Summer of Code!

James Aylett james-xapian at
Fri May 5 21:23:51 BST 2017

Hi, everyone, and congratulations and welcome to our students this year!

We're now into the first week of what Google call the 'community
bonding period'. Now's a good time for our students to introduce
themselves on this mailing list, and 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), 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
requests). I've filled this out from project proposals where I can.

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 (better) 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.

Finally, I'd like to thank those from our community who are acting as mentors this year: Ama, Ayush, Guarav, and Tim. (The first three were all previously GSoC students with Xapian, and it's great to have them continue their involvement in the project!)


 James Aylett, occasional troublemaker & project governance

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