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  • Ryan McCue 9:01 am on June 17, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: gsoc, , ,   


    Hi everybody! Some of you may know me from various patches or WP-related endeavours: I’m Ryan McCue, developer of the SimplePie library used in core, along with a HTTP library called Requests, and long-time core hacker. I’ve been working with WordPress for quite a while now, both on open source and professional work with clients. What you may not know is that I’m also studying Electrical Engineering and Maths at UQ in Australia, and I’m here to give you a heads up on my Summer of Code project over the coming months.

    For those who missed the discussion on wp-hackers about my proposal, I’m working on a JSON-based REST API for core. I started on this with an initial proof-of-concept back at the end of last year, and I’m now working on expanding this out into a larger project. The code is being written as a plugin for testing, with the goal of having it integrated into core in some form post-GSOC.

    I’m planning on following a release strategy similar to MP6, with a weekly release along with the updates included in the release. At the moment, I’m working on completing the basic reading and writing of post data having just completed the major design documents, and I’m hoping to get the first weekly release out next week. I have a more detailed timeline which you can check out in my announcement post on my blog.

    (You’ll notice I’m currently about a week behind on my schedule, which I suspected may happen, as I’m in the midst of my final exams here. I’ve allocated an extra week just before the midsemester review for catching up if I don’t do so before then.)

    As it is, the plugin is in a usable format, and you can grab it from either GitHub or Subversion. I’d also recommend checking out the GSOC Trac issues if you’d like to keep track of the status. I’d love to have your feedback (especially on the design documents) as I move forward.

    Cheers, and I look forward to working with you all in the coming months!

  • Andrew Nacin 5:43 am on May 3, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: gsoc   

    Hello everyone! Applications for Google Summer of Code are due in just 13 hours! (1900 UTC)

    I’ve been reviewing a lot of proposals and ideas. But if you’re waiting until the last minute (like I’m doing with this post), here are some random nuggets:

    • Original ideas are encouraged! We have a great ideas page but we’re not going to complain if you submit something else.
    • You don’t need to be a computer science student! We’ve had liberal arts majors and things turned out just fine.
    • Please demonstrate your abilities by making an attempt to contribute to WordPress core or by writing a plugin. Even though this may happen after applications have closed, it could help.
    • You can submit more than one proposal. This is good because we won’t accept two students for the same proposal. And because you might have two great ideas but aren’t sure which one aligns better with our interests. That’s okay — submit them!

    Finally, here are four more ideas in case nothing else appeals to you. (I’ll make sure these make it onto the ideas page next year.) If you’re still hunting, see if any of these set off bells in your head: (yes, there are WordPress plugins for everything, but innovation and new approaches are good things)

    • Activity. Activity streams, action history, notifications. Imagine what a dashboard could look like for a busy, multi-author site, and how helpful it could be to see what’s truly going on “right now” — as well as what you missed.
    • Meetups. Local WordPress communities organize a lot of meetups. A set of tools for organizers and the local community could be really helpful. (These tools could include integration with meetup.com and wordpress.org profiles.)
    • Dependencies. Allow plugins and themes to be dependent of one another. A theme could require a plugin or example, and WordPress would handle installing that plugin when you install that theme. Similar idea: Compatibility metrics. (Or: Can we be sure it is safe to upgrade everything?)
    • Bug tracker. WordPress can be a great platform for developer tools. Why not a bug tracker? (Read the 2010 ideas page for more.)

    Of course, there’s a lot of other great ideas on the 2013 page. If you haven’t looked recently, I added a few at the start of the application period, including some JavaScript-heavy stuff (editor modes, HTML5 application cache, TinyMCE views). Good luck!

  • Jen 6:53 pm on May 2, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: gsoc   

    GSoC Chat 

    Mentors: GSoC chat in #wordpress-gsoc in about an hour if you’re available.

  • Jen 9:13 pm on April 8, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: gsoc   

    GSoC 2013 Update 

    We have been accepted as a mentoring organization for GSoC 2013. I’m already being bombarded by overenthusiastic students with questions, so we need to get our act in gear re mentor list and project list more or less now. Definitely by tomorrow.

