[FFmpeg-devel] [RFC] SOCIS 2012

Michael Bradshaw mbradshaw at sorensonmedia.com
Mon Jul 9 01:46:36 CEST 2012

*Disclaimer*: There are a few differences in punctuation and grammar
rules between British and American English (particularly between ','
and ';'). Seeing as SOCIS is for the European Space Agency, I'm not
100% sure if British or American rules will be followed in this. I'm
going to comment assuming American rules.

>* 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.
>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 back-end of possibly most
>Internet-based multimedia transcoding services.
>FFmpeg strives at being the *universal* multimedia tool, implementing
>all possible multimedia formats (even the most obscure fringe formats),
>and at being *complete*, providing full fledged support for all
>multimedia operations, relying on external projects when it makes
>* Space relevance (mandatory): Describe your project's connection with
>  space activities.
>Communication is a key aspect in space programs, being able to

comma should be a semi colon.

>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

*the most reliable and robust multimedia support possible

>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

feel free to put a comma between "featuers" and "making"

>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 organizations to create
>multimedia at a low cost and distribute content on a wide range of
>Improving FFmpeg means also improving the large panel of applications

*also means

>using it, and the overall FLOSS multimedia ecosystem.
>* SOCIS ideas page (mandatory): Address of the webpage describing your
>  project's development ideas for the SOCIS program
>* 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

no comma needed

>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.

*that he/she wishes

>* Disappearing mentor (mandatory): What is your plan for dealing with
>  a disappearing mentor?
>We'll try to assign a backup mentor to 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

"reach the task accomplishment" sounds funny. Maybe "accomplish the
given task" or "assist the student to reach completion of the given
task" (or something along those lines)? Reach and accomplishment don't
really go together grammatically.

>appointed mentor.
>Since students will be urged to join irc, they will likely get help

should there be a blank line between these two paragraphs?

>from a few other developers, even if the mentor is not available.

maybe say "the other developers" as opposed to "a few other developers"?
>We will also assign a designated backup administrator, which will act as
>administrator in case the primary administrator will disappear or will
>be unable to follow the project, for whatever reasons.

no comma necessary

>* 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 urge the student to provide periodical

I'm not sure exactly what was meant by "reach out each student." Was
it "reach out to each student" or "reach each student?"

>reports in order to track their progress.
>In case of a disappearing student, we'll try to get in communication

"get in communication" sounds funny (it's more idiomatic to say "get
in touch"). I'd say "get in touch" or "communicate" or something.

>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 recommend students to idle on IRC and we'll request them to read
>and possibly participate to discussions on the main development

*in discussions

>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
>We will also try to create a friendly environment where the students
>can freely participate 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 communication 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

*comfortable with

>have genuine interest in continuing their effort with it.

Side note: I don't know what space agencies use when archiving
multimedia (or how much of their multimedia is archived vs how much
raw data is archived), but it may be worth mentioning at some point

Thanks for putting this together!


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