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Google's Summer of Code Headed Down Under

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the now-is-the-summer-of-your-foss-content dept.

Google 41

Stony Stevenson alerts us to news that Google is hinting at the possibility of an Australian version of the Summer of Code program. We've discussed the results of the Summer of Code program in the past. Quoting iTnews: "The global program had attracted students from 90 countries around the world, including Australia, said Hawthorn. But as the timing clashed with winter term time in the southern hemisphere, it's been tough for local students to participate. Stopping short of confirming the program, Hawthorn said Google is looking into finding the human resources - as opposed to the financial resources - to make it happen."

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Hrm, double the Summers, double the code... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22259280)

Seems like a win-win for Google; more people they can scout, the world gets more potentially useful/helpful software. What not to like?

This is great (4, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#22259302)

Anything which broadens the horizons of our students beyond the windows IDE they get told to use is a good thing. I employ some interns in my team and I would not be averse to allowing them time to work on SOC projects during working hours, as long as there was some demonstrated benefit to us down the track. And with free software there usually is.

Re:This is great (2, Interesting)

erikdalen (99500) | more than 6 years ago | (#22259474)

In our first week in computer science in university we had classes in how to use emacs. I however prefer vi. So at least in Sweden they don't teach any windows stuff in computer science at the universities.

Re:This is great (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260320)

Same thing for me, and I went to an American school. There were emacs sessions for every CS student (not sure if they were mandatory but I always went) and we were encouraged to code in whatever environment we were comfortable in.

Re:This is great (2, Funny)

siwelwerd (869956) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260810)

I learned vi as a freshman. It was an honors class though, so maybe the regular class learned emacs, I don't know.

Re:This is great (2, Funny)

hdparm (575302) | more than 6 years ago | (#22263334)

Kids, this is flamewar pushed to the academic level!

Re:This is great (1)

numbware (691928) | more than 6 years ago | (#22266414)

I was taught to use butterflies... http://xkcd.com/378/ [xkcd.com]

Re:This is great (1)

lucas teh geek (714343) | more than 6 years ago | (#22267634)

Sadly Australian universities seem to be firmly in MS's pocket. The year before last the IT guys at my uni tried to switch one of the labs over to linux (CentOS), lasted about a fortnight before the lab demonstrators all complained and got it changed back to what they know. I've been messing about with it since high school so I feel it's pretty poor if the "teachers" dont know enough about their area of expertise to use something other than windows

Re:This is great (1)

Gideon Fubar (833343) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277196)

You poor guy..

The CS lab at my (Australian) university runs windows desktops, but has a bank of Fedora servers for students and researchers to use. Of course, the staff still claim that this isn't good enough, but mostly because of the fact that the most run program on the ugrads servers is javac.

Since australians could apply before (2, Interesting)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22259304)

I wonder if they will restrict this new version to just people from the Southern Hemisphere?
Australians could take part in the original version, so everyone should be able to take part in this one.

Maybe, it would be nice to simply open it up to a general google sponsorship program which did not have specific summer/winter timeslots.

I think Corey whatsiface should apply and write a Party scheduling application.

Re:Since australians could apply before (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#22259322)

I think Corey whatsiface should apply and write a Party scheduling application.

You mean a static myspace page along the lines of My mum and dads place any night of the week? That won't take long to write.

I think we should institute the Aboriginal custom of walkabout. Dump the little shit somewhere hot and dry and see if he makes it back.

Re:Since australians could apply before (1)

Mike89 (1006497) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260454)

I think we should institute the Aboriginal custom of walkabout. Dump the little shit somewhere hot and dry and see if he makes it back.
If that's one of their customs I'm not sure Kevin07 should say sorry after all ;)

Re:Since australians could apply before (4, Funny)

knutkracker (1089397) | more than 6 years ago | (#22259328)

which did not have specific summer/winter timeslots
Yes, but "Google ongoing non-specific timeframe of code" doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

Re:Since australians could apply before (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22259940)

"Code in Google Time" has a nice ring to it

Re:Since australians could apply before (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22259396)

Well London is full of bloody Australians, so that's one city they'd have to include.