    IF you have worked on an assigned feature team in one of the last few releases, you can be a mentor, yay!
    IF you haven’t worked on an assigned feature team but you’ve had multiple patches accepted in one of the last few releases, you can be a mentor, yay!
    IF you have themes/plugins in the .org repo and the lead devs say your code is good, you can be a mentor, yay!
    IF you don’t meet either of these criteria but think you’re skilled enough and want to contribute, I need to have your code vetted by the lead devs.

    If you are in one of the “yay” categories, please add yourself to the mentor list at https://codex.wordpress.org/GSoC2013 and leave a comment here saying you did so. Then, go to http://www.google-melange.com/gsoc/org/google/gsoc2013/wordpress, scroll down, and follow the process to apply to be a mentor in the gsoc system. Note that it’s a little bit busted right now, so you might not get a confirmation back from me until they fix the existing bug there.

    If you are in the maybe category, you can ping me in irc, comment here, or email ([my username/irc nick]@wordpress.org) me to get on the list of potential mentors that will have code reviewed by the leads.

    Also, project ideas can be added to the wiki page as well IF you fall into the pre-approved to mentor category. Worth running ideas past the leads in irc for a gut-check first. Other ideas can be posted here for review.


  • Jen 6:07 pm on March 19, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: gsoc,   

    GSoC 2013 

    It’s time for us to apply for GSoC 2013 if we want to participate. I can take care of the application, but will need everyone’s help in producing the project ideas and mentor sections.

    “Why didn’t we get accepted last year?”

    We didn’t get accepted last year because our Ideas page wasn’t as good as it had been in past years, and they wanted to make room for some new orgs, so we got cut. Our ideas page wasn’t great because we were planning to embed students in regular cycle feature teams, but we didn’t write up all the potential features this might have included. This year we need to write out all the possible features.


    The more project ideas the better, so things that aren’t targeted for the next cycle but that we might want to do as a plugin to get some traction for inclusion in a later release would be great projects, too. Project ideas can include core features, plugins, themes, unit tests, etc. This includes work on .org site things like the plugin used to power WordCamp sites. The projects must be code, though, not design, documentation, etc. List your project ideas in a comment on this post. Please give it a title, and a short one-paragraph description. If there’s a ticket or relevant thread somewhere, link to it.


    Want to volunteer to be a mentor? You need to be good enough with wp coding that you currently don’t need oversight to generally get it right (though obviously we all can get better with more eyes on code), and have enough time to be available to your student for feedback and code review (at least once per week, though more often is better). The time commitment can be anywhere from one hour to ten hours per week, depending on how far along your student’s project is, and what there is for you to review (an hour or two a week is typical). You get a GSoC tshirt at the end. Want to be a mentor? Leave a comment on this post with a short/one-paragraph little bio about yourself, what kinds of projects you are interested in/qualified to mentor, and links to your website, wordpress.org profile, and twitter account.


    I know you are right smack dab in trying to get this release out, which is why I’ll take care of the application and associated materials. That said, I’m a bit out of the loop with core plans, so coming up with the potential projects list on my own would mean they might not mesh with the actual goals/plans of core team very well. I’ll be looking to you guys to give me a sense of priority/possible plans for the next dev cycle, and to tell me who is qualified to mentor a project from the final list of volunteers. Will ping you offline for this.

    Not sure how to write up a project idea or your short mentor bio? Take a look at the ideas page from 2011 for a guide.

    Note 1: This year BuddyPress will be applying as a standalone organization with WP as the vouching organization. I’ll be helping Paul Gibbs get their application going.

    Note 2: I haven’t announced it yet since it just happened, but we’ve been accepted as a mentoring organization for the Gnome Outreach Program for Women for the summer session. Unlike GSoC, where Google foots the bill, we’ll have to raise the money to cover our interns for the Gnome program, so I’ll announce it along with a fundraising drive. The Gnome program is a little broader than GSoC, and does allow non-code projects, so things like design, ux, documentation, translation, community management, etc would all be possibilities there.

    • trishasalas 6:16 pm on March 19, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Jen, I appreciate all the work you (and others) are putting into this. I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t qualify as a mentor (at least this year) as my WordPress coding knowledge is just now starting to solidify. However, I would like to know what I can do to prepare for future involvement (if anything). I would also be interested in learning more about the Gnome Outreach Program.

