Friday I flew out to Mountain View, CA to attend the Google Summer of Code Mentors Summit hosted at the Googleplex, Google's worldwide headquarters. Every year, two mentors from every organization are sponsored by google to attend the summit and I was offered the extra slot by Buddhike, the Fedora summer of code admin.
After the inevitable hubub w/ delayed flights and such (surprisingly my stow-away bag actually made it!), I arrived at the hotel on Friday night intime for the pre-summit dinner. On Saturday shuttles were available to transport us from the hotel to the Googleplex which I have to say in quite impressive. From architecture of the buildings, to the modern artwork scattered around the complex, to the meals/beverages/snacks, and even random bicyles available for any employee to just pickup and use, the complex lives up to the legend! (hover over images for descriptions, click for full sizes)
The summit was very much developer centric which I very much enjoyed, as most of the other conferences I attended included a mix of sys-admin and developer tracks. Obviously the driving event was a summer of _code_, so many of the attendees were software engineers themselves, mentoring students doing the development. Some projects were bigger than others, some well established, some not, but it was a great mix of contributors from across the industry working on many cool things.
Among the best of the presentations I attended included roundtable discussions on the latest languages and language features being used in the industry, different collaboration tools that the projects are using and their thoughts on them, and one on developing tools to quantify and measure community metrics and individual contributions. During the lightning talks (one minute a piece), I showed off Zuhao's isitfedoraruby project, and extensively promoted his work, as well as Sammy's and Nitesh's contributions to Aeolus throughout the entire conference.
I also held an impromptu session on the JSON-RPC protocol during the afternoon which was a last minute thing, but was able to leverage my presentation and demo of rjr in Brno from a few months back. This led to an good discussion with some interesting ideas emerging from it and even a couple adopters!
Saturday night was the Summit Dinner Party at the hotel, italian food, good mingling, and even a dip in the pool and hottub! This morning I checked out of the hotel and attended more sessions before wrapping up the trip (I am currently blogging this from SFO prior to catching my red-eye home).
I have to say this might just be the best conference I've been to so far. The talks and presenters were phenomenal. Even the attendees were constituted of some of the brightest of the industry, so many conversations lead to insightful perspectives and different conclusions than I hadn't come upon so far. I hope to be able to participate in the GSoC and maybe attend the summit again next year. Until next time, happy coding!
A few months back I wrote about a few projects which I am mentoring for Fedora as part of the Google Summer of Code '12. Now that the summer is about 1/2 way over, I'm pleased to share the progress on the projects, as well as all the hard work that the students' have put into them.
First off Sammy who is working on an interface to deploy to the cloud via specified deployment criteria has made great headway expanding the central Aeolus API to support hardware profiles and instance management. Sammy has also expanded the command line client and utility to support these new capabilities and will be basing the remainder of the work this summer on using these features to deploy to the cheapest and quickest cloud providers.
Nitesh (who has been graciously volunteering his own time outside the GSoC) has been working on building a graphical (QT based) desktop client for Aeolus, which he is hosting on his github repo. The application is looking great, modules have already been completed for provider and instance management from the desktop, and he is looking to continue expanding functionality for end-to-end cloud instance management.
Finaly Zuhao who has been working hard on the isitfedoraruby project has also made great headway, implementing Rake tasks allowing us to import gems and rpms into the database, as well as various frontend interfaces which to display and cross-reference the gem and rpm metadata and other info. Various other features are in progress including the ability to comment and rate specific packages, a section highlighting various projects based on the Fedora / Ruby stack, and a mechanism to more closely integrate w/ rubygems as gems are pushed. You may find the code in Zuhao's github repo, and I've hosted the website on a temp subdomain for demoing purposes. Towards he end of the summer we'll update the site with the latest developments, reserve the is-it-fedora-ruby (or other) domain, and point that at my server.
Any comments, feedback, patches, or feature requests to any of these projects would be more than appreciated. Be sure to stay tuned for more updates as these projects evolve as additional features are added.
As some of you may know, Fedora was recently accepted, as a participating organization into the Google Summer of Code. Shortly after this was announced, Buddhika (our Fedora GSoC Admin and Coordinator) circulated a RFC for projects to improve the Fedora distribution as part of this effort. I submitted a few proposals to mentor myself, and am pleased to say there quite a bit of interest by various students, a few of which are now officially working on the various topics.
Specifically Samridh Srinath will be working on improving the Aeolus user experience on Fedora, implementing various aspect of the command line interface and core API features needed to drive it, and Zuhao Wan will be working on a site to highlight and promote the Fedora / Ruby experience, providing a simple one-stop-shop to query for Ruby related packages in Fedora and to assist in the migration process.
Unfortunately, not all of the students who applied were able to be accepted into the GSoC due to the limited number of slots we had available. Both Nitesh Narayan and Furhan Shabir are talented students who submitted strong proposals to work on Aeolus but weren't able to secure the official sponsorship. That being said, both have graciously volunteered to donate some time to assist with the project for which I would like to thank them greatly for.
All in all, I'm looking forward to working with these talented students over the course of the summer and beyond. Stay tuned for more updates as the projects progress and the proposals are implemented.
Until next time, happy hacking!