Difference between revisions of "BeagleBoard/GSoC/Application"

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(Why is your organization applying to participate in Google Summer of Code? What do you hope to gain by participating?)
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Because the Beagles are open source hardware and built on open source software stacks like Linux, any software designed on it can be taken and put into entirely new products, enabling a world where the next generation has more control over those digital products.
Because the Beagles are open source hardware and built on open source software stacks like Linux, any software designed on it can be taken and put into entirely new products, enabling a world where the next generation has more control over those digital products.
We want to make sure computers are demystified for the next generation and that means they need to see the "cloud" as something physical, not abstract.
===Has your organization participated in past Google Summer of Codes?===
===Has your organization participated in past Google Summer of Codes?===

Revision as of 08:27, 23 January 2018


How does a mentoring organization apply?

The organization should choose a single administrator to submit its application via the Google Summer of Code 2014 site between February 3 - February 14 2014.

Jason Kridner will be the administrator, but is looking for volunteers to help edit the application contents and to update the ideas.

What should a mentoring organization application look like?

Organization Name



BeagleBoard.org is an open source community of experienced hackers, hobbyists and engineers who are enthusiastic about building powerful, open ARM-based systems completely programmable through your web browser. BeagleBoard.org’s vision is to improve access to small, low-power computing platforms that can be embedded into new creations using easy to use development tools, such as its self-hosted, web-based IDE. The hardware designs of all Beagle boards are open source with all schematics, bills-of-materials, layouts, etc. shared for building other devices. The software is also open source and is generated by the community. Compiler tools are free and the board is available at a low cost. Boards will be provided for free to any student participating in a BeagleBoard.org-related GSoC project.

Texas Instruments sponsors a number of BeagleBoard.org-related activities and the first members of the community were TI employees, however, the collaboration base is now stronger than ever with over 10,000 members on the mailing list, over 100,000 individual developers worldwide who have purchased Beagle hardware and over 150 developers who actively participate on the live chat (IRC channel) at any given time. Existing projects are often for the purpose of building robots, autonomous flying drones, automotive entertainment and navigation systems, home media centers, digital signs, wearable computers, gaming consoles and even 3d printers! (over 380 projects registered at http://beagleboard.org/project/) Existing software compatibility includes various versions of Android, Ubuntu, Angstrom, Gentoo, FFmpeg, XBMC, ROS, OpenCV and much more.

Home page


Main Organization License


Why is your organization applying to participate in Google Summer of Code? What do you hope to gain by participating?

We hope to inspire open source developers to take an interest in physical computing, especially when it involves high-level operating systems and heterogeneous processor environments capable of real-world data processing.

We hope to increase general interest in computers and electronics through improved access, simplified interfaces and example projects.

Because the Beagles are open source hardware and built on open source software stacks like Linux, any software designed on it can be taken and put into entirely new products, enabling a world where the next generation has more control over those digital products.

We want to make sure computers are demystified for the next generation and that means they need to see the "cloud" as something physical, not abstract.

Has your organization participated in past Google Summer of Codes?


How many potential mentors do you have for this year's program? What criteria did you use to select them?

We currently have 20 potential mentors for this year's program of which only 4 haven't previously mentored in GSoC. We've removed mentors from previous years who were under motivated to help students succeed and brought on mentors who have contributed significantly to our projects or related projects either through documentation or implementation. Most of our potential mentors are also in frequent contact with each other through IRC, Google+ and our primary developer mailing list to have confidence they can work together well.

If you answered “yes” to the question above please summarize your involvement and the successes and challenges of your participation. Please also list your pass/fail rate for each year.

BeagleBoard.org GSoC students have improved the Linux kernel support for analog-to-digital converters, software-based pulse width modulators and USB bus analysis, implemented network protocols for booting a remote processor from Android, Linux or Windows hosts, implemented Arduino-compatible software on top of Linux (code used by other hardware platforms, eg. Intel Galileo), improved the functionality of Minix for operating system education, improved the integration and performance on ARM or DSP processors of ROS, XBMC, FFTW and OpenCV, and delivered a framework for compilation and invocation of heterogeneous processor functions.

We had an excellent set of mentors with 3 mentors for every student to ensure high availability of mentor time via the IRC channel. Our mentors had deep knowledge relevant to the projects and were able to assist the students in each of their technical challenges. We monitored student progress with weekly blog posts and IRC meetings to keep them on track and resolve any blocking issues. We collected short video presentations introducing each project, giving observers a good idea of the students' goals. We screened out projects that wouldn't provide sufficiently reusable software for the rest of the community.

Including a hardware component adds some challenges when shipping around the world. We've solved this by engaging local businesses and additional distributors.

Getting more face-to-face interaction continues to be a challenge, but our IRC interactions are strong and we've started to incorporate Google Hangouts in our collaboration.

We've greatly improved our success rate in getting code adopted by the upstream projects and made available across the BeagleBoard community by making integration into a distribution will be a requirement, giving greater emphasis on following up with upstream developers and focusing on projects directly impacting the BeagleBoard community, rather than relying on upstream projects that might not be fundamentally motivated to adopt the patches. This year, we've added continuous integration via http://builds.beagleboard.org.

Pass/fail rate for 2010: 6 pass 0 fail

Pass/fail rate for 2013: 6 pass 0 fail (1 dropout for personal reasons)

Pass/fail rate for 2014: 6 pass 1 fail

Pass/fail rate for 2015: 7 pass 1 fail

Pass/fail rate for 2016: 6 pass 1 fail

If your organization has not previously participated in Google Summer of Code, have you applied in the past? If so, for what year(s)?

