Google Summer of Code ’15 – with KDE

rharish kopete GSoC I know this post is coming in a bit late(very late, some would say). But like I’d done the previous year, I applied to the Google Summer of Code program with KDE and this year my luck has paid off. I’m now one among the 1051(IIRC) participants whose projects have been accepted this year.

The result was announced on the 27th of April and the few days that followed were indeed somewhat mystic. But now, it’s over a week and the feeling and the excitement has settled in. I know it’s a normal practice for students to start working during the community bonding period itself(some even start working before their proposal gets accepted), but I won’t be able to do the same. I’ve informed my mentor Laurent Montel and the project maintainer Pavol Rohar about the same. I would however be able to start off just in time for the start of the coding period, so technically speaking it should be just fine.

Now, a few words about the project and how the application period went. Basically, I’ve been a contributor to KDE for about a year now and my contributions have mainly been to the Plasma Mediacenter. It’s a new(relatively) emerging project and it has found some awesome developers who are doing some incredible work. I had done my Season of KDE project, which was about porting some backends of the same to KF5/Plasma5, and was hopeful I would get an opportunity to do a project that dealt with PMC(Plasma Mediacenter). However, this term, with the new version of PMC just coming out, there were no ideas suggested and I had to look elsewhere. That’s when I saw Kopete ! 🙂

I saw a few ideas on Kopete on the community ideas page and somehow I felt this is just what I’d been looking for. I dropped into the IRC channel and queried about the IRC protocol project. That’s when the maintainer, pali, mentioned that Kopete was yet to be ported to KF5. This came as a real surprise since most KDE applications had been ported last summer itself. I immediately proposed the idea of porting Kopete to KF5. The idea was welcomed by pali but it turned out we were lacking mentors, if indeed this project would go through. I quickly started spamming some IRC channels and posted on various ML’s asking if someone had the time and enthusiasm to mentor me on a project for the summer of code. There weren’t many responses and just when things looked bleak, Laurent replied, and the rest as they say, is history 😉

The Google Summer of Code is a wonderful opportunity and one that students can ill afford to miss IMO. I’m thankful that I’ve grabbed this opportunity with both hands and I hope more students will follow suite. This summer will bring a lot of excitement and at the same time, a real challenge as well. I can’t really wait for my exams to get over and the summer to really begin 😉

Before I forget, I’d like to thank my mentors in the university and the community for all the help and guidance they’ve offered me. Vipin sir was instrumental in everything. Rahul PP, Seshagiri, Bithin and Arvind and Shankar – our awesome group of seniors – have always been there for us when we needed them and finally a big thanks to KP sir himself who pushed me to join the FOSS club in our campus (http://foss.amrita.ac.in). I can’t thank enough, the help extended by the PMC group as well. This is where my journey in KDE started and it’s one that I’ve enjoyed a lot. Shantanu the maintainer and mentor and Bhushan Shah, my Season of KDE mentor have been extremely supportive throughout and I can’t thank them enough. Finally, a huge thanks to Pradeepto Bhattacharya – the Founder of KDE-india. I met Pradeepto in a Coffee shop and that was where he spoke about KDE and his work for almost three hours and even offered me delightful meal. That is what really prompted me to stick to not just start with KDE community but also stick with it.

Looking forward to the future, with much optimism 🙂

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