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Google Summer of Code 2007 application
About Your Organization
Describe your organization.
Scribus brings award-winning professional page layout to Linux/Unix, MacOSX, OS/2 and Windows desktops with a combination of "press-ready" output and new approaches to page layout.
Why is your organization applying to participate in GSoC 2007? What do you hope to gain by participating?
The immense complexity of Desktop Publishing is exemplified by the current state of the commercial market where the vast majority of installations are dominated by only two programs that while having enormous developmental resources behind them still seem unable to address a number of things correctly. Due to the complexity of the DTP workflow, the development of Scribus requires primary allocation of our developmental efforts in the areas with the highest return for our users. This creates unfortunate conditions where some useful smaller projects are placed farther down the roadmap http://wiki.scribus.net/index.php/1.3.x_Roadmap. Participating in the GSoC 2007 will allow us to address these shortcomings while allowing participating students to gain valuable experience designing and coding the solutions that will have immediate practical applications for DTP professionals and amateurs alike. Our hope is that the incentive that GSoC provides for students may motivate some of them to become involved in Scribus development and that they will carry on this activity after the completion of GSoC 2007 thus expanding our team and making the only open source DTP program even better.
Did your organization participate in GSoC 2005 or 2006? If so, please summarize your involvement and the successes and failures of your student projects.
If your organization has not previously participated in GSoC, have you applied in the past? If so, for what year(s)?
Who will your organization administrator be? Please include Google Account information.
What license does your project use?
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?
#scribus on Freenode
Does your organization have an application template you would like to see students use? If so, please provide it now.
- Name / University / current enrollment information.
- Biographical sketch.
- Did you ever code in C, C++ or Python? Please provide examples of code.
- Do you use Scribus? Please provide examples if you do.
- Do you make other use of Scribus than for laying out articles? please describe and show examples.
- Were you involved in Scribus development in the past? What were your contributions?
- Were you involved in other OpenSource development projects in the past? If yes, please tell us project, when and in what role were you involved?
- Why have you chosen your development idea and what do you expect from your implementation?
Who will be your backup organization administrator? Please include Google Account information.
Alexandre currently resides in Moscow, Russia. He is involved into open source projects since early 2002 as technical writer and further as GUI and docs translator (hugin, Inkscape, Scribus, GIMP).
Being interested in design and photography since 2005 he quickly started enjoying his role of communicator between developers of various open source projects. In 2006 Jon Philips, a Creative Commons advocate, and he co-founded a CREATE project where developers of creative applications (mostly graphics related ones as of now) can meet and work out standards, unified approaches to solving real life user issues etc.
About Your Mentors
Who will your mentors be? Please include Google Account Information.
Andreas Vox has a background in mathematics, oo programming and software architecture. While preferring Java, he's now primarily programming Scribus in C++. He has ported Scribus to OSX Aqua and has been providing binary snapshots of Scribus/Aqua for anyone wanting to try out Scribus on OSX. Currently, he is bringing Scribus's text system to the state of the art. Future plans include a LaTeX mode, better tables, better XML integration and more code refactoring.
Peter Linnell has been a US based IT business and pre-press consultant since 1999. From early days of Scribus development, Peter has been testing Scribus in real world pre-press environments and helping to guide design and features for Scribus. With the formation of the team, he acts as the release manager, helps manage the infrastructure, tests output quality, and handles much of the external relations with other teams and groups.
Riku Leino started his involvement with Scribus development with version 1.1.5. He wrote the Document Template plug-in and the new OO/HTML/ importers for 1.2.2. He works in IT support.
Petr Vaněk started with Scribus 1.1.4. He is a plug-in specialist - has written several Scribus plug-ins and the how-to for Scribus plug-in writing. Now he works on some Scribus internal modules and Qt4 port mainly. He is maintaining discussion forums at new Czech Scribus portal.
He is IT consultant for telco/finance IS.
Petr is working on some more OSS projects too. Mainly used for DB development or administration - TOra, Oraschemadoc, and Sqliteman.
