The 2011 Sahana Google Summer of Code Wrap-Up: The Best Summer Ever!

Another summer is over.  And what a great summer it was.   Countless hours at the beach and pool with the kids; great free concerts in the park…. but this post is supposed to be a wrap up about Sahana’s 2011 Google Summer of Code Program, so let’s get to that.  It was, quite simply and without question, our best Summer of Code program ever.

We had six excellent students this year – Anubhav AggarwalFábio Albuquerque, Shiv DeepakRamindu Deshapriya, Pratyush Nigam and Chinthaka Rukshan – who all produced code of great value to our software projects and our stakeholders who rely on Sahana software for critical disaster management functions.  This is probably the first time we have gotten such immediately usable (as opposed to more experimental or proof-of-concept) code out of our GSOC program.  Some of this code has already been merged into the trunks of our projects and all is planned for inclusion in our next releases.  One project was even deployed as part of the City of New York’s use of Sahana during their response to Hurricane Irene last month.  That’s truly an incredible outcome!

Great credit for this must also go to our lead mentors, who were very focused from the beginning on defining project ideas that were high priorities for our projects, for working with the students on their proposals and project plans to ensure that the student’s goals and aspirations were a good fit, and spending countless hours through the summer providing guidance and advice to the students as they worked through the program.

Our lead mentors this year were Chad Heuschober, Michael Howden, 2010 GSOC student Shikhar Kohli, Dominic König, Greg Miernicki and Charles Wisniewski.  SSF Director David Bitner served as our GSOC Administrator; Darlene McCullough and Michael Howden served as the coordinators for our Agasti and Eden projects respectively.  There were many others who helped organize or support our program throughout the Spring and Summer, including Fran Boon, Gihan Chamara, Leslie HawthornRobbie O’Connor, Glenn Pearson, Pat Tressel, and many others.  (If I’ve left you out, apologies, let me know and I will insert your name here)… Thank you all for helping organize and run such a successful program this year.

I must also and always thank Google for their ongoing support for our organization through the Google Summer of Code program and for sponsoring such a great program.  GSOC provides the Sahana Software Foundation with an important opportunity to bring in new contributors to work on our codebase and is a featured part of our Community Development program.  We do this to give students a good experience with a humanitarian open source project, not just to get code written, and I think we do a pretty good job at it.  Over the years, we have retained many of our former GSOC students as long-term contributors to our organization; some have gone on to become PMC members, Members of the Foundation, and even serve on our Board of Directors. It was great to have former GSOC students such as Shikhar become a lead mentor, as well as having other former GSOC students support the program, such as Robbie O’Connor and Gihan Chamara.  I am hopeful that many of our students from this past summer stick around as members of our community.

Here’s the wrap-up and summary for each of our projects – many with final videos describing the functionality achieved and feedback from the student’s mentors:

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Sahana Agasti: Installation Process for Vesuvius

By Chinthaka Rukshan mentored by Charles Wisniewski, assisted by Greg Miernicki

Project description: Vesuvius did not have a proper installer but relied on users following manual step-by-step instructions included with the code.  The objective of this project was to create an installer for Vesuvius based on the one used by Mayon.

Working with the GSoC program and the students has been of much value to the SSF. The work on the Agasti Installer by GSoC student Chinthaka will prove helpful for users of Agasti and the HFOSS community at large.

-- Charles Wisniewski

For more information, see:

* * * * *

Sahana Agasti: Pootle Re-Integration

By Ramindu Deshapriya mentored by Greg Miernicki, assisted by Glenn Pearson

Project description: This project is aimed at cleaning up the translation methodology for Sahana Vesuvius using Pootle. After the completion of the project, Pootle administrators should be able to use a generated Pootle template to translate the Vesuvius UI into any language. The existing Resource Page system is to be integrated into the new methodology as well.

Ramindu assisted the folks at NLM in achieving not only Pootle integration, but Google Translate API compatibility enabling Vesuvius to move forward with multilingual support in a future release in the not too distant future.

-- Greg Miernicki
For more information, see:

 * * * * *

Sahana Agasti: RESTful Web Services Integration

By Fabio Albuquerque mentored by Chad Heuschober

Project description:  Sahana Mayon has a schema with lot of modules. Each module has other dependencies and they are connected with others, but we can build a way through web services to make available only a few desired entities of the scheme, so that another software can consume it (a different project, like Sahana Eden) in an easy way, with a simple HTTP request.

I am especially pleased to share that one of our student’s code was of sufficient quality and readiness that it was successfully used during the NYC Hurricane Irene deployment and was merged into the mainline Mayon trunk. Way to go, Fábio!

-- Chad Heuschober

* * * * *

Sahana Eden: OCR Integration

By Shiv Deepak mentored by Dominic Konig, assisted by GSOC ’09 student Gihan Chamara

Project description: This project aims to integrate the current standalone OCR module into the s3 framework where the forms could be generated as PDF and user could upload a scanned image and then get an interface where the scanned information is displayed on the screen along with the corresponding image counterparts for the manual verification.

For more information, see:

 * * * * *

Sahana Eden: Save Search & Subscription

By Pratyush Nigam mentored by Michael Howden, assisted by GSOC ’10 student Robby O’Connor.

Description of Project: The aim of this project is to enable users to save the searches they may make, revisit them and be able to subscribe them so that they are able to get notifications for updates in the searches that they made through e-mail or twitter.

For more information, see:

 * * * * *

Sahana Eden: Web Setup

By Anubhav Aggarwal mentored by GSOC ’10 student Shikhar Kohli

Project description: This project creates a wizard for Sahana Eden, which helps in changing the modules’ status, content on the landing page, settings of database, mail server & languages etc. without getting into the real code or any Python file. This is done by creating a co-application in web2py for the Setup which would change a couple of files in Eden.

It’s a terrific feeling to be associated with a program as wonderful as GSoC for two consecutive years. During GSoC 2010, I thought that like many other web applications, Sahana Eden should have its own interface for installations and changing settings. It was great to see my idea transformed into solid, working code! I hope that websetup will go a long way in making Eden more user friendly.

-- Shikhar Kohli

For more information, see:

* * * * * * *

What a great summer!  Thanks again to our students, our mentors and administrators and to Google.

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