RealTime IT News

Google to Take 630 Summer of Code Projects

Google has announced that it will accept no fewer than a whopping 630 open source projects for this year's Summer of Code. The number is up from last year's 410 projects.

Google's Summer of Code initiative provides sponsorship funding for students to work at mentoring open source projects over the summer. Chris DiBona, open source program manager at Google, told internetnews.com that Google received nearly 6,400 applications this year.

The increased number of awarded projects this year corresponds with an increase in the number of mentoring organizations.

The 630 Google Summer of Code 2006 projects are spread across 102 mentoring organizations, including Google itself. Last summer there were only 41 mentoring organizations.

The potential total payout by Google as a result also goes up. The financial part of the initiative stipulates that Google will shell out $5,000 per student developer, $500 of which goes to the mentoring organization and $4,500 goes to the student.

That means Google is pumping $3.15 million dollars into the open source ecosystem with this effort this year, up from $2.05 million last year.

"Last year we had 40 and this year we decided to go to 100 to make sure that there were enough mentors available per student, which was our private worry," DiBona said. "I am much happier with a larger group of organizations, as it provides a rich selection of opportunities for the students," DiBona said.

In terms of project awards for 2006, the Summer of Code site provides some indication as to how the project awards break down this year.

KDE once again was awarded 24 project spots. The Apache Software Foundation was awarded at least 27 project spots. FreeBSD was awarded at least 14 projects and the Mozilla Foundation was awarded at least 13 projects.

Among the long list of new mentoring organizations being awarded projects this year is the ReactOS project, which was awarded at least 5 projects. ReactOS is noteworthy in that is an open source attempt to replicate a full Microsoft Windows operating system.

Earlier this year, the project conducted an internal audit to verify that no actual Microsoft kernel code was actually in the project.

Google's summer of code also supports the WINE project, which is a similar effort but unlike ReactOS. The goal is not to produce an entire operating system.

For 2006, Google is sponsoring at least seven projects at WINE. Google, through a separate effort, is helping WINE thanks to work that Google is doing in bringing the Picasa photo application to Linux.

Also new this year is Sun's openSolaris, which was awarded two projects.

"We had about 20 project applications in the SoC and went through a process internally to map students with the appropriate mentors," Jim Grisanzio, Community Manager, OpenSolaris told internetnews.com. "We were allocated two projects, so we'll surely engage those students during the course of the summer."

The initiative got off to a bit of a rough start earlier this week when 1,800 student were mistakenly accepted to the program via e-mail.

Student projects for Google Summer of Code 2006 are due by August 21.