    • Eric Mann 6:23 pm on March 19, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I have a few ideas …

      Idea 1: Dashboard Widget API
      We have a great widget API for sidebar widgets, but the admin dashboard widget API is far less reusable. Certain widgets rely on the same code (i.e. feed widgets) without a clean abstraction layer to prevent changes to one from breaking another. This is one of the biggest reasons #19239 hasn’t gone anywhere yet. Merging the widgets required some hackery and the new widget in that proposed patch isn’t abstracted enough to be reusable anyway.

      The idea would be to create a basic object template for dashboard widgets that can be extended in the same way WP_Widget can be, then to revise existing dashboard widgets to use the new API.

      Idea 2: Post by Email Plugin
      Deprecating the post by email functionality has been on a list of proposals for quite a while, and despite a patch (#22942) that disables the feature (similar to how Links were recently disabled), momentum has stalled since no clear alternative exists.

      The idea would be to create a new plugin that extends post-by-email functionality in a clean manner. Host the plugin in the .org repo. Then update the existing patch on the above ticket for 3.7.

      Idea 3: UUID Abstraction
      One of the most talked-about “vulnerabilities” in WordPress is the ability to slurp down user IDs and login names programatically since user IDs are auto-incrementing integers. This could be prevented by changing the data structure to use UUIDs instead.

      Also, updating post data structures such that new posts populate the GUID field with a true UUID (rather than the current post permalink) would prevent a lot of developer confusion as to what the field is and how it’s used. (Regular post IDs should remain integers since they’re used in the default link structure.)

      Other objects in the database can be rekeyed as UUIDs as well, but my proposal is to start with user IDs and post GUIDs since changes there would solve specific problems that exist today.

    • jltallon 1:21 pm on March 20, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Idea N+1: Plugin/Theme dependencies in core

      Work can begin from Scribu’s plugin +improvements ( Debian-style version comparisons: >=, >>, <=, <<, =), there is a proposed patch out there.

      Second step: Theme *code* dependencies: just like parent-child relationships are declared within the style.css (child themes), themes that need certain plugins to work properly (not enhacements, but hard dependencies) can declare so in a comment at the beginning of functions.php
      RATIONALE: just like plugins can declare "Depends" and "Provides" within their meta information in the plugin's header comment, themes can depend on certain functionality from plugins.

      BENEFIT: ability to "mix and match" code and allow for more modular code. Individual, granular updates to functionality via plugins, where all other components benefit from the upgrade without intervention.


      • Plugin needs certain other(s) plugin(s) to be active before this one can be activated (or at the same time, think “bulk activate”) + feedback in the plugin screen (Depends: plugin1, plugin2) with colors.

      (thisi is basically the functionality present in Scribu’s plugin right now)

      • Plugin needs certain other plugin and version (equal, newer, older) to work.
      • Theme needs certain plugin(s) (and particular versions, while at that) to be activated. Clearly show it at the theme selection screen (just like “theme tags”, maybe?)
      • When a dependency is deactivated/removed, all dependent items (plugins, themes) SHALL be deactivated in turn (for a theme, fallback to “default”)

      I’m proposing this for a GSoC project since I guess it would need quite some more work over what we currently have, and It would need a close eye before it can go in core (where it belongs, IMHO)

    • petarpetrovic 9:22 pm on March 20, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply


      I have been using WordPress for a long time, but, sadly, I’ve never contributed any code to it. The main reason for that is that WordPress’ codebase is not fully object – oriented. I know that someone will say “don’t fix what isn’t broken”, but I really think that rewriting the codebase would be extremely beneficial for everyone. It would make a much cleaner API for plugin developers and it would be easier to maintain the codebase. I’d like to work on this through my GSoC participation. For the beginning, we would have two API interfaces – the current one which will become deprecated after the rewrite has been done, and a new one which will allow all plugin developers to gradually switch to new API as the time progresses. Then, say, in WordPress 4 the deprecated API would disappear (or we can provide some sort of plugin for the deprecated API) and a new, OOP – way API will be in place. I know, rewriting the whole codebase can break many things, but no one said that the transition won’t hurt.

      • Jen Mylo 4:51 pm on March 21, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Rewriting the entire WordPress codebase is completely outside the scope of a GSoC project, which should be discrete, easily tested, reviewed, and launched.

    • Justin Shreve 1:17 pm on March 21, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m interested in mentoring this year!

