Google Summer of Code 2009 opens up with Melange
It's Summer! No it's not (but hey we can dream..) -- It is time though for another round of Google's Summer of Code (SoC). The SoC is an effort that first started in 2005 as an effort to get students involved in open source code development. Google provides a stipend to the student and to the mentoring organization that helps the student.
The SoC started off in 2005 with an allocation for 200 students and a budget of $1 million, which ultimately grew to 410 students that same year.
In 2008, the SoC grew to a staggering 1,125 students which totaled an open source cash infusion of at least $5.6 million dollars.
2009 is a recession year -- even for Google, so initially (at least), Google is capping the number of students for the SoC at 1,000. In terms of mentoring organizations Google worked with 175 different groups in 2008 and expects a slightly lower number for 2009.
Also of interest for SoC 2009 is the fact that Google is using a new home grown system called Melange to manage the effort. Melange was first announced at OSCON in 2008. The name 'Melange' is an homage to the concept of Melange / spice from Frank Herbert's Dune novels.
The deadline for mentoring organizations to submit is March 18, 2009 and Google will begin taking student applications on March 23, 2009 with the deadline for student applications on April 3rd. On April 20th, Google will formally announced the accepted student applications and then after a several week learning period students will begin coding their projects on May 23rd. The SoC coding then continues on until August 17th.
While I don't know if Google's Melange will create a Mau'dib Paul
Atreides type superhero, I do know that in its 4 years of existence the
SoC has had a tremendous impact on the open source ecosystem, leading to
countless functions and innovations that I benefit from every day.
"The sleeper has awoken."