[FFmpeg-devel] GSoC 2009: FFmpeg is in

Michael Niedermayer michaelni
Thu Mar 19 16:26:52 CET 2009

On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 12:12:18PM +0100, Diego Biurrun wrote:
> 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.

I dont think this conclusion can be drawn with certainity, there are
at least a few things in this conclusion that you implicate that i think
should be listed explicitly
i mean, it seems rather
1. We want more people to finish
2. Projects failed because tasks are too hard

I think both of these need to be considered more carefully, the evil truth is
we (or at least I) dont care at all how many students finish their project,
what i care about is to maximize the usefull work that is done and here a
unfinished project that can be picked up and finished is
pretty good as well, this should be considered in the listing ...

And then several students simply disappeared with no work done at all
and there where some where i had my doubts about their qualification to
begin with, in summary of point 2 i think even trivial projects will
not have a 100% success rate.

Also, what i would consider VERY important is that instead of doing
arm chair economy estimations we should look look at other FOSS
software that was taking part of SOC and who had simpler projects at
average this should give a clearer view ...

> 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.

Iam not so sure about this, the biggest problem IMHO was that students where
not nearly as qualified, experienced and willing to work as i would have liked
to see, and if iam anywhere close to the truth with this, no change of the
kind of projects will really solve it.
It surely might create the illusion of improvment by simply giving people
tivial tasks but thats not neccessarily improving the overall advancement for

>  I suggest making unfinished projects from
> past SoC events eligible projects this year.

This may be a good idea.

Michael     GnuPG fingerprint: 9FF2128B147EF6730BADF133611EC787040B0FAB

Dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated
form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme liberty. -- Plato
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