GSoC 2015 update

Olly Betts olly at
Tue Mar 29 11:43:04 BST 2016

The deadline for students to apply has now passed (it was 19:00 UTC on
March 25th).  Many thanks you to all who applied.

This year Xapian received 31 completed proposals (exactly the same total
as when we last took part in 2014), plus another 2 we only had a draft
version of.

Two were total junk, proposing to implement something unrelated to
Xapian and presumably submitted verbatim to several orgs.  Another 9
were just a title and/or paste from our ideas list, usually with a
generic biography.  There was also a duplicate proposal from one
student.  So after a first pass to cull those we won't consider further,
we are left with 19.

The next step is that the mentors review these 19 proposals, and in
about 2 weeks we need to tell Google how many we'd like to accept.
They then give us a (hopefully equal) number we can accept and we mark
that many as accepted, and talk to the other org in any cases where both
us and them want the same student.  Then Google announce the accepted

The decisions as to who is accepted aren't final until that official
announcement, and Google make it clear we shouldn't preempt that by
discussing selection with students, so please understand that we can't
do that.

Meanwhile, if you've applied to us you shouldn't just sit and wait for
the announcement.  We select the students we think are likely to make
a success of their projects, and you can improve the confidence we have
in you by working on a patch (or if you're already working on a patch,
by pushing through with it and getting it merged).

Finding something directly connected with your project of a suitable
scope often works well (a couple of examples from past years: one
student had basic lua bindings prototyped, another implemented one of
the simpler weighting schemes from their project).  If you can't think
of something, feel free to talk to us, or take a look at the list of
smaller project ideas on the wiki - at least then we can see how well
you can work with the Xapian code, and that you can build the code and
produce a patch suitable for merging:

We may also want to discuss your proposal with you.  Please do respond
if we get in touch - there's not a lot of time to chase answers.


P.S. This is also really the last chance for anyone interested in
mentoring to step forward.  I'd particularly encourage former GSoC
students to consider it (so far we have 3 volunteering to mentor,
but more are welcome).  Our experience is that having been through
GSoC as a student gives you useful insights for mentoring, and you
don't need to know everything about Xapian to be useful.  If you're
interested but have concerns, feel free to come and talk to James
or me.

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