[FFmpeg-devel] [RFC] SOCIS 2012

Clément Bœsch ubitux at gmail.com
Sun Jul 8 20:07:19 CEST 2012

On Sun, Jul 08, 2012 at 07:29:42PM +0200, Stefano Sabatini wrote:
> On date Friday 2012-07-06 00:24:45 +0200, Stefano Sabatini encoded:
> > On date Friday 2012-06-29 12:43:00 +0200, Stefano Sabatini encoded:
> > > On date Friday 2012-06-29 12:37:47 +0200, Michael Niedermayer encoded:
> > > > On Fri, Jun 29, 2012 at 11:21:39AM +0200, Stefano Sabatini wrote:
> > > > [...]
> > > > > Since the time is short we need to provide a list of candidate tasks
> > > > 
> > > > what is "short" when are the deadlines?
> > > 
> > > About two weeks since now:
> > > http://sophia.estec.esa.int/socis2012/timeline
> > 
> > I created the SOCIS 2012 page on the wiki with a libavfilter task
> > mentored by me:
> > http://wiki.multimedia.cx/index.php?title=FFmpeg_Summer_Of_Code_In_Space_2012
> > 
> > To all interested candidate mentors and backup mentors:
> > update the page with your proposal(s) as soon as possible, or add your
> > name as backup mentor, ask a wiki account to Mike Melanson in case you
> > don't have one already.
> > 
> > I'll act as default backup mentor for all the tasks which have no
> > backup mentor. A backup project admin seems like a good idea
> > (Michael?).
> > 
> > I plan to send the application a few days before the deadline (15/07
> > 11pm UTC), I'll send the application text for review on this list
> > during the weekend.
> > 
> > In case we have more candidates than allocated tasks, I'll discuss the
> > proposed tasks with the SOCIS admin and we'll select the one more
> > suited to the ESA/SOCIS objectives, assuming all the candidate
> > students seem equally qualified.
> Hi, in attachment the text that I'll use for the application, based on
> socis2011/gsoc2012 application text.
> Feel free to comment, grammar nazi remarks are welcome.
> Also, *in case you want to mentor the project please update the ideas
> page here as soon as possible*:
> http://wiki.multimedia.cx/index.php?title=FFmpeg_Summer_Of_Code_In_Space_2012
> -- 
> FFmpeg = Funny and Fancy Mastodontic Pacific Ecletic Generator

> * Project description (mandatory) - Describe in a few word your
>   open-source project, why you would like to participate to SOCIS and
>   what you hope to gain by participating.
> FFmpeg is a complete, cross-platform solution to record, convert
> and stream audio and video. It includes libavcodec - a leading
> audio/video codec library.

Maybe you could mention filtering as well

> FFmpeg is one of the most ubiquitous multimedia frameworks in the FLOSS
> world, is used as the multimedia engine for a significant part of
> multimedia applications, and provides the backend of possibly most
> Internet-based multimedia transcoding services.
> FFmpeg strives at being the *universal* multimedia tool, implementing
> all possible multimedia formats (even the most oscure fringe formats),


> and at being *complete*, providing full fledged support for all
> multimedia operations, relying on external projects when it makes
> sense.
> * Space relevance (mandatory): Describe your project's connection with
>   space activities.
> Communication is a key aspect in space programs, being able to
> communicate effectively and reliably, even in extreme conditions, is a
> fundamental prerequisite for mission critical tasks.
> FFmpeg is highly focused on providing the most possible reliable
> and robust multimedia support, and a special emphasis is given on
> optimizations issues, making it especially suited for computing
> environments with strict memory and power requirements.
> By participating to SOCIS, FFmpeg may extend its capabilities and
> focus even more on robustness/reliability features making it the ideal
> candidate for multimedia/communication tasks related to
> mission-critical space missions.
> In addition to this, the use of multimedia to demonstrate the work of
> ESA and other space organizations to the public is also of increasing
> importance. Free tools like FFmpeg allow space organisations to create
> multimedia at a low cost and distribute content on a wide range of
> platforms.

You may want to add that improving FFmpeg means improving the large panel
of applications using it.

> * SOCIS ideas page (mandatory): Address of the webpage describing your
>   project's development ideas for the SOCIS program
> http://wiki.multimedia.cx/index.php?title=FFmpeg_Summer_Of_Code_In_Space_2012
> * Criteria for selecting mentors (mandatory): Describe here how your
>   organization is planning to select and recruit the mentors for the
>   various projects proposed.
> Mentors will be selected on the base of availability and
> qualification. Mentors propose themselves based on their expertise in
> the domain area for the mentored tasks, and on their skill to deal
> with students/people.
> Mentors are usually veteran developers who delivered significant
> contributions to the project and who deeply know the community and the
> project itself. On the other hand there is no need for the
> self-elected mentor to be a member of the FFmpeg community, provided
> that he/she can prove sufficient technical knowledge for the task that
> wishes to mentor.
> * Disappearing mentor (mandatory): What is your plan for dealing with
>   a disappearing mentor?
> We'll try to assign a backup mentor for each task. The SOCIS admin
> will take the responsibility to act as backup mentor in case the
> appointed mentor will disappear during the project.
> Finally, we rely on the developers community to help the student to
> reach the task accomplishment, in addition to the help provided by the
> appointed mentor.

Since students will be urged to join irc, they will likely get help from a
few other developers, even if the mentor is not available.

> We will also assign a designated backup administrator, which will act as
> administrator in case the primary administrator will disapper or will


> be impossibilitated to follow the project, for whatever reasons.

"impossibilitated" looks like a new invented word to me.

> * Disappearing student (mandatory): What is your plan for dealing with
>   a disappearing student?
> We will try to keep scheduled contact with students during
> qualification tasks to make sure they are reliable before they are
> accepted. Also we'll make sure that we have different ways to reach
> out each student.  We'll also arrange to have periodical reports from
> students in order to track their progress.

That last sentence looks a bit "weak" to me; it's like "we are going to
try". I think asking the student to show publicly his progression
regularly is a good way to make him feel responsible, and prevent a few
random quits.

> In case of a disappearing student, we'll try to get in communication
> with him/her using all the possible channels at our disposal, and in
> case the student can't be reached within a reasonable amount of time,
> we'll declare his/her task failed.
> * Interaction with students during and after the program (mandatory)
> We'll encourage the students to idle on IRC and we'll request them to
> read and possibly participate to discussions on the main development
> mailing-list. On the other hand we'll let the students choose the
> communication means which better suit them (email, chat, direct voice
> call or whatever, public or private communication as agreed with the
> mentor).
> We will also try to create a friendly environment where the students
> can freely partecipate and where they can find support from the


> community. In order to avoid misunderstandings and miscommunication
> with the overall community we'll rely on personal comunication between


> student and mentor in order to make the student aware of the "culture"
> and of the community implicit rules.
> We hope the students will stay around after the task termination on
> the ground that they will feel comfortable into the project and will
> have genuine interest in continuing their effort with it.

Thank you,

Clément B.
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