GSoc Ideas - wiki-chat & chat in VPN

Cristian cristianbercaru.of at
Sun Mar 29 04:49:42 EDT 2009


I'm a first year undergraduate student at Politehnica University of 
Bucharest, Computer Science. I know I'm late but the following ideas 
came to me quite suddenly and it hasn't passed a day since then. I would 
like to know how to polish my application, how realistic/far-fetched my 
ideas are and if they're worth implementing.

1 - wiki-chat (plugin)
I thought of logging all types of conversations(Yahoo, Google, IRC etc), 
private and especially conferences on wiki pages. Practically every 
reply would be interpreted as an update to that page and appended to it.

I have also considered the following features:
* you can IM in wiki syntax( tables, indentation, font styles, lists, 
preformatted text etc)
* sending a file/picture would post it on the wiki page
* refresh your status message via a wiki page(e.g. a TODO list for the 
following day)
* create a fresh wiki page

After the conference ends, the chat on the logged page could be easily 
modified to make it more readable by actions like: delete insignificant 
text, highlighted important ideas etc. I find it very useful for groups 
that want to publish their chat as an additional source of 
information(e.g. software developers)

I had the idea of chatting directly on a wiki page without using any 
other protocols. One can see what others have written by refreshing the 
  page. All you need is the page URL, an account name and password.

2 - chat support within virtual private networks (hamachi, openVPN
I'll have to do an intensive research in this field.

I think it will be a great opportunity for me to learn something that is 
not included in the school curriculum and to become a more experienced 
coder. My motto is: "learn by doing" or "learn along the way". Anyway, I 
don't have anything else better to do this summer.

Can I apply with both of these ideas or shall I describe them in 
separate applications?

Languages that I master best: C, shell scripting; I am also familiar 
with matlab/octave
It would take me a few days to get accustomed with Python and C++(in 
high school I used to program in C++ but I have forgotten many things)
lipurple seems quite understandable to me.
I don't know to what degree I need experience and knowledge of protocols.
I do have some experience in FOSS development. I have worked with older 
students on a data structures library(similar to STL, but written 
entirely in C). Thus I have learned about mailing lists, IRC, svn, trac.
In high school I used to take part in various contests which focused on 

As for the timetable, I have the following plan:
mid-April -> May 23: document myself and gather knowledge about various 
applications, protocols and whatever I need to know; look through the 
pidgin source thoroughly.
Then I'll come up with a complete scheme of my plugin or whatever it is
and start coding on it.
June means exam session for Politehnica students, but I could spend an 
hour or two for discussing/working on my project. July will bring two 
more exams which are quite serious. Anyway, afterwards I can dedicate 
all my free time to complete the project.

What other data should I include in the application?
Is the timetable description satisfactory? I don't know precisely what 
my work will involve and therefore I look for advice and feedback.

Cristian Bercaru

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