Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Google, Summer of Code, and Open Source Software

My name is Gail, and I'm an open source newbie.

Surprising for somebody who just graduated computer science? Perhaps, but certainly not irreversible.

I'd heard of a few popular open source packages, including OpenOffice.org, and even used Eclipse for many school projects, but I didn't know much more about the world of open source than what the die-hard fans in my class ranted about. Some of the key questions in my mind included how people in open source made money and how the projects are managed, given that most people never meet each other face to face.

Enter Google Summer of Code.

In their FAQ section, Google states that one of the goals of the Summer of Code program is to "inspire young developers to begin participating in open source development." Perfect!

I found the ideal project thanks to one of my school friends (one of the aforementioned die-hards). He knew that I liked graphic design and CorelDRAW, so he suggested that I apply to work on Inkscape, an SVG graphics editor.

My application is online on my portfolio website. I was accepted to work on various improvements to the text tool, which, incidentally, is also what I worked on at Corel during my co-op terms on the DRAW team. I'm really looking forward to getting started and to have the chance to learn more about open source software.

Hopefully throughout the summer project I can post my observations of the open source world through the eyes of a Summer of Code newbie.

2 comments:

crowd of one said...

hey. nice proposal.. sure your do a fantastic job!

i was just on the milestones page looking for any word on a redesign to the text tool and was gutted to see nothing there .. until i found this!

inkscape is great in so many ways but when i came to do a flyer i was bowled over by how rudimentary it was compared to certain other illustrat..ion programs. great to see that this is going to be worked on and that one day (hopefully this year!) their be an OS alternative.

best of luck to ya!

Gail said...

Thanks for the comment 'crowd of one'! That's great that you went so far as to look at my proposal. ;) Hopefully I can get a good chunk of the listed tasks done before the Summer of Code timeline is done, but if I don't get too busy with my masters, I intend to keep up on it afterward.

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