Difference between revisions of "Summer of Code - Getting Started"

From Octave
Jump to navigation Jump to search
(→‎Infrastructure: Octave Package management, too ambitious for GSoC, move to Projects.)
(Strip openlibm project)
 
(73 intermediate revisions by 7 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
The following is largely distilled from the [[Projects]] page for the benefit of potential [https://summerofcode.withgoogle.com Google] and [https://socis.esa.int/ ESA] Summer of Code (SoC) students. Although students are welcome to attempt any of the projects in that page or any of their own choosing, here we offer some suggestions on what good student projects might be.
+
{{Note|GNU Octave is a [https://summerofcode.withgoogle.com/programs/2022/organizations/gnu-octave mentoring organization for GSoC 2022].}}
  
You can also take a look at last years [[Summer of Code]] projects for inspiration.
+
Since 2011 the GNU Octave project has successfully mentored:
 +
* [[Summer of Code | '''37 participants''' 🙂]]
 +
* [[Summer of Code | '''39 projects''' 📝]]
 +
in [[Summer of Code]] (SoC) programs by [https://summerofcode.withgoogle.com/ Google] and [https://esa.int/ ESA].
  
= Steps Toward a Successful Application =
+
Those SoC programs aim to advertise open-source software development and to attract potential new Octave developers.
  
==  Help Us Get To Know You ==
+
= Steps toward a successful application =
* If you aren't communicating with us before the application is due, your application will not be accepted.
 
*:* '''Join the [https://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/octave-maintainers maintainers mailing list]''' or read the archives and see what topics we discuss and how the developers interact with each other.
 
*:* '''Hang out in our [https://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=#octave IRC channel]'''. Ask questions, answer questions from users, show us that you are motivated and well-prepared. There will be more applicants than we can effectively mentor, so do ask for feedback on your public application to increase the strength of your proposal!
 
* '''Do not wait for us to tell you what to do'''
 
*: You should be doing something that interests you, and should not need us to tell you what to do.  Similarly, you shouldn't ask us what to do either.
 
*:* When you email the list and mentors, do not write just to say in what project you're interested. Be specific about your questions and clear on the email subject. For example, do not write an email with the subject "GSoC student interested in the ND images projects".  Such email is likely to be ignored.  Instead, show you are already working on the topic, and email "Problem implementing morphological operators with bitpacked ND images".
 
*:* It is good to ask advice on how to solve something you can't, but you must show some work done.  Remember, we are mentors and not your boss.  Read [http://www.catb.org/esr/faqs/smart-questions.html How to ask questions the smart way]: <blockquote>''Prepare your question. Think it through. Hasty-sounding questions get hasty answers, or none at all. The more you do to demonstrate that having put thought and effort into solving your problem before seeking help, the more likely you are to actually get help.''</blockquote>
 
*:* It can be difficult at the beginning to think on something to do.  This is nature of free and open source software development.  You will need to break the mental barrier that prevents you from thinking on what can be done.  Once you do that, you will have no lack of ideas for what to do next.
 
*:* Use Octave.  Eventually you will come across something that does not work the way you like.  Fix that.  Or you will come across a missing function.  Implement it.  It may be a hard problem (they usually are). While solving that problem, you may find other missing capabilities or smaller bug fixes.  Implement and contribute those to Octave.
 
*:* Take a look at the [[Short projects]] for something that may be simple to start with.
 
  
== Find Something That Interests You ==
+
# 😉💬 '''We want to get to know you (before the deadline). Communicate with us.'''
*: It's '''critical''' that you '''find a project that excites you'''You'll be spending most of the summer working on it (we expect you to treat the SoC as a job).
+
#* Join [https://octave.discourse.group/ '''Octave Discourse'''] or [[IRC]]. Using a nickname is fine.
*: Don't just tell us how interested you are, show us that you're willing and able to '''contribute''' to Octave. You can do that by [https://savannah.gnu.org/bugs/?group=octave fixing a few bugs] or [https://savannah.gnu.org/patch/?group=octave submitting patches] well before the deadline, in addition to regularly interacting with Octave maintainers and users on the mailing list and IRC. Our experience shows us that successful SoC students demonstrate their interest early and often.
+
#* Show us that you're motivated to work on Octave 💻There is no need to present an overwhelming CV 🏆; evidence of involvement with Octave is more important.
== Prepare Your Proposal With Us ==
+
#* '''<span style="color:darkblue;">If you never talked to us, we will likely reject your proposal</span>''', even it looks good 🚮
*: By working with us to prepare your proposal, you'll be getting to know us and showing us how you approach problems. The best place for this is your Wiki user page and the [https://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=#octave IRC channel].
+
# 👩‍🔬 '''Get your hands dirty.'''
==  Complete Your Application ==
+
#* We are curious about your programming skills 🚀
*: Fill out our '''''public''''' application template.
+
#** Your application will be much stronger if you [https://savannah.gnu.org/bugs/?group=octave fix Octave bugs] or [https://savannah.gnu.org/patch/?group=octave submit patches] before or during the application period.
*:* This is best done by '''[[Special:CreateAccount|creating an account at this wiki]]''', and copying the '''[[Template:Student_application_template_public|template]]''' from its page.
+
#** You can take a look at the [[short projects]] for some simple bugs to start with.
*:* You really only need to copy and answer the '''''public''''' part there, there is no need to showcase everything else to everybody reading your user page!
+
#* '''Use Octave!'''
*: Fill out our '''''private''''' application template.
+
#** If you come across something that does not work the way you like ➡️ try to fix that 🔧
*:* This is best done by copying the '''[[Template:Student_application_template_private|template]]''' from its page and '''adding the required information to your application at Google (melange)''' or at '''ESA'''.<br>
+
#** Or if you find a missing function ➡️ try to implement it.
*:* Only the organization admin and the possible mentors will see this dataYou can still edit it after submitting, until the deadline!
+
# 📝💡 '''Tell us what you are going to do.'''
 +
#* Do not write just to say what project you're interested in. Be specific about what you are going to do, include links 🔗, show us you know what you are talking about 💡, and ask many [http://www.catb.org/esr/faqs/smart-questions.html smart questions] 🤓
 +
#* Remember, '''we are volunteer developers and not your boss''' 🙂
 +
# 📔 '''Prepare your proposal with us.'''
 +
#* Try to show us as early as possible a draft of your proposal 📑
 +
#* If we see your proposal for the first time after the application deadline, it might easily contain some paragraphs not fully clear to usOngoing interaction will give us more confidence that you are capable of working on your project 🙂👍
 +
#* Then submit the proposal following the applicable rules, e.g. for [https://google.github.io/gsocguides/student/writing-a-proposal GSoC]. 📨
  
== Things You'll be Expected to Know or Quickly Learn On Your Own ==
+
= How do we judge your application? =
  
Octave is mostly written in C++ and its own scripting language that is mostly compatible with Matlab. There are bits and pieces of Fortran, Perl, C, awk, and Unix shell scripts here and there. In addition to being familiar with C++ and Octave's scripting language, successful applicants will be familiar with or able to quickly learn about Octave's infrastructure. You can't spend the whole summer learning how to build Octave or prepare a changeset and still successfully complete your project.
+
Depending on the mentors and SoC program there are varieties, but typically the main factors considered would be:
  
* '''The Build System'''
+
* '''You have demonstrated interest in Octave and an ability to make substantial modifications to Octave'''
*: [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_build_system The GNU build system] is used to build Octave.
+
*: The most important thing is that you've contributed some interesting code samples to judge your skills. It's OK during the application period to ask for help on how to format these code samples, which normally are Mercurial patches.
*: While you generally don't need to understand too much unless you actually want to change how Octave is built, you should be able to understand enough to get a general idea of how to build Octave.
 
*: If you've ever done a {{Codeline|./configure && make && make install}} series of commands, you have already used the GNU build system.
 
*: '''You must demonstrate that you are able to build the development version of Octave from sources before the application deadline.''' Linux is arguably the easiest system to work on. Instructions:
 
*:* [[Building]]
 
*:* [https://octave.org/doc/interpreter/Installation.html Octave Manual on Installing Octave]
 
* '''The Version Control System'''
 
*: We use [https://www.mercurial-scm.org/ Mercurial] (abbreviated hg).
 
*: Mercurial is the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributed_Version_Control_System distributed version control system] (DVCS) we use for managing our source code. You should have some basic understanding of how a DVCS works, but hg is pretty easy to pick up, especially if you already know a VCS like git or svn.
 
* '''The Procedure for Contributing Changesets'''
 
*: You will be expected to follow the same procedures as other contributors and core developers.
 
*: You will be helping current and future Octave developers by using our standard style for changes, commit messages, and so on.  You should also read the same [[Contribution guidelines | contribution]] [https://hg.savannah.gnu.org/hgweb/octave/file/tip/etc/HACKING.md guidelines] we have for everyone.
 
*: [[Hg_instructions_for_mentors#Mercurial_Tips_for_SoC_students | This page]] describes the procedures students are expected to use to publicly display their progress in a public mercurial repo during their work.
 
* '''The Maintainers Mailing List'''
 
*: We primarily use [https://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/octave-maintainers mailing lists] for communication among developers.
 
*: The mailing list is used most often for discussions about non-trivial changes to Octave, or for setting the direction of development.
 
*: You should follow basic mailing list etiquette. For us, this mostly means "do not [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posting_style#Top-posting top post]".
 
* '''The IRC Channel'''
 
*: We also have [http://webchat.freenode.net?channels=octave the #octave IRC channel in Freenode].
 
*: You should be familiar with the IRC channel.  It's very helpful for new contributors (you) to get immediate feedback on ideas and code.
 
*: Unless your primary mentor has a strong preference for some other method of communication, the IRC channel might be your primary means of communicating with your mentor and Octave developers.
 
* '''The Octave Forge Project'''
 
*: [https://octave.sourceforge.io/ Octave Forge] is a collection of contributed packages that enhance the capabilities of core Octave. They are somewhat analogous to Matlab's toolboxes.
 
* '''Related Skills'''
 
*: In addition, you probably should know '''some''' mathematics, engineering, experimental science, or something of the sort.
 
*: If so, you probably have already been exposed to the kinds of problems that Octave is used for.
 
  
== Criteria by which applications are judged ==
+
* '''You showed understanding of your topic'''
 +
*: Your proposal should make it clear that you're reasonably well versed in the subject area and won't need all summer just to read up on it.
  
These might vary somewhat depending on the mentors and coordinators for a particular Summer of Code, but typically the main factors considered would be:
+
* '''Well thought out, adequately detailed, realistic project plan'''
 
+
*: "I'm good at this, so trust me" isn't enough.  In your proposal, you should describe which algorithms you'll use and how you'll integrate with existing Octave code. You should also prepare a project timeline and goals for the midterm and final evaluations.
* '''Applicant has demonstrated an ability to make substantial modifications to Octave'''
 
*: The most important thing is that you've contributed some interesting code samples to judge you by. It's OK during the application period to ask for help on how to format these code samples, which normally are Mercurial patches.
 
  
* '''Applicant shows understanding of topic'''
+
= What you should know about Octave =
*: Your application should make it clear that you're reasonably well versed in the subject area and won't need all summer just to read up on it.
 
  
* '''Applicant shows understanding of and interest in Octave development'''
+
GNU Octave is mostly written in C++ and its own scripting language that is mostly compatible with Matlab. There are bits and pieces of Fortran, Perl, C, awk, and Unix shell scripts here and there. In addition to being familiar with C++ and Octave's scripting language, you as successful applicant will be familiar with or able to quickly learn about Octave's infrastructure. You can't spend the whole summer learning how to build Octave or prepare a changeset and still successfully complete your project 😇
*: The best evidence for this is previous contributions and interactions.
 