Re:Since australians could apply before (2, Informative)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22259914)

Australians could take part in the original version, so everyone should be able to take part in this one.
As a computer science (& physics) student in Australia I think you underestimate how difficult it is to participate in the SoC program here. The SoC program is supposed to be as long as a summer holiday, but during your summer holiday we have our winter holiday, which is as long as your winter holiday.
I don't think you can do an SoC project in a winter holiday. I actually had a big coding job during my last winder holiday, and it's a pretty tight time frame. It ended up lasting half way through the next semester which was a big pain to deal with.

But I'm very interested in this. I definitely know some pieces of open source software that I'd love to work on. The summer/winter thing was a big barrier so having a southern hemisphere SoC is great.

Re:Since australians could apply before (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22259918)

Maybe, it would be nice to simply open it up to a general google sponsorship program which did not have specific summer/winter timeslots.
I'd advocate that. The Google SoC dates don't mesh well with UK students. We start the summer break later than US universities and end later. The first assessment deadline in the current SoC is about a week after UK universities finish exams, so the students haven't had a chance to do anything. The final deadline is about a month before they return to university, so the end of the summer is wasted. Giving a bit more leeway to the start and end times would make the program a lot more useful internationally.

Winter Of Code (5, Interesting)

Sulix (1154971) | more than 6 years ago | (#22259344)

Personally I think that this is a step in the right direction. Those of us in the southern hemisphere have had to put up with problems that the difference in school term times cause. Things like NaNoWriMo usually end up in the middle of exams, Summer of Code is in winter, we lack White Christmases yet still sing Jingle Bells, and Google could (if this actually materializes) really boost participation from us southern hemisphere students. Anything that helps the development of open source projects (and reduces the boredom of southern hemisphere students) can only be positive.

Re:Winter Of Code (3, Interesting)

Mantaar (1139339) | more than 6 years ago | (#22259464)

It's not that deeply connected to the southern/northern hemisphere thing. Really, even over here in Germany, participation in SoC is made quite hard by the fact that you'll just end up having less time because the program starts in May and ends in August. Well, my vacations start in the end of July and end in October. That means that it's almost impossible for me to take part in SoC because it has to happen during the summer semester - which, here in Germany, is shorter and therefore packed with a lot of work so the teachers can get through their material.

Re:Winter Of Code (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22259938)

Really, even over here in Germany, participation in SoC is made quite hard by the fact that you'll just end up having less time because the program starts in May and ends in August. Well, my vacations start in the end of July and end in October.
I just posted almost exactly the same thing. I mentored a student in the UK last year with exactly the same problem. The first assessment comes almost immediately after they've started, so you can only really assess them on how good they are at background reading. The final one comes a month or so before they finish their summer, and so you have to guess how much work they will do in the next month - except that once you've said they will get paid there is no incentive for them to actually do the work.

pfft (1)

darkwhite (139802) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261762)

What makes you think American students don't face the same challenges? American high schools and universities can end their spring semester anytime between the end of April and the end of July, and can start the fall semester anytime from middle of August to end of September. The summer semester is packed into just as tight a schedule as yours - session times vary a lot, but it's normal to pack a semester's worth of material into 6 (six) weeks - less than half a regular semester's time.

Re:pfft (1)

darkwhite (139802) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261792)

the end of July
Oops, sorry, I meant to say June.

Re:Winter Of Code (2, Interesting)

deniable (76198) | more than 6 years ago | (#22259684)

...and people toasting anything over an open fire will be getting a visit from the cops. Sorry, the arsonists are pissing me off this summer.

What I see Google doing is making a more flexible schedule and allowing year round participation. Still call it 'Summer of Code' because that's how it started, but allow more flexibility. I can see similar problems for the Africans, the South Americans and we can't forget the Kiwis, especially if we get a WETA / Google cross-over.

I'd be up for this (1)

fatalGlory (1060870) | more than 6 years ago | (#22259548)

I'm a computer science student in Australia with a big empty summer break (unless I find work), I'd love the chance to work on an SoC project.

Re:I'd be up for this (1)

Gendor (1148039) | more than 6 years ago | (#22259710)

Why only limit it to Australia? I think all students in the Southern Hemisphere should be allowed to participate. What about competent computer engineering students and computer science students in South Africa, Brazil etc.? Being a South African, I know that the required human resources are available.

