The Debian project is proud to announce that it has again been accepted by Google as a mentor organisation for the Summer of Code programme. We have been allocated twelve tasks for this year. Google will fund the students mentioned here to work full time on those tasks during their summer vacation, from May 26th to August 18th. They will be guided and evaluated during this time by a team of Debian developers.
Several tasks cover communication between software authors, users and Debian developers. A number of tasks target quality assurance and improved testing, while others will result in new tools that help maintain Debian systems.
- Jonathan Roes will work on Netconf, a next generation approach for network configuration management on Linux systems. This will provide a single logical replacement for a large number of programs currently handling related tasks on Debian systems.
- CRAN is a comprehensive archive of tools and libraries for the GNU R statistical computing language. Charles Blundell will write cran2deb, a tool to help with automatic generation of Debian packages from CRAN packages and bundles. This makes it much easier for developers and users to work with R extensions on Debian systems, especially for administrators of larger computing facilities.
- Nico Golde will improve Debian's quality assurance processes for security updates by providing a security update beta test facility. This will allow Debian to test security updates on a broader range of setups prior to public release and in addition to the existing QA measures.
- Jigdo is a tool developed to help reduce the cost of downloading and mirroring Debian CD and DVD images. Dustin Rayner's project jigdo-ivory entails the creation of a browser-based Jigdo client to make downloads much easier for end users.
- Obey Arthur Liu is planning to create a GTK+ GUI for the package management tool Aptitude that will work alongside improved ncurses and command-line interfaces. This will offer a new interface design geared toward usability and advanced functionality.
- Jonny Lamb will work on debexpo, a web-based Debian package repository to allow everyone to upload and provide personal package repositories. It includes functionality for sponsors to easily review packages and should ease contribution to Debian by offering an easy way to contribute packages for software not yet included in Debian.
- Christian von Essen will be developing the "Ultimate Debian Database", a large relational database that will collect together the project's important information into one central easy-to-use system including bugs, build information, developer information, etc.
- Adam Jensen will create debgraph, an infrastructure to process package inter-dependencies and similar data using a generic graph interface. Many applications such as package managers already use some of this functionality, but this project will be the first common code to support more complex queries, allowing developers of other tools to concentrate on higher-level issues.
- Per Andersson plans to work on improving Debians support for consumer market NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices. These popular devices are tiny files servers, often equipped with ARM processors and running an embedded Linux. This project will make it easier to install and customize Debian on these devices and further increase Debians popularity in the embedded Linux market.
- Lintian is an automated package checking tool used for quality assurance, able to detect all kinds of common errors and mistakes in Debian packages. Jordà Polo Bardés will enhance the diagnosis functionality in lintian, especially with respect to handling the severity and accuracy of such tests, to make it more usable in automated setups where low-importance test and false positives may cause issues.
- Max Wiehle is going to add support for automatically merging configuration files on system upgrades. At the moment, Debian's package management tools currently just keep track of old and new configurations as upgrades take place, so this new work will make life much easier for system administrators.
- Juan Luis Belmonte Mendez will be writing a new tool to help configure PAM (Pluggable Authentication Modules) and NSS (Name Service Switch) through the Debian Installer. This should allow for much easier configuration of Debian machines to use common network based authentication systems like LDAP and Active Directory.
We welcome them to our vibrant developer community and encourage all of our teams and contributors to support and help them to succeed with their tasks.
Debian's tasks are listed in our wiki at
The Summer of Code is documented on Google's website at
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