Monday, October 29, 2007

GSoC 2007 mentor submit

A couple of weeks ago, Pau and me were at San Francisco for the Google Summer of Code Mentor Submit. At the submit we joined some interesting sessions on how to improve the next GSoC, but also we met a lot of other hackers of free software projects all around the world: Mixxx, Inkscape, KDE, Amarok, Pidgin, Scumvm, Haiku, Crystal Space, Ogre, Moin Moin, Drupal, VideoLan, XMMS2, audacious... Well, as you can see in this picture we were pretty much people:

Family photo of GSoC 2007 mentors

I knew about most of all other projects, but, sadly, nearly no one knew about CLAM. :-( The good news is that most of them get pretty interested as they saw CLAM capabilities on audio processing and application prototyping. We need independently packaged end user tools!!

I also was glad to confirm the collaboration between projects that one could figure out being competitors:

  • People working on desktops (KDE, Gnome...) are in fact in a very close collaboration.
  • Wiki implementations (Moin Moin, Wikimedia...) meet there
  • Also several 3D engines (Crystal Space, Ogre...) met there
  • Comunity portals such as Drupal, Joomla, Plone...

They all share common challenges and solutions and they used the submit to join efforts.

Related to common issues and efforts, we took a very productive meeting on multiplatform development where some multiplatform projects, including us, shared experiences. We explained how we faced such problem at CLAM: the use of portable 3rd party libraries, crosscompiling from Linux to other platforms, and the use of testfarm to rapidly detect multiplatform issues. Some projects, such VideoLan had automated third party compilation scripts a step we have not automated at all. We realized that a lot of people was also solving such problems and we compromised to share experiences and results. For example, we talked about having a single repository of precompiled binaries of third party libraries. We also realized about our not-so-open-source mind we most of us realized that we were not reporting back patches we did to external libraries. We compromised to send them to upstream or making them available in a common place for the other project using them.

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