perhaps a 15 minute deck and a 60 minute deck that emphasise the positive bits of perl. Having had a look at the competition

    • *grumble*

      deck of cards should read deck of *slides*

      and Catalyst should only be mentioned once no matter how good it is ...

  • The bugzilla project also has a SoC student, which means that Perl got quite a good deal, particularly after previous years.

    Of course we could do better, but it's pretty good :)

    @JAPH = qw(Hacker Perl Another Just);
    print reverse @JAPH;