FarCry GSoC Washout

written by Geoff Bowers on Friday, 28 March, 2008 @ 04:42 PM

Tragically the gods were not kind. Google are very open about the whole process and gave us a few minutes of "face time" to discuss the application. I've included a summary of the transcript from the public #GSOC channel. It was a very amicable chat so don't read any specific negativity into it -- beyond my own disappointment.

[10:30am] modius: is there anyway to get feedback on our submissions?
ours was pretty comprehensive.. an established community for esvral
years and so on.. my fear is that we were excluded because the project
is based on ColdFusion
[10:33am] lh: modius: links to your ideas list, along with whether you
would like feedback on your app in public or in private
[10:33am] modius: FarCry: http://docs.farcrycms.org/display/GSC/Home
[10:33am] lh: modius: looking
[10:34am] lh: modius: it's not the cold fusion, it's that the ideas
are spartan and we get many apps from cms folks
[10:34am] modius: hmm.. FarCry is a CF framework.. CMS is only one
aspect of the project
[10:35am] lh: modius: your ideas list was spartan
[10:35am] modius: so you're saying we need to make up more interesting
suggestions for projects?
[10:35am] lh: modius: yes
[10:36am] lh: more important than anything else really
[10:41am] modius: hmm.. without seeming to sound churlish.. it would
seem our ideas list is more "comprehensive" than others from similar
projects. It's hard to see what we're suppose to do to improve our
chances when comparing to other projects that seem to have been
successful with so much less
[10:41am] lh: modius: not churlish, but many of those orgs have a
track record with us
[10:41am] lh: if you are brand new, we need more from you so we can
"meet" you
[10:42am] modius: sure totally understand that... in our area.. Django
might be one of the closest comparisons: http://code.djangoproject.com/wiki/SummerOfCode2008
[10:43am] modius: but then i guess python is something you guys are
keen on.. and the bar is likely a little lower for this group
[10:43am] lh: modius: django let us know in advance that their list
would need beefing up. i wasn't happy about it, but they have always
done right by their students.
[10:43am] modius: still no hard feelings.. i guess we'll be back again
next year.. with an even better ideas list
[10:43am] lh: modius: sounds like a great plan
[10:44am] modius: (re django's list being beefed up.. maybe they could
start by actually having a list
[10:45am] lh: modius: it's a list. it's not a good list. really.
[10:46am] modius: bah.. just being cheeky.. don't mind me. we just
put a lot of effort into our proposal and i guess we're naturally flat
about not making the cut. Like i said, we'll be back.

I thought I might include, a screen grab of the Django list -- Django is to Python what FarCry is to ColdFusion. We spent a lot of time on our submission and had a detailed project ideas list -- or so we thought. But then Google love Python and know Django.

Django GSoC Ideas

Being new to GSoC you apparently have to work very hard to impress Google that your project is both interesting and worthwhile. We've suffered from the stigma of being "just another CMS". But how do you create a sound bite that says your framework and related applications are the greatest thing since sliced bread? Especially when your submission is arguably more interesting than those projects already in the GSoC club -- Django, PostNuke, Zope, Joomla, Plone, Drupal et al.

I guess we just keep banging away. There's always next year!

In any event, we might look at extending this concept of mentoring to "students of life" (ie. anyone) and providing a framework to help get people into contributing in general. Who knows, perhaps there'll be a "Daemon Winter of Code", without the impressive name and zero cash :)

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