GSoC 2013

Tomasz Wasilczyk tomkiewicz at
Wed Mar 20 07:44:43 EDT 2013


I've heard some rumors, that this year's GSoC could get skipped again.
I would strongly advise for participating this year.

Maybe some of you weren't completely satisfied with last year's
edition, but isn't it worth the effort just to give another chance? I
assume, there is only two tasks that needs to be done in the first
stage: prepare organization application and review students proposals.
If there will be none interesting projects, Pidgin could just quit.

I've been waiting all year long for this edition, I wanted to
advertize the whole program and Pidgin itself at my university - this
could bring us more talented students. I wanted also to encourage
people doing some of my proposals, what would make this year a
significant advance for our IM towards modern clients.

I will also support my petition with some strong (in my opinion) proposals.

1. Chat log backend and frontend reimplementation
Current chat log in libpurple looks more like stub, than final
implementation. It's one of the most annoying things in Pidgin for me,
so I really wish that could be improved. More details are within my
last year's proposal [1].


2. Easy plugins
It may look like our last year's failure (the only project that failed
was the easiest one - a website for plugins). This one is finally good
approach (again, IMO) for this subject - to make Pidgin's plugin usage
more like in web browsers, for example Firefox. Student's duty for
this project would contain:
- a mechanism for installing a plugin without touching a filesystem
(downloading from URL, saving in user directory, loading it);
- new, (really) convenient plugins window with some new features,
maybe like (auto?)update;
- plugins website with something like 1-click-install from openSuSE.
In such form, plugins management would be easy even for beginners and
enjoyable for power users.

3. Android "proxy" client
In last year, there was libpurple implementation for Android. However,
many of us complained, that it's pointless to run our "fat" library on
mobile devices. I represent different approach: there could be a
plugin for desktop client (the "server"), which could act as a proxy
for android phone. Key points:
- mobile client registers to user's "server" and leaves all
protocol-related job on it's side, phone gets only naked messages,
without protocol noise;
- there is no permanent tcp connections - phone is notified via Google
Cloud Messaging for Android service;
- easy to use, well designed UI (strongly inspired by existing ones
from Google/HTC/whatever).

There are also some proposals, that probably needs some refine:
- xmpp improvements: implement some XEPs [2], better facebook and
gmail support, cleaning hundredth of tickets [3]
- maintenance: struct hiding, ticket fixing "like a boss", making
3.0.0 really usable, merging branches into default
- usability improvements: a lot of common features are hidden deep in
menus, IRC usability improvements, creating chat rooms as in [4],
making Pidgin that easy to use, so we don't let users write tutorials
"how to add a buddy in Pidgin"


I am aware, that my proposals may not be easy for many of students,
but hey - Google doesn't pay the lowest rate! GSoC isn't oriented to
simple-website-like projects, that can be done in two weeks.

I wish I persuaded this year's GSoC participation these of us, that
had doubts about Pidgin's potential to develop. Please comment.

Tomek, last year's GSoC participant

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