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The curse of the umbrella, or: Why we got rejected as an organisation

From: olafBuddenhagen
Subject: The curse of the umbrella, or: Why we got rejected as an organisation
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2010 19:13:07 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.19 (2009-01-05)


This year I (barely) made it to the GSoC "why were we rejected?"
meeting. The answer for the Hurd was very short and to the point:

   <lh> antrik: so my friend, we are asking most GNU projects to work
   under the GNU project umbrella.

It's worth reading the rest of the log as well however, as there are
some suggestions for umbrella projects in the followup that might be
helpful -- and I don't really have time this year to pursue them

So, here we go:

<lh> antrik: so my friend, we are asking most GNU projects to work under the 
GNU project umbrella.
<lh> antrik: i already talked to mattl and libreplanet and he is going to make 
sure we have a good idea of how many subprojects for gnu want to mentor so that 
we get a decent number of student slots for the gnu project
<antrik> the problem is not really with the slots. the problem is that we get 
*way* less applications in the first place, hidden under the umbrella :-(
<antrik> (like, less then a fifht)
<lh> antrik: interesting point. let me think about this for a moment.
* lh chews on this point
<lh> antrik: okay, some suggestions - the FSF free SW supporter newsletter - 
could you work with them to do special editions on each gnu project for gsoc, 
such as hurd, gnucash, etc.?
<lh> antrik: i feel confident that if you write a blurb they will publish it 
for you. i can't speak for them but it is an idea.
<antrik> yeah, we can try that
* lh thinsk some more
<lh> antrik: do try it and tell me how it goes, i am curious to see if this is 
useful advice for other folks in your same situation.
<lh> antrik: right. other thoughts - the gnu project home page on the GSoC site 
- have it provide a blurb of *all* gnu projects participating so that each gets 
a description that students can read and choose from. that will be globally 
available and not just FSF oriented
<antrik> OK
<antrik> BTW, does this mean that it's not even worth applying as a separate 
org in the future?
<lh> antrik: does gnu hurd have a blog? maybe do a post on what you are looking 
for in a gsoc student, what they will learn by working with you and link that 
from your longer description on the gsoc site home page for gnu project
<lh> antrik: i can't make guarantees about that but i would say it is likely 
that we will continue to ask gnu projects to work with the gnu umbrella
<lh> antrik: update the news page, link it from the gnu page on the gsoc site
<lh> think think think......
<lh> anyone here from the PSF?
<lh> or osgeo?
<lh> or apache?
<drt24> use GWT treetables to show subprojects on the !orgs page?
<antrik> I think the main problem with the GNU umbrella is that when people 
read "GNU project", they are not thinking about all the individual projects 
that are part of GNU...
<lh> drt24: that would be great if we used GWT for socghop.appspot.com - 
melange uses django. and we have like 5 part-time developers
<drt24> oh ok, I thought the tables looked like GWT ones.
<lh> antrik: agreed, that is a marketing matter. i would think it would help 
GNU in general to have a page on the suite of gnu applications. or does such a 
page already exist?
<lh> antrik: i would talk to some of the folks from apache or the python 
software foundation or osgeo to see how they help their subprojects get 
<antrik> I wonder whether there would be a way to prominently list all the 
projects under an umbrella on the organisation list?...
<|Kev|> antrik: well, there's the organisation page, which is org-editable.
<antrik> drt24: oh, sorry, you already suggested that :-)
<lh> antrik: as far as the current software goes, the only way is what |Kev| 
<drt24> use the tags column?
<lh> that's a great suggestion too drt24
<Ivanovic> antrik: use a tag for every subproject that the gnu umbrella features
<antrik> yeah, I thought about the tags too... though the "suborg" tags get 
lost between the generic ones I fear :-(
<antrik> but of course that's a start
<antrik> |Kev|: problem is that there are so many organisations, so most 
students probably don't even look at each org page, unless the organisation 
name already rings a bell :-(
<antrik> but yeah, surely this is one thing that could help a bit
<|Kev|> antrik: Yes, I understand, the XSF is also an umbrella org (albeit a 
strange one)
<lh> antrik: doing a quick scan (very quick!) of gnu.org, i dont see a list of 
all gnu pacakages and how they are useful
<lh> antrik: there is a list of decomissioned packages but not one of active 
projects. this could be really useful
<antrik> lh: last time I checked, there was a list of all GNU projects 
somewhere on the site... but only a fraction of them are in GSoC :-)
<lh> antrik: hang on looking again
<lh> antrik: ok, i found it but it is *hard* to find
<lh> may i suggest a top level page on gnu gsoc projects
<lh> antrik: this is not as descriptive as it could be 
<lh> erg
<lh> wrong link
<lh> antrik: directory.fsf.org/GNU
<lh> antrik: these suggestions are worth a try, if you can get to doing any of 
them let me know how it went for you.
<antrik> OK

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