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Re: Debian and the Google Summer of Code 2007



On Monday 16 April 2007 02.46:36 Steve McIntyre wrote:
> First draft - comments/changes please...

I'm assuming that the target group is not DDs...

>
> Debian will again be taking part in Google's Summer of Code
> program[1]. We have been accepted as a mentor organisation, with 9
> students paid by Google to work full time during the summer vacation
> on a range of projects to help Debian. Several of Debian's existing
> developers will be working alongside these students as mentors during
> that period, providing guidance and evaluating the code produced.

Add here:

+++
The main focus of all the student projects is to improve the tools needed to 
work on Debian packages and on the Debian release.  Some of the projects 
focus on the communication between the software authors, who often are not 
part of the Debian project, the users of the software, and the Debian 
developers who package the software for the Debian GNU/Linux distribution.  
The other projects are improvements to the tools used to create Debian 
packages and the Debian GNU/Linux distribution.
+++

This first part could generally be a bit more verbose, because the very 
technical description of the project themselves will not say much to 
anybody not quite involved with Debian.  I also fear that many people will 
stop when the descriptions of the actual projects start: it gets really 
technical there (== boring for many people.)

> Jeroen van Wolffelaar's project will be to implement "Mole, an
> infrastructure for managing information". The idea is to help make
> Debian's vast supply of data more accessible to the developers and
> users.

Perhaps examples on the kind of data?  OTOH it will become even more 
technical that way. I don't know what a preson who does not know Debian 
quite deeply will make of this.

> Ian Haken will be working on "Automated Upgrade Testing Using
> QEMU". This will help us to automatically track down more possible
> bugs in upgrade cycles.

Replace with "Ian Haken will write tools to use QEMU, a virtual machine 
emulator, to test upgrades from one Debian release to the next, without 
having to re-install an actual computer.  This will help us to 
automatically track down more possible bugs in upgrade cycles."

> Ana Beatriz Guerrero Lopez's plan is to work on improvements to
> Piuparts, another of the Debian project's array of quality testing
> systems.

Again, for anybody not deeply involved with Debian, it could just as well 
read "on some other Debian-specific tool."  Replace the second half with ", 
a tool that helps testing and improving the quality of package 
installation, upgrade and removal scripts."

> Gustavo Rezende Montesino has ideas about a "Bug Triage and Forward
> Tool" to help developers deal more effectively with tracing bugs and
> interacting with bug reporters and upstream bug tracking systems.
>
> A "BitTorrent Proxy for Debian Archive" is Cameron Dale's project for
> the summer. He hopes to expand on the BitTorrent application to work
> effectively with large, constantly updating collections of files such
> as the Debian archive
>
> Pavel Vinogradov will be developing an "OVAL agent for Debian" - a
> status monitoring system for the security management of clusters of
> Debian systems. This system is based on the OVAL language, which
> provides a uniform mechanism to report on and control security
> centrally.
>
> Margarita Manterola Rivero's project is a "Bug Submission and
> Manipulation Web-based User Interface for debbugs". Debian already has
> a large open bug tracking system, and this new tool should make it
> easier for users to report and check on bugs in that system.

These are much better.  You'll need some knowledge of how software is 
developed etc. but not so much Debian specific stuff.

> Martin Hernan Ferrari will be working on "A modular lintian-like
> CD-image testing tool" to help the Debian CD team and others in their
> work, allowing more automated testing of CD and DVD images as they are
> produced.

I understand the "lintian-like" is part of the project title, but how about 
leaving off the quotes and just drop the lintian reference?

> Chris Lamb's work will be a "GUI frontend for live-helper for building
> live Debian systems". This will make it much easier for Debian
> developers and others to generate versions of Debian that boot and
> work directly from a CD/DVD.
>
> More information about these projects will be made available on the
> Debian website[2] as the projects progress.
>
> [1] http://code.google.com/soc/
> [2] http://wiki.debian.org/SummerOfCode2007

cheers
-- vbi

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