August 27, 2014

We did it again !

This is the third time we are mentoring and we had five projects this time around.

  1. Praveen working on porting the Jquery IME/Indic language support for Firefox OS.
  2. Kevin working on Varnam, a native predictive text input mechanism that learns as you go
  3. Nalin bringing in indic support to braille input methods via ibus
  4. Sujith V, porting our SILPA language SDK to android, thus making it available to mobile operating systems and increasing our reach there.
  5. Abhineet, working to add language selection support for Diaspora.


SMC has been around for 12 years now, and we have came a long way from being a small community of people working together for bringing Malayalam language support in GNU/Linux OSs to the biggest developer community in the country

This year was special for us for a few reasons :

  1. We got to work with Firefox OS, a completely free and open source mobile operating system for the first time. This aligns entirely with our vision of working on a completely free software project, and bringing in indic support during development time itself. So far Indic support has been more of second stage releases, but with Firefox, we get it very early on.

  2. We did some major work with accessibility via Sharada, the ibus input mechanism for Braille.

  3. Both the above were primarily mentored by Sam Thibault (Debian), Rudy Lu & Tim Chien(Mozilla). This is a first for us, to work with mentors from other projects and it was a good experience for us.

Overall, we seem to have the hang of GSOC by now, and we have more in pipeline for next year - this year's list of proposals were all good (we got 39 proposals this year), and we really were limited only by the number of slots.

SMC the community and the organization

  1. SMC seems to have grown as a mentoring organization - We had three past GSOC students mentoring this year, and we had backup mentors more than willing to step up on several occasions.
  2. The umbrella of projects that we mentor seems to have grown as well. We no longer concentrate on Malayalam specific projects, rather consciously making decisions to work for Indic support rather than just Malayalam. With this GSOC, we have our foot firmly in the Indic arena.

Where to from here?

Some of the projects, even though they have reached their target checkpoints, need to be improved further to make things useful. More integration and testing work, example.

We still have a number of proposals open and we invite more members to chip in - we're happy to help with any mentoring needs. And we hope the students participated found this years GSOC a wonderful experience and will continue working with the community. Hopefully we will see our students from this year returning as mentors next year.


The final reports are here: