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

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Since 2011 the GNU Octave project has mentored 38 students in [[Summer of Code]] (SoC) programs by [https://summerofcode.withgoogle.com/ Google] and [https://socis.esa.int/ ESA]. Those programs aim to populate open-source software development and to attract potential new Octave developers.
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{{Note|GNU Octave is a [https://summerofcode.withgoogle.com/programs/2022/organizations/gnu-octave mentoring organization for GSoC 2022].}}
  
= Steps Toward a Successful Application =
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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].
  
# We want to get to know you.  Communicate with us 😉💬
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Those SoC programs aim to advertise open-source software development and to attract potential new Octave developers.
#* Join [https://octave.discourse.group/ '''Octave Discourse'''] or our [https://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=#octave '''IRC channel''']
+
 
#* We are interested in you as motivated developer 💻  There is no need to present an overwhelming CV with prestigious universities 🏰 and programming contest awards 🏆 in it.  We are very fine if you just communicate using a nickname with us.  
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= Steps toward a successful application =
#* If your first question is "Hi I'm new to Octave. What should I do?" '''you are out''' 🤦
+
 
#* '''Remember, we are mentors and not your boss 🙂'''
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# 😉💬 '''We want to get to know you (before the deadline).  Communicate with us.'''
# Tell us what you are going to do 📝💡
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#* Join [https://octave.discourse.group/ '''Octave Discourse'''] or [[IRC]]. Using a nickname is fine.
#* When you contact us for the first time, do not write just to say in what project you're interested in.  Be specific about what you are going to do, post many links 🔗, show us you know what you are talking about 💡, and ask many [http://www.catb.org/esr/faqs/smart-questions.html smart questions] 🤓
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#* 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.
# Get your hands dirty 👩‍🔬
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#* '''<span style="color:darkblue;">If you never talked to us, we will likely reject your proposal</span>''', even it looks good 🚮
#* We are curious about your programming skills ⌨️
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# 👩‍🔬 '''Get your hands dirty.'''
#** Try to [https://savannah.gnu.org/bugs/?group=octave fix Octave bugs] or [https://savannah.gnu.org/patch/?group=octave submit patches] '''before''' the end of the application deadline.
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#* We are curious about your programming skills 🚀
#** Take a look at the [[Short projects]] for simple bugs to start with.
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#** 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.
 +
#** You can take a look at the [[short projects]] for some simple bugs to start with.
 
#* '''Use Octave!'''
 
#* '''Use Octave!'''
 
#** If you come across something that does not work the way you like ➡️ try to fix that 🔧
 
#** If you come across something that does not work the way you like ➡️ try to fix that 🔧
#** Or you come across a missing function ➡️ try to implement it.
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#** Or if you find a missing function ➡️ try to implement it.
# Prepare your proposal with us 📔
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# 📝💡 '''Tell us what you are going to do.'''
#* By working with us to prepare your proposal, you'll be getting to know us and showing us how you approach problems.
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#* 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] 🤓
==  Complete Your Application ==
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#* Remember, '''we are volunteer developers and not your boss''' 🙂
*: Fill out our '''''public''''' application template.
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# 📔 '''Prepare your proposal with us.'''
*:* 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.
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#* Try to show us as early as possible a draft of your proposal 📑
*:* 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!
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#* 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 🙂👍
*: Fill out our '''''private''''' application template.
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#* Then submit the proposal following the applicable rules, e.g. for [https://google.github.io/gsocguides/student/writing-a-proposal GSoC]. 📨
*:* 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>
 
*:* Only the organization admin and the possible mentors will see this data. You can still edit it after submitting, until the deadline!
 
  
== Things You'll be Expected to Know or Quickly Learn On Your Own ==
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= 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.
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Depending on the mentors and SoC program there are varieties, but typically the main factors considered would be:
  
* '''The Build System'''
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* '''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'''
+
= What you should know about 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'''
+
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 😇
*: 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'''
+
You should know:
*: The best evidence for this is previous contributions and interactions.
+
# 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]]
* '''Well thought out, adequately detailed, realistic project plan'''
+
#* Tools to know: [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Compiler_Collection gcc], [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Make_(software) make]
*: "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 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 suggested projects are distilled from the [[Projects]] page for the benefit of potential SoC students.  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|Do you use Octave at your university or 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.}}
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{{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.}}
  
 
== ode15{i,s} : Matlab Compatible DAE solvers ==
 
== ode15{i,s} : Matlab Compatible DAE solvers ==
  
An initial implementation of a Matlab compatible ode15{i,s} solver,
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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],  
based on [http://computation.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}}].
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]
 
 
 
* make ode15{i,s} work with datatypes other than double
 
 
 
* improve interpolation at intermediate time steps.
 
