Google Summer of Code 2012

Table of Contents

Org Mode info-page for GNU's application to GSoC 2012

Beach, Books
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Org Mode GSoC 2012 Admin Page

Please note the following disclaimer before relying on the information given below:

"The following information is quoted verbatim from Google's excellent faq page. It summarizes all the information relevant for GSoC 2012 admins. "We" in the following text stands for "Google", not for "Org Mode" or "GNU".

This page only serves as a quick overview for one particular group of GSoC participants, the admins. It might be incomplete, out of date or even erroneous.

If you want the complete, up-to date and authorized information, please visit Google's GSoC 2012 page."

We'll begin accepting applications from open source mentoring organizations on February 27, 2012; we'll stop accepting organization applications on March 9th at 23:00 UTC.

What is a mentoring organization?

A group running an active free/open source software project, e.g. the Python Software Foundation. The project does not need to be a legally incorporated entity. If you're looking for a broader picture, you can find a list of all mentoring organizations who have participated in the past on the Google Summer of Code 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 pages. Mentoring organizations must produce and release software under an Open Source Initiative approved license in order to participate in the program. Mentors for their organizations must at least be committers for the corresponding project and their participation in Google Summer of Code on the organization’s behalf must be approved by the organization administrator via Melange.

What is the role of a mentoring organization?

Each mentoring organization is expected to provide:

  • A pool of project ideas for students to choose from, publicly published by the mentoring organization as an Ideas list
  • An organization administrator to act as the project's main point of contact for Google
  • A person or group responsible for review and ranking of student applications, both those proposals which tie into the org's Ideas list and "blue-sky" proposals
  • A person or group of people responsible for monitoring the progress of each accepted student and to mentor her/him as the project progresses
  • A person or group responsible for taking over for a student's assigned mentor in the event they are unable to continue mentoring, e.g. take a vacation, have a family emergency
  • A written evaluation of each student participant, including how s/he worked with the group, whether you would want to work with them again

In addition to these responsibilities, a mentoring organization should actively encourage each student developer to participate in the project's community in whichever way makes the most sense for the project, be it development mailing lists, idling in the project's IRC channel, participating in the project's forum, etc. A truly successful mentoring organization will work diligently to ensure that as many of their students as possible remain active project participants long after the conclusion of the program.

What is the role of an organization administrator?

An organization administrator oversees the overall progress of a mentoring organization and its students throughout the program. Organization administrators will have different responsibilities depending on the organization, but at the very least they will need to:

  1. Submit the organization's program application to Google
  2. Act as the main point of contact between Google and the organization
  3. Respond to any inquiries from Google within 48 hours
  4. Assign a back up mentor should a mentor be unable to work with a student
  5. Ensure all program evaluations are completed on time on or before the deadlines

For some projects, the organization administrator also acted as an arbiter when disputes arose between students and mentors, but each project should individually decide how such situations should be handled.

Can a mentoring organization have more than one administrator?

Yes, in fact it is required. It's good to have a back-up administrator identified who can cover for your administrator should s/he go out of town, etc. If your back-up administrator becomes the primary administrator, make sure to notify Google's program administrators.

What kind of mentoring organizations should apply?

As you can see from the lists of our mentoring organizations for 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 many different types of open source projects participate in Google Summer of Code. As long as your project can provide mentors and is releasing code under an Open Source Initiative approved license, you are welcome and encouraged to apply. Unfortunately, there are far more great open source projects than we can work with, so if your project is highly niche or has very few users, chances are that your application will not be accepted.

When will accepted mentoring organizations be announced?

We will announce the list of accepted mentoring organizations on the Google Summer of Code 2012 homepage on March 16, 2012.

Are mentoring organizations required to use the code produced?

No. While we hope that all the code that comes out of this program will find a happy home, we're not requiring organizations to use the students' code.

What are the eligibility requirements for mentoring organizations?

Mentor organizations must be organizations or individuals running an active and viable open source or free software project whose applications are approved by Google's Open Source Programs Office. Organizations based in Iran, Syria, Cuba, Sudan, North Korea and Mynamar (Burma), with whom we are prohibited by U.S. law from engaging in commerce, are ineligible to participate.

Who owns the code produced by student developers?

Each student (or her/his mentoring organization) must license all student Google Summer of Code code under an Open Source Initiative approved license palatable to the mentoring organization. Some organizations will require students to assign copyright to them, but many will allow them to retain copyright. If Google is a student's sponsoring organization, then the student keeps copyright to her/his code.

What licenses do I have choose from?

That depends on your mentoring organization. All code created by student participants must be released under an Open Source Initiative approved license. It's also extremely likely that your mentoring organization will have a preferred license(s) and that you will need to release your code under the license(s) chosen by that organization.

Isn't it unusual for open source developers to be paid?

Not really. Many of our mentors get paid to work on open source. Some run their own consultancies, others tinker for some cash on the side, others work for large companies. That said, we do know it is tricky to introduce cash into the mix of Free and Open Source, but that is why we're working with external organizations with years of collective experience in this kind of thing.

What tax related documentation is required from mentoring organizations?

We will need the following tax related documentation from mentoring organizations or umbrella organizations:

  • For organizations based in the United States, we will need a completed IRS form W9.
  • For organizations based outside the United States, we will need a completed IRS form W8-BEN.

All organizations are paid via purchase order from Google, which will require registering as a vendor in our payments system. Detailed instructions for registering as a vendor and invoicing Google for payment will be sent to the private mentors' mailing list. We will need to have all required documentation on file before issuing payment to a particular mentoring organization.

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