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Subject: Re: [boost] Summer of Code 2010
From: Jake Voytko (jakevoytko_at_[hidden])
Date: 2010-03-07 23:31:28

> On Sun, Mar 7, 2010 at 9:56 PM, Darren Garvey <darren.garvey_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> I think it would help if there was a rule about having to commit something
> to svn each week. Students may be tentative about publicly displaying
> incomplete code but it's almost impossible to gauge how things are going
> otherwise.

Weekly releases should be mandatory for GSoC participants. I worked on
Boost.Visualization during GSoC 2007, and they helped me accomplish
most of my stated goals. Each week, I sent a list of promises to my
Mentor, and worked like crazy to get them all finished and checked in
by Sunday. He sent me nudges when I slipped a day, and I kept to the
schedule I set out at the beginning of the summer. By releasing code
each week, I noticed some of the bad decisions I made, and made two
major reorganizations by the end of the summer. The end result was
still poorly factored, but without weekly tasks it would have been
poorly factored and incomplete!

> If students were encouraged to write tests at the start of the SoC with
> their mentor, they would have a specific set of goals to work to. Mentors
> should be well placed to help the students define the precise requirements
> of the project. The path to acceptance from there is: get all the tests
> passing and document how the library does it. Even if this doesn't happen by
> the end of the SoC, there is still a definite goal.

Please consider exceptions to this rule :). Libraries like the fabled
BigInteger library lend themselves well to writing out all of the
tests first. Parts of my project were inherently untestable, yet could
be showstoppers: how do you automate a test to see if a graph renders
fine in Inkscape and Firefox, for instance?

~ Jake

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