[FFmpeg-devel] GSoC 2009: FFmpeg is in

Diego Biurrun diego
Thu Mar 19 12:12:18 CET 2009

On Wed, Mar 18, 2009 at 08:11:07PM -0700, Mike Melanson wrote:
> I would like to point out that we don't have a whole lot of mentors or 
> projects signed up right now. If you have a good idea for a project, 
> please make it known on the wiki. If you are willing to mentor for it, 
> even better.

During the 3 years that we have participated in SoC, 21 projects were
worked on by students, but only 6 were finished in time:

 VC-1 Decoder        (Kostya)
 RealVideo 4 Decoder (Kostya)
 Matroska Muxer      (David Conrad)
 Nellymoser Encoder  (Bartolomiej Wolowiec)
 ALAC Encoder        (Jai Menon)
 MXF Muxer           (Zhentan Feng)

Kostya was already an experienced dev with plenty of implemented codecs
under his belt when he worked on SoC and even there it is debatable if
the RV40 decoder was really finished.  Bartolomiej had participated in
SoC the year before and not finished E-AC-3 then.

So in conclusion we can say that our SoC projects are too hard.
Especially when the task is implementing decoders, apparently.

Qualification tasks did improve the situation somewhat.  The students
that did them performed better than those during the first year.
Nonetheless most of them did not reach the end goal, i.e. seeing their
code in SVN.

Something needs to change.  I suggest making unfinished projects from
past SoC events eligible projects this year.

Google's guidelines explicitly state that projects can be repeated.
The goal of SoC is to teach students how to work in a FOSS context.
This can be accomplished perfectly by picking up abandoned projects.
Furthermore it teaches the students to work their way through somebody
else's code, a skill no taught at universities, but much more important
than writing code from the ground up in most jobs.

FFmpeg would also profit from this.  We have had too much half-finished
code languishing in the SoC repo for far too long.  Especially glaring
examples are AAC and AMR.  I'm under the impression that they might have
been finished much earlier if they had not been blocked by their
inclusion in SoC.

Big tasks that never reach mainline do not improve FFmpeg.  Smaller tasks
that reach mainline do.


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