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GSoC application

From: David Chisnall
Subject: GSoC application
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2010 16:31:10 +0000

I've started writing a draft for a GNUstep Ecosystem (GNUstep, GAP, Étoilé - 
any other projects that want to be included, speak now) GSoC application.  
There are bits missing, so contributions are welcome.  I'm happy to mentor and 
I'll be the administrator / backup if no one else wants to do it (but I'd be 
very happy if someone else did it - Adam?).

The deadline is tomorrow evening, so we probably need to finalise this quite 


- Describe your organization.

GNUstep began as a project to implement the OpenStep specification.  Since the 
release of OS X, it has continued to track changes made by the descendant of 
OpenStep: Cocoa.

The GNUstep Ecosystem encompasses a group of projects that use GNUstep at the 
core.  This includes GNUstep itself, which provides implementations of the 
Foundation and Application Kit frameworks from Cocoa.  On top of this are the 
GNUstep Application Project (GAP) and Étoilé.

The GNUstep Application Project aims to create a complete suite of GNUstep 
applications.  GNUstep itself is a toolkit and suite of developer tools, not a 
desktop environment.  GAP aims to provide all of the applications that are 
expected of a modern desktop environment.

The Étoilé Project aims to produce a modern desktop environment, based on 
services and composite documents, rather than following the traditional 
application model.  Étoilé is built on top of GNUstep and its dynamic behaviour 
is made possible by the core features of GNUstep.

There is some overlap between the three projects, with a number of individuals 
contributing to all three.  Code also moves between them, for example the 
Objective-C 2 compatibility framework that was developed as part of Étoilé was 
recently merged into GNUstep.  

- Why is your organization applying to participate in GSoC 2010? What do you 
hope to gain by participating?

{Why are we participating?  Because we want students to write code, obviously, 
but I presume that they can work that much out for themselves...}

This year, we find that there are several active contributors to GNUstep and 
related projects who are still students.  The GSoC would permit some of these 
to work full-time on their chosen projects over the summer.

We are submitting a joint application because improvements to one part of the 
GNUstep ecosystem benefit all of the other parts.

- Did your organization participate in past GSoCs? If so, please summarize your 
involvement and the successes and challenges of your participation.

GNUstep has participated in the Google Summer of Code twice before as a single 
project.  The existing Key-Value Observing implementation in GNUstep, which 
allows automatic notification of changes to object properties, was contributed 
as part of the GSoC program.

Some of our other projects have been less successful.  In particular, we had 
problems with non-US students' term dates not meshing well with the GSoC 

- What license(s) does your project use?

GNUstep is released under the LGPLv2 or later.  Applications hosted by GAP use 
a variety of licenses, with GPLv2 or later being common.  Étoilé generally uses 
more permissive licenses, with the 3-clause BSDL being most common and some 
parts using the LGPLv2 or X11 licenses.

- What is the URL for your ideas page?

{GNUstep wiki page, Étoilé open projects page, GAP?}

- What is the main development mailing list for your organization?

GNUstep Developer <address@hidden>

What is the main IRC channel for your organization?


- Does your organization have an application template you would like to see 
students use? If so, please provide it now.

{Do we have one?}

- Who will be your backup organization administrator?

{I'm happy to do this if someone else wants to be the main one (please!), 
otherwise I can be the main one and someone else can be the backup}

- What criteria did you use to select these individuals as mentors? Please be 
as specific as possible.

Mentors are selected as individuals who are both familiar with the code, having 
contributed to the relevant parts in the past, and who are willing to mentor.  
The maintainer of the relevant bit of code will always be either the mentor or 
a backup mentor.
{We probably need to say more - suggestions?}

- What is your plan for dealing with disappearing students?

{We don't have one and we need one}

- What is your plan for dealing with disappearing mentors?

The mentors have been chosen from people who have been contributors to the 
projects for several years, and so it is considered unlikely that they will 
disappear for any reasons other than illness or injury.  To safeguard against 
this possibility, we will assign two mentors to each student and encourage 
students to participate in IRC/SILC channels and on mailing lists, so that they 
can receive support from the community as a whole, rather than just their 

- What steps will you take to encourage students to interact with your 
project's community before, during and after the program?


- What will you do to ensure that your accepted students stick with the project 
after GSoC concludes?

This year, we intend to favour students who have already contributed to the 
project - even if only in the form of suggestions on mailing lists - and so 
have shown some interest in the project.  

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