Sunday, 27 August 2017

Finally GSoC is over. It was alot of ups and downs. I worked on Kopete, Instant Messaging Client. My project was about writing autotests for kopete and porting remaining parts of kopete to KDE Framework. 

Important Links Related to Project:
* Kopete Repo
* Commits
* Reviewboard

What next for me - I will continue to contribute to Kopete and finish what's left in the project.

Wondering, How to get started with open source in general or get involved in KDE? follow this link. This link has plenty of material to explore and things are in order in this one.

Now something about the experience.

First when I started looking up about Google Summer of Code Program. I knew about KDE that it is very big organization and it is tough to get selected as you have to find a mentor for yourself. I got an advice from one of my friend that if you do Season of KDE, it will be easier for you to get selected for Google Summer of Code as you will know people from community and general understanding of how things work in KDE. This was how I came to know about Season of KDE. Wikipedia describes it as a program for those who could not get selected as GSoC Students but I think it can be thought of as an exercise to get familiar with KDE Infrastructure. It is a program which KDE offers from November to February. It is similar to GSoC has separate ideas and projects but the mentors are decided. They coordinate with the participants and in the end participants gain experience with KDE Infrastructure and taste of contributions to KDE and KDE swag as a reward for their hard work.

I participated in Season of KDE program and worked on KDE Now, Google Now alternative for Plasma Desktop for four months. This helped me a lot in understanding how to see a project and work out the details. I had to write down the hierarchy just to understand what was actually going on (most of it was unnecessary which I later found why). In the end I had a clear idea of how a project is organized and was finally able able to make my first few contribution KDE (a big smile)

Keep tab on this page if you are looking to participate in KDE SoK this year. Ideas will most probably be available in mid October.

After completing SoK successfully, I thought of taking part in GSoC. After spending sometime looking for interesting projects. I got into Kopete IRC and then found out that it was being maintained by Pali Rohar. I saw the ideas from previous year and found out that its port was underway. I had alot of time as I was free from SoK and was not working on any thing else at that time. I started poking around in the kopete codebase and asking on IRC in case of problems. It took me around a month to get it working on my machine ( long time :P ). It was mostly because I didn't properly go through the documentation at that time. 

Now it looks easy to get it done but back then in the first week when I started compiling Kopete I had no idea what I was doing. Eventually I got hold of things and created my first review request on reviewboard. My first review request for the project Kopete was marked dependent on another review request. I didn't know what that meant earlier :P

After working on the project for some time around a month, my first patch was submitted and pushed to the repository ( yay ). That was the patch in which I came to know about the coding style which almost all the project use for better maintainability. I was finally able to find a project that was doable in three months with help of awesome people (who later mentored me :D) - Laurent Montel and Pali Rohar.

Yes the progress was slow but what's important is it was steady and now I am a better C++ developer.

If you are planning to take part in GSoC go through this page. One more important thing I want to say is that take part in GSoC only if you love open source or else you will lose motivation pretty quickly.

Cheers and if you get selected make the most of it.

See you in community.