  
* '''Well thought out, adequately detailed, realistic project plan'''
+
You should know:
*: "I'm good at this, so trust me" isn't enough. You should describe which algorithms you'll use and how you'll integrate with existing Octave code. You should also prepare a full timeline and goals for the midterm and final evaluations.
+
# How to build Octave from its source code using [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_build_system the GNU build system].
 +
#* Read in this wiki: [[Developer FAQ]], [[Building]]
 +
#* Tools to know: [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Compiler_Collection gcc], [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Make_(software) make]
 +
# How to submit patches (changesets).
 +
#* Read in this wiki: [[Contribution guidelines]], [[Mercurial]]
 +
#* Tools to know: [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercurial Mercurial (hg)], [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Git git]
  
 
= Suggested projects =
 
= Suggested projects =
  
The following projects are broadly grouped by category and probable skills required to tackle each. Remember to check [[Projects]] for more ideas if none of these suit you, and your own ideas are always welcome. You can also look at our [[Summer of Code|completed past projects]] for more inspiration.
+
The following suggested projects are distilled from the [[Projects]] page for the benefit of potential SoC participants. You can also look at our [[Summer of Code|completed past projects]] for more inspiration.
 
 
{{Note|These are suggested projects but you are welcome to propose your own projects provided you find an Octave mentor}}
 
 
 
== Numerical ==
 
 
 
These projects involve implementing certain mathematical functions, primarily in core Octave.
 
 
 
=== ode15{i,s} : Matlab Compatible DAE solvers ===
 
 
 
An initial implementation of a Matlab compatible ode15{i,s} solver,
 
based on [http://computation.llnl.gov/projects/sundials SUNDIALS],
 
was done by Francesco Faccio during
 
GSOC 2016.
 
The blog describing the work is [http://gsoc2016ode15s.blogspot.it/ here].
 
The resulting code has been pushed into the main Octave repository in the development branch and
 
consists mainly of the following three files
 
[https://hg.savannah.gnu.org/hgweb/octave/file/tip/libinterp/dldfcn/__ode15__.cc __ode15__.cc],
 
[https://hg.savannah.gnu.org/hgweb/octave/file/tip/scripts/ode/ode15i.m ode15i.m] and
 
[https://hg.savannah.gnu.org/hgweb/octave/file/tip/scripts/ode/ode15s.m ode15s.m].
 
The list of outstanding tracker tickets concerning this implementation can be found
 
[https://savannah.gnu.org/search/?Search=Search&words=ode15&type_of_search=bugs&only_group_id=1925&exact=1&max_rows=25#options here]
 
 
 
Possible useful improvements that could be done in a new project include:
 
  
* Implement a better function for selecting consistent initial conditions compatible with Matlab's decic.m. The algorithm to use is described [http://faculty.smu.edu/shampine/cic.pdf here]
+
{{Note|Do you use Octave at your working place or university? Do you have some numerical project in mind?  You are always welcome to '''propose your own projects'''. If you are passionate about your project, it will be easy to find an Octave developer to mentor and guide you.}}
  
* make ode15{i,s} work with datatypes other than double
+
== ode15{i,s} : Matlab Compatible DAE solvers ==
  
* improve interpolation at intermediate time steps.
+
An initial implementation of Matlab compatible Differential Algebraic Equations (DAE) solvers, {{manual|ode15i}} and {{manual|ode15s}}, based on [https://computing.llnl.gov/projects/sundials SUNDIALS],
 +
was done by [https://gsoc2016ode15s.blogspot.com/ Francesco Faccio during GSoC 2016].  The code is maintained in the main Octave repository and consists mainly of the following three files: [https://hg.savannah.gnu.org/hgweb/octave/file/tip/libinterp/dldfcn/__ode15__.cc {{path|libinterp/dldfcn/__ode15__.cc}}], [https://hg.savannah.gnu.org/hgweb/octave/file/tip/scripts/ode/ode15i.m {{path|scripts/ode/ode15i.m}}] and [https://hg.savannah.gnu.org/hgweb/octave/file/tip/scripts/ode/ode15s.m {{path|scripts/ode/ode15s.m}}].
  
* general code profiling and optimization
+
The {{manual|decic}} function for selecting consistent initial conditions for ode15i can be made more Matlab compatible by using [http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/JNMA.2002.291 another algorithm].  Another useful extension is to make ode15{i,s} work with datatypes other than double and to improve interpolation at intermediate time steps.
  
Other tasks, not strictly connected to ode15{i,s} but closely related, that could be added
+
* '''Project size''' [[#Project sizes | [?]]] and '''Difficulty'''
to a possible project plan would be improving documentation and tests in odepkg and removing
+
: ~350 hours (medium)
overlaps with the documentation in core Octave.
 
 
 
* '''Required skills'''
 
* '''Required skills'''
: C++; C; familiarity with numerical methods for DAEs; Basic knowledge of makefiles and/or autotools.
+
: Octave, C/C++; familiarity with numerical methods for DAEs
* '''Difficulty'''
 
: Medium.
 
 
* '''Potential mentors'''
 
* '''Potential mentors'''
: Francesco Faccio, Carlo de Falco, Marco Caliari, Jacopo Corno, Sebastian Schöps
+
: Francesco Faccio, [https://octave.discourse.group/u/cdf Carlo de Falco], [https://octave.discourse.group/u/marco_caliari Marco Caliari], Jacopo Corno, [https://octave.discourse.group/u/schoeps Sebastian Schöps]
 
 
== Adding functionality to packages ==
 
 
 
  
=== EPA hydrology software suite ===
+
== Symbolic package ==
Create native interfaces to the EPA software suites.
 
