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2011 February 9 [Wednesday]

GSoC-2011 invites small FLOSS projects

On the heels of GCI ending a few days ago, GSOC-2011 was announced at LCA. This year there is an important change, that of the participating organizations, as per Carol's mail (below), http://lists.p2pu.org/pipermail/p2pu-dev/2011-February/000288.html :

--
On Tue, 8 Feb 2011, Carol Smith wrote:

Hi all,

Per some feedback from the mentor summit last year, I've decided to
encourage and accept more small and new mentoring organizations this year.
In tandem with more organizations, I am also setting up a separate mailing
list for the newbie organizations to subscribe to to get advice on how to
successfully participate in the program for the summer.

I need your help with this effort. If you know of small/new projects who are
doing interesting work in the opensource space who might not otherwise
apply, please encourage them to do so. We're looking for all kinds of new
orgs - ones doing stuff on the bleeding edge, ones opensourcing stuff that
hasn't been before, ones who might get overlooked because they're otherwise
too small.

There will be two special questions on the mentoring organization
application this year: one for which a large or experienced organization can
vouch for a small, new organization and one for new or small organizations
to list their "references" in the form of veteran orgs or people. These two
questions will be looked at very specifically when we review organization
applications this year so please fill them in if they are applicable for
you.

To facilitate the mentor/mentee relationship between orgs I've set up a
mailing list for both veteran and newbie mentors to join [1]. Please sign up
if you feel comfortable offering advice to new organizations on how to
participate in a successful GSoC. I've made this list invite-only, so please
request membership if you're interested in joining and list the org you
mentor for. After we've announced accepted organizations for this year, the
mentors and org admins from the new projects will be automatically
subscribed to this list and encouraged to ask questions and get advice.
**This will be a chatty list.**

Thank you in advance for your help with this effort, and may this be the
most awesome summer yet!

[1] - http://groups.google.com/group/gsoc-veterans

Cheers,
Carol
--

As you can see, Google is inviting all fledgling free software projects to apply and there is a concerted effort to rope in smaller organizations doing nice things in Libre software this year. So if you know any organization or floss project that should be a part of gsoc, encourage them to join the mailing list and apply for 2011. [UPDATE,2011feb25: Here is a spreadsheet of the FLOSS organizations applying for GSOC-2011, but do remember that this is NOT a final list which is entirely upto Google.]

Like FLOSS projects, GSOC is perhaps the only technical event that is open to students in any stream (you could be studying for your B.A in literature and still participate in GSOC), does not have artificial barriers which perpetuate a myth that only Engineers or Computer Science students can use, decode and contribute to FLOSS. Any student can, provided they put in some effort to understanding the Libre software ecosystem.

So go ahead, download and use their presentations, logos and flyers to promote Gsoc in your college or university, spread the word and participate when the list of accepted projects is announced in March.

[UPDATE,2011feb28: Google has opened the application process for mentoring organizations for Google Summer of Code 2011 which are being accepted at Melange for ALL Libre software organizations. Please note that the application period closes on 11 March at 23:00 UTC.]


2010 November 5 [Friday]

Google Code-In 2010

Today Google announced the list of participating organizations for Google Code-in --earlier known as GHOP, is targeting school-going teens (upper age limit is 18 years) to contribute to Free/Libre software projects. The Code-in starts on 2010-Nov-22, so do read up on all the organization's task lists and encourage your family, friends, and colleagues to participate!

UPDATE: Carol had posted a longer mail to a private list, which is more informative than my two-line post :)

We’re pleased to announce the Google Code-in contest starting this 22-November-2010 and ending on 10-January-2011. This contest is modelled on the success of our pilot program, the Google Highly Open Participation Contest, that was run in 2007-08. We will again be giving 13-18 year old students around the world an opportunity to get involved with open source projects by doing tasks ranging from documentation to outreach to hands-on coding. We're hoping to get lots of women involved in this effort, so we're hoping you'll spread the word about it, or participate yourself if you are eligible.

The participating open source projects that will be serving as mentoring organizations have been chosen from past participants in Google Summer of Code for their commitment to working with younger students as well as their overall mentoring skills. The 20 organizations - twice as many as were in our pilot program - are listed on our site at http://www.google-melange.com/gci/program/accepted_orgs/google/gci2010.

The participants have a chance to earn prizes including cash and teeshirts, with 10 grand prize winners receiving a trip to Google headquarters in Mountain View, California for an awards ceremony. Grand Prize contest winners will be announced on 14, February, 2011.

We’re looking forward to a fun contest this year and hope you’ll consider participating yourself if you are eligible or spread the word to friends, family, and colleagues about the program.

We encourage you to join the Google Code-in contest discussion list: http://groups.google.com/group/gci-discuss and announcement list:
http://groups.google.com/group/gci-announce.

Please see our blog post: http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2010/10/google-code-in-schools-out-codes-in.html for further details and feel free to contact me directly if you have specific questions that aren’t answered on the website: http://code.google.com/gci.

Cheers,
Carol Smith

2010 October 9 [Saturday]

Openhatch IRC meet

On the Ubuntu-Women list we get a number of women introducing themselves, listing their coding skills, wanting to contribute, etc.. Right now we simply re-direct them to the specific communities within Ubuntu -- to find a project to contribute they have to use keywords to search Launchpad.net for bugs.... search for "perl" / "python" packages, or search for a specific project of choice and squash the bugs listed there -- this does not seem like a terribly efficient way to track participation or contribute, besides being confusing and/or intimidating for someone who is new to the community and is completely un-aware of how floss communities work.

Before anyone says IRC, I should chime in that the infrastructure issues (power outages, poor bandwidth, poor tech support, etc...) in India make it that much harder to contribute. This is not true for other nations with superior basic (power, water, roads, etc..) infrastructure.

So how do we know if a contributor actually searches and finds what she wants to work on or is even comfortable working with? Does she leave because the information she came looking for was not available and/or was simply intimidated by the sheer size and vast technical scope within Ubuntu? These are unanswered questions which I have wondered about -- not knowing if we managed to retain a contributor is a grey area.

Existing members are volunteers themselves with responsibilities, making it harder to track if we are losing technical contributions because we dont know what happens after the initial guidance to a query on the list. I'd been wondering how we could narrow the scope and find technical areas where UW can collaborate with other Ubuntu teams needing help.

In essence that is the usecase: Suppose a woman lists "C/C++ and networking" or "python and AI" as her skillsets, how could we scrape information from LP and use it to channelize women to specific bugs that need squashing --the difficulty level, its upstream/downstream, etc... Could we use an API for data-mining LP for possible areas of interest and list these on our wiki-pages, or post mails to the mailing list or push them into an RSS/Atom news feed on planet.ubuntu-women.org, enabling interested folks to subscribe to the news feed.

After that I pinged Asheesh of openhatch which does something similar -- tags all the floss bug trackers for open bugs, small bite-sized bugs and the big ones too. The idea sounded interestin to him and he called for a meetup -- The meetup is on Monday, Oct11 at 9am IST on #openhatch (logged) on irc.freenode.net and its just meant to bounce off ideas iirc.

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