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Subject: Re: [boost] [GSoC] Boost.XML
From: Andrew Sutton (andrew.n.sutton_at_[hidden])
Date: 2010-03-20 09:46:22

Hi Ilie,

My name is Ilie Halip, and I'm a student at the Faculty of Computer Science
> in Iasi, Romania. I'm really interested in this year's Summer of Code, and
> stumbled upon your list of ideas yesterday.
> I have a few questions about the Boost.XML project.

Hopefully Stefan Seefeld will be able to provide more information about a
Boost.XML project. He did some work on this several years ago, but it was
never finished. This is a feature that a number of people have requested
over the last couple of years.

> First, what actually needs to be done? The project proposal isn't clear
> about that. If it's about parsing using DOM/SAX, using XPath queries, then
> the project linked from the page already does that, right? So the project
> would involve working with the existing sources and adding validation,
> tests
> etc (as mentioned in the README)?

I suspect that much of the initial work will be involved in actually parsing
the raw XML format in order to support DOM/SAX API's. Actually, after
looking at the previous work [1], I would say that it's all about parsing :)
I think writing a Boost SAX library would be a good start for a SoC project.

> How much working knowledge should a student have before trying to work on
> such a project? I must admit I haven't used Boost, nor libxml2 in the past

I'm not sure that using libxml2 is a viable option for this project. Boost
has very few external dependencies. Besides, if you use libxml2, then your
work is mostly done for you.

Is there a coding style I should follow if I were to work for this project
> to conform to Boost standards? Where can I find such info?

Yes. See [2]. You could also start looking at other Boost library code.

> Do you have any requirements from students working with GSoC? Something
> like: weekly reports, blogging about their experience, maintaining a wiki
> page about the status of the project?

We haven't defined specific student requirements yet, but you will minimally
be required to provide weekly status updates to your mentor. We may add more
requirements (keep a blog or wiki page), provide actual releases of your

And last but not least... I'm actually employed right now, but my superiors
> are willing to give me more than 3 months of time off to be able to work
> for
> GSoC. Is that ok? Should I ask for more? I was looking over the timeline,
> and thought about getting a vacation between May 15th and August 30th.
> Would
> that be enough? Is it also alright if I stop working on the project for
> about a week in early June? Because I have a few exams then.

I don't think we've ever had a student request time off from a job before.
GSoC runs Mar 20 thru Aug 20, so that's about 3 months.

Hope that helps,

Andrew Sutton


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