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A ToDo List For Google Summer of Code 2009 Student Applicants

MascotteWhile we’re gearing up to apply to Google Summer of Code 2009 as mentoring organization, here are ideas for students who want to prepare their application.

1. Meet The Community

Join the community early. Understand the people, the users, the developers. How do they interact? What is currently a hot topic in the community? Where is development focused? What are the itches to scratch?

This is the time to take the software for a spin. If you have a digital camera, shoot a few images. If not ask in the community for input. Follow the tutorials, get a feel for the user experience.

2. Learn the Tools of the Trade

Hugin is multi-platform and chances are that it builds and runs on your current computing platform. However on some platforms it is easier than on others. Whatever platform you choose, now is the time to make sure that you have all the necessary tools to access the repositories (Subversion and CVS) and to build the code. Your starting point is here. This is the time to take the software apart and rebuild it. You want to make sure you can build Hugin on your computer, and you want your potential mentors to know on which platform you are.

3. Submit A Patch

To ascertain proficiency of the tools and of the code base, we require all applicants to provide at least one relevant patch. It does not have to be complex or big. Just show that you can compile the code base, make modifications to it and compile it again.  If it is also useful, that’s a bonus. No matter if you fix a bug or add a new feature, what we want to see is proficiency of the tools and the codebase; and your working style. The bug tracker is full of opportunities for bug fixes. If you want to go fancy, there are plenty of feature requests tracked as well.

The earliest you submit a patch and make yourself known in the community, the more chances you will have to leave a good impression, establish your reputation, position yourself on the starting grid. It is always time to submit a patch. Below are a few ideas for small patches:

Autoformat

Hugin currently starts by default in 360°x180° equirectangular mode. This is comprehensive enough to fit all projects, but not adapted to them. An adaptive autoformat would trigger Hugin’s FoV calculation every time an image is added or changes position. Based on the calculated FoV, output format is selected. For narrower FoV it would be equirectangular and for wider FoV equirectilinear. A preference checkbox enables and disables this behavior.

Default Optimizer Preset

Currently in the Optimizer tab the user can chose between a few pre-defined optimization strategies. The default is always Positions (incremental, starting from anchor). Add a preference setting to determine which one to use. Extra bonus: add in the preferences tab a way to customize / add to the list.

Default Exposure Optimizer Preset

Same as above, but on the Exposure tab for Photometri Optimization.

Control Points Tab Usability

The widgets on the Control Point tab can use a bit of attention. Group the arrows so that the mouse can move quickly from one to the other and back. Optimize the widgets order so that moving forward and backward from these controls with the TAB / SHIFT+TAB keys is fast as well (only one keystroke apart). The drop-down list of photos seems to be buggy in Windows and work in Linux. Is this a wxWidgets bug or is it a Hugin bug? Is there a way around it?

4. Watch This Space

I mean this space. This is where Google will publish the list of accepted mentoring organizations, and this is where you will apply between March 23 19:00 UTC and April 3 19:00 UTC. You still have a few weeks to prepare, but don’t miss it!