  
* 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]
 +
 
 +
== Symbolic package ==
  
== Using Python within Octave ==
+
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]].
  
[[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 OctaveThis project aims to improve Pythonic with the goal of making the package more stable, maintainable, and full-featured.
+
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 methodsNote: 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 betweenFor 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.
  
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?
+
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.
  
* '''Mentors'''
+
* '''Project size''' [[#Project sizes | [?]]] and '''Difficulty'''
: Mike Miller, Colin B. Macdonald, Abhinav Tripathi, others?
+
: ~350 hours (medium)
 +
* '''Required skills'''
 +
: 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
  
 
== Improve TIFF image support ==
 
== Improve TIFF image support ==
Line 137: Line 106:
 
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.
 
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.
  
 +
* '''Project size''' [[#Project sizes | [?]]] and '''Difficulty'''
 +
: ~175 hours (medium)
 
* '''Required skills'''
 
* '''Required skills'''
: Knowledge of Octave, C++ and C.
+
: Octave, C/C++
* '''Difficulty'''
+
* '''Potential mentors'''
: Medium.
+
: [https://octave.discourse.group/u/carandraug Carnë Draug]
* '''Potential mentor'''
 
: Carnë Draug
 
  
 
== PolarAxes and Plotting Improvements ==
 
== PolarAxes and Plotting Improvements ==
Line 148: Line 117:
 
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}}.
 
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}}.
  
* '''Minimum requirements'''
+
* '''Project size''' [[#Project sizes | [?]]] and '''Difficulty'''
: Ability to read and write C++ code.  Ability to read and write Octave code.  Experience with OpenGL programming is optional.
+
: ~350 hours (medium)
* '''Difficulty'''
+
* '''Required skills'''
: Medium.
+
: Octave, C/C++; optional experience with OpenGL programming
* '''Mentor'''
+
* '''Potential mentors'''
: Rik  
+
: [https://octave.discourse.group/u/rik Rik]
 +
 
 +
== Table datatype ==
 +
 
 +
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.
  
== Adding functionality to packages ==
+
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.
  
=== TISEAN package ===
+
* '''Project size''' [[#Project sizes | [?]]] and '''Difficulty'''
 +
: ~350 hours (hard)
 +
* '''Required skills'''
 +
: Octave, C/C++
 +
* '''Potential mentors'''
 +
: [https://octave.discourse.group/u/siko1056 Kai] [https://octave.discourse.group/u/Abdallah_Elshamy Abdallah]
  
[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.
+
== YAML encoding/decoding ==
[[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.
+
[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 JSON. The latter JSON format has been [[Summer of Code#GSoC_2020 | successfully implemented for Octave during GSoC 2020]].
 
* [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.]
 
  
* '''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'''
+
The first step is research about existing Octave/Matlab and C/C++ implementations, for example:
: easy/medium
 
* '''Mentor'''
 
: [[User:KaKiLa|KaKiLa]]
 
  
=== Symbolic package ===
+
* https://code.google.com/archive/p/yamlmatlab/ (uses Java)
 +
* http://vision.is.tohoku.ac.jp/~kyamagu/ja/software/yaml/ (uses Java)
  
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] toolsThe 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]].
+
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 <code>yamlencode</code> and <code>yamldecode</code>) shall be createdThis involves proper documentation of the work and unit tests to ensure the correctness of the implementation.
  
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)".
+
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''' [[#Project sizes | [?]]] and '''Difficulty'''
 +
: ~175 hours (easy)
 
* '''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 ===
+
== TISEAN package ==
  
[[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).
+
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.
 
* [http://octave.sourceforge.net/ocs/overview.html Package help 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++; FORTRAN API knowledge
* '''Difficulty'''
+
* '''Potential mentors'''
: easy/medium
+
: [https://octave.discourse.group/u/kakila KaKiLa]
* '''Mentor'''
+
 
: Sebastian Schöps, Carlo de Falco
+
= Project sizes =
 +
 
 +
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)
 +
* '''~350 hours''' (~22 weeks, Jun 13 - Nov 21)
 +
 
 +
= Footnotes =
 +
 
 +
<references />
 +
 
 +
= See also =
 +
 
 +
* https://summerofcode.withgoogle.com/
 +
* [https://google.github.io/gsocguides/student/ GSoC Student Guide]
 +
* [https://google.github.io/gsocguides/mentor/ GSoC Mentor Guide]
 +
* [https://developers.google.com/open-source/gsoc/timeline GSoC Timeline]
  
 
[[Category:Summer of Code]]
 
[[Category:Summer of Code]]
 
[[Category:Project Ideas]]
 
[[Category:Project Ideas]]

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]