The contest formally known as GHOP is going to run again this fall, and we need your help.
Yes, you. YOU, over there in the corner. Stop avoiding this post!
GHOP, for those of you who don't remember or weren't around 2 years ago, was the very successful pilot sister program to the Google Summer of Code that involved 13+ yro students from countries around the world (excepting only the Axis of Evil) in open source work. Nearly 400 students (!) participated and there was much rejoicing. (Summary post here, and all of my blog posts on Python's GHOP here.)
The good news was that GHOP was a big success from the perspective of many people: unlike the GSoC, which requires a substantial time investment from the mentor, and is only intended for coding work, GHOP involved byte-sized chunks of work in all areas (docs, testing, etc.) and rewarded both students and mentors for even a little bit of participation. In a signal of GHOP's success, by the end of the contest coming up with new Python-based tasks was easy -- people were literally throwing them at me, because they saw the rate at which existing tasks were being completed! I know that GvR was happy with the doc patches that made it into Python, and Andre Roberge gives GHOPpers a fair bit of credit for their contributions to Crunchy; there are a number of other success stories, too, including when Kumar told me that a task was too big and open-ended and then a 13 year old took the task and aced it, proving that I am not always wrong to ignore Kumar.
The bad news was that running GHOP was an immense amount of work, largely because of a lousy infrastructure -- Google Code isn't intended for this kind of thing, but we had to use something Google-hosted because it was a contest.
So what did Google do? They created the Melange project to help provide infrastructure for the GSoC and the GHOP both. It was used for the GSoC this last summer, and despite its rough edges, it worked out quite well.
Now Google is running GHOP again, and they're aiming to start December 7th. Unfortunately, in order to make that happen, they need a LOT of help on Melange.
Where do YOU come in?
Well, presumably you're a Python coder. You may be an expert in testing. You might be a Django nutcase. You're probably a Web developer (and odds are you've written your own Web framework, too, but never mind).
And guess what Melange is written in?
That's right, the best language on Earth (or at least a reasonable facsimile of it) -- Python.
You already know the language.
You already know how to use it in anger, to make the computer do your bidding.
Why not put your skillz to use?
I will be hitting up specific people and specific lists once we know when the IRC meeting to discuss Melange development is. Why not save yourself the aggravation of feeling guilt when you get my e-mail in a few days, and just sign up the Melange dev list right now?
Seriously, GHOP was awesome last time and we got a lot done for quite a few different Python projects. This time, we're older, more experienced, and better prepared to take advantage of GHOP. Join us, and you will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine!
You can find a list of areas where Melange devs feel they need help right here. I look forward to seeing YOU working on them!
Posted by Titus Brown on 2009-09-12 at 10:50.
IRC meeting on 18th of September 18:00 UTC on #melange, it turns out!