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Google Warms Up A Summer Of Code

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The search advertising company will support another Summer Of Code this year, where Google provides student developers with stipends to create new open source programs or to help currently established projects.

Google’s open source program manager Chris DiBona shared the news about Google’s forthcoming Summer Of Code, a repeat of their previous effort to support developers and worthy open source projects.

In 2005, Google received 8,744 applicants for the Summer of Code program. DiBona said 419 were accepted.

Developers earn a $5000 stipend from Google for their work; $500 goes to the mentoring organization and $4500 to the developer.

Should Google be the mentoring organization, the $500 would be rolled back into the Summer Of Code program.

Quite a few organizations have already signed up as mentors since registration opened on April 11th.

Apache, Python, Perl, FreeBSD, and Postgresql among others have places on the mentoring list. Those registrations run through May 1st.

Prospective mentors for the program must provide a pool of project ideas, and staff to review proposals for those ideas or for “blue-sky” concepts that pertain to the mentor’s organization.

As an example, The Perl Foundation pointed out a list of potential project ideas on perl.org. Among those are several from the Perl 5 wishlist:

•  “The regexp optimiser is not optional” — “Make the peephole optimizer optional”
•  “iCOW” – unless Dave gets a mound of tuits between now and the summer.
•  tokeniser/pads/UTF-8 — The tokeniser isn’t actually very UTF-8 clean. use utf8; is a hack – variable names are stored in stashes as raw bytes, without the utf-8 flag set. The pad API is all bytes. The UTF-8-ness of PL_rsfp is ignored. All this could be fixed.
•  “Attach/detach debugger from running program” which will inevitably snowball into a lot more debugger stuff.
•  “fix tainting bugs” + “Make tainting consistent”


Google also wants those mentors to have understudies available to cover the original mentor’s absences, should he or she have a vacation planned or otherwise be unavailable during the term of the project.

Then, student proposals may be submitted from May 1st through May 8th. Mentoring organizations then review the proposals for the next two weeks, and contacts student developers to request more information or to indicate if their proposals have been accepted.

After that, the coding process begins. Google will support a newsgroup, an IRC channel, #summer-discuss, on Slashnet, and by email.

More information on the program may be found at the Summer Of Code website.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Google Warms Up A Summer Of Code
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