Welcome to the blog for this year’s WordPress GSoC projects! We’re very pleased to be working with a dozen talented students on a variety of projects that our mentoring group found interesting. The projects/students who were selected are:
- Document Revisions – Ben Balter. Mentors: Mitcho, duck_, and Jorbin
- File Uploader Upgrade – Jacob Gillespie. Mentors: Koop, azaozz
- Local Storage Drafts backup – Mihai Chereji. Mentors: Filosofo, mitcho (assist from azaozz and koop)
- Learn.wordpress.org – Stas Suscov. Mentors: Jeremy Boggs, Jtrip (others in ad hoc manner)
- Enhanced emails – Wojtek Szutnik. Mentors: Aaron Campbell and Justin
- Threaded Comments – azram19. Mentors: Westi and Koop
- Extending WP Webservices – Prasath Nadarajah. Mentors: Thorsten and Eric Mann
- Language Packs – Marko Novakovic. Mentors: Nacin and Nikolay
- Refresh Android app UI – Anirudh S. Mentors: Dan Roundhill and Isaac
- Full-throttle Trac Annihilation – Jakub Tyrcha. Mentors: Dion, duck_ and scribu
- WordPress Move – Mert Yazicioglu. Mentors: Pete Mall and Brian Layman
- Template Versioning – David Julia. Mentors: Ocean90 and Nacin (with possible assist Koop)
Each project has more than one mentor to provide extra support over the course of the summer and to ensure that busy work schedules, vacations, or family emergencies don’t leave the student without guidance. The first name listed for each student is the primary mentor, who will be responsible for the evaluations at midterm and final.
First things first: every student and mentor on this list needs to click the button in the upper right sidebar to subscribe to this blog.
All announcements, deadlines, reviews, etc will happen here, and saying “I forgot to check the blog, I didn’t know about it,” is a good way to end up in a bad position. Subscribe right now before you keep reading
Each student will get an SVN repo for their code. You are required to use this repo, not github or other source control system, as it is the platform used by WordPress, and part of summer of code is about getting students contributing to the project using the same tools used by core developers. You will have commit rights to your repo, and your wordpress.org username/password will serve as login credentials. We’ll also set up a Trac instance for the projects, and each project will be listed as a component. Again, this is the system WordPress core uses, so it is mandatory to use Trac over another issue tracking system.
Please leave a comment on this post with your wordpress.org username now so we can give you access to these tools as soon as possible.
Every student is required to post a weekly update to this blog. For this week, everyone has the same assignment: post an introduction.Tell us who you are, where you’re from (time zone also), what you’re studying, what you like to do in your free time, a little bit about why you chose WordPress and your particular project, and anything else you feel like sharing, so we can get to know you better. You can post this introduction any time before Friday. After this week, updates will be a little more structured.
We will be posting a schedule of who is required to post their weekly updates on which day. Your posts should outline what you accomplished/worked on in the past week, and state what you will be working on in the coming week. Please use “weekly update” as a tag on these posts. The scheduled days will be staggered so that everyone’s updates don’t all come in at once. If the day you get assigned is a problem due to work or school commitments, please let us know asap so we can swap your day. You also may post here with project updates, questions, requests for feedback as often as you like (in general, posting more often is better). Mentors will leave feedback on your posts, but so will other students and community members. Be gracious in taking feedback, but also remember that there are a lot of opinions out there. Don’t change course based on a random comment — talk things over with your mentors if needed.
The weekly update is for the community. You should be checking in with your mentors at least that often; it is up to you and them to decide how often to be in touch and in what form (email, irc, skype, etc). If you go more than a week without touching base with your mentor, you will get a warning. If you go more than two weeks, you will be put on probation. If you are absent for three weeks, you will fail. Once the coding period begins, each weekly check-in should include a code review. If you are not showing code, you will not be considered to be meeting the goals of the project.
In the sidebar there will be a list of projects. Go to the one for your project. You need to update this page by the end of the week (Friday, 11:59pm UTC) with a short (no more than one paragraph) bio, the description of your project, and the timeline (include any revisions that were made during the application process). This is your first deadline
You should make contact with your mentors right away to discuss your scope and timetable. You have an extra week to haggle over details. A revised scope and schedule need to be posted and confirmed by the following Friday. Mentors will comment on the page when the description, scope and timeline are approved. If you do not contact your mentors this week to get the ball rolling, you could missed one of your first deadlines — don’t let that happen!
Role of Mentors
Your mentors are guides, not instructors. These projects are *your* babies, not theirs. Mentors are there to evaluate code, give feedback on proposed approaches, and point you in the direction of a helpful resource if you’ve exhausted all the possibilities you can think of and still can’t find the information you need. Mentors are not there to answer questions you could answer by using Google, to make decisions for you, or to write example code to show you how things should be done. When we chose you as a student, it was in part because we thought you would be able to take the proper initiative. We’re counting on you to prove us right. If you ask for too much hand-holding, it will call your abilities into question, so when you do ask for help (and we know everyone will need help now and then) be sure to outline what steps you have already taken to try and solve your problem/answer your question so that the mentors can see what you’ve already tried and won’t think you’re asking them instead of trying to figure it out yourself first.
Role of Administrators
Andrea and I will be the program administrators. If you have any problems with your mentors, please talk to the mentors to try and resolve it first, but if you are unable to reach someone, or are having a bad experience with someone, get in touch with me or Andrea and we will help you work it out. If you have trouble accessing the system tools, let us know. We are here to provide general support, but hopefully everything will run smoothly and you will barely know we exist. If all goes well, the next time we talk to you will be when we start scheduling IRC chats for you to show off your projects to the community at midterm.
Some of your projects will have a greater UI component than others. Some of you are more interested in design than others. Regardless of your preferences, this is the summer of code, not the summer of design, so once the coding period begins, there should not be time spent doing mockups or wireframes or doing design planning. Each project will be reviewed by the WordPress UI group, a volunteer working group of designers that contributes to core. Before you do anything related to UI, you should check out the style guide. When you review the schedule with your mentors this week, work out when you will be ready for your turn with the UI group. We’ll work out a schedule, and will invite each of you to an IRC UI group meeting to talk about your projects. If needed, we can find volunteers to help with UI design.
Congratulations again to all the accepted students! We are very excited to work with you, and look forward to a summer full of interesting projects.