It has been a long period of hibernation for this blog and its now time to make good use of the aggregation privilege on Planet LinuxToGo that Florian has given me. GSoC 2010 announcements are out, and mentoring organizations have now about a month or so left to plan out their applications. This blog post is to discuss the possibility/feasibility of Open Embedded applying as an independent mentoring organization for GSoC 2010 and to gather views/comments/ideas on the same. Speaking to a couple of OE developers on IRC, this sounds like a decent idea for various reasons that I shall elaborate on here ..

Why OE should apply as mentoring organization for GSoC :

1. Lots of good ideas needing implementation
Chris ‘kergoth’ Larson came up with an interesting compilation of tasks and concerns list for OE [0]. Another current source for ideas is the uservoice page, though most agree that it needs more promoting [1]. So yes, there are lots of things that could make up for interesting OE project ideas,though we need a better compilation.

2. Better exposure for the community
GSoC is an ideal place to get prospective developers and possibly do some good community propaganda.

Why OE makes for a good organization suitable for acceptance in GSoC :

1. In 2006, OE was a part of GSoC under handhelds.org. The community and project are now large enough and well-supported to apply independently.

2. The prime requirement an organization should meet for GSoC acceptance is good ideas and good mentors. The latter, I am confident, are abundant in OE. From my experience as a GSoC student with an (unofficially) OE project, we have a large number of people in the community who would make amazing mentors. Some of them have already been mentors earlier, either for other communities or in 2006. As to good ideas, as mentioned earlier, we have some head-start,with a couple of places describing what is needed. What we need is a perhaps a page on the OE wiki, putting them all together. Ideas could be segregated into two categories – the recipe based ones (though there might be issues with this) like a gnome OE port and the ones which involve python hacking/working on the bitbake core.

What needs to be done :

1. We need to set up a Wiki page or some space where we can call out for mentors and prospective ideas.
2. Figure out whether GSoC projects involving just recipes would be acceptable to Google and if we have good enough ideas for that category. My own project last year was of that kind, but then as rightly pointed out by someone, I was just lucky. Projects that involved hacking on the bitbake core will surely be well-received.
3. Are there other open-source projects that OE could act as a umbrella organization for ? Being an umbrella org for smaller projects with good ideas greatly increases the chances of acceptance.

With organization applications typically starting in the first week of March, we have about a month to go to do the above. If you are an OE developer reading this, comments/suggestions /flames are more than welcome.

Disclaimer: I am keen on seeing OE get accepted in GSoC this year,but that has nothing to do with any aspirations of applying as student/mentor. A summer intern with Microsoft Research implies that I will be officially out-of-touch with open source/GSoC. I do however have vested interests in the sense that, I would love to see OE reaching out to more people and perhaps some OE contribution from my univ. and country.

[0]: Tasks: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/112715/Documents/OpenEmbedded%20Tasks.html/index.html
One more here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/112715/Documents/OpenEmbedded%20Usability%20Concerns.html/index.html
[1]: http://openembedded.uservoice.com/