I am very proud to annouce that I have been accepted into Google's Summer of Code program — again! During Summer 2005 I developed an efficient, memory-based file system for the NetBSD operating system, baptized tmpfs. I must confess that I enjoyed very much hacking the NetBSD kernel and also learned a lot about file systems.

So this year I was eager to repeat the experience by taking part in SoC again. In order to ensure my participation, I thoroughly prepared three applications for three different projects. I had a hard time making the choices because there were tons of interesting projects (which could have taught me very different skills), but at last decided for the following:
  • Application 1: Add complete NetBSD support to GRUB 2. I chose this project because I knew I could do it, but mostly because I wanted to ensure that GRUB 2 had first-class support for BSD operating systems. GRUB currently lacks features to correctly boot these, which is a nuisance. After sending the application, I was quickly contacted by a GRUB developer telling me that there was another student willing to work on this project, and that he did not knew what to do. I offered to leave my spot to the other developer, hoping to capture another potential NetBSD hacker.
  • Application 2: Develop a process management library for Boost. This is something I have had in mind since February 2005, when I first discovered Boost. I was planning to do this as my final computer science degree next Spring, but applied for it now so that I could free myself from this idea. (I have other projects in mind that are currently blocked by the lack of Boost.Process.)
  • Application 3: Improve NetBSD's regression testing framework. After looking at the list of suggested projects for NetBSD and evaluating them, I felt that working on this area could have been very useful for the project, improving its overall quality; I like and enjoy writing software that is able to test itself as much as possible.
The decision between the Boost and NetBSD projects was quite hard to make, so I opted to send both in and let luck decide. Strictly speaking, I stated in my applications that I preferred to do the Boost project for several reasons and I guess Google made their choice based on that. But do not get me wrong: I enjoyed very much the time I spent hacking NetBSD, and I hope to continue doing so in the near future.

Summarizing: I will be developing the Boost.Process library this summer! See the links above for more some information: the wiki page holds some ideas about its design and the application lists my reasons to want to work on this.

I now feel sorry for not "being able" to work on NetBSD's regression testing framework. I do not know if anybody else has been picked to work on it, but if not, this project seems doomed... It was choosen past year but the student abandoned it half-way. This year it was also choosen by NetBSD but Google preferred me to work on Boost. However... while writing the application, my interest in this project raised, which means that I may retake it in the future if nobody else does; maybe as my CS final degree project? :-)

Now... stay tuned for further news on Boost.Process!

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