Re:I'd be up for this (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 6 years ago | (#22259784)

I'm a computer science student in Australia with a big empty summer break (unless I find work)

There are lots of graduate programs in Australia. Contact some larger IT organizations and offer your services. If you're lucky you'll find work that'll look great on your resume and you'll make contacts you can use when you graduate. You don't sound like you care if you're paid or not, so that should make things easier. Google ain't the only employer in town. In fact in Aus it's not even a major player.

GOOG is going down under as well.. (2, Interesting)

mwasham (1208930) | more than 6 years ago | (#22259580)

Missing earnings and Microsoft buying Yahoo.. So far they are down to $514.00 in before market trading. I think the Google juggernaught just realized how vunerable they are. The first thing that goes in a down economy is the excess advertising budget.

Re:GOOG is going down under as well.. (2, Insightful)

jrumney (197329) | more than 6 years ago | (#22259624)

...and Microsoft buying Yahoo.

Microsoft expanding their monopoly into new areas? I can't see it getting past the regulators myself.

Re:GOOG is going down under as well.. (1)

mwasham (1208930) | more than 6 years ago | (#22259632)

Considering they have a monopoly on desktop operating systems on the Intel Processor I don't see how this would relate.. But knowing how the EU is essentially a shakedown machine you never know..

Re:GOOG is going down under as well.. (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22259686)

Are your lights on? The combined Microsoft and Yahoo won't have any controlling market positions that Microsoft doesn't have on their own.

The biggest customer impact of the deal will be all the flickr-angst, and that is pretty much preexisting anyway.

Re:GOOG is going down under as well.. (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260044)

Yahoo are a significant competitor to Google, coming a close second in almost everything they do, and leading them on others. MSN is third in most of those areas, and combined with Yahoo will jump into first place for almost everything except search, where Google maintains a very slim lead and advertising where Google has ensured its dominance by buying up competitors before Microsoft can.

Given Microsoft's past abuse of its dominant market position, and its failure to satisfactorily remedy that, I can't see the regulators allowing it to obtain a close to dominant market position in more market segments. Perhaps though, this will be a catalyst for breaking up Microsoft. Let the sale through on the condition that they spin off parts of the business.

Re:GOOG is going down under as well.. (1)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 6 years ago | (#22259756)

There is enough competition from Google in almost all areas, except the Yahoo-Flicker part.

Microsoft is buying Yahoo to expand their monopoly (1)

patio11 (857072) | more than 6 years ago | (#22259782)

... in *search engines*?!

Re:Microsoft is buying Yahoo to expand their monop (1)

kamatsu (969795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260082)

... in *search engines*?!
No, into search engines.

Re:GOOG is going down under as well.. (2, Interesting)

superash (1045796) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260068)

Microsoft expanding their monopoly into new areas?

What monopoly?
Except for Windows which is the only one in which they have an upper hand, and in which Linux and Mac are fast reducing the gap, I cannot see any other area where they are a threat.

1. Browser - Usage of Firefox is rocketing up.
2. Game console - Pleeease, its Wiiiiii all the way!
3. Mail - Hotmail, what is that? gimme Gmail!
4. Search Engine - Live ?? jfgi!
5. Hardware ( keyboard, mouse etc etc) -- Logitech roXXs !

Re:GOOG is going down under as well.. (1)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260462)

I see Microsoft buying yahoo now as a big blunder, all the success they could get would be an strong second place. And if they don't accomplish that, it will just make google's power grow even more, since "if that didn't work, nothing would" .

Do no Evil Google. (1)

agent (7471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22259656)

Only losers stay inside and play on the computer when they could be outside on a beautiful sunny days. Go to the beach morons.

kangaroo vagina (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22259800)

I wonder what a kangaroo's vagina smells like

If they hold in Australia (0)

SoulRider (148285) | more than 6 years ago | (#22260856)

and keep the same timeframe. Wouldnt it be the winter of coding?

Re:If they hold in Australia (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 6 years ago | (#22261036)

and keep the same timeframe. Wouldnt it be the winter of coding?

That is the whole point. Currently it is the winter of coding to the Australians. Having SoC that really corresponds to the Australian summer (around December) is what is being proposed. Also, as another poster mentions this could be opened up to all countries in the Southern hemisphere who share the same school schedule.
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