How does a mentoring organization apply?
The organization should choose a single administrator to submit its application via the Google Summer of Code 2013 site between March 18 – March 29, 2013.
- Jason Kridner will be the administrator, but is looking for volunteers to help edit the application contents and to update the ideas.
What should a mentoring organization application look like?
BeagleBoard.org is an open source community of experienced hackers, hobbyists and engineers who are enthusiastic about building powerful,open ARM-based systems based on the same processors used is in popular, high-end Android phones today. BeagleBoard.org’s vision is to improve access to small, low-power computing platforms that can be embedded into new creations using easy to use development tools, such as the web-based IDE. The hardware designs of all Beagle boards are open source with all schematics, bills-of-materials, layouts, etc. shared for building other devices. The software is also open source and is generated by the community(such as the Angstrom Distribution, Ubuntu, Android and other Linux distributions). Compiler tools are free and the board is available at a low cost. Boards will be provided for free to any student participating in a BeagleBoard.org-related GSoC project.
Texas Instruments sponsors a number of BeagleBoard.org-related activities and the first members of the community were TI employees, however, the collaboration base is now stronger than ever with over 5,000 members on the mailing list, over 100,000 individual developers worldwide who have purchased Beagle hardware and over 150 developers who actively participate on the live chat (IRC channel) at any given time. Existing projects are often for the purpose of building robots, autonomous flying drones, automotive entertainment and navigation systems, home media centers, digital signs, wearable computers or gaming consoles and include versions of Android, Ubuntu, Angstrom, Gentoo, FFmpeg, XBMC, ROS, OpenCV and much more (with over 300 projects registered at http://beagleboard.org/project).
Main Organization License
Why is your organization applying to participate in Google Summer of Code 2013? What do you hope to gain by participating?
By participating in GSoC 2013, we hope to grow our base of open source developers interested in embedded and heterogeneous multi-core software development environments that provide long-term power and performance advantages over the limited use cases of desktop and existing mobile computers. We hope to enable those developers to apply the core components running on BeagleBoard to take computing into more environments and with new environmental interactions.
We hope to increase interest in computers and electronics through improved access, simplified interfaces and example projects.
Beyond basic technology issues, we also hope to create better versions of popular open source applications for this low-cost/low-power platform and the ARM, C6000, SGX and PRU processors used to power the different Beagle boards. Because the Beagle platform has open source hardware, any software designed on it can be taken and put into entirely new products. Leverage of embedded Linux further helps software developed to be easily used in other systems.
Has your organization participated in past Google Summer of Codes?
If you answered “yes” to the question above please summarize your involvement and the successes and challenges of your participation. Please also list your pass/fail rate for each year.
Students advanced the state of the XBMC media center application on ARM, OpenCV using heterogeneous processing systems, FFTs on ARM, pulse width modulation under Linux, compilation and invocation of heterogeneous processor functions under Linux and USB bus analysis under Linux. We had an excellent set of mentors with 3 mentors for every student to ensure high availability of mentor time via the IRC channel. Our mentors had deep knowledge relevant to the projects and were able to assist the students in each of their technical challenges. We monitored student progress with weekly blog posts and IRC meetings to keep them on track and resolve any blocking issues. We collected short video presentations introducing each project, giving observers a good idea of the students' goals. We screened out projects that wouldn't provide sufficiently reusable software for the rest of the community.
We had some challenges shipping hardware to students on a timely basis and them getting charged taxes upon receipt, but we have plans in place to make it run smoother this year by getting local TI or other company offices involved. Getting local business offices involved would also enable a bit more face-to-face interaction as we can also invite local mentors to local meet-ups at those offices. Not all the code was directly adopted by the upstream projects and made available across the BeagleBoard community. Integration into a distribution will be a requirement this time to help with making the software more available to the BeagleBoard community and greater emphasis will be given on following up with upstream developers. More focus will be given to projects directly impacting the BeagleBoard community, rather than relying on upstream projects that might not be fundamentally motivated to adopt the patches.
Pass/fail rate for 2010: 6/6
If your organization has not previously participated in Google Summer of Code, have you applied in the past? If so, for what year(s)?
N/A – BeagleBoard.org has applied and participated in the past.
What Open Source Initiative approved license(s) does your project use?
What is the URL for your ideas page?
What is the main development mailing list for your organization?
- http://groups.google.com/group/beagleboard: All things BeagleBoard
- http://groups.google.com/group/beagleboard-gsoc: GSoC-specific things for BeagleBoard.org
What is the main IRC channel for your organization?
Who will be your backup organization administrator?
Cathy Wicks (firstname.lastname@example.org)
What criteria did you use to select the mentors? Please be as specific as possible.
Mentors were chosen based on personal knowledge of their contributions over IRC helping community members, the mailing list, and specific projects of interest. With the BeagleBoard.org community existing now for 5 years, many of the same members are still very active and well-known to our GSoC administrators. We typically meet up at Embedded Linux Conference, Design West, Linaro meetings and several other small events. Given frequent support over IRC, it is clear which proposed mentors are the best candidates.
What is your plan for dealing with disappearing students? Please be as specific as possible.
We will set the expectation that students should not be out of communication for more than 60 hours (i.e., the length of a weekend) without prior notification to their mentor. We'll also hold mandatory weekly meetings in IRC for all the students to report on progress made, problems encountered, and proposed next steps.
All mentors are expected to review the GSoC wiki and review the best practice sections. The project administrators will monitor all the projects and try to identify issues that might lead to disappearing contributors before the problem becomes unsolvable. (This applies to the next few answers, as well).
What is your plan for dealing with disappearing mentors? Please be as specific as possible.
TI-based mentors will have work-oriented commitments. We will choose non-TI-based mentors with a history of being involved in BeagleBoard.org projects and who are consistently responsive via IRC and e-mail. We plan to have secondary (paired mentors) and tertiary (general IRC channel) support for each project, and mentors will also be expected to attend the weekly check-in meetings on IRC. We will have a named contact in the same region and/or company as any mentor to assist in "pinging" any AWOL mentor.
What steps will you take to encourage students to interact with your project's community before, during and after the program?
We encourage candidates to interact with community members on the IRC channel and mailing list ahead of the program to gather information required for their application. We will work with the students to produce YouTube videos to introduce their projects to the community. Weekly blog post updates put into the community general RSS feed during and after the program help keep the community informed. Students are encouraged to hang out on #beagle, which is active roughly 24/7, during the program and we continue to see students remain from last year. We will give them hardware and “swag” following the program to keep them interested.
Are you a new organization who has a Googler or other organization to vouch for you? If so, please list their name(s) here.
BeagleBoard.org is not a new organization to Google Summer of Code.
Are you an established or larger organization who would like to vouch for a new organization applying this year? If so, please list their name(s) here.
BeagleBoard.org has not been approached by other organizations to vouch for them at this time.
What will you do to encourage that your accepted students stick with the project after Google of Code concludes?
Although we will start by using GSoC-specific communication paths, all students will be expected to monitor the primary email list and IRC channel. Over the course of the summer students will be encouraged to start using the primary communication channels to work on their project. By transitioning students to the primary communication channels, we hope to integrate students into the larger community before the end of summer of code so that they can continue to work on their projects via our IRC channel after GSoC concludes.