diff options
authorAvatar Wulf C. Krueger <> 2013-03-27 13:46:40 +0100
committerAvatar Wulf C. Krueger <> 2013-03-27 13:46:40 +0100
commit637063d72d8c15d0755018c29f35ddf6cce7bc8d (patch)
parentd5468a2c5a7a32121135197eb8854c6d75aee88d (diff)
Add our GSoC application for 2013.
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+* Organization id*
+* Organization name*
+Exherbo Linux
+* Organization description*
+Exherbo Linux is a source-based Linux distribution written from scratch.
+It was announced May 19th 2008 and caused quite a bit of waves in the
+hours after the announcement hitting big news sites like Slashdot and
+The Register.
+Since the announcement we've made great strides towards providing a
+strong base for a flexible distribution based on a distributed
+development model. This model allows users to contribute freely to the
+project on terms very near those official Exherbo developers work
+under and today we have contributions from more users than developers
+proving our community model.
+We have a strong emphasis on
+- up-front configurations, meaning our users know in advance what
+ they're going to get from common system administration tasks like
+ package installations and updates,
+- decentralised development done properly, e. g. we strongly encourage
+ all our users to participate actively in advancing the distribution
+ as a whole - in terms of technical advancement, documentation and
+ other metadata and last but not least, good ideas. No contribution
+ is too small, none too great if only it's done in a technically
+ sound way.
+- making getting into Exherbo easy; we have mailinglists, active
+ channels on Freenode, a bugtracker and other resources both provided
+ by ourselves as well as resources run by users on their own but with
+ our support. We enable and empower people to become active as a
+ valuable part of our community.
+* Organization home page url*
+* Main organization license*
+* Veteran/New
+* Backup Admin*
+* If you chose "veteran" in the dropdown above, please summarize your involvement and the successes and challenges of your participation. Please also list your pass/fail rate for each year.
+* If you chose "new" in the dropdown above, have you applied in the past? If so, for what year(s)?
+We applied for GSoC in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
+Unfortunately, we haven't been accepted so far despite our attempts to incorporate the feedback we got every year (apart from 2012 when I sadly got no reply) into our application.
+Like our distribution, we think we've improved every year and certainly hope to be successful this time.
+* Why is your organization applying to participate in Google Summer of
+ Code 2012? What do you hope to gain by participating?*
+Exherbo is strongly based on a distributed development model where we
+try to involve users as much as possible in the development. In fact,
+we like to say that we actually have no users but developers only
+because most of our regulars start contributing to Exherbo pretty
+We're fairly successful in getting contributions in form of
+new or updated packages and new or updated Exherbo documentation.
+Many important parts of our website have been written almost entirely
+by users (like our installation guide, FAQ and big parts of the more
+technical documentation as well, as can be seen in their respective
+copyright notices).
+In fact, we've codified our expectations from our non-core developers:
+"What we expect from developers (that means you)
+First of all you need to understand that using Exherbo is an active
+commitment. We fully expect you to help with development or other
+parts of the project. In return you get to have lots of fun, learn
+some new things and will generally have a much easier time getting
+help as you already know the workflow in Exherbo.
+Secondly you’re expected to read relevant documentation including
+everything on Exherbo and relevant man pages when running into
+problems. Pay attention to news items and the exherbo-dev mailing
+list. If you can’t solve your problem by reading documentation we’ll
+be happy to help but we might yell at you if you skip this crucial
+We also expect you to listen to other people when asking for help and
+do exactly what they ask. When we ask for a full buildlog we really
+want the full buildlog and not just the last 50 lines before the error
+message. You can save everybody a lot of pain if you follow other
+people’s advice exactly.
+You’re to think for yourself. Exherbo is not a system where we
+document everything so you’ll need a basic understanding of how Linux
+systems work to be able to set up many things and work out problems
+efficiently when necessary.
+Use IRC. Our primary means of communication is through the #exherbo
+channel on freenode and it tends to be much harder working with the
+community outside IRC. You don’t have to be online constantly but
+please try to stay around for an hour or two. We’ll get to know each
+other a little better, which makes it easier to work together in the
+future whether you need some bug fixed or want to contribute something
+to our main package repositories or our website.
+Don’t be afraid to speak up about problems. Exherbo is supposed to be
+a fun project so it’s important that problems are solved quickly
+before turning into something bigger. Other contributors are generally
+happy to help with any problem they can as long as you make an effort
+Give back to the community. The community is giving you a lot more
+than just the bits and bytes making up packages. All the help you get,
+the things you learn from Exherbo and the constant improvements are
+due to the community. A good way of showing your appreciation is
+simply by trying to understand the rules governing the community and
+trying to follow as best you can."
+We strongly believe that Google Summer of Code matches this very well
+and is a good chance for students to take on larger and more important
+work in the project. This is something we'd like to improve upon because
+albeit having great contributions from our users, we'd love to see
+people working on some of larger ideas we have and that need intensive
+involvement that GSoC would most likely help greatly with.
+Furthermore, we'd like to attract "new blood" with attractive new
+projects to participate in and, undoubtedly, the exposure we'd get by
+particpating in GSoC would help that immensely. Since we're fairly
+good at working with people from all around the globe and usually
+successfully bond with them so that they become lasting members (and
+often core-developers) of our community.
+Ironically, a few people involved in Exherbo left us because working
+with us enabled them to pursue new career opportunities which left
+them no time to contribute. We think, our success enables others to
+succeed and participating in GSoC would benefit everyone involved.