      For those of you who don’t know I’m Justin Shreve. I’m a former GSoC student (2009, 2010) and co-mentored Summer 2011(with Aaron as lead mentor) the HTML Emails project. I also work on social projects over @ Automattic.com

      I’d be interested in mentoring any general projects but specifically: API projects (XML-RPC, REST/JSON API in Core, etc), Projects around things like Post Formats, Multi-site improvements, and any social projects (if there happens to be any plugin proposals, etc).

      Website: http://justin.gs/
      .org profile: https://profiles.wordpress.org/jshreve/
      twitter: https://twitter.com/justinshreve/

    • Marko Heijnen 2:41 pm on March 21, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I would love to be a mentor on one of the projects. I’m can work on Media (no backbone yet), mobile projects and on the API. Maybe a RESTfull API. But any other related project is fine.
      I’m @markoheijnen on Twitter, WordPress.org, and just about everywhere else. My site is http://www.markoheijnen.com and I speak at WordCamps and WordPress meetups.

      • Jen Mylo 6:03 pm on March 21, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Can you write up a couple of specific project ideas with short descriptions, as shown on the codex page from 2011? That would be a big help.

    • Prasath Nadarajah 3:52 am on March 22, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I am interested in mentoring this year!

      My name is Prasath Nadarajah and i did GSoC with WordPress back in 2011 working on the new XMLRPC API. I work at Automattic as a code wrangler.

  • Jen 11:15 pm on February 13, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: gsoc   

    Will need two volunteers to be the admins for GSoC, overseeing our application, mentor wrangling, and if we get selected, student wrangling. Good project management skills required, familiarity with core contributors a plus. Note: though most mentors will likely come from this group, it’s not my intent to pull devs away from development to be admins. Just posting here bc I know a number of project managers follow this blog. The admin volunteers would be coordinated via the community group and would work with devs across core, themes, and plugins as needed. If interested in volunteering as an admin, ping me. Thanks.

  • Jen 6:16 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: gsoc   

    No GSoC 2012 

    WordPress was rejected as a mentoring organization from GSoC for this summer. This is unexpected, as I spent some time during the application period talking with Carol (Smith, the GSoC administrator) about our proposed approach of building a release cycle around GSoC and making it a mentorship-focused release and she seemed to approve the idea.

    We can still do a summer mentorship-focused release for 3.5 if we want to, though. We could pimp it as independent study for credit for college students and put more focus on non-student potential contributors, such as from the plugin/theme ranks. If nothing else, it would avoid the inevitable couple of students who are only in it for the $$. We’ll need to decide if we still want to do something along these lines, or if we don’t.

    Why did we get rejected? We don’t know yet. I used last year’s successful application as a template. There will be a feedback meeting in a week or so, and Carol says to attend that when it is announced and we can find out why during that meeting.

    • Daniel Chatfield 6:20 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      That is very unexpected. I’m a student and would love to get involved 🙂

    • Brian Layman 6:20 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Well that’s unexpected… If we are going to get feedback from that meeting, it probably won’t pay to spend time speculating on the reason right now…

    • Aaron D. Campbell 6:22 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Mentorship-focused doesn’t sound that far from the teams setup we used for 3.4. The other advantage is that we can mentor any age, rather than restricting it to college students.

      • Jane Wells 6:26 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Was planning to do that anyway. The GSoC part would have been a good push on external deadlines, though.

      • Kyriakos 8:45 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Sounds like a good idea Aaron. There is a wider audience than college students that will like to participate and need the guide from a WordPress Guru.

    • drecodeam 6:26 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This is seriously unexpected, but yet for us students the idea of the mentorship focused release is a nice option now, i would still love to get involved for this summers. One of the major advantages of GSoC program was the structured approach it puts the students in. If you can still chalk out such a plan, a lot of good work can still be done from the students who are deeply interested.

    • George 6:37 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I think students who wanted to work with WordPress would contribute anyway. Will WordPress team still provide mentorship?

      • Stas Sușcov 7:22 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        This is debatable. WordPress is solid enough (probably that’s the reason why Google thought it doesn’t need help) to get a SoC or some sprints like it happened during 3.5 cycle.

        I remember http://rubysoc.org and it’s a great example. I would help crowd-sourcing/mentor/contribute to some projects like bbPress/BuddyPress or why not Coursewa.re.
        And many would do the same.

        • George 7:26 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          That would be great. I wanted too ask about BBs mentorship. You did a great job with Courseware, I’ve idea similar to Courseware, but not sure can it be done on top of your project. Maybe when you have time we can chat and discuss this.

