We are a small org, which means that your contribution is expected to have a very large impact. It's not going to mean a 0.5% improvement on a big project - it's supposed to be like 10% on a medium size one. So please come only if you like the challenge and feel like that you are ready to have a serious responsibility.
We have -we think- statistically amazing continuity in the team: Most GSoC students from all the past years are still involved, even if they are no longer eligible as students. They still contribute code, and they mentor both in GSoC and code-in. So while you don't have to do it, we really prefer students that consider their GSoC participation as a starting point of joining a developer community, not a summer gig.
We have mentors in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Time zones are never a problem. We hang out in a slack channel to which everyone is welcome. If you get accepted we expect to see you there often. Even if you don't need to talk to your mentor, please try to be around when working.
About what we use
The core tool that names the organization (CCExtractor) is a command-line program written in C (not C++).
The current Windows GUI is written in C# but one of the ideas is about replacing it.
The testing tool we use to run regression tests is written in Python.
The prototype real time subtitle website is written in NodeJS.
For totally new things you can use whatever tool you feel is best for the job.
About the projects and getting accepted
Qualification: In order to qualify you need to achieve a minimum of 7 points. You get points:
1) By solving issues in our GitHub issue tracker (CCExtractor), Sample platform issues (default 1 points per issue unless specified somewhere in the issue page). Most issues have an explicit number of points that you can find in a comment.
2) By joining the community in slack. You can invite yourself here. (1 point)
3) If you are a former Code-in finalist you start with 1 point. If you were a winner, you start with 2 points. Note that there are just a few developers that meet this, so don't be discouraged if you aren't one of them. Almost no one is, but we'd love to hear from those that are.
4) By sending us a TV sample that has something we don't support. It doesn't have to be from your own country (since hopefully, we already support it), but if it is, so much the better. This is probably hard to get, since we already got all the low hanging fruit. But if your local TV has subtitles you can turn on and off, we'd love a recording.
Getting 7 points doesn't guarantee that you will be accepted as that depends on the quality of your proposal (which also needs to be good) and the amount of slots Google allocates to us.
Students without 7 points will not be accepted no matter what. If we have more slots than students with the minimum score we will just give those slots back to the pool so other orgs can use them.
You have until April 20th to get the points. You can work in your proposal first if needed so you can submit it and then work on the points.
It goes without saying that everyone in the community has to be polite and respectful, and consider everyone else a member of a team and not a competitor.
All developers are part of the team, by the way. Our slack channel has mentors, code-in participants, other students, are developers and users that are none of the above but that play some kind of role in CCExtractor.
Part of being respectful is giving consideration to everyone else's time. For example asking things that are written in the website or in the software help screen shows little respect. We don't want to seem unfriendly, but asking in the slack channel something like “isn't there a GUI?”, “how do I run this”, etc, is not a great way to start. This doesn't mean you can't ask questions, but remember than being a clueless user and a lazy developer are two very different things. If you ask those questions you will probably get an answer as if you were a clueless user (polite no matter what), but if you apply to GSoC you will be considered a lazy developer.
You can propose to do any of the following ideas, or you can bring your own. In any case, make sure you run them by us before you actually submit your proposal.
Important: The first two weeks must be allocated to solve bugs listed in GitHub. Yes, we know it's a chore and that you would rather work immediately on the new great thing. But experience has proven that these two weeks are extremely useful to bond with the rest of the community, get you introduced to the existing code base, and of course the bonus that bugs will actually be fixed. If you really don't want to spend any time on this we will waive this requirement for students with 15 qualification points (see above).
At the very least your proposal needs to
- Explain what you do want to do, why it is important to you, and why it is important or useful to us.
- Explain how you intend to accomplish the goal, in enough detail that makes it clear that you know what you are talking about. For example, “I will modify the CCExtractor binary so that it's able to convert audio to text with perfect accuracy” is the same thing as sending your proposal to the trash. You need to have a plan.
- Detail the timeline, week by week, explaining the deliverables for each week (pay special attention to the milestones within the GSoC timeline itself, of course) and how we should validate the results.
- Detail what kind of support you will need for us. For example, if you are going to need test streams, hardware, access to a server, etc, let us know, so we can plan ahead.
- Detail your expected working hours in UTC.
- Detail your planned absences. We don't need you to detail what you will be doing when you are not working of course, but if you are going away for any reason we need to know so we don't think you've abandoned.
- Link to your GitHub profile, if you have one, so we can take a look at your previous work.
- GSoC is a coding program: This means that ideas that are about testing, website design, etc, are out.
- However, we want to have good documentation: Make sure you have time to write a good technical article explaining your work.
- Be realistic and honest with the timeline. Consider each week you should work around 40 hours. If your timeline reserves a lot of time for minor things we'll think that you are not going to be working full-time in GSoC. On the other hand if you promise to do things in a lot less than that it seems realistic to us it will seem that you don't really know how much work things take.
- If you are going to be using 3rd party libraries (that's OK), make sure to validate that their license is compatible with GPLv2 (which is ours). List the libraries in your proposal. Check that they are multiplatform. If you will need to extend those libraries in any way please explain. In this case, your proposal should include time to get that extension submitted to the maintainers (we love to contribute to other projects).
Something else: Mentors often have their fingers in several pies. If you send the same proposal to several orgs everyone will know. So do yourself a favor and don't do that. You can apply to several organizations and that's totally fine, but each organization will want to see that you have put the time to write a great proposal that is focused on them.
The ideas we currently have
Important: If you have something else in mind that relates to subtitles and accessibility please get in touch. We prefer that you do something that you are passionate about even if it's something we hadn't considered.