Looking for students, looking for ideas

March 31, 2009 | 2 min Read

As everyone should now know, the application process for Google Summer of Code is well underway.  Students are actively putting together their proposals and mentors are busy giving feedback and helping students solidify their ideas.

For those of you who still don’t know what the Google Summer of Code program is, it’s a program put on by Google, in which students are given a stipend to work on open source software.  Eclipse has benefited over the years from great new functionality, exploration of new ideas, and a solid group of students that now understand the Eclipse codebase and processes.

As a former student, I can appreciate how difficult it is to get up-to-speed on an open source project.  Often your good ideas are turned down with statements like “we tried that years ago”, or “that won’t work because of XYZ”.  To help students come up with ideas, many Eclipse enthusiasts have spent sleepless nights putting together our wiki page of ideas.

I’m particularly excited about having somebody extend Zest to include new viewers. Zest is an information visualization toolkit for Eclipse.  Currently it only supports 1 widget, the node-link viewer. I would be great if somebody could contribute new viewers such as Treemaps (nested boxes that can help indicate large areas of a system) or Spacetrees (as you click on nodes, more nodes are presented).  (See the HCIL Lab at Maryland for more great ideas).

It would be really cool to add viewers like this, and then create exemplary tools to demonstrate their use.  For example, we could use a treemap to help locate diskspace issues or a spacetree to help explore p2 repositories.  Browse the wiki, look for ideas, or propose your own.  The deadline is Friday, but if you really want to participate you should have your application in before that.

Ian Bull

Ian Bull

Ian is an Eclipse committer and EclipseSource Distinguished Engineer with a passion for developer productivity.

He leads the J2V8 project and has served on several …