Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit, 2010

Oct 26 2010

For the second year I was given the opportunity to represent Drupal at the Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit. The primary purpose of the Mentor Summit is to bring together the projects that participated in GSOC, and provide a forum for discussions.

While there, I learned about what other CMS systems are up to and how other Open Source projects were working with Git and DVCS systems. Here are some of the highlights. <!--break--> As with years past, many of the sessions at the GSOC unconference were focused on making Summer of Code students and projects successful. Not all of the sessions were about the mechanics of GSOC, though. Some sessions introduced projects or project technologies. houndbee, for example, introduced Drupal's Aegir Project. Others brought together groups of related projects and provided an open forum. Ingo Rennder or Typo 3 hosted a CMS Summit which brought together Midgard, Drupal, Typo3, GeekLog, Wordpress, Sakai, and others. During that session, we talked about everything from frameworks to testing practices to NoSQL to the relative benefits of different programming languages.

Perhaps the most popular topic (in my hearing, at least) was migrating version control systems. Very clearly, CVS and Subversion are on their way out for many projects. Git and Mercurial seem to be the popular alternatives. I had the opportunity a few times to talk with Magnus and others from the PostgreSQL Project, which has recently finished their CVS-to-Git migration. Given Drupal's impending migration, it was good to hear about how they overcame both technical and human obstacles in their migration.

Other Mentor Summit Highlights

  • Henri Bergius walked me through the code for Midgard's amazing next version. While there are many interesting things coming out of this project (including their use of Vala-to-C-to-Pecl bindings for native interfaces), I think the most impressive item to me is their new pure PHP HTTP server targeted toward developers.
  • Ingo and Karsten showed me Typo3's next generation FLOW3 Framework, a promising MVC stack with a very interesting Aspect Oriented system. The new template system looks very cool, too.
  • Scott from GitHub gave me an insider's perspective on various Git and GitHub features. I learned a ton, and feel like I will be better able to make use of GitHub. I told him about how eabrand and I used GitHub for successfully completing our GSOC project.
  • Patch reviewing is a hot topic both for GSOC and for standard project development. GitHub's new pull request and patch commenting system provides one version of this. A Google engineer (I'm sorry... I've forgotten your name!) demonstrated Gerrit, a tool many FOSS projects are using to build patch queues. Of all the brand-new tools I saw at the Summit, this was my favorite.

Google hosted dinner two evenings. During these I met dozens of people from all around the globe, and learned about many very interesting Open Source projects. As always, Google is a fantastic host, and I really enjoyed the opportunity to represent Drupal to the larger Open Source community.