Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Google Summer of Code 2008 and wx

Since a couple of years, there is something we really look forward to each spring. I'm not speaking about blossoming flowers and all this nonsense, of course, but about the Google summer of code. This is a wonderful program which gives many open source projects, including wx, an opportunity to work on some projects which wouldn't be started otherwise because they require initial investment beyond what we can normally afford and attract new contributors to the project.

So it's great to be part of GSoC again, even though -- let me perform some ritualistic whining -- we got only 2 slots this year while we had 3 of them during the previous ones. I'm not sure why did this happen (probably because ever more projects take part in the program and even Google's budget is not unlimited) but it might be related to the relatively few students proposals we received this year (about a dozen and 5 of them about the same project). Of course, there were still some worthy proposals which got cut (at least the third and the fourth one) but I still think that one of the goals for the next year should be to prepare more interesting projects and try to attract more interest -- and if you have any great ideas, please let us know or just add them to this wiki page.

Of course, while wxWidgets itself has 2 slots, there are other wx-related projects undertaken by the other organizations. wxPython has 3 more slots, Audacity uses one of its 5 for writing new draggable sizer classes which could hopefully be reused by other projects and even Perl has wxCPANPLUS project using wx. So the life is still good.

But it will be even better once our 2 projects are completed. Personally I'm mostly excited about the "duller" one of them -- the bug fixing one by Marcin Wojdyr. We currently have an indecent number of open bugs (~1600 at the last count) in our bug tracker and this is way too much, in fact there are so many of them that even finding an existing bug is difficult. This is partly due to the extremely poor SourceForge bug tracker UI so one of the first steps in this project will be migrating all our bugs and patches to Trac. And then, of course, fixing some of them. This is probably not as exciting as writing some great new control but almost certainly is more useful to wxWidgets and will do more for our users so, once again, we're really glad to have the opportunity to do it during this GSoC!