N/A – BeagleBoard.org has applied and participated in the past.

What Open Source Initiative approved license(s) does your project use?

GPLv2 - http://opensource.org/licenses/GPL-2.0

What is the URL for your ideas page?


What is the main development mailing list for your organization?

http://groups.google.com/group/beagleboard: All things BeagleBoard
http://groups.google.com/group/beagleboard-gsoc: GSoC-specific things for BeagleBoard.org

What is the main IRC channel for your organization?

irc.freeenode.net #beagle

Who will be your backup organization administrator?

Vladimir Pantelic

What criteria did you use to select the mentors? Please be as specific as possible.

Mentors were chosen based on personal knowledge of their contributions over IRC helping community members, the mailing list, and specific projects of interest. With the BeagleBoard.org community existing now for 5 years, many of the same members are still very active and well-known to our GSoC administrators. We typically meet up at Embedded Linux Conference, Design West, Linaro meetings and several other small events. Given frequent support over IRC, it is clear which proposed mentors are the best candidates.

How will you keep students on schedule?

We've set a strict requirement for weekly milestones and demanded realistic schedules be a part of the student's application.

We will set the expectation that students should not be out of communication for more than 60 hours (i.e., the length of a weekend) without prior notification to their mentor. We'll also hold mandatory weekly meetings in IRC for all the students to report on progress made, problems encountered, and proposed next steps.

The project administrators will monitor all the projects and try to identify issues that might lead to disappearing contributors before the problem becomes unsolvable. In particular, when a mentor is too unsympathetic to a student, we'll bring in an alternate mentor to help "translate". If personal issues come up, we'll encourage students to stay engaged with the process by making specific plans to make up for lost time. We'll try to screen out anyone who doesn't seem willing to make the necessary time commitments.

How will you keep mentors engaged?

We will choose mentors with a history of being involved in BeagleBoard.org projects and who are consistently responsive via IRC and e-mail. In the past and we plan to continue to have, in addition to the primary mentor, we will have secondary mentors who can step in, though we've never had a disappearing mentor. We've found the secondary mentors also help greatly with improving student/mentor communication. Mentors are expected to attend the weekly check-in meetings on IRC. We will have a named contact in the same region and/or company as any mentor to assist in "pinging" any AWOL mentor.

In the past, we've pressured community members to mentor in GSoC and we've stopped doing that to avoid getting any mentors who might not be fully committed.

What steps will you take to encourage students to interact with your project's community before and during the program?

We encourage candidates to interact with community members on the IRC channel and mailing list ahead of the program to gather information required for their application. We will work with the students to produce YouTube videos to introduce their projects to the community, including the newsletter with a circulation of roughly 16,000 subscribers. Weekly status reports are sent out to the community. Students are encouraged to hang out on #beagle, which is active 24/7, during the program. We've had good success with keeping students involved with the community as most still hang out on the IRC channels and have sought new projects or mentorship (if graduated) in subsequent years.

What will you do to encourage your accepted students to stick with the project after Google Summer of Code concludes?

Many of our students are currently active in editing our ideas page and recruiting new Google Summer of Code students. We will give them hardware and “swag” following the program to keep them interested, but mostly we value their contributions and try to make sure that others in the community are exposed to those contributions. The greatest reward of producing quality code is having people use it and the world knowing you created it! Almost all projects from last year are now included in images that ship to 100,000s of people.

Are you a new organization who has a Googler or other organization to vouch for you? If so, please list their name(s) here.

BeagleBoard.org is not a new organization to Google Summer of Code.

Are you an established or larger organization who would like to vouch for a new organization applying this year? If so, please list their name(s) here.

BeagleBoard.org has not been approached by other organizations to vouch for them at this time.

What will you do to encourage that your accepted students stick with the project after Google Summer of Code concludes?

Although we will start by using GSoC-specific communication paths, all students will be expected to monitor the primary email list and IRC channel. Over the course of the summer students will be encouraged to start using the primary communication channels to work on their project. By transitioning students to the primary communication channels, we hope to integrate students into the larger community before the end of summer of code so that they can continue to work on their projects via our IRC channel after GSoC concludes.

Each student is asked to create a public blog for updating the community and logging their progress on the project. Blogs receive hits from around the world and people ask questions via the comments sections. This keeps the students engaged with the community and their previous work.

Application template

About you

What is your name, e-mail address and usernames on Freenode IRC, eLinux wiki and Github? (required)

What is the name of your school and in what country? (required)

What is your primary language and work hours? (We have mentors who speak multiple languages and in various time zones and can match you partially based on that.)

Have you participated in an open-source project before? If so, please send us URLs. If not, why do you want to?

About your project

What is the name of your proposed project?

In 10-20 sentences, what are you making, for whom, why and with what technologies (programming languages, etc.)? (We are looking for open source SOFTWARE submissions.)

Provide a development timeline with a milestone each of the 11 weeks. (A realistic timeline is critical to our selection process.)

In 5-15 sentences, convince us you will be able to successfully complete your project in the timeline you have described.

If successfully completed, what will its impact be on the BeagleBoard.org community? Include quotes from BeagleBoard.org community members who can be found on http://beagleboard.org/discuss and http://bbb.io/gsocchat.

What will you do if you get stuck on your project and your mentor isn’t around?


Please complete the requirements listed on the ideas page. (http://bbb.io/gsocideas)

Is there anything else we should have asked you?