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Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2011 03:26:40 +0300
From: Solar Designer <>
Subject: Re: GSoC 2011

Hi Luis, Corbin, all -

Thank you for your helpful advice!

Openwall applied for GSoC 2011.  No idea if we'll be accepted or not yet;
we'll find out soon.

I've revised the ideas page:

I also created an application template:

I think these are useful even if we're not accepted for GSoC 2011

...and if we're accepted:
- Any students in here who will be applying?
- Anyone in here wants to be a mentor on some of the ideas?

On Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 10:37:28AM -0800, Corbin Simpson wrote:
> I was a GSoC student a couple years ago, and a mentor last year for
> two organizations (OSUOSL and One of the biggest things, in my
> opinion, is that you should be careful that students do not bite off
> more than they can chew. If a student finishes early and chooses to
> amend his project to do extra work, that's a job well done. (One of my
> students did this last year.) But if a student is given a large task,
> it might not be possible for them to make any serious progress towards
> it in just one summer.

This sounds right to me.  I assume that if a student finishes early but
does not want extra work, they're a poor contributor anyway, so there's
no point in spending more time on them. ;-)

> always says that GSoC is not an opportunity to get a pile of
> free code, but a chance to get new contributors. I think this
> viewpoint is far more useful when trying to become a GSoC mentoring
> organization.

Makes sense.  I think this matches Google's viewpoint/preference.

> Students will invariably suggest their own ideas -- this is completely
> okay! Encourage them to find something they will enjoy working on,
> rather than forcing them to select from things you want to get done.
> This will lead to more productive students.


I added "Your own creative and relevant idea", inspired by Nmap's.

> For a look at the ideas page of an organization that has been doing
> this for a while, check out
> Notice how ideas
> from 2008 never got erased, as they are still valid and somebody could
> still tackle them.

Thanks.  I was mostly looking at Nmap's when editing the ideas page and
app template for Openwall, though.

> On Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 4:24 AM, Luis MartinGarcia. <> wrote:
> > I've been a GSoC student (Nmap project) for the last two years. I find
> > some of the tasks too small.

Which ones?

> > You can reasonably expect GSoC students to
> > work full-time (8 or 9 hours a day) for the whole duration of the
> > program. Also, you are right, task definition should be a lot more
> > specific and detailed.

Actually, I've since decided not to make them as specific and detailed
as I was going to.  I don't want to influence the thinking of students
yet (such on specific algorithms to use, etc., but also on task scope) -
I'd rather hear their own ideas first.

> > It may be a good idea to let students propose
> > their own projects ideas. There are lots of clever students out there
> > and you may be surprised of what they can come up with.

Yes, that's what I am hoping for.

Thanks again,


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