Google Summer of Code 2015, I am a mentor…

As Google required for students, when this program starts they should post blogs every week, but no any requirements for mentors. However, as a GSoC mentor, I want to share what I thinking during this time, and post what I’ve learnt by the end of some mile-stones.

I would like to write some notes and thinking to this blog, but may not so frequency as weekly, maybe monthly or every two weeks. As the language, I prefer English for that, but some reason, I am not good at writing English essay, so that I may post some Chinese blog future.

First time for me

When I graduated from my collage, I’ve heart Google Summer of Code first time, but that time was so rush, and that should be my last time to apply this program as a student. So I missed GSoC when I was a collage student.

So, when I apply to GSoC this year, this should be my first time to attend GSoC !

Last year, I followed with FOSSASIA, attend Google Code-in program, which focuses on encouraging middle school student contributing FOSS projects. By the end of Google code-in, I considered that how about continue follow FOSSASIA to GSoC, cause they already attend GSoC for about four years, so that they have very large number of succeed in this program.

What project I involved?

I submitted a idea at the FOSSASIA Lab, it about what I want to do during this summer. You may curious that why I eager to start this project?

You could find what I focus on recently by looking over my previous article, I am working on promoting XMPP-based instant messaging tools and chat with OTR encrypted messaging via XMPP. But for Beijing GNU/Linux User Group, we want to use a self-hosted chat sever and port encryption on it, especially for people join in easily . So that we do so many research on it, and tried so many projects, finally we find a project named lets-chat, that is a fantastic project. It has a XMPP protocol back-end, and a web clients, further more, it focuses on group chat, same as Slack do.

Unfortunately, lets-chat doesn’t has a support for encryption chat, so we have to port a OTR encryption on it, that’s what this project doing during this GSoC 2015.

How about students?

By the end of March 26th, I received four student’s proposals, two Chinese and others are Indian. After reviewing these four proposals, and make some comments on that, most students are very active with me, make some modification after my suggestion.

Finally, I chose two students for this project, cause they make their best for the project, and make their contribution before this program starts, good communicating with me and other mentors. We discussed more about our project and learning what we want to implement, finding exist FOSS project that we could import in, and built a online platform for our testing.

They are all genius and excellent, that means I have to do more to catch up them 🙂


Sorry for that, I nearly forget organization. FOSSASIA is the fifth time attend Google Summer of Code, there are a large number of success by GSoC and Google Code-in.

When I met Hong Phuc first time at GNOME.Asia 2012, they just finishing a FOSS Game distribution at that year’s GSoC and they managed to make a topic showing that project.

Thanks to Mario and Hong Phuc, they organizing Google Summer of Code events more and more efficiency, more mature and more professional, so that a lot of mentor would like to join in their GSoC and submit lots of ideas.

Besides, FOSSASIA is working on FOSSASIS summit every year, which gathering FOSS contributor and company join in a three days summit. I attend this year’s FOSSASIA in Singapore, in this event, there was so many talks and workshops, more than hundreds speakers and sponsors. That was a awesome experience during this time.

More Challenge…

I was working on Embedded Linux and worked in several training agent as a training mentor and evangelist before, but for this front-end project, I am totally fresh man, it is a big challenge for myself. As a result, I have to do more research on front-end ,JavaScript, Node.js and UI design.

Further more, it is my first time mentoring students out of China via Internet, that would be some problem with timezone – India has two hours later than China, and language – I never mentoring students in English before. But I believe that we could solve these problem by working together tightly!

Why I start mentoring GSoC idea, not because it’s easy, but because it’s hard, because that program will serve to organize and measure the best of my energy and skills, because that challenge is one that I am willing to accept, one I am unwilling to postpone, and one I intend to contribute to FOSS projects…


I suppose FOSSASIA would recive more slots for their Google Summer of Code next year, and make FOSSASIA summit more successful.

For mentoring students, I suggest they could be involved in FOSS project deeply, and make their contribution more and more. If it is available, I would like encourage them join in some FOSS conferences to meet more people and learning more things by traveling to other countries. And for these two girls, I suggest they could involved other program like Outreachy by GNOME Foundation, and Women Who Code, which focusing on encouraging women to FOSS projects.

For me, I would be involved in Google Summer of Code time by time, and as a GNOME Foundation member, I would love to be involved in Outreachy Program as a mentor, mentoring more and more students and girls into FOSS world. And I would love to promoting FOSS in China as usual. By working in Beijing GNU/Linux User Group, Fedora China and GNOME Foundation, I could make my contributions to these projects.

Yes, There’s a road starts under my feet…

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2 Responses

  1. 2016-12-14

    […] 2015, I am a mentor of Google Summer of Code, and mentoring two students for a project that implement a OTR (Off-the-Record) for a web-based IM […]

  2. 2016-12-14

    […] 2015, I am a mentor of Google Summer of Code, and mentoring two students for a project that implement a OTR (Off-the-Record) for a web-based IM […]