It has happened!

n7ipb's picture

I have been selected for the Google Summer of Code!

For the better part of the summer vacation, I will now be committing myself to write code for KDE to implement my project idea of implementing a virtual folder in Dolphin to make it easier to select files.

As a primer, the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is an annual event organized by Google for drawing students to work on open source projects with a nice stipend, goodies, and fame. The GSoC is a term one would hear pretty frequently when talking about the technical prowess and coding culture of a college.

This year, BITS Pilani - Hyderabad Campus had a record number of a total of 7 selections! This is more than double of our previous record. In some ways, I feel this might be the start of the technical culture wave this campus was looking for for so long.

I had originally conceived this idea of a File Tray during the summer vacation prior to joining university. It was at a time I was frustrated with everything I had done and I didn't have any energy to pursue anything at all having been completely drained out by the entrance exams prior to it. From there, the project sat on the list of "Things I Might Do In The Distant Future". It was only until November 2015 when I starting poking around a bit and then stumbled across the GSoC. I began looking at open source file managers for which I could implement my project idea. I had been Linux with various desktop environments for about 4 years at that point, so I had a decent idea of what to look for. Writing this feature for GNOME's Nautilus was the first thing I looked into as I had been using Nautilus for a while and I was a big fan of Nautilus's simple to use interface. But, the problem was that Nautilus was a C/GTK+ project and I had no desire to move on to using C after having C++ in my comfort zone for a very long time. Fortunately, Dolphin, one of the best file managers I had used since my days of using KDE used C++/Qt which was a toolset I was much better with. My project idea was a natural fit for Dolphin's Split view mode. Hence, I started making plans to get into Dolphin development.

From there on, I taught myself Qt and managed to make a very rough prototype application of what I wanted to achieve with my idea. Following this, I subscribed to KDE's mailing lists and after lurking around for a while - I started asking for feedback on my GSoC idea. With surprisingly positive feedback, I realized that there was a non-zero chance of getting selected and I then moved on to the next step of hunting around for bugs I could fix and new features I could implement for Dolphin. The bug-fixing was as enjoyable as it was occasionally frustrating. Reading over 20000 lines of code certainly took its toll when I had no idea when how different parts of the application meshed together. In the end, thanks to the guidance of Dolphin maintainer, Emmanuel Pescosta, I managed to fix a couple of things for Dolphin and moved on to the next step of making a proposal for my application for the GSoC. Writing a good proposal is the most important of the GSoC as that will be the single document on the basis of which the mentoring organization selects a student.

Starting off with making a competent proposal was like launching off ground zero - as there were very few people who had successfully completed the GSoC from our campus and most of them had graduated well before this time. I started digging around for proposals accepted by KDE in previous GSoC's. I got in touch with seniors with how to proceed. In particular, Naveen Jafer bhaiya (who also went on to achieve a GSoC project of his own!) helped me with making my proposal as good as possible. In the end, after painstakingly checking every word in my proposal for the 50th time I submitted it on 25 March, only to spend an anxious month waiting for the results - coming out at 1230am IST on April 23.

I look forward to working for KDE over this summer vacation to make Dolphin a better file manager!

See original: Planet KDE It has happened!