For the 8th Friday this summer we're highlighting organizations participating in their first Google Summer of Code. The organization administrators and mentors from Catroid, Komodo OpenLab, and the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility (INCF) are featured today to give more information on their projects and discuss some of the tasks their students have been working on all summer.
By Stephanie Taylor, Open Source Programs
Catroid is an on-device Lego-style graphical programming language for Android devices. Besides empowering children to easily develop their own games and animations using only their smartphones, Catroid fosters the sharing and remixing of these games and animations under a free and open source license through Catroid’s community website.
For Google Summer of Code we have 4 students: Roman Mauhart is working on making our community website multilingual, Alex Nicoara is implementing a program which allows building stand-alone Android apps out of Catroid projects, David Reisenberger is improving the usability of the Catroid IDE for children, and Manuel Zoderer is extending Catroid to let kids control external hardware via Bluetooth through an Arduino board.
We are excited and grateful for Google’s support and believe Catroid will have significant impact by spreading programming skills and understanding of free open source software among the children of the world!
By Wolfgang Slany, Catroid Organization Administrator
Komodo OpenLab is a “not-just-for-profit” organization that develops and commercializes open and inclusive technologies that facilitate the daily lives of people with disabilities. This is our first year as a mentoring organization in Google Summer of Code and we are working on two projects developed in collaboration with the Inclusive Design Research Centre. The first, Tekla, is a collection of mobile open source and open hardware applications that may be used to enable access to, and extend the functionality of, mobile devices for people with motor impairments. And the second, tagin!, is an open source location tagging engine that may be used to create indoor, location-based services and applications (think indoor GPS).
From the moment these projects were published on the Google Summer of Code website, we were overwhelmed by the amazing quality of the applications we received from students. Choosing the right students for each project has definitely been the most challenging part of the program for us and they have all been doing an excellent job. Here is a sneak peek of what they have been working on:
• Rishabh from India has been systematically coding different approaches to solve a problem that keeps preventing our target users (people with mobility impairments) from being able to access some parts of the Android operating system using the Tekla App. He will soon move into the implementation of a 3rd-party framework that any Android developer will be able to use to make their apps accessible through direct access to the Tekla Shield, an open hardware Bluetooth interface that provides remote control of Android devices by means of the adapted interfaces people with mobility impairments are already familiar with.
• Sara from the USA has done outstanding work coding a 3D tag cloud for tagin! which will act as a demo app showcasing the new tagin! SDK and its ability to retrieve location-based information indoors, in real time, and completely offline. Sara has not only created top quality code, but has also provided us with very comprehensive and detailed documentation, which will make it extremely easy for us to include her work into the first release of the engine scheduled for mid-September.
• Primal from India, a rising star in stackoverflow and hacker extraordinaire, has been almost single-handedly re-writing the entire tagin! engine and SDK complete with benchmarking tools and API. His work will be instrumental in allowing Android developers (and later iPhone developers) to create location-based applications that work indoors.
So, as you can probably tell, we could not be more pleased with the work of these fine students. We hope to contribute to the success of the Google Summer of Code and we can’t wait to continue mentoring these and other top-notch students for many years to come!
By Mauricio Meza, Komodo OpenLab Organization Administrator
The International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility (INCF) was established through the Global Science Forum of the OECD to help meet the challenge facing the neuroscience research community: how to collect, integrate and model the rapidly growing collections of diverse types of data from different experiments in order to produce new insights about brain function and disease. INCF coordinates the development of an international collaborative cyberinfrastructure for neuroinformatics, which will facilitate the acquisition and annotation of diverse datasets to achieve multiscale and multiomic neuroscience data integration – from genes to behavior. We bring together the world’s leading scientists to solve challenges in standardization and interoperability, within the framework of our Scientific Programs.These are just a few of the 50 new organizations participating in Google Summer of Code this year. For a complete list of the 175 organizations participating in the Google Summer of Code visit our program site. Please check back next Friday when we feature still more new organizations.
We are a first-year participant in the Google Summer of Code, but the researchers in our scientific community nonetheless managed to generate a large number of interesting and challenging project proposals. Our two Google Summer of Code students are working on tools that will benefit the scientific community and help make new neuroscience research and analysis possible. One of our students is developing a web-based data analysis tool for multi-channel time series data, and the other is working on a build platform and continuous integration infrastructure to improve the accessibility and quality of neuroinformatics code.
By Malin Sandström, PhD, INCF Scientific Communication and Public Relations Officer
By Stephanie Taylor, Open Source Programs