GSoC 2015 with FOSSASIA : the beginning

I was choosen as a student participant to Google Summer of Code 2015.

It’s a program organized by Google that offers students stipends to write code for open source projects. Being selected is a big deal for me since GSoC is a vey selective program, and a meaningful way to spend my summer, by doing what I very much enjoy : coding. What’s more, students get paid doing it. I’m not denying that the $5500 stipend per student is really sexy (at least for me). It’s way more than most software interns in France get for a three months period.

I just knew about GSoC two months ago thanks to a teacher. Before that, I have very little notion about open-source software, and none about GSoC. I cure my ignorance since then with a lot of interesting blogs and definitions. Based on the information I’ve been fed with, I could now say open-source is great. From the company’s point at view, it’s a great form of advertising. For the project, open-source often means better code and documentation. The developers knows the whole world has access to the source code, so they’ll probably take better care of it. Also, open-sourcing is a must if you want to create a vibrant community and ecosystem.

Open-source is great, getting involved, even better. With GSoC you have the opportunity to work on an open-source project with mentoring support from the core developers who are maintaining it themselves. Awesome ! To get into the program as a student, you have to choose betweens accepted mentoring organizations and propose a project idea suited to them. I was particularly attracted to FOSSASIA, an open-source event community in Asia, and their project idea Extend toolbox for FOSSASIA and Freifunk API. The Freifunk/FOSSASIA API is designed to solve the problem of collecting data from different communities in a decentralized way. It makes some interesting parts of the FOSSASIA community site possible, e.g. the Common Map.

Image broken FOSSASIA logo

I think the toolbox has a great potential to create a strong network between different communities at different locations, by providing attractive statistics visualization. With that spirit in mind, my project’s proposal aims to add new components and improve old ones. Here are some of them :

  • Improve the json generator page
  • Calendar service
  • Community news / events panel
  • Common Map filters :
    • by country
    • by technical area
  • Statistic service / charts :
    • communities counts
    • active period panel based on news/events date (like the contribution panel on github)
  • API Documentation web app
  • etc.

In my gsoc blog series, I’ll cherry-pick sutffs that I find valuable from my GSoC project to show to the world. So if you’re interested on what I’ll do, stick around for upcoming updates !

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