        • Stas Sușcov 7:30 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Thanks, sure, anytime.

    • George Stephanis 6:40 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Still planning on keeping it to core contributions only, or possibly opening it up to plugins as well? The latter could get a bit messy paperwork-wise without a more consistent oversight if done for credits.

    • mitcho (Michael 芳貴 Erlewine) 6:44 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I feel surprised and saddened by GSoC’s decision, but I agree that having a program to get new contributors more involved through some mentorship is a powerful thing that could continue outside of the purview of the GSoC program. I hope that does indeed happen.

    • Mert Yazicioglu 6:52 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I wasn’t expecting that just like the others but I’m sure there are many people out there (like me) that would love to take part in a mentorship-focused release. Most of us students have more time than the core developers during the summer so I’m sure we can make great contributions.

      This is certainly sad news but not a show-stopper in my opinion.

    • Kyriakos 7:05 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Why unexpected? WordPress should see this coming. Is obvious that Google at some point would stop supporting competitors to its own products like WordPress is for Blogger and soon other organizations will follow. (Firefox>Chrome, ChromeOS competitors etc.)

    • Jane Wells 7:17 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Now that the list has been released, we are in good company… Drupal, Mozilla, and other big projects are out, also. There are only 54 organizations listed (vs 150+ in past years) and most look to be smaller ones.

      • Tunilame 7:42 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        But the list is getting longer with minutes (180 participating organizations marked, but only 73 shown ’till now), is that normal?

      • Jane Wells 7:51 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        My bad. Not all the orgs are listed yet, because they only show up on the list ( http://www.google-melange.com/gsoc/program/accepted_orgs/google/gsoc2012 ) after they have filled in a post-acceptance profile. For all we know, Drupal, Mozilla, etc may have been acepted and we just weren’t. Will find out for sure at next week’s meeting.

        • Rafael Poveda - RaveN 11:14 am on March 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I think WordPress have enough support by companies to begin with your own WordPress Summer of Code without funding problems. As said before, it can be an excellent opportunity to allow more projects –not just students projects– and to focus in company-related issues too.

      • Egill Erlendsson 8:20 pm on March 20, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Drupal, Joomla, Mozilla, Wikimedia, Django are on the list of accepted organizations, which makes the decision even more interesting.

    • Kyriakos 7:21 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Mozilla products are direct competitors to android (b2go) and chrome (firefox) etc This day was about to come Jane, Is quite anorthodox for a company to pay competitors to grow bigger stronger better.

      • Jane Wells 7:27 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Leaving multiple comments with the same content is a good way to get marked as spam. We got it the first time. And completely disagree.

        • Kyriakos 7:38 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          And what is the reason for this kind of move from Google Jane according to your opinion?

        • Jane Wells 7:54 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          We will have to wait until the meeting next week to find out. We have participated for 5 years though, and are not exactly in need of the helping hand that GSoC offers.

      • Mert Yazicioglu 10:09 am on March 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Having a stronger competitor is a good thing, it motivates you to do greater things. GSoC is to get students more involved in Open Source and not Google or its products. Google is just trying to contribute to the growth of the Open Source ecosystem, that’s all.

        And by the way, Mozilla is accepted so your argument is invalid in every possible way.

    • rhh 12:48 am on March 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      GSoC rejection does not matter at all. In fact WP can have its own summer of code for all open source stuff, maybe in some other name. WP needs independent and unique branding, which it has but needs to be MORE. For example, Facebook have no mention of WP, neither Google in the form of small icons, logos, or the “like it” buttons, so WHY does WP needs that in its various properties/web estates?

      First step towards shaking the unhealthy dominance by G,FB, Apple – be UNIQUE dear WP!

    • DrewAPicture 8:32 am on March 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It was probably all the jokes about Melange finally getting fixed.

    • Thorsten 10:39 am on March 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Bummer, nevertheless I would be happy to mentor any student who wants to do something “WordPress” during the summer.

    • Frederick Townes 12:51 pm on March 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This is a bit of a surprise for me, but what I can say is that there’s still an opportunity to drive innovation for WP. Whether it’s as transparent as it could be or not, there’s quite a bit of mentorship permeating this community and I agree with some of the prior commentors that this community has the means to “institutionalize” that mentorship in least in terms of manifesting those values in the form of it’s own program. As usual, it would set the bar in terms of culture for other open source groups as well, which is definitely not a bad thing (nor a small feat). So I’m all for an “internal” mentorship program (which can have quite few different possible legs).

