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Main Organization License
Why is your organization applying to participate in GSoC 2010? What do you hope to gain by participating?
We would like to encourage students to become long term contributing community members. Several active members of our community were at one time SoC students including two of our administrators this year.
Did your organization participate in past GSoCs? If so, please summarize your involvement and the successes and challenges of your participation.
GNOME has participated every year Google has sponsored a Summer of Code, guiding over 100 students in the processes. Some of our successes are: sponsoring students to attend our main conference (GUADEC), successful long-term adoption of GSoC results (e.g. the Cheese project which has become a part of GNOME and it's maintainer is an admin since two years) and numerous students which have taken up places in other projects under GNOME's auspices. In our first year in the program we realized that none of our applicants were women and used the money allocated to the mentoring organization to fund the Women's Summer Outreach Program. It was organized along the same lines as SoC, but was only open to female applicants. Since then we have had female students in the program and I think it has made us as a community more welcoming.
Our greatest failures in the program are those students who fail to complete the program. This has taught us the value of appraising student's level of engagement during the "getting to know each other" phase and trying to make corrections early on instead of waiting till the mid-term or end of the program. Because of that we try to follow the student as close as possible and try to be helpful at any time.
If your organization participated in past GSoCs, please let us know the ratio of students passing to students allocated, e.g. 2006: 3/6 for 3 out of 6 students passed in 2006.
2005: at least 7*/12
* NOTE: This number might be incorrect, as data was lost over time. However it should not be far off the real number based on http://code.google.com/soc/2005/results.html
** NOTE: Based on http://code.google.com/soc/2006/gnome/about.html
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If your organization has not previously participated in GSoC, have you applied in the past? If so, for what year(s)?
What is the URL for your ideas page?
What is the main development mailing list for your organization? This question will be shown to students who would like to get more information about applying to your organization for GSoC 2010. If your organization uses more than one list, please make sure to include a description of the list so students know which to use.
What is the main IRC channel for your organization?
GIMPNet (irc.gnome.org) #gnome-hackers
GIMPNet (irc.gnome.org) #soc
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#gnome-hacker is the main hacker point of contact, #soc is used for Summer of Code related communication
Does your organization have an application template you would like to see students use? If so, please provide it now. Please note that it is a very good idea to ask students to provide you with their contact information as part of your template. Their contact details will not be shared with you automatically via the GSoC 2010 site.
- What is the ultimate goal of your proposal?
- What components/modules will it touch/change or create?
- What benefits does it have for GNOME and its community?
- Why you'd like to complete this particular project?
- How do you plan to achieve completion of your project?
- It really helps to see a schedule with dates and important milestones/deliveries (preferably in two weeks increments).
- What will showable at mid-term ?
- Why do you think you are be the best person to work on this project?
- There are usually several proposals for the most popular ideas and we want to know what makes you stand out from the crowd.
- What are your past experiences (if any) with the open source world?
- Why are you interested in improving GNOME?
- Please attach a link to a bug (bugzilla.gnome.org or other Free Software tracker) containing a patch you've written.
 All students are invited to attend GUADEC and present their project there, which is right after the midterm evaluation deadline.
What criteria did you use to select the individuals who will act as mentors for your organization? Please be as specific as possible:
Our mentors and administrators are drawn from active developers and project maintainers in the GNOME community. Many of those that will be mentors have served as such before or been SoC students themselves. While the exact mentors haven't been selected yet, they will usually be the maintainer or lead developer of a project that the student wishes to contribute to.
This year's maintainers were active in aiding last year's with suggesting project ideas, selecting student's proposals and mentoring projects (this is an ongoing process).
What is your plan for dealing with disappearing students?
To keep tabs on contributors, we ask them to file weekly progress reports with firstname.lastname@example.org and on their blogs which we syndicate on planet.gnome.org. If a student is late to file and their mentor can't reach them, an administrator will try to contact them to see if there are any issues we can help solve either in their personal lives or between them and their mentor.
What is your plan for dealing with disappearing mentors?
If we are contacted by a student complaining of a unresponsive mentor we will contact the mentor and see if there's been a misunderstanding. In the event of a truly AWOL mentor, we will find a suitable replacement from the community or one of the administrators will take over. This was actually the case last year, where we quickly found another mentor and the student could successfully finish his project.
What steps will you take to encourage contributors to interact with your community before, during, and after the program?
We are asking students to contribute a patch to one of our projects and attach a link to it with their proposal. This will help us determine a minimum level of comprehension of Free software community practices. During the program, their blogs will be added to planet.gnome.org and the opportunity to attend our summer conference, GUADEC, will be available to them (the GNOME Foundation will make an effort to sponsor (part of) their travel expenses). After the program they will be welcome to stay and contribute and take up active positions in the community. If they choose to stay, their blog will remain syndicated on planet.gnome.org where they will have a broad audience for any of their Free software endeavours.
What will you do to ensure that your accepted students stick with the project after GSoC concludes?
Our goal over the summer is to make them feel welcome as members of the community and we will continue that afterward. We take great pains to publicise their contributions and successes and give them a sense of ownership and responsibility over their bit of code.
Is there anything else you would like to tell the Google Summer of Code program administration team? :
It was very hard to contact all the students at the begin of last years summer of code because of the way melange worked at that tme. It would be awesome if we as organization could either get all the email addresses of the students (whether accepted or not) or at least a form, where we can send them a personalized message. We also want to encourage students, who were not accepted to stay in the community and work on a project outside of Summer of Code.
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