The Gnucash mentor students

Gnucash, a free accounting program for Linux, Microsoft Windows, and Apple Macintosh OSX, had its second opportunity to mentor students in the Google Summer of Code program this summer. Two of our three students successfully completed their projects.

Muslim Chochlov wrote unit tests for several critical modules of Gnucash’s core Query Object Framework. This is an important first step to some necessary refactoring of the framework so that Gnucash can move from an in-memory processing model to a transactional database model allowing simultaneous multiple user access.

Nitish Dodagetta extended the experimental Qt GUI “Cutecash” (Gnucash’s primary GUI is Gtk+) by writing a unified accounting transaction entry window. The Gnucash development team is investigating Qt and C++ as a future direction for Gnucash, and this struck a chord for Google Summer of Code students: half of the proposals we received from the student applicants prior to the start of the program were for Cutecash projects.
Overall we were pleased with the progress we made this summer; we found that the successful students leveraged the work of their mentors and moved forward some important aspects of the project. We’re continuing to work with the students this fall, integrating them into the regular development team. Mentoring up-and-coming programmers is very rewarding, and we enjoy encouraging them to use their skills for altruistic goals.

Google Summer of Code & OpenIntents

This year was the first year OpenIntents participated in the Google Summer of Code. We are an open source organization which creates software for Android mobile phones and tablets, with special emphasis on interoperability with other software components.

As an organization we’ve found involvement in the Google Summer of Code extremely rewarding. The students have been able to improve their skills and gain practical experience in the stages of a software project, our organization has benefited from the interest generated from the students’ work, and the wider community will continue to benefit from the code the students have delivered.

We particularly enjoyed the international aspect of the program. All students, mentors, and co-mentors lived in different countries which did not prevent us from having a great time discussing the projects through Skype and live chat sessions. We received a great number of excellent proposals, from which two very different projects were chosen for the program.

Elena Burceanu’s project aimed to enhance the Sensor Simulator. During the first weeks, the GUI was polished, both in appearance and through clever code restructuring. After enhancing the GUI the number of supported sensors was increased and now includes Android sensors for gyroscope and general rotation vector. Finally, a scenario simulator was added, which creates sensor output from a set of initial states and the ability to change the time intervals between them. The sensor’s values are smoothly interpolated between the key frames. The final product was released as version 2.0. The source code and documentation for Elena’s project are now available to view.

Andras Berke’s project consists of a new application called Historify which displays the user’s activities with others over a variety of communication methods (Voice, SMS, Facebook, etc.), and provides a method for third party applications to supply other activity events showing the interoperability of Android applications. During the summer Andras went through the whole application design process from the UI wireframes to a first beta release including documentation along the way. In addition, he provided demo applications to show how third party developers can interact with Historify. You can now view the source code and documentation from Andras’ summer project.

Google Summer of Code Midterms

This week marks the halfway point of Google Summer of Code 2011. Both students and mentors will be submitting their midterm evaluations of one another as indicated in our timeline through Friday, July 15th. If you would like to read more about midterm evaluations, please check out the “How Do Evaluations Work?” link on our FAQ.

The next milestone for the program will be the “pencils down” date of August 15th where students can take a week to scrub their code, write tests, improve calculations, and so forth before the firm end of coding on August 22nd.