Oleksandr (Alex) Moskalenko encountered Scribus when he was looking for Linux software to produce a poster for a scientific conference. Realizing that the scribus package in Debian was very buggy and its maintainer inactive Alex took over the maintainance of Scribus package in Debian, which eventually led to his becoming a Debian Developer and later a member of Scribus development team. Alex has been contributing bug reports, interface translation, and some development infrastructure improvements such as writing scripts for producing Scribus interface translation statistics, administration of an IRC bot for #scribus and related channels, performing user support, and maintaining an upstream repository for a number of scribus and related Debian and Ubuntu packages. Currently, Alex is moving from mainly python/shell to more C++/Qt4 programming to become more involved in Scribus development.
Jean Ghali studied image processing after two years learning mathematics and physics. He started coding in various languages such as Visual Basic, Java and C++ with emphasys on color management. Now he is employed by a printing and publishing company as a pre-press engineer. While performing a technology survey, he discovered Scribus. He performed a port of Scribus to Windows. His porting work also lead him to develop Scribus printing system on Windows. Since his work on the Windows port, Jean Ghali has mostly been involved in improving Scribus color management and svg import capabilities. Future plans include color management abstraction, improvement to Scribus graphics capabilities and XPS export.
What criteria did you use to select these individuals as mentors? Please be as specific as possible.
All of our mentors are members of the core Scribus development team. Beside the familiarity with Scribus code they posess other qualities that are useful for succesful development of this type of software:
- familiarity and experience with the prepress technologies
- Knowledge of the existing open source technologies applied to desktop publishing
- Experience in mentoring junior coders, possibly from an academic environment
- In depth knowledge of user requirements
We made sure that only those members of our development team who would be able to dedicate sufficient time and efforts to mentoring of GSoC students and had excellent communication abilities were selected for the mentoring team.
About The Program
What is your plan for dealing with disappearing students?
We plan to perform regular reviews of the students' work via most likely weekly reports to mentors and continuous involvement of the students in the activity in our IRC channel and mailing list. Our main concern is that we must avoid having students that will produce promises and vague assurances of their involvement instead of the actual code. Frequent reviews and actively solicited involvement in our public developmental process should keep the communication between students and the rest of the team open and allow us to monitor the progress of the students. In an unfortunate case when a student will actually disappear we may elect to contact the second runner candidate to see if they would continue the project or we will fold the project into our main developmental plan and ask Google to withhold the final payment to the student who disappeared.
What is your plan for dealing with disappearing mentors?
Scribus Development Team has proven to function in a very cooperative and supportive environment. Since all our mentors come from the core Scribus team we have sufficient confidence that none of them will suddenly disappear. If the involvement of a member will temporarily decline due to unforseen external circumstances we have sufficient overlap in skills and willingness for mutual support that would allow us to reallocate resources without causing any interruptions in the GSoC 2007 mentoring process. This will be helped by the open monitoring of the student's progress via our public mailing list and IRC channel. We also have a compentent backup mentor Jean Ghali who is ready to take over mentoring of a student in case some other member of mentoring group is unable to temporarily perform their duties.
What steps will you take to encourage students to interact with your project's community before, during and after the program?
We plan to ensure that students selected for the GSoC program actively participate in the discussions on our mailing list and IRC. We conduct much of our development discussion on IRC and will ask students to be present there as much as possible. Over the years we have found that open and friendly atmosphere on our mailing list and IRC channel has helped a number of people make a transition from Scribus users to contributors to its development. We believe that by exposing students to this environment we can foster their sense of involvement and help them see how their accomplishments help the entire community as much as being rewarding learning experiences for themselves. The absence of flamewars given a large number of contributors to our communication channels and rapid pace of develpment shows that this strategy has been productive.
What will you do to ensure that your accepted students stick with the project after GSoC concludes?
We are hoping that the learning experience the students will go through while communicating with mentors and participating in our mailing list and IRC discussions with developers and users will create in them a sense of participation in the Scribus community. We do not believe that it is possible to force a volunteer to stick with the project they are not interested in, so our intent will be to make their participation in Scribus development over this summer both useful and interesting. As long as the students enjoy their participation and create a bond with the larger Scribus community there is a chance that they will continue their involvement after the GSoC concludes.