  
Starting points
+
The [[Symbolic package]] provides symbolic computing and other [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_algebra_system computer algebra system] tools. The main component of Symbolic is a pure m-file class "@sym" which uses the Python package [https://www.sympy.org SymPy] to do (most of) the actual computations. The package aims to expose much of the functionality of SymPy while also providing a high level of compatibility with the Matlab Symbolic Math Toolbox.  The Symbolic package requires communication between Octave and Python.  In 2016 another GSoC project successfully re-implemented this communication using the new [[Pythonic|Pythonic package]].
* [https://forja.cica.es/projects/epanet-octave/ epanet-octave].
 
* [https://github.com/OpenWaterAnalytics/ Open Water Analytics]
 
  
* '''SWMM'''
+
This project proposes to take this work further while also improving the long-term viability of the Symbolic package.  Some goals include:
** [https://www.epa.gov/water-research/storm-water-management-model-swmm Official page]
+
* the possibility of using Pythonic directly rather than as one possible communication layer.  For example, we might make "@sym" a subclass of "@pyobject".  We also could stop using the "pycall_sympy__" interface and use Pythonic directly from methods.  Note: there are open questions about how to do this during a transition time when we still support other IPC mechanisms.
** Check work done in [https://github.com/water-systems/MatSWMM MatSWMM] [http://digital.csic.es/bitstream/10261/132982/1/MatSWMM.pdf article]
+
* exposing more functionality of SymPy with ''less glue'' in between. For example, we could allow OO-style method calls such as <code>f.diff(x)</code> as well as <code>diff(f, x)</code>.
 +
* Improvements to the Pythonic package and its long-term maintenance.
 +
* fixing up Symbolic to work with the latest releases of SymPy and Octave.  The project has lagged for a few years and needs some efforts to port to recent and upcoming changes in SymPy code.
 +
* making Symbolic easier to maintain. The project currently has a low ''bus factor'': improving the CI, making regular releases easier, improving other aspects of maintenance and making the project more welcoming to newcomers.
  
* '''EPANET'''
+
Working on this project involves and interesting and challenging mix of m-file code, Python code, and in the case of Pythonic, perhaps some lower-level C code.
** [https://www.epa.gov/water-research/epanet Official page]
 
  
 +
* '''Project size''' [[#Project sizes | [?]]] and '''Difficulty'''
 +
: ~350 hours (medium)
 
* '''Required skills'''
 
* '''Required skills'''
: m-file scripting, C, C++, API knowledge, file I/O, classdef (optional).
+
: Octave, C/C++, Python; object-oriented programming (OOP) in Octave
 +
* '''Potential mentors'''
 +
: [https://octave.discourse.group/u/cbm Colin B. Macdonald], [https://octave.discourse.group/u/mtmiller Mike Miller], Abhinav Tripathi
  
* '''Difficulty'''
+
== Improve TIFF image support ==
: easy/medium
 
  
* '''Mentor'''
+
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TIFF Tag Image File Format (TIFF)] is the de facto standard for scientific images.  Octave uses the [http://www.graphicsmagick.org/ GraphicsMagic] (GM) C++ library to handle [http://www.graphicsmagick.org/formats.html TIFF and many others image formats]. However, GM still has several limitations:
: [[User:KaKiLa|KaKiLa]]
 
  
=== FullSWOF overland flow simulator ===
+
* GM has build option {{codeline|quantum}} which defines the bitdepth to use when reading an image:
Create scripting tools for (optional: native interfaces).
+
** Building GM with '''high quantum''' means that images of smaller bitdepth will take a lot more memory when reading.
 +
** Building GM with '''low quantum''' will make it impossible to read images of higher bitdepth. It also means that the image needs to always be rescaled to the correct range.
 +
* GM supports unsigned integers only, thus incorrectly reading files such as TIFF with floating-point data.
 +
* GM hides details of the image such as whether the image file is indexed. This makes it hard to access the real data stored on file.
  
Starting points
+
This project aims to implement better TIFF image support using [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libtiff libtiff], while leaving GM handle all other image formats. After writing a [https://octave.org/doc/v6.1.0/classdef-Classes.html classdef] interface to libtiff, improve the Octave functions {{manual|imread}}, {{manual|imwrite}}, and {{manual|imfinfo}} to make use of it.
* [https://www.idpoisson.fr/fullswof/ The FullSWOF Project].
 
* [https://arxiv.org/abs/1204.3210 FullSWOF: A software for overland flow simulation]
 
* [https://bitbucket.org/binello7/fswof2d Initial work on Bitbucket]
 
  
 +
* '''Project size''' [[#Project sizes | [?]]] and '''Difficulty'''
 +
: ~175 hours (medium)
 
* '''Required skills'''
 
* '''Required skills'''
: m-file scripting, C, C++, API knowledge, file I/O, classdef (optional).
+
: Octave, C/C++
 
+
* '''Potential mentors'''
* '''Difficulty'''
+
: [https://octave.discourse.group/u/carandraug Carnë Draug]
: easy/medium
 
 
 
* '''Mentor'''
 
: [[User:KaKiLa|KaKiLa]]
 
  
=== TISEAN package ===
+
== PolarAxes and Plotting Improvements ==
  
[http://www.mpipks-dresden.mpg.de/~tisean/Tisean_3.0.1/index.html TISEAN] is a suite of code for nonlinear time series analysis. It has been [[TISEAN package | partially re-implemented]] as libre software. The objective is to integrate TISEAN as an Octave Forge package, as was done for the Control package.
+
Octave currently provides supports for polar axes by using a Cartesian 2-D axes and adding a significant number of properties and callback listeners to get things to work. What is needed is the implementation of a dedicated "polaraxes" object in C++. This will require creating a new fundamental graphics object type, and programming in C++/OpenGL to render the object. When "polaraxes" exists as an object type, then m-files will be written to access them, including polaraxes.m, polarplot.m, rticks.m, rticklabels.m, thetaticks, thetaticklabels.m, rlim.m, thetalim.m. This relates to bug {{bug|49804}}.
[[TISEAN_package | A lot has been completed]] but [[TISEAN_package:Procedure | there is still work left to do]].
 
