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Monday, November 03, 2008

Summer of Code 2008 Mentor Summit

Squeezing the time between the busy schedule, with other three Trolls (Simon, Thiago, Olivier), I attended the Google Summer of Code 2008 Mentor Summit at Googleplex in Mountain View. On the KDE side, we also met Jason and Leo. On the second day, the mentors and the organizers had two group pictures, one in the staircase and one in front of the big Android statue. The six of us from KDE also took a nice picture with the Android background.

My general impression of the summit: it was awesome! The venue was great, the talks were interesting, the food was nice, the snacks were abundant, and of course the opportunity to try out Toto E200 - the infamous 14-button toilet - was priceless. Surely the organizers did a very good job!

What is also great from Mentor Summit is the chance to meet great people. Since at Qt Software we switched from Perforce to Git, it was nice to be able to talk and discuss matters with Shawn Pearce. He happens to work on Google Android these days, unsurprisingly Android project is of course using git. Still related to Android, there were two talks about it: the story behind and the application development. Also of a great interest is Gerrit, the Python-based code review tool used Android development. According to Shawn, Gerrit is an improved fork of Rietveld, a similar tool written by Guido von Rossum. The mystery of both names is solved if you check out this Dutch architect.

I myself was so glad to be able to have a short chat with one of my personal legends, Sam Lantinga, the man behind the fantastic libsdl. He works for Blizzard and likely you know the game he is working on, as it is called World of Warcraft. As for libsdl itself, the new adventure is SDL for iPhone (which is one of its SoC projects). When finally it is released, I can't wait to see how many SDL-based games will be then available on iPhone. Plus, if you write an SDL-based application, now you have an interesting fast-growing target market as well.

I also followed a discussion from the 12-year old Dmitri Gaskin. He is the youngest mentor, he is actually too young to participate as a student (the age cut-off is 18). If you are a fan of Google Tech Talks, surely you are aware of his jQuery talk. So we discussed about JavaScript unit test, it involved a lot of coding from his side. I am not a jQuery expert so I just gave my opinions based on my little knowledge on the JavaScript engine in WebKit. I am eager to see how the unit test framework would evolve.

At the end of the summit, many of us were exhausted. But of course, we look forward to having the next-year mentor summit!

1 comment:

smihael said...

Wow. This 12-year guy is just amazing. I'm 15 and don't know anything other than css, html, calculating with c++, playing python and shel scripts.

But .. ok .. it is not so very very amazing because everyone can do this if he wants and if he can (for example financial reasons) ... People just forget that they can do almost all... I bacame administrator on local Wikipedia when I was 13 and nobody believed me that I'm really 13 until I came to meeting. This is how mankind brains works. The very bad point of this is bureaucracy , they also think it's impossible to be smart at 12, so they say you have to be older than 18.... How bureaucracy works is bullshit, because they are blocking development of talented! This is my very short opinion.