    • Shibu Lijack 4:28 am on March 19, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I am extremely disappointed! Being a college student, I was eagerly waiting for GSOC’12. I thought for sure WP would be one of the mentoring organisations. So I started preparing months ago.. Developed quite a few plugins and themes. But how unfortunate! All my hopes and dreams shattered. I still wish WP could somehow get accepted into GSOC’12.

    • Stas Sușcov 4:13 pm on March 19, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      For students looking for WordPress GSoC projects, last two years Creative Commons were looking for a WordPress developer. I checked again and it looks like their WordPress RDFa plugin is still on their ToDo list:

      if you really-really want to help CC, I could be a lamb and even help you with my last year proposal draft (just to help you dig into what they were looking for) 🙂

      Good luck!

    • mbijon 5:28 pm on May 3, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Any news yet on why we weren’t accepted this year?

  • Jen 6:39 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , gsoc,   


    Normally we don’t start talking about the next release until the current one is out the door, or at least in beta/RC, so this post jumps the gun a bit, but for a good reason: the GSoC deadline. There are two approaches we could take toward our participation in GSoC this year, and one of them is tied closely to 3.5.


    • Good GSoC mentoring takes time. Time is hard to come by at the best of times, even harder for many during the summer.
    • Many of our previous GSoC mentors have held the position for several years and could use a break from trying to mentor while simultaneously working on features for a regular release.
    • Almost none of our GSoC projects have actually made it into core. A few because they were plugins, but most because once GSoC is over there hasn’t been a concerted effort to follow up on these projects.
    • We often run late on dev cycles.

    Since 3.4

    • We have ramped up several core contributors to more responsible/trusted roles as a result of the 3.4 process experiment (teams, cycles, updates, etc). This could mean more mentors.
    • We are running late in our dev cycle, and with SXSW about to eat a week, I’m thinking we’re about to get even more behind. My guess is we’re looking at a May launch, not April.
    • The stated intention of having all feature dev for the cycle tied to a central goal of making it easier to customize your site didn’t really happen. There were at least 3 teams working on features that had nothing to do with this, and another couple that were related, but not smack in the middle of it. Good features all, but we failed in sticking to that goal as a unifying concept.


    What if for 3.5, instead of it being a “regular” cycle, we made it a mentoring cycle tied to the GSoC schedule (shorter than normal)? If we assume 3.4 will launch sometime at the end of April or early May (and if it does happen earlier, awesome), that would put us in a position to start working on 3.5 right when the GSoC accepted students are announced.

    If we chose a “release concept” (like customizing your theme, but something different) and outlined every feature/enhancement/bug that’s related, we could make those things be the potential GSoC projects. We could work in teams like in 3.4, but in this case each team would have a student or two working on things with them closely. Since these would be the only features being worked on (additional bug-fixing always ongoing, obviously),

    • Students would be guaranteed mentor attention and working with core
    • We would be more likely to do the work necessary to get student work to commit-worthy status
    • We would target a launch for late August to coincide with the end of GSoC (so we could do one more small release before end of year)
    • We could do additional outreach to include new contributors who do not qualify for GSoC (too young, too old, not in college, etc), improve our mentoring skills and processes
    • At the end of this mentorship-focused summer, we would not only have the features developed by mentees, but we would have an ideal pool of people to help us create documentation to help new contributors.

    I’m thinking that what might make sense would be for there to be a team or two that doesn’t mentor or work on a feature for 3.5, but begins working on one of the more complex things we keep putting off, so that it could be the first thing into 3.6 (like gallery management or something similar).

    Deciding on a release concept that could be done in a 2.5-3 month cycle would be important. I’m thinking maybe it could be the feedback loop — improving comments and communication with readers via html emails, forms, etc on the front end and a UI facelift of the comments/related screens on the back end, putting something cool into Twenty Twelve around this (or just support for something in core related to same), etc. There are a number of projects around this that have been done in the past that could be looked to for inspiration and/or what not to do, it’s needed attention for some time, and it’s not as complicated as something like media or multisite.

