Monday, April 21, 2008

Google Summer of Code, Pidgin, and Announcing Vulture

Well, as probably everyone reading this blog knows, yesterday was the day that accepted students were announced for the Google Summer of Code. I think I can safely say that for the most part we Pidgin developers are happy with the results. That said, I do wish we could have accepted two students who did not make the final six.

One of those two students applied for the native Windows user interface project. The student in question was actually our top-ranked Windows UI application, and was going to be accepted until we yielded to another organization when a conflict arose. He has been very good about all this and wants to work on his Windows UI project anyway, once the Summer of Code is complete. To that end, I have set up a project called Vulture (in keeping with the bird theme for libpurple UI's--Pidgin, Finch, Adium, Instantbird). I've also created a basic svn repository for the project, done because Trac integration with monotone really sucks at present. If it turns out that monotone would actually be more useful, we can always use tailor to convert later.

Since the student will be participating in another organization's Summer of Code, at the moment I'm basically flying solo, but I do welcome any help others can provide, as I'm not a Windows developer. I can dabble in a bit here and there, but I'm far from well-enough versed to be an effective developer on this project. I will do what I can, but it's always been my intention to be involved in a support capacity and also to help shape the progress of the application (in so much as the active developers are willing to put up with me and consider my opinions). I would, of course, also act as a representative within the Pidgin project to help ensure that any needs Vulture may have of libpurple are met as best they can be.

It's my hope that the buzz Summer of Code created around the native Windows user interface project remains and attracts people to actually work with us to produce a .NET libpurple client that can really fit the needs of Windows users better than Pidgin can. It's also my hope that it can be done while remaining as similar to Pidgin as possible. I think that these two hopes are completely compatible and doable--Pidgin represents a pretty reasonable UI as it stands. There are, of course, a few points of pretty hot contention, but we can deal with that in Vulture by developer consensus at first, and let user input shape the decisions beyond that if we want.

So, happy Summer of Code to our accepted students, and for anyone who cares to join us at Vulture, feel free to drop us a line! :)