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Re: Google Summer of Code 2008

On 29/02/08 at 23:29 -0800, Steve Langasek wrote:
> On Sat, Mar 01, 2008 at 01:55:49AM +0100, Lucas Nussbaum wrote:
> > Note that the whole "did last year projects were successful?" issue is
> > secondary. Even if all of last years projects produced fabulous results
> > that totally changed the way Debian is developed, I'm still not sure if
> > we should use GSOC to pay current Debian contributors, instead of using
> > it to bring in new contributors.
> So you think it's better to focus on people who aren't sufficiently
> motivated to get involved in Debian without being paid to do so?

Motivation isn't the only thing necessary to get involved in a free
software project. It seems to me that often, people don't participate
because they don't find a good answer to the "How can I help?" question.
Debian isn't really good at answering this question, other projects
(GNOME, Ubuntu come to mind) do much better than us.

> > > >> I'm not saying that students that were DD did nothing of their time
> > > >> during GSoc, but most of them produced results that were a bit
> > > >> disappointing given what people could have expected from them, mainly
> > > >> because they used their GSOC time to work on other Debian tasks.
> > > Do you have any proof at all for that accusation? If so, please share
> > > it. Otherwise, I think that people deserve apologies from you right
> > > now.
> > Do you have any proof that GSOC students worked 35-40 hours a week on
> > their GSOC projects? You probably don't. So again, no real data to back
> > either claim. We have different opinions, and have to live with it.
> Where does this "35-40 hours" figure come from?

>From Steve's example in his mail.

> > OK, thank you for this clarification. To let everybody benefit from it,
> > could you please mention in your next d-d-a mail about GSOC that
> > everybody is welcomed as students, not just people not involved in
> > Debian already? I know at least 2 people that could have applied as
> > students last year, but didn't because they thought that GSOC wasn't for
> > them since they were already involved in Free Software development.
>   [...]
>   While the majority of past student participants were enrolled in university
>   Computer Science and Computer Engineering programs, GSoCers come from a wide
>   variety of educational backgrounds, from computational biology to mining
>   engineering. Many of our past participants had never participated in an
>   open-source project before GSoC; others used the GSoC stipend as an
>   opportunity to concentrate fully on their existing open source coding
>   activities over the summer. Many of our "graduates" have later become
>   program mentors.
>   http://code.google.com/soc/2008/faqs.html#0.1_what_is

Sure, but given the stated "goals" of the Summer of Code (second entry
of the FAQ), you will probably agree that confusion is possible.

The fact that GSoC has some policies doesn't mean that we could not add
additional policies, about preferring people not involved in Free
Software already, or asking our students to dedicate some reasonable
amount of time to the project.
| Lucas Nussbaum
| lucas@lucas-nussbaum.net   http://www.lucas-nussbaum.net/ |
| jabber: lucas@nussbaum.fr             GPG: 1024D/023B3F4F |

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