Summer of Code!

James Aylett james-xapian at
Fri Apr 29 11:44:19 BST 2016

Hi, everyone, and another congratulations and welcome to our students
this year. We're sorry also that with such a high number of applicants
to a very small number of places we had a number of strong proposals
that we weren't able to accept, and we hope that you will also be able
to find some time over the summer to work on Xapian (in several cases,
continue to work on).

We're approaching the end of the first week of what Google call the
'community bonding period'. Now's a good time for our students (who
have mostly had a chance to introduce themselves) to fill out their
project pages on our wiki:

This complements the (limited) public information about your project
in the GSoC website (which mostly just lists the title and summary).

I've created a project overview page for each, with a sample journal
(it's a really good idea to keep a journal of what you do, even if
it's just notes and thoughts; among other things it means when you
turn to a mentor for advice, they can catch up quickly on what you've
already tried and have been working on, even if up to then other
mentors have been helping you out). It contains space for you to link
to the source code you produce (probably as a fork on github, although
that's not appropriate for every project), and some other details.

There's also space to fill in what hours you'll likely to be working,
so it's easier for mentors to have an idea when you'll be able to
respond or talk in realtime (particularly helpful when working on pull

It also has a dummy link called 'project plan'. By the end of the
community bonding period you need to either link the plan from your
project page, or copy it into our wiki itself. This shouldn't be your
entire proposal, just the project details (including any references
and links) and timeline. The timeline in particular is useful to have
in the wiki so you can update it as the project progresses over the

As the blank journal suggests, the community bonding period is
important, and both we and Google expect you to be working on things
during this period; perhaps completing smaller projects and making pull
requests, or refining and improving your project plan.

We're aware that some of you have existing commitments during the
community bonding period, such as exams, and obviously we'll take that
into account. (Similarly, if anything unexpected comes up in your
life, please let us know if that might affect your project. We don't
necessarily need details, but it's easier to support you if we know.)

As ever, if you have questions about code, API design, project
planning and so forth, please ask them in public on the mailing lists,
or on our #xapian IRC channel. Although each project has an official
mentor listed, they won't always be the best person to help you with a
particular problem, and by bringing it to the whole project everyone
should be able to help where they can.


  James Aylett, occasional trouble-maker

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