    Thoughts? Specifically, thoughts on:

    • Doing a mentorship-focused release timed to GSoC
    • Potential areas of focus for 3.5 if we were to do this
    • Mentoring in teams like 3.4
    • Wanting to mentor in this case
    • How many students you think we could take on if we used teams like in 3.4

    Comment here today, and tomorrow I’l round up the core team to see what people think based on the conversation so we can make a decision and I can update our application before the application deadline if needed. If we don’t do something like this, then I’m planning on reducing our GSoC student allotment to 5-6 students (we’ve asked for up to 15 in the past) to ensure enough mentors and adequate attention/follow-up on projects.

    Thanks for your input!

    • Jane Wells 6:50 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      We could theoretically extend the idea of a mentorship summer to other groups:

      • UX/UI… could help with gallery management ideas and comping/wireframing for the non-gsoc teams
      • Forums… could write up a handy guide to solving common support requests and mentor new volunteers
      • Theme Review Team ditto
      • etc etc
    • Justin Shreve 6:53 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I think it’s a great idea. I agree that one of the biggest problems of GSoC in the past has been pulling things back into core. One of the reasons like you mentioned is time and the summer ending. I also think a lot of the projects are not appropriate for core. Most are better suited for plugins/themes anyway. If we really want GSoC projects to benefit core then we should have all of the projects be core projects.

      Since this is a little different from previous years I am thinking we shouldn’t use up all 15 spots. Maybe 8-10 students. The fewer students we use, the more attention/mentors they can get. I think last years GSoC of having multiple mentors worked pretty well.

      I’d love to help/mentor with GSoC again. Especially so if we do something with the feedback loop.

      • Jane Wells 7:20 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        We don’t automatically get 15 spots, I just gave that as an example. Here are our numbers for previous years (passed/total):
        2011: 10/12
        2010: 13/15
        2009: 6/8
        2008: 6/8
        2007: 10/10

    • Mert Yazicioglu 7:08 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Even though I developed a WordPress plugin as a GSoC proejct last year, I agree that GSoC projects should contribute more to the core.

    • Travis 7:09 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Fantastic idea, Jane. I think this would be a much better experience for students, and result in better production of things that would/could make it into core.

      I also really, really like the idea of reaching out to non-students to be mentored. That might be the motivation I (and people like me) need to get more involved with contributing.

    • Ahmad Awais 8:12 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I am willing to participate in GSoC this year through WordPress , keep me posted.
      I am a beginner , will it be hard for me to adopt the core? I am into plugin development basics

    • Andy Skelton 8:18 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Excellent idea.

    • Erlend 8:26 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Like I believe I suggested last year, I think WordPress’ sister projects, mainly the “BBs” (bbPress & BuddyPress) could benefit greatly from a cycle dedicated to them alone.

      WordPress itself doesn’t have any big publicity gains through GSoC, as it just feeds on its existing userbase. The BBs however could use the extra attention directed their way, seeing as a huge amount of WP users & even developers still don’t know exactly what these projects can do and how far along they’ve come.

      • Jane Wells 8:31 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Yes, but it is WordPress that Google gives the allotment to, not bb or Buddy. We include the plugins, but the limiting factor there is appropriate mentors. J-trip is only one guy, and even with Boone and Paul (and we’ve never had all 3 at once) that’s very few mentors compared to the number of people capable of mentoring WordPress. bbPress and BuddyPress could also apply to GSoC as separate projects, but have not wanted to in the past, so that they could take advantage of the support offered by being under the WP umbrella.

        Realistically, though, GSoC is not about teaching users and developers about projects. It’s about grooming new contributors and creating more open source code.

    • Paul Gibbs 8:36 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      So, I’ve been looking forward this summer to seeing if I can get involved with GSoC. I’m interested in mentoring, and what BuddyPress can get from it — I’m definitely inspired by what Stas and Boone did in previous year(s). WordPress core doesn’t hold the same sort of social focus that attracts me to working on BuddyPress.

      I get the sense that the idea is to change the outputs away from generating a ton of new or specialised plugins, and onto WordPress core, which I agree is a better way for wporg to be participating in the GSoC. I would obviously prefer for this to not be at the detriment of possibility of a project for BuddyPress (or bbPress, or GlotPress, or any of the mobile phone apps, for example).

