GSOC Idiosyncracies

Well the last week is not looking the best for me. Over the past few days I heard some weird bad news that made me feel a bit apprehensive about the whole idea of Google Summer of Code. I am not writing a crib post because it does not look likely that my proposals will make it through but what amazes me is the manner which defines the ousting.

I applied for a proposal for GNUnet under the GNU project. Although I am not supposed to know but everyone ultimately gets some feedback from the mentors. Accordingly, I found out that I was consistently between 1st and 3rd rank. The whole scenario changed on 14th April, when my mentor who had taken ownership for my proposal told me that there is one more application for GNUnet and that the other person was a complete newbie so had got higher weightage. True, I had been working for GNUnet over the past 2 months but how does that make me ineligible? I got the answer saying that I would contribute to the project anyways and the other person would not. So the mentors downgraded my proposal to 12th rank. He could have kept it at 9 since GNU looked like getting 8 slots but now with an extension of 2 slots too, I am basically out. He killed my chances instead of diminishing them. With due respect, he told me tried his best to get my proposal for a second slot as 8 GNU subprojects are selected and 2 look like getting a second slot. Apparently, he is now pissed off that the slots are likely going to wget and grub because of the merit of the project( read as the popularity of projects) and some other finer nuances which are not nice to list rather than on the merit of the proposal, but even then how does that matter. I know GSoc is about getting new contributors but is it for people who are looking for some quick money and then running off. I can see huge vacant chinks in the Gsoc armoury. Another observation I made is that some mentors are overenthusiastic to see their mentees make it while some are detached. Looks like a huge slice of luck is also involved in this case.

I had another brush of problems for my proposal under Debian too. I proposed a project under Lintian for Debian for which I have been doing some patch work for some time. It seemed that my Debian proposal was not getting ranked sufficiently as it did not seem interesting to mentors. Also I was told, I might have lesser chances for the same shitty reason that I was already working on it and it would be nice to get some nice new people in. There also seemed a problem that potentially attractive proposals were getting ranked by mentors. Somehow the whole experience has left a bad taste.

I know some people might think I am shouting out here, but at the same time I am thankful to a lot of people who ranked and gave me great reviews on my proposals. In the end some stupidity and weird reasoning looks like standing like a block. If this is a beacon for the future people might stop contributing in the future to particular project in the hope that they might make it to GSoc.

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