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Re: ideas for Google Summer of Code

From: Reinhold Kainhofer
Subject: Re: ideas for Google Summer of Code
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2009 13:11:12 +0100
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Am Freitag, 16. Januar 2009 schrieb Johannes Schindelin:
> Hi,
> On Fri, 16 Jan 2009, Reinhold Kainhofer wrote:
> > On Friday 16 January 2009 02:46:22 Johannes Schindelin wrote:
> > > - the mentor is also expected to work almost full time at least in the
> > >   beginning,
> >
> > Sorry, but from my experience with mentoring KDE projects, this is not
> > really true. It mostly depends on the student, of course, but the main
> > point is that the student can easily contact the mentor (some short IRC
> > sessions have proved to be extremely productive). The mentor doesn't
> > have to be available full time or even work on the project full time. He
> > rather needs to have a thorough knowledge of how to proceed and provide
> > the correct pointers. The rest is usually figured out by the student
> > anyway. At least these are my experiences.
> And in my experience, the more complicated the source code is, the more
> hand-holding will be required.

Yes, that's absolutely true!

> Don't get me wrong: I'd love to see a GSoC project working on LilyPond, I
> just don't see it happen for three reasons:
> - it is relatively hard to come up with a project that is neither too
>   small nor too big for 3 months, from what I see in LilyPond,

I don't think this is a big problem. It's up to the project to judge the 
success of the student: If the problem was too large, but the student still 
managed to do a substantial amount, even though it's not finished, we can still 
declare it a success. Similarly, if the student runs out of work, I'm sure we 
can find something related to keep him/her busy for the rest of the SoC...

> - the natural mentor for any LilyPond project says he's not available, and

Yes, that's the main bottleneck. For example, the MusicXML output backend 
would be a very good project, but I doubt that anyone other than Han-Wen could 
possibly mentor it...

> - Google announced that they want to _shrink_ the SoC this year, which
>   means LilyPond would compete with projects that already were in previous
>   GSoCs and actually wanted _more_ slots instead of _less_ slots.  That is
>   pure politics, unfortunately.

So what? LilyPond would be under the umbrella of GNU, which will get awarded a 
fixed number of students. So, inside GNU, we'll simply have to argue why we 
also need a student. We can even argue that the other projects already 
benefitted from the SoC in the previous years, while LilyPond didn't. So to be 
fair, Lilypond should also get a student...

Shouldn't we start collecting possible project ideas (not only for SoC, but 
for any possible newcomer to LilyPond, so that we don't have to point them to 
the bug tracker telling him/her to simply choose a bug and work on that, which 
can be cathastrophic if you don't know the internals yet)? How about a page in 
our wiki?


- -- 
- ------------------------------------------------------------------
Reinhold Kainhofer, address@hidden,
 * Financial & Actuarial Math., Vienna Univ. of Technology, Austria
 *, DVR: 0005886
 * LilyPond, Music typesetting,
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