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Eclipse and Google Summer of Code 2008

It’s that time of year again… when you get to mentor and work with students trying to hack Eclipse in interesting ways! Hello, Eclipse Google Summer of Code 2008 (GSOC)!

After drinking a lot of Belgian beer and some Dogfish Head last night… I posted a few of my ideas that I’m willing to help mentor some students on:

  • PDE Ménage à trois: Scala and Java
    • Crazy people are starting to experiment with developing bundles in languages other than Java. PDE is inherently tied to Java as the language for bundle authorship… let’s make PDE have a menage trois with Scala and Java by supporting tooling to author bundles in Scala.
  • AIM Provider for ECF
    • The Eclipse Communications Framework is all about various protocols/providers and freeing people from protocol-lockin. Last year we had an MSN messaging implementation for ECF… how about AIM this year?
  • DITA or DocBook Content Producer
    • The way we handle documentation in the Eclipse SDK makes me crazy. Hand-crafted HTML is so 90’s… we might as well write man pages by hand…. The Eclipse Help System has an extension point to plug in help content producers… let’s make one for DITA or Docbook or both 😉
  • GraphicsZilla
    • Ever wonder where icons or graphics come from Eclipse? Noone knows… how about making the process of graphic and icon creation as transparent as the code we write for Eclipse? See this blog post and bug for more information.
  • Bundles in a Web Browser
    • Eclipse (Equinox) runs everywhere these days… cell phones… desktops… PDAS… servers… embedded devices… how about getting bundles working in a browser? This proposal is being left open-ended for a purpose. I’d like to see a student figure out how to get Eclipse plug-ins (bundles) installed into a browser like Firefox and then somehow expose working with them via some API… maybe XPCOM or Javascript. That’s all… use your imagination ;P

I guess those are the ideas you get after too much Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA:

If you’re an Eclipse project and interested in mentoring… please post your project ideas here. If you’re a student looking to be mentored or have some cool project ideas… please put your name here. I can’t stress how important it is to participate in GSOC… you meet interesting people, get quality contributions and an opportunity to spread the Eclipse love. For the past two years, I’ve mentored Ian Bull (Plug-in Visualization) and Remy Suen (BitTorrent ECF Provider) who have turned into fantastic Eclipse committers and community members. Heck, Remy will probably be mentoring a project this year!

All it takes is a little patience and time on the behalf of committers… so why not list some ideas that have been brewing in your head and see where things go from there?