[Scummvm-devel] Google summer of code, a possible application

Max Horn max at quendi.de
Wed Mar 21 10:29:34 CET 2007

Am 21.03.2007 um 00:50 schrieb Christiaan Baaij:

> Hi everyone of the ScummVM team,

Hi Christiaan!

> My name is Christiaan Baaij and I am currently a bachelor computer
> science student at the University of Twente, The Netherlands. I'm
> writing this email to introduce myself to the ScummVM community  
> because
> I want to apply for the Google Summer of Code 2007. I already chatted
> with a few of you on IRC (my IRC nick is Darchon). Also I want to
> present my idea(s) for the "ScummEX Revival" task I hope to work on. I
> want apologize in advance for it's length, but I thought it might be
> helpful to be a bit verbose to give you a chance to get an  
> impression of
> me (if that's possible through email, IRC might be better). I've split
> the email over several sections for your convenience (hopefully).

No worries, your email is not too long nor is it that boring :).  
Sorry for not being quite as verbose in my reply as I'd like to be,  
but I am already rather late for work, so I gotta hurry.

> 1) Current stage of my education
> 2) How I got interested in Google SoC

> 3) Why ScummVM?

OK, so far you fully convinced there that you are really motivated  
and interested in participating in the SoC, and why you are  
interested in SucmmVM in specific (good thing to do in any serious  

> 4) My experience in programming and open source development
> To be honest, most programming project I have worked on were small and
> large course projects, but never have i done a 'big' programming  
> project
> in my own time. That's why reviving ScummEX, as a complete 'product'
> appeals to me so much. A chance to finally work on programming project
> outside of course projects.
> I figure a noteworthy project I have worked on is 'Commercial break'
> detection in TV-recording, done with VideoLan Client (VLC). [1]
> Also, during a course project, I participated in developing a compiler
> for a small BASIC like language that compiled to JVM-bytecode. [2]
> (Unfortunately the documentation is in dutch)


> As far as my general programming knowledge is concerned, I am  
> proficient
> in C, C++, Java, Ruby, PHP and even such things as Promela (for  
> those of
> you who have ever done algorithm verification in spin). I have a good
> grasp on OO-design, when it's handy, and when it's not ;). I do not  
> have
> experience working in an open-source development group, but thanks to
> many many course projects, used to working in groups ranging from 2  
> - 10
> people.

Having team & version control experience is a big plus of course. Not  
having done a "major" project yet is somewhat of a minus (compared to  
somebody who does have that experience) when it comes to ScummEX, as  
you need to write a full application there (but no worries, it  
doesn't rule you out). But your programming experience definitely is  
there, and hopefully enables you to pull this off anyway.

It would be interesting to know whether you have any cross platform  
porting experiences. In particular, writing a GUI which works on  
Linux, Windows, Mac. What toolkit would you use? (e.g. wxWidgets, Qt,  
FLTK, ...) ?

> 5) Ideas for the "ScummEX Revival" GSoC project
> The biggest problem I'm facing right now is that there's little time
> until the application submission deadline and I haven't had the  
> time to
> develop really great ideas yet. I'm currently working through the
> original ScummEX code to get a good feel as to how the program does
> things currently. Of course, i did see the requested feature list and
> read the TODO on SVN.

It's good you are preparing that well. And don't worry about the  
application not being full of "great ideas", that's not a requirement  
for the SoC application (though it won't hurt to have 'em, of  
course :). Please, don't take the existing ScummEX code too much into  
consideration, it's rather crappy as it is :).

> Currently I'm thinking of rewriting the entire application using a
> Model-View-Controller approach (which has been preached to me many  
> times
> over at university, but seems really applicable for ScummEX).

That is *definitely* a very good idea, for various reasons, most of  
which you listed below.


> I figure it's all rather vague right now, but the model-view- 
> controller
> concept is tested and proven and my gut tells me it would work for  
> ScummEX.

Not at all that vague. I really liked that you mentioned MVC and  
explained how you would leverage it.

> 6) Open issues
> Currently I'm a bit occupied with course work and my duties on the Uni
> Basketball board, but I will try my best to further work out my ideas.
> I am also wondering what the potential mentor has to say about me  
> having
> exams during the start of the project and therefor being less active
> during that project. If it would pose much problems or that it is even
> recommended not to apply at all. As mentioned before, if accepted,  
> I do
> intend to start before the official 'coding start' at the 28th of May.

Of course, not being able to start immediately is a smallish minus  
compared to others, but you can more than make up for it if you work  
on e.g. design questions already before the SoC starts. In other  
words, this doesn't rule you out by no means.

> Also, if there are any proposals or questions regarding the maybe  
> rather
> vague approach written above, please do not hesitate to contact me.  
> I am
> very much looking forward to hearing your comments, thoughts and  
> opinions.
> Thank you very much for struggling through this extremely  
> (hopefully not
> too extreme ;)) long email!

It was a pleasure to read it. Just make sure to file the final  
application with the GSoC web application before the final deadline  
on March 26 :9:


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