Wednesday, May 10, 2017

GSoC: How can I improve next year?

For those students who are disappointed with a rejection email, here are some common mistakes and strengths we noticed. Keep these in mind to strengthen your proposal next year.

Common Mistakes:

  • Did not follow directions
  • Did not subscribe to and use the mail lists, IRC channels, attend team meetings, etc.
  • Did not submit a final, complete proposal
  • Misunderstood the project's scope, or failed to include writing documentation and tests throughout the coding period
  • Poor timeline: unrealistic, or lack of implementation or time detail
  • Did not take mentors' proposal feedback into consideration, or submitted too late to get input
  • Did not link to commits to the KDE codebase
  • Had no engagement with the community
  • Demonstrated no knowledge of the KDE community's needs

On the other hand, some students have active since many months, or even a year.

Accepted Students:

  • Showed extra effort, thought, and time spent on making a great proposal
  • Submitted a complete draft soon after applications opened. Some even asked for feedback before that
  • Improved each draft iteration with mentor feedback
  • Demonstrated areas of growth and collaboration, through linked commits
  • Engaged on mail lists and chat
  • Engaged with the community past the submission deadline
  • Detailed timeline included time for code review, unit testing, and writing documentation throughout the coding period
  • Included all features planned to improve and/or implement the project
  • Marked clear deliverables
  • Included all other commitments, and adjusted timeline based on absences

There is no need to wait around for GSoC deadlines to get started or continue in any open source organization, including KDE.

This year, KDE had great student engagement and a good level of commitment for all students so even if you followed all of these points, you may still have gotten a rejection email. We realize that this can be discouraging. However, we did our best to pick the students whom we think can fulfill the project's needs, and continue along in the future as KDE developers.

We really appreciate all the effort and thank you for applying to KDE. Our community covers the world, and we're here to help you get started in open source development at any time. In fact, if you are interested in being mentored and do not need funding, we'll be rolling out Season of KDE in a couple of months.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Google Summer of Code students are announced today

Google Summer of Code students are announced today! The KDE community is happy to welcome our new students, who will be coding for Cantor, Digikam, Frameworks, Gcompris, Kdevelop, Kopete, Krita, Kstars, Labplot, Marble, Minuet, Plasma, and Wikitolearn (alphabetical order, not in order of importance).

For Cantor, Rishabh Gupta will "Port all backends of Cantor to Q/K process." For Digikam, Yingjie Liu will make “Face Management Improvements," Ahmed Fathy will enable "Database export to remote network devices using DLNA/UPNP," Swati Lodha will create "Database separation for Similarity" and Shaza Ismail Kaoud will make a "Healing clone tool for dust spots removal."

In Frameworks, Chinmoy will enable "Polkit Support in KIO." Gcompris has two students working with the same project title, but will be doing different independent tasks. Divyam Madaan and Rudra Nil Basu will both be "Finishing started activities for GCompris in Qt-Quick." In Kdevelop, Emma Gospodinova will provide "Rust support for KDevelop" while Mikhail Ivchenko will give us "Go Language support in KDevelop."

Kopete has two students this year; Vijay Krishnavanshi will create a "Testing interface for Kopete and Improvement of protocol support" and Paulo Lieuthier will make "Chat history improvements." Krita has four students; Alexey Kapustin providing "Telemetry for getting statistics for which features are used the most in Krita," Grigory Tantsevov "A Procedural Watercolor Brush Engine for Krita," Eliakin Costa will "Develop a showcase of Krita's new scripting support" and Aniketh Girish "Integrate with"

In Kstars Csaba Kertesz (kecsap) will "Improve stability, testing and bring modern C++ to KStars." Labplot's Fábián Kristóf will begin "Adding support for plotting of real-time data in LabPlot." Marble: Mohammed Nafees (mnafees) will work on "Marble Indoor Maps" and Bartha Judit (Bernkastel) "Marble Material Maps." Minuet's Ștefan Toncu (StefanT) will create a "Multiple-Instrument View Framework." For Plasma, Lukas Hetzenecker will "Make High-DPI awesome" and Atul Sharma will be "Migrating to Kirigami (Koko)."

