Since 2006, Moodle HQ developers have mentored aspiring open source contributors through the Google Summer of Code program. This year, four Moodle staff guided students from Sri Lanka, Canada, India and Romania on valuable open source projects.
Google’s Summer of Code (GSoC) is a global program focused on bringing more student developers into open source software development. Students apply to work with an open source organisation on a three month programming project during their break from school. Since its inception in 2005, over 10, 000 students in over 103 countries have developed 50, 000, 000+ lines of code.
Moodle HQ has been involved in GSoC since 2006, with developers volunteering yearly to mentor students from around the world.
This year, Moodle continued its involvement in the program, which aligns with its values of open source, enhancing access to education and encouraging innovation.
For around five months of the year, four Moodle HQ team members volunteered to be part of the program.
Mark Nelson, David Mudrák, Juan Leyva and David Monllao mentored four students on a range of innovative projects that aimed to expand and improve Moodle.
Project: Atto image resize/crop/rotate
Mark Nelson, Senior Analyst Developer at Moodle HQ, mentored Joey Andres who is currently studying at the University of Alberta, Canada.
Joey’s project revolved around giving Moodle users the ability to crop, resize and rotate images in atto (Moodle’s default text editor).
The project aimed to extend the functionality of the existing image plugin.
Joey’s code was submitted on the 23 August, and he successfully completed his project goal. While this new feature is not yet implemented in Moodle core, mentor Mark indicated it would be a good feature to have in future Moodle releases.
Project: Plugin skeleton generator
David Mudrák, Developer and Community Development Liaison at Moodle HQ, mentored Alexandru Elisei from Romania in developing plugin skeleton generator.
David Mudrák summarised the plugin as “PHP code for generating a future Moodle plugin with all the required elements in it, but empty, waiting for the developer to add the actual plugin functionality. Like an empty canvas for an artist.”
The goal of this project was to provide templates for all existing plugin types in Moodle and help developers with repetitive work at the beginning of plugin development.
The tool Alexandru developed generates a “skeleton.”
This means developers can simply define what type of plugin they are creating and what features it should have and the generator will create code they can start with.
The tool is awaiting more testing and small improvements, however, mentor David Mudrák mentioned it would be a valuable addition to the developer tools in Moodle core.
Project: Adding search to more Moodle components
David Monllao, Integrator at Moodle HQ and a past GSoC student himself, mentored Devang Gaur from the Maharaja Surajmal Institute Of Technology, India.
Devang’s project aimed to extend the scope of global search to more Moodle components, which enables users to find more information far more efficiently. At the end of his project, Devang successfully implemented global search across courses, users, database entries and messages.
Project: Add support to end-to-end testing in the Mobile app
Juan Leyva, Moodle Mobile team leader, mentored Supun Wanniarachchi from the Informatics Institute of Technology, Sri Lanka.
Supun took particular interest in Moodle Mobile and was tasked with setting up testing of the app and documenting the setup process in the Moodle developers wiki.
Over the three months of the project, he performed a myriad of tests, heavily focussed on the functionality of different components such as course book, chat, assignment, forum and glossary. Supun documented project milestones on his blog.
“I want to thank (the) Moodle Community and my mentor Juan Leyva for giving me this valuable opportunity and immensely guiding me during the GSoC period,” commented Supun as he summarised his experience.
“This was an amazing experience in my life. I’m looking forward to contributing with Moodle in the future.”
To end the 2016 Google Summer of Code, two Moodle HQ mentors – Mark Nelson and David Monllao – have been invited to join in the Google Mentor Summit. The Summit is a three day ‘unconference’ at Google HQ in Northern California at the end of this month.
More information on Moodle’s Google Summer of Code involvement is available in Moodle’s community website.
Further information on Google Summer of Code and details on applying for the 2017 intake please visit the program’s website.
Google Summer of Code logo obtained from: https://opensource.googleblog.com/