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Sat Sep 12 21:55:12 CDT 2009

improvements and optimizations to the XMPP protocol suite, but they
have not yet been widely implemented. We would like to use GSoC as a
way to encourage experimentation with these technologies, such as
improved reliability, optimizations for mobile environments, and
stronger security.

Did your organization participate in past GSoCs? If so, please
summarize your involvement and the successes and challenges of your

We participated in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 but skipped 2009 to give
other organizations a chance to mentor. Our second year (2006) was not
a great success (we had several students fail and one mentor dropped
out), after which we improved our processes and procedures. We also
deliberately chose to limit the number of sponsored projects to 6 so
that we could focus more intensely on each student. Overall our
involvement has been quite successful in encouraging students to work
on open-source projects. Several of our former students have become
mentors, and about one-quarter of them have continued to be involved
in the XMPP developer community.

If your organization participated in past GSoCs, please let us know
the ratio of students passing to students allocated, e.g. 2006: 3/6
for 3 out of 6 students passed in 2006.

If your organization has not previously participated in GSoC, have you
applied in the past? If so, for what year(s)?


What is the URL for your ideas page?

What is the main development mailing list for your organization? This
question will be shown to students who would like to get more
information about applying to your organization for GSoC 2010. If your
organization uses more than one list, please make sure to include a
description of the list so students know which to use.

The main development list is jdev at -- students can subscribe

What is the main IRC channel for your organization?

Discussions within the XSF take place on XMPP Multi-User Chat rooms
(functionally equivalent to IRC channels. The main developer chatroom
is xmpp://

Does your organization have an application template you would like to
see students use? If so, please provide it now. Please note that it is
a very good idea to ask students to provide you with their contact
information as part of your template. Their contact details will not
be shared with you automatically via the GSoC 2010 site.

In 2008 we debated whether to create an application template but in
the end decided against it.

What criteria did you use to select the individuals who will act as
mentors for your organization? Please be as specific as possible:

Mentors will be selected from people who are part of existing active
teams and from people who have already demonstrated the ability to
lead and participate in the community that has formed around the team
and its projects. We have learned from past years that someone can be
a great developer but not a great mentor, so we are very focused on
finding people who have a nurturing personality and are able and eager
to help students learn about both open-source code and the open-source

What is your plan for dealing with disappearing students?

We set a strong expectation that our students need to treat their
involvement with GSoC just as seriously as they would a full-time
summer job or academic internship. This is something that we make
clear during the application process and reinforce throughout the
summer. We check in regularly with both students and mentors, make
sure that code gets checked in early and often, expect progress
reports, etc. That said, we know that students can be flaky. :) And
sometimes circumstances truly do intercede: family emergencies,
illness, and other events can distract our students from their GSoC
responsibility. We try to reach out to our students and help them
succeed through all means at our disposal, but in the past we have not
been shy about failing our students if they truly do disappear. We've
found that it is best to do this at the mid-way point rather than
merely hope that things will change for the better during the second

What is your plan for dealing with disappearing mentors?

In 2006 we had one mentor disappear and it was very painful. In 2007
and 2008 we instituted stricter standards for choosing mentors in the
first place (e.g., choosing only active and well-known XMPP
developers) and improved processes for monitoring each mentor/student
team (e.g. regular communication with and reporting from both students
and mentors). In the event that a mentor starts to fall behind in his
responsibilities we will actively seek out a backup mentor from the
same code project. We willl also make sure to select code projects
that have a strong team atmosphere so that backup mentors can be
sourced more quickly.

What steps will you take to encourage students to interact with your
project's community before, during and after the program?

In our experience it's important to "hook" the student in early so
that they feel involved and committed even before the official start
of coding. Once coding begins we hold regular meetings in a GSoC
chatroom and expect students to report regularly on their work via
blog, microblog, email, and wiki. The idea is that by contacting
students early in the process and continuing that contact throughout
the entire process they will enjoy and participate as a natural part
of doing their project.

What will you do to ensure that your accepted students stick with the
project after GSoC concludes?

Our goal is to select both mentors and projects that fit into XSF
teams that already have a high level of interaction and community
activity.  By allowing the student to become a part of that vibrant
community they will be challenged and encouraged to participate.  This
should carry over even after the official project is done.

Is there anything else you would like to tell the Google Summer of
Code program administration team? :

Backup Admin (Link ID):


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