[darcs-users] DRAFT: darcs Google Summer of Code application

Eric Kow kowey at darcs.net
Sun Mar 8 12:22:24 UTC 2009

Hi everybody,

I have written a first draft of our answers to Google Summer of Code
mentoring organisation application.

I would love to have your comments and criticism about it, especially
your criticism because I want to maximise our chances of getting GSoC


The application period is from 9-13 March.  I aim to send this off by
the 11th latest.



PS. Malcolm, one of my fears is that my attempt is too long-winded.
    What do you think?


1. Describe your organization.

    * Darcs is a free, open source distributed revision control system. It is
      based on an advanced 'theory of patches' and is written in Haskell.
    * The darcs team supports the continued development of darcs by hosting the
      official darcs repository, website and bugtracker; and by organising
      regular darcs coding sprints, performing fundraising and otherwise
      seeking ways to increase the participation of darcs users in development. 

2. Why is your organization applying to participate in GSoC 2009? What do you hope to gain by participating?

    * More time to hack on darcs!
    * We love darcs. We think it is unique in the revision control world
      because it uses the full patch history to get operations like merging and
      partial undos exactly right. But we also know that it has a lot of warts: the
      "patch theory" is still a work in progress, it has not yet been optimised to
      deal with large repositories, and it's still a little behind in GUIs and web
    * These are things that that take a lot of time and concerted effort to
      work on, which is why we're so excited by the opportunity that a GSoC project
      would provide. Our goal is to create as much space as possible for us to work
      on darcs, for example, by getting "20% time" arrangements with our employers,
      holding biannual darcs hacking sprints, cooperating with lecturers to develop
      student projects, and actively participating in programs like Google Summer of
      Code. In the bigger picture, we hope that the darcs project can be a regular
      participant in the Google Summer of Code program. 
3. Did your organization participate in past GSoCs? If so, please summarize your
   involvement and the successes and challenges of your participation.

    * No. But we have had a successful project under the umbrella of the
      Haskell.org, Jason Dagit, 2007 mentored by David Roundy 

4. If your organization has not previously participated in GSoC, have you applied in the past? If so, for what year(s)?

    * No 

5. What license(s) does your project use?

    * The GPL. We are also interested in spinning out or rewriting some of our
      our code as standalone libraries, for which we may decide that the BSD3
      license is most appropriate. 

6. What is the URL for your ideas page?

    * http://wiki.darcs.net/index.html/GoogleSummerOfCode 

7. What is the main development mailing list or forum for your organization?

    * darcs-users at darcs.net
    * http://lists.osuosl.org/mailman/listinfo/darcs-users 

8. What is the main IRC channel for your organization?

    * #darcs on irc.freenode.net 

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

    * We will be using the Haskell.org template

10. Who will be your backup organization administrator? Please include Google Account information.

    * Ganesh Sittampalam 

11. Who will your mentors be? Please include Google Account information.

    * Eric Kow - eric.kow
    * Ganesh Sittampalam ganesh.sittampalam
    * Ian Lynagh igloo earth.li
    * Kido Takahiro - shelarcy 

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

    * Eric is the darcs project maintainer and has time specifically set aside
      in his week for working on darcs.
    * Ganesh and Ian are very experienced Haskell programmers, and has made
      substantial contributions to darcs and darcs theory.
    * Kido is an active member of the wxHaskell member and would be extremely
      helpful for any projects that involve build a darcs graphical user interface. 

13. What is your plan for dealing with disappearing students?

    * We will work the same way as the Haskell community. We will choose students who are reliable in the first place. Also, we will expect our students to produce a weekly progress report, chasing after a week and dropping them after two weeks. 

14. What is your plan for dealing with disappearing mentors?

    * Each project will have a backup mentor. If this is not enough, we will
      call on the wider darcs and Haskell community 

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

    * Before - if they aren't already regulars, we will invite our students to
      participate in the #darcs channel, where they can interact with the
      community and get a guided tour of the source code.
    * During - we will encourage them to blog their progress (which will appear
      on http://planet.darcs.net). Also, our Darcs Weekly News editor will keep in
      touch with them and produce regular summaries of their work.
    * After - patches which are related to the student's work would definitely
      go their way. We'll also work on making them part of the darcs team, as below. 

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

    * The satisfaction of your getting your code in darcs, something that real
      people rely on is quite addictive.  At least, that's how some of us got
    * We will also engage the students more actively by inviting them to our
      darcs hacking sprints (and helping to pay for their travel if we have the
      funds). We will also try to involve them in darcs team jobs. For example,
      we have a Review Team which we rely on to check all our incoming code.
      Students would be encouraged to participate in this team.

Eric Kow <http://www.nltg.brighton.ac.uk/home/Eric.Kow>
PGP Key ID: 08AC04F9
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