For nearly all Audacity Google Summer of Code project ideas, wxWidgets and C++ programming are essential. The project makes extensive use of CVS, mailing lists and MediaWiki, so students will need to get to grips with these. Some projects need additional skills too.
Students who show that they have experience with wxWidgets will generally be at a considerable advantage to those who don't. Whilst Audacity is cross-platform, it isn't necessary to have programming experience on all three platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux/Unix), but some familiarity with all three will make things go more smoothly.
Difficulty of Projects
We have rated the GSoC projects 'Easy', 'Moderate' or 'Hard'. We want to ensure that students do a project that matches their experience and ability. We're more concerned with having a successful outcome than getting the most technically challenging problems tackled. If a very experienced student wants to do an 'easy' project, but add to the spec to make it more challenging for them, then that's fine by us. If a fairly new student can see a way to simplify a 'Hard' project so that it's a realistic goal for them, we'd be delighted.
We'd like to get the matching right so that:
- Students are tackling problems they have excellent prospects of completing.
- Students enjoy the challenge and get experience and real satisfaction from it, and not just the stipend from Google.
We don't demand a daily blog or endless status reports - well actually we do require weekly status emails, see GSoC_Student_Guidelines, once coding starts. We do want to know what is actually going on, and if there are problems, to know them early. We need to be confident that if there are problems with your mentor, or if CVS won't accept any of your check-ins, that you will get this across to us. E-mails to mentors, to audacity-devel, updates to the wiki, conversations on IRC, each have their place.
Our current plan is to have a weekly 'open house' on IRC on Fridays during the GSoC period. Because we're in different time zones there's no set time when we'll all be there, but your chances of getting several people to talk with on a Friday are good. It's recommended to all students involved to either visit on the Fridays, or to have made other arrangements with their mentor to keep in contact.
Yes, there is a lot of traffic on audacity-devel that isn't relevant to every project, but it is important to subscribe and sometimes to post. One of the skills is learning how to skip read the messages.