 
 
There are missing functions to do computations on spike trains, to simulate autoregresive models, to create specialized plots, etc. Do check [[TISEAN_package:Procedure#Table_of_functions|the progress of the project]] to see if you are interested.
 
 
* [http://octave.sourceforge.net/tisean/overview.html Package help at source forge.]
 
* [https://sourceforge.net/p/octave/tisean/ci/default/tree/ Package repository at source forge.]
 
  
 +
* '''Project size''' [[#Project sizes | [?]]] and '''Difficulty'''
 +
: ~350 hours (medium)
 
* '''Required skills'''
 
* '''Required skills'''
: m-file scripting, C, C++, and FORTRAN API knowledge.
+
: Octave, C/C++; optional experience with OpenGL programming
* '''Difficulty'''
+
* '''Potential mentors'''
: easy/medium
+
: [https://octave.discourse.group/u/rik Rik]
* '''Mentor'''
 
: [[User:KaKiLa|KaKiLa]]
 
  
=== Symbolic package ===
+
== Table datatype ==
  
Octave's [https://github.com/cbm755/octsympy Symbolic package] provides symbolic computing and other [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_algebra_system computer algebra system] tools.  The main component of Symbolic is a pure m-file class "@sym" which uses the Python package [https://www.sympy.org SymPy] to do (most of) the actual computations.  The package aims to expose the full functionality of SymPy while also providing a high level of compatibility with the Matlab Symbolic Math Toolbox.  The Symbolic package requires communication between Octave and Python.  A GSoC2016 project successfully re-implemented this communication using the new [[Pythonic|Pythonic package]].
+
In 2013, Matlab introduced a [https://www.mathworks.com/help/matlab/tables.html new table datatype] to conveniently organize and access data in tabular form.  This datatype has not been introduced to Octave yet (see bug {{bug|44571}}).  However, there are two initial implementation approaches https://github.com/apjanke/octave-tablicious and https://github.com/gnu-octave/table.
  
This project proposes to go further: instead of using Pythonic only for the communication layer, we'll use it throughout the Symbolic project.  For example, we might make "@sym" a subclass of "@pyobject". We also could stop using the "python_cmd" interface and use Pythonic directly from methods. The main goal was already mentioned: to expose the *full functionality* of SymPy. For example, we would allow OO-style method calls such as "f.diff(x)" instead of "diff(f, x)".
+
Based upon the existing approaches, the goal of this project is to define an initial subset of [https://www.mathworks.com/help/matlab/tables.htmlMatlab's table functions], which involve sorting, splitting, merging, and file I/O and implement it within the given time frame.
  
 +
* '''Project size''' [[#Project sizes | [?]]] and '''Difficulty'''
 +
: ~350 hours (hard)
 
* '''Required skills'''
 
* '''Required skills'''
: OO-programming with m-files, Python, and possibly C/C++ for improving Pythonic (if needed).
+
: Octave, C/C++
* '''Difficulty'''
+
* '''Potential mentors'''
: easy/medium
+
: [https://octave.discourse.group/u/siko1056 Kai] [https://octave.discourse.group/u/Abdallah_Elshamy Abdallah]
* '''Mentors and/or other team members'''
 
: Colin B. Macdonald, Mike Miller, Abhinav Tripathi
 
  
=== OCS ===
+
== YAML encoding/decoding ==
  
[[Ocs package | OCS]] is a circuit simulator for Octave. The objective of this project is to update the code to use modern features of Octave (e.g. classdef), [https://savannah.gnu.org/search/?Search=Search&words=%28ocs%29&type_of_search=bugs&only_group_id=1925&exact=1&max_rows=25#options fix open bugs], increase compatibility with SPICE and improve compatibility with other Octave packages (odepkg, control etc).
+
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YAML YAML], is a very common human readable and structured data format.  Unfortunately, GNU Octave (and Matlab) still lacks of builtin support of that omnipresent data format.  Having YAML support, Octave can easily read and write config files, which often use YAML or JSONThe latter JSON format has been [[Summer of Code#GSoC_2020 | successfully implemented for Octave during GSoC 2020]].
   
 
* [http://octave.sourceforge.net/ocs/overview.html Package help at source forge.]
 
  
* '''Required skills'''
+
The goal of this project is to repeat the GSoC 2020 success story with [https://github.com/biojppm/rapidyaml Rapid YAML] or another fast C/C++ library.
: m-file scripting, C, C++, and FORTRAN API knowledge.  
 
* '''Difficulty'''
 
: easy/medium
 
* '''Mentor'''
 
: Sebastian Schöps, Carlo de Falco
 
  
== Infrastructure ==
+
The first step is research about existing Octave/Matlab and C/C++ implementations, for example:
  
=== Using Python within Octave ===
+
* https://code.google.com/archive/p/yamlmatlab/ (uses Java)
 +
* http://vision.is.tohoku.ac.jp/~kyamagu/ja/software/yaml/ (uses Java)
  
[[Pythonic]] allows one to call Python functions and interact with Python objects from within Octave .m file code and from the Octave command line interfacePythonic may eventually not be a separate package, but rather a core feature of Octave.  This project aims to improve Pythonic with the goal of making the package more stable, maintainable, and full-featured.
+
Then evaluate (and to cherry pick from) existing implementations above, compare strength and weaknessesAfter this, an Octave package containing en- and decoding functions (for example <code>yamlencode</code> and <code>yamldecode</code>) shall be created.  This involves proper documentation of the work and unit tests to ensure the correctness of the implementation.
  
