Google Summer of Code 2006 - Debian's involvement

This wiki page was created to make it easier to plan and coordinate Debian's involvement in the Google Summer of Code 2006. It has now been re-purposed as a reference showing how our assigned projects went.


Debian Live Improvements

Mentored project about adding rewriting parts of the initramfs generator (aka casper) did not work out. It was canceled before the mid-term evaluation, because the student did disappear after two weeks without doing anything and not responding to pings.

Debtags AI

We evaluated the use of a Bayesian AI for assisting during the tagging of packages. This is harder than spam classification because it's not a boolean decision spam/ham, but one for each tag.

Key results:

DWTT (aka wotomae) and CRMI

Arnaud Fontaine worked on implementing a Distribution-Wide Tracker Tool ( The goal was to implement a web interface that could be used to coordinate the work on large set of packages. Intelligent use of the BTS usertags allows to associate bugs to various trackers.

It got renamed to wotomae (WOrking TOgether MAde Easy) and the result is usable at It was developed with the ?TurboGears framework and some work on improving the packaging of that framework also happened during the summer. The source code is stored in a bzr branch: $ bzr get wotomae

The result is far from being perfect and it has performance issues. It lacks some people willing to use it for real work and fix whatever problems they encounter.


Carlos got a lot done, writing most of a new implementation of debian-cd in python with some added improvements along the way:

He got to the stage of making working binary CDs with his new tool, that were comparable with the state of the art in the equivalent debian-cd version at the time that he started. As there had been some parallel development happening in debian-cd and we were expecting to be close to releasing Etch (!), we decided to not press ahead immediately with pushing Carlos' new code into production. The plan was (and mostly still is) to start switching over to his newer cleaner code after the Etch release, with some overlap and comparison of the output of the two versions before then.

Well-done project overall, and Carlos expressed a desire to stay involved and continue development. Things have gone a little quiet since last summer, so I'm going to get in contact again soon.

Translation Coordination System

The outcome of the project was mostly in the way of exploring a specific technical possibility in cooperation between Debian i18n and Pootle developers that was implemented in the Pootle codebase.

The outcome of the project was not a working service, but rather some measures and ideas that have further progressed and should eventually help make a unified translation portal for Debian packages.

Debian Installer on GNU/Hurd

The student apparently spent quite a lot of time and effort getting up to speed on both d-i and Hurd, but made very little real progress in terms of code. The project was abandoned by the mid-term evaluation.

Improve the boot system

I supervised a project with Carlos Villegas, who worked on the boot system in debian. He benchmarked the boot system using bootchart, and tested several hypothesis on what affected boot speed while documenting the results. Several of his improvments are implemented in Debian/Etch already, and some of them I plan to integrate after etch is released. He made a lintian test for the LSB dependency headers in init.d scripts, which is slowly making sure all boot scripts in Debian get dependency information, thus making it possible to verify and correct the boot script order.

BTS front-end

To follow

Britney improvements

To follow

BitTorrent Extensions

Little progress shown, project dropped by the mid-term evaluation.


Contact info

Debian SoC coordinator: Baruch Even

Students who have any issue with their mentor or a mentor who has an issue with their student should contact the coordinator to help resolve it.

Infrastructure Provided to Students

Students are required to keep their development in the open, it is recommended that you use Alioth for your source control repository, you can use the soc project for your repository.

Most Debian development happens in the open already, so you will find a wealth of information on mailing lists and IRC, your mentor should be able to direct you to the proper resources.