Finally, Wikitolearn has three students for 2017. Davide Riva will work on "Chat Bridge," Vasudha Mathur will "Stabilize and ship Ruqola" and Cristian Baldi will make a "Progressive Web App for WikiToLearn."

KDE Student Programs thanks all these students for their fine work so far, and the mentors and teams who are already helping these new KDE developers fix bugs and improve our codebase, documentation, testing, and quality. We're really looking forward to working with all of you as we prepare for the coding period, which begins May 30. Look out for the student blogs and posts on the Planet and mail lists, welcome them and help them as you are able, now during the "community bonding period."

Friday, March 24, 2017

Laptop freezing -- figuring out the issues

Hi all, I have an awesome laptop I bought from my son, a hardcore gamer. So used, but also very beefy and well-cared-for. Lately, however, it has begun to freeze, by which I mean: the screen is not updated, and no keyboard inputs are accepted. So I can't even REISUB; the only cure is the power button.

I like to leave my laptop running overnight for a few reasons -- to get IRC posts while I sleep, to serve *ubuntu ISO torrents, and to run Folding@Home.

Attempting to cure the freezing, I've updated my graphics driver, rolled back to an older kernel, removed my beloved Folding@Home application, turned on the fan overnight, all to no avail. After adding lm-sensors and such, it didn't seem likely to be overheating, but I'd like to be sure about that.

Lately I turned off screen dimming at night and left a konsole window on the desktop running `top`. This morning I found a freeze again, with nothing apparent in the top readout:

So I went looking on the internet and found this super post: Using KSysGuard: System monitor tool for KDE. The first problem was that when I hit Control+Escape, I could not see the System Load tab he mentioned or any way to create a custom tab. However, when I started Ksysguard from the commandline, it matches the screenshots in the blog.

Here is my custom tab:

So tonight I'll leave that on my screen along with konsole running `top` and see if there is any more useful information.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Folding, origami, and Folding@Home

A few months ago, I started Folding@Home in the Ubuntu Folding team. I really enjoy checking my standings each night before I go to bed. What is Folding@Home? Has Folding at Home actually done anything useful? Check Reddit and see what you think.

Team 45104 Rankings. if you are interested in competing while contributing. It seems like interest has fallen off in the past year or so, which is a bit sad. On the other hand, it makes climbing up the standings easier!

I was reminded to make this post while watching NOVA tonight on PBS, about Origami. There are so many new applications to this ancient art of folding paper in art, in mathematics, physics and material science, and even biology. You can see it online if PBS is not available to you.

PS: right now, I have 921,667 points, which puts me in the top 180 in TeamUbuntu (#179 to be precise).

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Google Code-in draws to a close -- students finish your final task by January 16, 2017 at 09:00 (PST)

KDE's Google Code-in party is ending once again. Student work submitted deadline is January 16, 2017 at 09:00 (PST). 

Mentors, you have until January 18, 2017 at 09:00 (PST) to evaluate your student's work. Please get that done before the deadline, so that admins don't have to judge the student work.

Then it will be time to choose winners. We need to have our choices in by January 23, 2017 at 09:00 (PST). Winners and Finalists will be announced January 30, 2017 at 09:00 (PST).

To me, this contest has been lovely. Because there are more organizations participating now, there are more tasks for students, and less pressure on each org. It seems that the students have enjoyed themselves as well.

Spencerb said, in #kde-soc, This was my first (and final) gci, so I don't have much of a point of comparison, but it's been awesome. I've been an opportunity to meet new people and just get involved with KDE, which I've wanted to do for a long time. I've also learned a lot about serious software development that I wouldn't have otherwise.

"I'll turn 18 this Monday, which is why this is my last year :(  I'm so glad to have had the chance to participate at least once.

As a task, Harpreet filed a GCi review:

So far, we've had 121 students. The top ten have 103 completed tasks so far! And 160 tasks completed so far. Most exciting for me is that Beginner tasks completed: 45. Getting kids acquainted with Free and Open Source Software communities, which is why every organization must have beginner tasks. I'm glad 45 kids got to know KDE a bit.