Based on a previous summer project related to Pythonic, this work will consist of fast-paced collaborative software development based on tackling the [https://gitlab.com/mtmiller/octave-pythonic/issues Pythonic issue list]You would also be expected to participate in software design decisions and discussion, as well as improve documentation, doctests, and unit tests. As an example of the sorts of decisions being made, note that Octave indexes from 1 whereas Python typically indexes from 0; in which cases is it appropriate to make this transparent to the user?
+
Finally, the package is considered to be merged into core Octave, probably after the GSoC projectHowever, it can be used immediately from Octave as package and is backwards-compatible with older Octave versions.
  
* '''Mentors'''
+
* '''Project size''' [[#Project sizes | [?]]] and '''Difficulty'''
: Mike Miller, Colin B. Macdonald, Abhinav Tripathi, others?
+
: ~175 hours (easy)
 
+
* '''Required skills'''
== Image Analysis ==
+
: Octave, C/C++
 
+
* '''Potential mentors'''
=== Improvements to N-dimensional image processing ===
+
: [https://octave.discourse.group/u/siko1056 Kai], [https://octave.discourse.group/u/Abdallah_Elshamy Abdallah]
  
The image package has partial functionality for N-dimensional images. These images exist for example in medical imaging where slices from scans are assembled to form anatomical 3D images. If taken over time and at different laser wavelengths or light filters, they can also result in 5D images. Albeit less common, images with even more dimensions also exist. However, their existence is irrelevant since most of the image processing operations are mathematical operations which are independent of the number of dimensions.
+
== TISEAN package ==
  
As part of GSoC 2013, the core functions for image IO, {{codeline|imwrite}} and {{codeline|imread}}, were extended to better support this type of images. Likewise, many functions in the image package, mostly morphology operators, were expanded to deal with this type of image. Since then, many other functions have been improved, sometimes completely rewritten, to abstract from the number of dimensions. In a certain way, supporting ND images is also related to choosing good algorithms since such images tend to be quite large.
+
The [[TISEAN package]] provides an Octave interface to [https://www.pks.mpg.de/~tisean/Tisean_3.0.1/index.html TISEAN] is a suite of code for nonlinear time series analysis. In 2015, another GSoC project started with the work to create interfaces to many TISEAN functions, but [[TISEAN_package:Procedure | there is still work left to do]]. There are missing functions to do computations on spike trains, to simulate autoregresive models, to create specialized plots, etc.  These are of importance for many scientific disciplines involving statistical computations and signal processing.
 
 
This project will build on the previous work, and be mentored by the previous GSoC student and current image package maintainer. Planning the project requires selection of functions lacking ND support and identifying their dependencies. For example, supporting {{codeline|imclose}} and {{codeline|imopen}} was better implemented by supporting {{codeline|imerode}} and {{codeline|imdilate}} which then propagated ND support to all of its dependencies. These dependencies need to be discovered first since often they are not being used yet, and may even be missing functions. This project can also be about implementing functions that have [[Image package#Missing functions | not yet been implemented]]. Also note that while some functions in the image package will accept ND images as input, they are actually not correctly implemented and will give incorrect results.
 
  
 +
* '''Project size''' [[#Project sizes | [?]]] and '''Difficulty'''
 +
: ~350 hours (medium)
 
* '''Required skills'''
 
* '''Required skills'''
: m-file scripting, and a fair amount of C++ since a lot of image analysis cannot be vectorized. Familiarity with common computer science algorithms and willingness to read literature describing new algorithms will be useful.
+
: Octave, C/C++; FORTRAN API knowledge
* '''Difficulty'''
+
* '''Potential mentors'''
: Difficult.
+
: [https://octave.discourse.group/u/kakila KaKiLa]
* '''Potential mentor'''
 
: Carnë Draug
 
 
 
=== Improve Octave's image IO ===
 
 
 
There are a lot of image formats. Octave uses [http://www.graphicsmagick.org/ GraphicsMagic] (GM), a library capable of handling [http://www.graphicsmagick.org/formats.html a lot of them] in a single C++ interface. However, GraphicsMagick still has its limitations. The most important are:
 
  
* GM has build option {{codeline|quantum}} which defines the bitdepth to use when reading an image. Building GM with high quantum means that images of smaller bitdepth will take a lot more memory when reading, but building it too low will make it impossible to read images of higher bitdepth. It also means that the image needs to always be rescaled to the correct range.
+
= Project sizes =
* GM supports unsigned integers only, thus incorrectly reading files such as TIFF with floating point data
 
* GM hides details of the image such as whether the image file is indexed.  This makes it hard to access the real data stored on file.
 
  
This project would implement better image IO for scientific file formats while leaving GM handle the others. Since TIFF is the de facto standard for scientific images, this should be done first. Among the targets for the project are:
+
Since GSoC 2022 there exist two project sizes<ref>https://groups.google.com/g/google-summer-of-code-announce/c/_ekorpcglB8</ref><ref>https://google.github.io/gsocguides/mentor/defining-a-project-ideas-list</ref>:
 
+
* '''~175 hours''' (~12 weeks, Jun 13 - Sept 12)
* implement the Tiff class, which is a wrapper around libtiff, using classdef. To avoid creating too many private __oct functions, this project could also create a C++ interface to declare new Octave classdef functions.
+
* '''~350 hours''' (~22 weeks, Jun 13 - Nov 21)
* improve imread, imwrite, and imfinfo for tiff files using the newly created Tiff class
 
* port bioformats into Octave and prepare a package for it
 
* investigate other image IO libraries
 
* clean up and finish the dicom package to include into Octave core
 
* prepare a Matlab-compatible implementation of the FITS package for inclusion in Octave core
 
 
 
* '''Required skills'''
 
: Knowledge of C++ and C, since most libraries are written in those languages.
 
* '''Difficulty'''
 
: Medium.
 
