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Desired Slot Count

From: olafBuddenhagen
Subject: Desired Slot Count
Date: Wed, 8 Apr 2009 14:27:08 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.18 (2008-05-17)


I'm a bit surprised that there is no thread on this yet... IIRC the
participating organisations were asked to set the desired number of
slots by March 9th. As GNU is an umbrella, and probably there is no
single person being able to judge on all the applications, I think we
need to gather and add up the desired slot counts from all

In other words, all sub-organisations -- please state, how many
promising projects do you have?

I have seen that some sub-organisations have several proposals for the
same project. Probably you don't want more than one student actually
working on them, so please only count one slot for each such project.
Also, please only count the proposals that you are really confident
about. For one, I'm sure we don't want to take up students that have a
considerable risk of failing -- that would be harmful to the GSoC
program as a whole, as well as for future participation of the GNU

Also, if we know that the count only includes studenst we are really
confident about, this could be used as an argument when requesting
additional slots...

I don't know whether all the sub-organisations have participated in GSoC
before, so just to be sure, some notes on when to be confident about a

First of all, be very sceptical: do not trust any qualifications claimed
in the proposal. (Especially with students from India, but also with
others.) Instead, judge the qualifications actually visible in the
proposal. Does the application clearly show that the student really
understands the task? That he has a good technical understanding in
general, and has put some serious effort in creating the application?
Has actually looked at the code etc. to understand the task? What about
communication -- has the student contacted you yet; and if so, did he
show good understanding when talking to you? Has he set up a development
environment yet? Is his application complete according to the template
and guidelines?

The best way by far to assess qualifications is to ask the students to
submit a patch -- though I guess it's a little late for that now...

And don't underestimate the communication aspect -- regular
communication it's the single most important factor for the success of a
GSoC project!

Now for the Hurd sub-organisation: Of the three students that applied,
all look pretty promising so far. One is a safe bet. (He worked on a
project since last year, in spite of *not* getting a slot!) The other
two I'm not entirely sure about yet. They are not brilliant hackers I
believe, but probably smart enough for the tasks they have picked; and
it *seems* that they are interested in sticking with the project after
GSoC -- though of course it's never possible to know that for sure
before the fact... Also, they both talked to us before submitting the

So, I think it's best to assume three desired slots for the Hurd for now
-- although this number might drop to two or even one over the next few
days (before requesting additional slots), depending on further feedback
on the proposals, and on whether the students manage to submit a


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