      • Mert Yazicioglu 8:40 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I wonder if we could have something like the following:

        5 seats for WordPress core
        3 seats for BuddyPress
        2 seats for Mobile Apps

        • Jane Wells 8:53 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          We have NEVER EVER EVER turned away a mobile, bbPress, or BuddyPress application due to lack of spots. Every single year, those specific projects are chosen by the mentors who want to work on them. So if this year Boone, Paul, and J-trip said they didn’t want to mentor, there probably wouldn’t be bb/BP projects. They get to choose which ones are worthy/that they want to work on. Every year I’ve donated spots back to the common GSoC pool because the mentors have chosen to focus on fewer projects with the most impressive applicants, because mentoring is a serious obligation and they don’t have unlimited hours in a day. If people want to see more GSoC projects in the areas of mobile, bbPress and BuddyPress, the first step is to go get more regular contributors to those projects who would then be qualified to mentor GSoC students in the future.

        • Mert Yazicioglu 9:18 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I’m so sorry, my bad. After seeing Paul’s post, for a split second I thought we were talking about allocating all seats to the WordPress core. After sending the comment I realized that is not the case, but it was too late. Shouldn’t have rushed to comment, sorry for any inconvenience I caused.

      • Jane Wells 8:48 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Mobile apps, bbPress, and BuddyPress have always had mentors from their own group of committers. This post really applies to those coming from the WP core contributor group.

    • Eric Mann 9:28 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Fantastic idea overall. Working in teams definitely makes the workload a bit easier (particularly if team members are in different time zones). And scheduling the 3.5 cycle to include GSoC will make things easier on core developers.

    • Wojtek Szkutnik 10:35 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      A few thoughts:

      100% in for fewer spots with more focus. There are several projects from earlier GSoC editions awaiting to be merged in some part with the core – if we were able to give them more focus earlier, they would probably be already there. I still find my GSoC 2010 patches merged to the core every few weeks.

      @outreach – great idea! From my GHOP/GCI experience, people in high school have far more free time to contribute to open source. We could prepare fliers, presentations etc and try to reach them. Also, GCI mentoring requires more time but probably less skills, so if we were to participate in GCI next year it would be easier to find mentors (I, for one, would happily devote some time to be a GCI mentor again and won’t give up my GSoC student status this year for Summer of Code mentoring 😉 )

      On a side note, I would really like to see unit tests for both JS and backend in this year’s tasks. I would definitely apply! 🙂 Testing may require some additional knowledge but brings great profits and I believe that unit tests would be very helpful – the sooner we improve this part of WP development, the less backward regressions we’ll experience in the future.

    • Conor Hughes 11:13 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I am but a lowly user of wordpress but I really like the sound of this. Keeping it teams makes it fun for all of us outside the dev comunity.

    • Mark Barnes 1:25 pm on March 8, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This makes great sense to me. Improving core should always be the priority of the core developers.

    • Jane Wells 11:15 pm on March 9, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I corresponded with Carol (the administrator of the GSoC program overall) and she said the approach sounded good. She said putting students onto teams with mentors and/or other students would be fine, as long as we were grading them on their own code. Since everyone starts out writing their own patches before the back-and-forth revision process kicks in, I think this seems pretty easy to ensure. Will discuss more with the people in Austin this weekend (Jaquith, Nacin, Koop, etc) but am thinking that we’ll give it a try.

    • Gustavo Bordoni 5:33 am on March 12, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      So I would like to know how to submit a project/idea to be part of the GSoC program with WordPress Core improvement?

      • Jane Wells 3:45 pm on March 12, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Student applications aren’t accepted until Google opens the application period, and for that matter, we haven’t been approved as a participating organization yet. That said, getting involved early definitely increases the chance of being selected. Submitting patches for core bug tickets before applying is important. You can also talk to WP devs in #wordpress-dev on freenode.

  • Jen 7:58 pm on February 22, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: gsoc   

    In addition to the usual program of check-ins, questions, and strategy in today’s dev chat, I’d like to carve out a few minutes at the end to talk GSoC. I’ll probably start putting together our application this weekend to be a mentoring organization, and will need to know who we’ve got on tap for mentoring teams.

  • Jen 7:03 am on February 5, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: gsoc   

    GSoC time! Google announced GSoC and I’m guessing we’ll do it again, so roll call: who wants to be a GSoC mentor this year? Second: who wants to be the administrator? I’d like to get it off my plate if possible. Candidate should be able to keep track of dates, have good writing skills, be willing to nag (even people you respect), and be able to prioritize GSoC communications.

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