* '''Potential mentor'''
 
: Carnë Draug
 
  
== Graphics ==
+
= Footnotes =
  
=== PolarAxes and Plotting Improvements ===
+
<references />
  
Octave currently provides supports for polar axes by using a Cartesian 2-D axes and adding a significant number of properties and callback listeners to get things to work.  What is needed is the implementation of a dedicated "polaraxes" object in C++.  This will require creating a new fundamental graphics object type, and programming in C++/OpenGL to render the object.  When "polaraxes" exists as an object type, then m-files will be written to access them, including polaraxes.m, polarplot.m, rticks.m, rticklabels.m, thetaticks, thetaticklabels.m, rlim.m, thetalim.m.  This relates to {{bug|35565}}, {{bug|49804}}, {{bug|52643}}.
+
= See also =
  
* '''Minimum requirements'''
+
* https://summerofcode.withgoogle.com/
: Ability to read and write C++ code. Ability to read and write Octave code.  Experience with OpenGL programming is optional.
+
* [https://google.github.io/gsocguides/student/ GSoC Student Guide]
* '''Difficulty'''
+
* [https://google.github.io/gsocguides/mentor/ GSoC Mentor Guide]
: Medium.
+
* [https://developers.google.com/open-source/gsoc/timeline GSoC Timeline]
* '''Mentor'''
 
: Rik
 
  
<noinclude>
 
 
[[Category:Summer of Code]]
 
[[Category:Summer of Code]]
 
[[Category:Project Ideas]]
 
[[Category:Project Ideas]]
</noinclude>
 

Latest revision as of 13:18, 25 August 2022

Info icon.svg

Since 2011 the GNU Octave project has successfully mentored:

in Summer of Code (SoC) programs by Google and ESA.

Those SoC programs aim to advertise open-source software development and to attract potential new Octave developers.

Steps toward a successful application[edit]

  1. 😉💬 We want to get to know you (before the deadline). Communicate with us.
    • Join Octave Discourse or IRC. Using a nickname is fine.
    • Show us that you're motivated to work on Octave 💻. There is no need to present an overwhelming CV 🏆; evidence of involvement with Octave is more important.
    • If you never talked to us, we will likely reject your proposal, even it looks good 🚮
  2. 👩‍🔬 Get your hands dirty.
    • We are curious about your programming skills 🚀
    • Use Octave!
      • If you come across something that does not work the way you like ➡️ try to fix that 🔧
      • Or if you find a missing function ➡️ try to implement it.
  3. 📝💡 Tell us what you are going to do.
    • Do not write just to say what project you're interested in. Be specific about what you are going to do, include links 🔗, show us you know what you are talking about 💡, and ask many smart questions 🤓
    • Remember, we are volunteer developers and not your boss 🙂
  4. 📔 Prepare your proposal with us.
    • Try to show us as early as possible a draft of your proposal 📑
    • If we see your proposal for the first time after the application deadline, it might easily contain some paragraphs not fully clear to us. Ongoing interaction will give us more confidence that you are capable of working on your project 🙂👍
    • Then submit the proposal following the applicable rules, e.g. for GSoC. 📨

How do we judge your application?[edit]

Depending on the mentors and SoC program there are varieties, but typically the main factors considered would be:

  • You have demonstrated interest in Octave and an ability to make substantial modifications to Octave
    The most important thing is that you've contributed some interesting code samples to judge your skills. It's OK during the application period to ask for help on how to format these code samples, which normally are Mercurial patches.
  • You showed understanding of your topic
    Your proposal should make it clear that you're reasonably well versed in the subject area and won't need all summer just to read up on it.
  • Well thought out, adequately detailed, realistic project plan
    "I'm good at this, so trust me" isn't enough. In your proposal, you should describe which algorithms you'll use and how you'll integrate with existing Octave code. You should also prepare a project timeline and goals for the midterm and final evaluations.

What you should know about Octave[edit]

GNU Octave is mostly written in C++ and its own scripting language that is mostly compatible with Matlab. There are bits and pieces of Fortran, Perl, C, awk, and Unix shell scripts here and there. In addition to being familiar with C++ and Octave's scripting language, you as successful applicant will be familiar with or able to quickly learn about Octave's infrastructure. You can't spend the whole summer learning how to build Octave or prepare a changeset and still successfully complete your project 😇

You should know:

  1. How to build Octave from its source code using the GNU build system.
  2. How to submit patches (changesets).

Suggested projects[edit]

The following suggested projects are distilled from the Projects page for the benefit of potential SoC participants. You can also look at our completed past projects for more inspiration.

Info icon.svg
Do you use Octave at your working place or university? Do you have some numerical project in mind? You are always welcome to propose your own projects. If you are passionate about your project, it will be easy to find an Octave developer to mentor and guide you.

ode15{i,s} : Matlab Compatible DAE solvers[edit]

An initial implementation of Matlab compatible Differential Algebraic Equations (DAE) solvers, ode15i and ode15s, based on SUNDIALS, was done by Francesco Faccio during GSoC 2016. The code is maintained in the main Octave repository and consists mainly of the following three files: libinterp/dldfcn/__ode15__.cc, scripts/ode/ode15i.m and scripts/ode/ode15s.m.

The decic function for selecting consistent initial conditions for ode15i can be made more Matlab compatible by using another algorithm. Another useful extension is to make ode15{i,s} work with datatypes other than double and to improve interpolation at intermediate time steps.

  • Project size [?] and Difficulty
~350 hours (medium)
  • Required skills
Octave, C/C++; familiarity with numerical methods for DAEs
  • Potential mentors
Francesco Faccio, Carlo de Falco, Marco Caliari, Jacopo Corno, Sebastian Schöps

Symbolic package[edit]

The Symbolic package provides symbolic computing and other computer algebra system tools. The main component of Symbolic is a pure m-file class "@sym" which uses the Python package SymPy to do (most of) the actual computations. The package aims to expose much of the functionality of SymPy while also providing a high level of compatibility with the Matlab Symbolic Math Toolbox. The Symbolic package requires communication between Octave and Python. In 2016 another GSoC project successfully re-implemented this communication using the new Pythonic package.

