The Free Geek

Ramblings of a Free Software Geek

Started working on the Design Tue, 06 Jun 2006 02:58:15 +0000

Filed under: Python,SoC,Ubuntu — Bon Goose @ 02:58:15

After a prolonged sickness, I am back to work again. Started working on the design specs of the offline update tool today. It's still incomplete, but I am just putting up my ideas of implementation on the doc. Talked to Mario Danic about the design doc. He also approved my specification in the Launchpad Blueprint system.

I was quite relieved to know that python-apt is quite usable and it works fine (though not being very pythonic in nature). I read somewhere that it's not very actively maintained now-a-days and lacks a lot of features. That info relieved me quite a lot, otherwise my whole app would have become jeopardised 🙂

There are people who are also requesting me to port the tool to Windows. Well, Python code is easily portable but hey, Windows has no APT library 🙂 Thankfully Mario is writing a tool for Windows which does a similar job, so may be I will be able to borrow some ideas from him.

I also need to check if my bank accepts cheques in Indian Rupees but drawn in the USA. As I have heard, they may claim that such cheques are impossible … heh, they have no idea about Google!

Anyway, I need to sleep off now. I must finish the design doc by tomorrow.

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Late news, but good news! Wed, 31 May 2006 22:16:08 +0000

Filed under: SoC — Bon Goose @ 22:16:08

I was really disheartened a week back when a very good friend of mine was not selected for Google Summer of Code 2006. It was not because his application was not good or something like that. It was mainly because the project which he chose was granted only one slot and thus he was left out even if he was #2 in the ranking.

I for one felt pretty bad about this, but he took it in his stride and started working on the project anyway. He also made very good progress in the last few days or so, which is particularly awesome. There are people who got USD 4500 from Google last year by writing just 250 lines of code and there he was, hacking away even after being officially disqualified.

Now the good news! The guy who was granted the slot before him was disqualified in the last moment for some reasons and now my friend is in! W00t! Thanks to his mentor, the mentoring organisation and Google for this. The deserving candidate got the scholarship. Way to go Prashanth, I wish you all the best! 🙂

 

The Copy-Paste Syndrome Fri, 26 May 2006 12:58:56 +0000

Filed under: SoC — Bon Goose @ 12:58:56

Well, I really have no idea how to explain this. I wrote two specifications for Ubuntu, especially for Google Summer of Code '06. One was for a SAMBA GUI Configurator and another one was for an Offline Update Tool for Ubuntu. I had applied for both the projects and the Offline Update Tool idea got selected.

Now yesterday, I noticed that someone had applied for the SAMBA GUI Tool and her idea got accepted too. I was curious and went to check out the proposal and I was dumbstruck when I saw the proposal. It is a word-for-word copy of my original specification! Now I really don't mind others using my specification as the basis of a proposal, that's actually what it's intended for, but certainly not like this. I also understand that the Ubuntu Wiki is Public Domain, but licensing of content is not the issue here. It's the integrity of the student & the viability of the project I am worried about. I am worried about Ubuntu here. Can we really expect somebody like that to write good or any code for that matter? A proposal like this gives away the following information about the student —

  • Laziness
  • No willingness for attribution
  • Lack of honesty
  • Lack of creativity
  • Lack of judgement
  • Probably sub-optimal IQ

Now I am not screaming for revoking the scholarship from the student, I am just worried about the selection process & Ubuntu. It caused me a lot of pain when a good friend of mine didn't get selected. I thought there were better people who got through … but this tells me something else.

I also have extreme respect for the Ubuntu mentors … but my heroes, how could you overlook such a thing? Quite a few of you guys knew about my Specification, couldn't you just check it once and ask the the student to modify the proposal? Weren't there any better proposals than this? Can we really expect this project to be completed?

I always thought that the Copy-Paste Syndrome is a purely sub-continental obsession … but this incident has changed my notion completely. I feel bad about this.

To the student: I have nothing against you. I am happy that you want to help Ubuntu. But this is not the way it should be done. Remember, there are always two paths — the easy one, and the right one. What's easy now, will prove out to be wrong … soon.

 

Got accepted into Google Summer of Code ’06 Thu, 25 May 2006 14:01:22 +0000

Filed under: SoC — Bon Goose @ 14:01:22

Well, I don't know if it's much of an achievement yet, but hey, my proposal for Google Summer of Code 2006 has been accepted. W00t! I am very much excited about my project, which is an Offline Update tool for Ubuntu. This will solve a lot of issues for people in places without any internet connection. I am especially happy about a few of my friends who always used to crib about this issue. I have informed them about this and they were extremely happy to hear this 🙂

I had submitted proposals for a few other projects too, and I was very interested in one particular project for BBC Research, which unfortunately didn't get selected due to lack of enough slots. May be I will work on that sometime later.

I have also made a few observations regarding the application process … and I am planning to write an article on “How to apply successfully for Google SoC''. I hope the article will be of help to students next year.

My mentor for this project is Martin Pitt, who IMO is an awesome guy. This summer is going to be real fun! I am going to start working on the design from next week. I will need to consult Michael Vogt for tips & ideas regarding this.

More to come later …