[Clipart] google summer of code summit follow-up

Jon Phillips jon at rejon.org
Fri Oct 20 16:07:46 PDT 2006

Hey all, here are my overdue notes about the google summer of code
mentors summit meeting from last SAT, OCT 21, 9-5 PM. They picked up the
tab for the event, hotel, etc:

First Session: Screening

Everyone seemed to have their own opinion and success, but it appeared
overall that the experiences were similar. I talked about how to
successfully get good students by setting up goals, possibly requiring a
patch (like INkscape did), and requiring some  initial barrier to get
rid of the fakers. In the future, seems like it will be a requirement to
get students to contact the community in order to become a summer of
code student.

I then attended the Google Code Hosting talk and heard from the lead
developers who re-emphasized that the project is about co-existing with
sf.net and others to increase the bus count. There is interoperability
between the few...I'm anxious to try their service as it is very glitzy
and will become a much bigger deal in the future I think. They also
talked abuot Google BigTable and papers that anyone can read and how
they should be looked at...

After that I had lunch with several developers including Behdad
Esfahdood, who leads the pango project and works for RedHat. He wants to
get pango hooked into Crucible, so Bryce, you might want to follow up
with him about this. I also hung out with Bart Massey who is professor
at portland state and hosts freedesktop.org servers. I talked with him
about some Open Clip Art Library business and other issues that we have
in common. I am following up with him because he wants to and said it is
really no problem to get us our own server that we can put Open Clip Art
Library on...this addresses the lag we have been having on getting admin
requests filled, which we talked about. All in all, he was very
enthusiastic about OCAL and moving things over because we are pegging
the FD.o server, ongoing security issues, and the need for more control
over the server.

Next up I participated in a session called "Google Summer of Research"
trying to figure out how Google fits into academic research and
vice-versa. Seems that Google is trying to sort this out as well, as
they funded some academic projects that fit into the Summer of Code, but
aren't code exactly...like the Mars Map project.

Next up I went to the Poisonous People talk which underlined so many
things I talk about about how to build community, keep it healthy, etc.
The best part is what they speakers said are the most important
commodities in Open Source: Focus and Attention. Thus, a project has to
protect these at all costs (which further underlines the need to work in
quiet spaces without tons of activity in the background).

Here are the excellent slides from this talk, the highlight of the day:

I then helped lead and particpate in the Google Summer of Content
presentation which included several Google-folk, including Leslie who
led from Google's end under DiBona. She said they are putting big push
on documentation, so this focus on "summer of content" is very
important, as they want to have some more content-based commitment next

People kept trying to make this session more about documentation, but I
reiterated that coding is more than just code and documentation by
giving some nice soliloquys ;)


Anyway, what is to come from this is that I am leading up following up
on this with Karsten Wade, who headed up the Red Hat video project and
works on Fedora Core documentation, etc. This is a very cool thing and
will push hard to get all content licensed under CC licenses for this
next summer, etc. Also, it will be great to push on getting more of the
artists to work on tango, etc possibly...is anyone into this idea?

Finally, the day had a wrap-up that answered a gazillion questions and
kept the future of the program pragmatic. They had a very optimistic
view and expect funding to continue. I started to zone off by that point
in the day...

The day seemed to be both a pressure valve and a great endeavour to try
and involve the community in the project. Overall, it is a big success
and we obviously should continue to work on it in the future.

The best thing to come out of the event is the quick chat with Massey
about OCAL, etc. My day also ended with getting to chat with Martin
Sevior (abiword) about working closer between Inkscape, abiword,
gnumeric, etc, to provide a better user experience and in the face of
the closed community policies of OO.o.

He and several other people brought up how unhappy they were with the
printing functionality on Inkscape. I forgot about how this is such a
need. Mostly, ppl. are stoked about Inkscape, but I underlined that we
are working on this with Cairo, etc...who is working on this anyway?
Seems like a pretty big area we need help on...

All in all, I highly encourage more ppl. to attend this next year and
bathe in the glory of free-ness at the google-plex (they flew ppl. from
russia and other places for the one-day event).

oh, I also met Mike Hearn (autopackage) who said he is going through
Google's 3-month training program as a new employee. Insane!



Jon Phillips

San Francisco, CA
USA PH 510.499.0894
jon at rejon.org

MSN, AIM, Yahoo Chat: kidproto
Jabber Chat: rejon at gristle.org
IRC: rejon at irc.freenode.net

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