This project proposes to take this work further while also improving the long-term viability of the Symbolic package. Some goals include:

  • the possibility of using Pythonic directly rather than as one possible communication layer. For example, we might make "@sym" a subclass of "@pyobject". We also could stop using the "pycall_sympy__" interface and use Pythonic directly from methods. Note: there are open questions about how to do this during a transition time when we still support other IPC mechanisms.
  • exposing more functionality of SymPy with less glue in between. For example, we could allow OO-style method calls such as f.diff(x) as well as diff(f, x).
  • Improvements to the Pythonic package and its long-term maintenance.
  • fixing up Symbolic to work with the latest releases of SymPy and Octave. The project has lagged for a few years and needs some efforts to port to recent and upcoming changes in SymPy code.
  • making Symbolic easier to maintain. The project currently has a low bus factor: improving the CI, making regular releases easier, improving other aspects of maintenance and making the project more welcoming to newcomers.

Working on this project involves and interesting and challenging mix of m-file code, Python code, and in the case of Pythonic, perhaps some lower-level C code.

  • Project size [?] and Difficulty
~350 hours (medium)
  • Required skills
Octave, C/C++, Python; object-oriented programming (OOP) in Octave
  • Potential mentors
Colin B. Macdonald, Mike Miller, Abhinav Tripathi

Improve TIFF image support[edit]

Tag Image File Format (TIFF) is the de facto standard for scientific images. Octave uses the GraphicsMagic (GM) C++ library to handle TIFF and many others image formats. However, GM still has several limitations:

  • GM has build option quantum which defines the bitdepth to use when reading an image:
    • Building GM with high quantum means that images of smaller bitdepth will take a lot more memory when reading.
    • Building GM with low quantum will make it impossible to read images of higher bitdepth. It also means that the image needs to always be rescaled to the correct range.
  • GM supports unsigned integers only, thus incorrectly reading files such as TIFF with floating-point data.
  • GM hides details of the image such as whether the image file is indexed. This makes it hard to access the real data stored on file.

This project aims to implement better TIFF image support using libtiff, while leaving GM handle all other image formats. After writing a classdef interface to libtiff, improve the Octave functions imread, imwrite, and imfinfo to make use of it.

  • Project size [?] and Difficulty
~175 hours (medium)
  • Required skills
Octave, C/C++
  • Potential mentors
Carnë Draug

PolarAxes and Plotting Improvements[edit]

Octave currently provides supports for polar axes by using a Cartesian 2-D axes and adding a significant number of properties and callback listeners to get things to work. What is needed is the implementation of a dedicated "polaraxes" object in C++. This will require creating a new fundamental graphics object type, and programming in C++/OpenGL to render the object. When "polaraxes" exists as an object type, then m-files will be written to access them, including polaraxes.m, polarplot.m, rticks.m, rticklabels.m, thetaticks, thetaticklabels.m, rlim.m, thetalim.m. This relates to bug #49804.

  • Project size [?] and Difficulty
~350 hours (medium)
  • Required skills
Octave, C/C++; optional experience with OpenGL programming
  • Potential mentors
Rik

Table datatype[edit]

In 2013, Matlab introduced a new table datatype to conveniently organize and access data in tabular form. This datatype has not been introduced to Octave yet (see bug #44571). However, there are two initial implementation approaches https://github.com/apjanke/octave-tablicious and https://github.com/gnu-octave/table.

Based upon the existing approaches, the goal of this project is to define an initial subset of table functions, which involve sorting, splitting, merging, and file I/O and implement it within the given time frame.

  • Project size [?] and Difficulty
~350 hours (hard)
  • Required skills
Octave, C/C++
  • Potential mentors
Kai Abdallah

YAML encoding/decoding[edit]

YAML, is a very common human readable and structured data format. Unfortunately, GNU Octave (and Matlab) still lacks of builtin support of that omnipresent data format. Having YAML support, Octave can easily read and write config files, which often use YAML or JSON. The latter JSON format has been successfully implemented for Octave during GSoC 2020.

The goal of this project is to repeat the GSoC 2020 success story with Rapid YAML or another fast C/C++ library.

The first step is research about existing Octave/Matlab and C/C++ implementations, for example:

Then evaluate (and to cherry pick from) existing implementations above, compare strength and weaknesses. After this, an Octave package containing en- and decoding functions (for example yamlencode and yamldecode) shall be created. This involves proper documentation of the work and unit tests to ensure the correctness of the implementation.

Finally, the package is considered to be merged into core Octave, probably after the GSoC project. However, it can be used immediately from Octave as package and is backwards-compatible with older Octave versions.

  • Project size [?] and Difficulty
~175 hours (easy)
  • Required skills
Octave, C/C++
  • Potential mentors
Kai, Abdallah

TISEAN package[edit]

The TISEAN package provides an Octave interface to TISEAN is a suite of code for nonlinear time series analysis. In 2015, another GSoC project started with the work to create interfaces to many TISEAN functions, but there is still work left to do. There are missing functions to do computations on spike trains, to simulate autoregresive models, to create specialized plots, etc. These are of importance for many scientific disciplines involving statistical computations and signal processing.

  • Project size [?] and Difficulty
~350 hours (medium)
  • Required skills
Octave, C/C++; FORTRAN API knowledge
  • Potential mentors
KaKiLa

Project sizes[edit]

Since GSoC 2022 there exist two project sizes[1][2]:

  • ~175 hours (~12 weeks, Jun 13 - Sept 12)
  • ~350 hours (~22 weeks, Jun 13 - Nov 21)

Footnotes[edit]

See also[edit]