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Re: Re: Google Summer of Code 2010 Debian Report

On Thu, Sep 23, 2010 at 10:35 AM, Filipus Klutiero <chealer@gmail.com> wrote:
>  Obey Arthur Liu wrote:
>> On Mon, Sep 20, 2010 at 12:47 PM, Adrian von Bidder
>> <avbidder@fortytwo.ch>  wrote:
>> >  Hi Arthur,
>> >
>> >  On Monday 20 September 2010 11.37:04 Obey Arthur Liu wrote:
>> >  [GSoC report]
>> >
>> >  Hmm.  It would have been nice to hear about what the students did and
>> > how
>> >  far they got in their GSoC projects instead of what they did at DC10.
>> The report is an aggregation of joint reports from students and
>> mentors ([1]). I combined and posted what I received. Some pairs
>> didn't send me their blurbs on time, but I suppose that some students
>> being back to school already is a reason.
>> Note that I have complete data as part of official GSoC evaluations
>> but their content is private to mentors by GSoC rule, so I'm still
>> keeping tabs on things, don't worry :)
> I do worry. Unless I'm missing something, this is not the fourth Debian
> GSoC, but the fifth, and again, it's hard to believe this SoC was reasonably
> useful. The report we get has some information on 7 projects, although 8 are
> supposed to have been successful, and as Adrian and Olivier mentioned, no
> project results in most cases. And what about the unsuccessful projects?
> Their faith may not be relevant for d-d-a, but not documenting what
> happened, perhaps somewhere else, will not help new Debian GSoC admins to
> start with a good understanding of the challenges.
> I would recommend requiring candidate mentors to agree to share evaluations
> with GSoC admins, so admins can at least pick information on results when a
> report has to be made.

Mentors are usually restricted by their spare time. Remember that
contrary to students, they usually have an actual job.
I do not think that we need a constraining agreement with mentors on
that point. They would usually happily do it.

> At its current scale, the summer of code is approximately equivalent to a
> potential indirect subsidy of 50 000 USD and a direct subsidy of 5000 USD.
> 5000 may not be a lot, but if we don't have enough volunteers to complete
> missing administrative manpower, then we should be honest about it and ask
> for more involvement... instead of having a misleading tone of optimism in

Breaking news: people are welcome to help out for managing the Summer
of Code at Debian. There's plenty of work to do, even outside of the
summer period. (This is serious.)

> the report. Yes, the SoC is surely a positive thing for Debian, but
> considering the resources granted, I almost feel ashamed to see how modest
> the results have been so far. (Note that I have not extensively monitored
> the SoC. The results may be greater than I imagine, but this is worryingly
> non-obvious.)

I think the issue is that you're confusing Summer of Code participants
with paid consultants. They are not. They are just students, most
often newbies at free software, whose summer happen to have been
cleared out of another summer job by the GSoC stipend. As such, you
should have similar survival rate expectations for a Debian GSoC
project as for any other Debian project that you or any DD would
happen to be working on. Perhaps a bit higher, but not much.

Regarding projects management, well, if you expect a level of
accountability on par with what you'd have in a business, then you
need to have the appropriate management manpower, and perhaps more
importantly, a particular professional mindset from mentors and
students. These are not the usual way Debian operates, which is what
makes it difficult.

I plan to run a BoF with fellow admins and mentors from other
organizations at the Mentors Summit to deal with these management and
reporting aspects. I'll make sure to tell you how it goes.

> I must still thank you for sending a report. My first reaction was
> "Finally", I am just disappointed by the content.

You're welcome.


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