+* What is the URL for your Ideas page?*
+* What is the main development mailing list for your organization?*
+* What is the main IRC channel for your organization?*
+#exherbo on
+* What criteria did you use to select your mentors for this year's
+ program? Please be as specific as possible.*
+Mentors are primarily chosen based on knowledge related to the student
+project, of course. Every suggested mentor has extensive knowledge
+about the the project idea he's listed for on our ideas page and has
+been involved for a long time with Exherbo.
+Secondly, to be effective, a mentor must not only be knowledgeable and
+experienced, he needs to be personally interested in an idea. Things
+simply won't turn out right without that.
+Thirdly, availability (both time in general but also timezone) as well
+as prior experience with Google Summer of Code were taken into account
+as well.
+Several of our developers have experience from previous years as
+administrators, mentors or students from other projects.
+* What is your plan for dealing with disappearing students?*
+If a student disappears from IRC (which we'd expect people to use) and
+won't react to email, I'd talk to his mentor first to find out if
+there have been any prior problems of either technical or personal
+nature before.
+We'd then try to use the alternative means of contact we're asking for
+so that we can make sure the student doesn't simply have some
+technical problems which we might try to help him/her with. In case of
+personal issues, we should be able to assign another mentor if the
+need really arises.
+If we can't reach a student by any means and really have to give up on
+him/her, we hope that, if there's a second student on the same project,
+he/she will be able to continue the work.
+* What is your plan for dealing with disappearing mentors?*
+While our mentors are dedicated core-developers of Exherbo and looking
+forward to working with students in GSoC (again), it's of course
+always possible to be hit by the proverbial truck one day.
+Since we're a relatively small group of about 24 core-developers
+(albeit having a large crowd of contributors in our community), we
+always try to have more than one developer on each project we
+undertake. Such "redundancy" has always been vital for the success of
+our project as a whole.
+The same principle applies to mentors: We're aiming to have "backup
+mentors" for each idea and, of course, being a closely-knit group
+we're all pretty much acquainted with what we want to achieve together
+with our students and, thus, should be able to deal with the case of
+the disappearing mentor.
+Furthermore, we, too, apply the principle of always having backup
+communication means so that we can stay in touch even if someone
+should "drop off the net".
+(I've personally received concerned text messages and voice calls when
+I was buried in "real life" work last year so the system works (and as
+a beneficial side effect makes one feel appreciated). :-) )
+* What steps will you take to encourage students to interact with your
+ project's community before, during and after the program?*
+We're a very open and embracing community (with clear expectations,
+though, as stated before) and we try to get people interested in
+improving small things in our project and try to carefully explore
+their further interests.
+It's a bad idea to just dump a load of work in front of someone and
+ask him to figure it out. Instead we encourage people to try Exherbo
+out, to interact with us to see if we're mutually "compatible" to
+avoid disappointment and false impressions from the start.
+In our experience, there's hardly anything for a newcomer that
+compares to seeing his/her patch (no matter how small) being accepted
+and pushed and duly credited to its author. Sometimes it may seem like
+hard work because we have clearly stated quality guidelines
+( but it's only the more
+rewarding (and helps *us* evaluating the contributor's skills) when
+success is achieved - and we ("we" being potentially every single
+member of our community) make sure it is.
+This way of working has worked extremely well for us for several years
+now and we think we can keep this up for GSoC if we're accepted and
+might, in turn, get some valuable feedback that will allow us to
+improve further. "Working extremely well" is reflected by the fact
+that most contributors stay with us (our top 50 contributors have >
+100 commits to our git repositories and the top 100 have at least 13
+each) for much longer than just one summer. :-)
+Thus, we think that GSoC students, too, will be attracted to our open,
+decentralised and flexible development model, our strive for high
+quality and improvement as well as our dedication to our common goals
+will bind then-former students to our project even after the formal
+program is finished.
+* What will you do to encourage that your accepted students stick with
+ the project after Google Summer of Code concludes?*
+When we see that regular contributors have reached a level of
+involvement and experience that it would be beneficial to all
+involved, we contact such contributors privately and offer them
+becoming core-developers.
+This enables them to not only contribute but actively *shape*
+Exherbo. They're able to work on *anything* they're interested in and
+they get to decide with us about the direction Exherbo is to take on
+all levels.
+This freedom has - since we announced Exherbo in 2008 - encouraged new
+core-developers to expand their activities to new fields. E. g. two
+recently recruited core-developers who used to work on very specific
+small parts of Exherbo have turned to provide a first-class experience
+with LLVM and clang on Exherbo.
+We believe, the same principle can be (and should be) applied to
+accepted students. By enabling them to enhance their experiences, to
+learn together with us and to broaden their horizons (both technically
+as well as in social interaction in a global community), we're
+creating a strong bond.
+Even if a student's individual project may not have been a complete
+success, both such a student *and* ourselves will have learned a lot
+and we have been able to turn such projects into a success later on.
+Creating challenges and helping each other with those has been a very,
+very successful strategy for us which we're confident to be able to
+apply to our students as well.
+* Are you a new organization who has a Googler or other organization
+ to vouch for you? If so, please list their name(s) here.
+I guess Exherbo, even though having been around since 2008 (or,
+actually, 2007 but unannounced) and having beyond 200 contributors
+(209, according to, might still count as a small and new
+project. Thus, Alec "antarus" Warner, a Googler, kindly agreed to
+vouch for us.