The start…

The start…

Being a student is not as easy as one might think. Apart from having lots of homework, many classes and tons of stuff to learn and study, I decided to involve into this year’s Google Summer of Code program. After some research on last year’s accepted projects I finally found one that I could identify with. I like programming (obviously) and I like helping children with their education. Consequently, GCompris was the best choice for me to contribute to this summer.

Like all things, the start was hard. Entering for the first time on the irc channel was interesting and weird at the same time. Not knowing anyone, I felt overwhelmed but I decided to post a message nonetheless. Shortly, Johnny responded and helped me integrate to the community. He answered all my questions about the GCompris’ api and gave me some small tasks to help me better understand how the qml and Javascript works and how they are used to create a game/activity.

I must say I have never used these languages before so you can only imagine how hard it was to start my contribution to GCompris. Yet, the mentors were always there for me, guiding my steps through the GCompris sources, presenting the activities and what I should do to get to know better the api and the project overall.

As a first task, I had to solve some minor bugs and to bring small improvements to some activities. Well, “minor” is very relative here – for me, it was a little hard because I had to understand the code first and then to think of the best solution I should implement. I did it nonetheless and in the end, it proved to be very helpful – now I am a lot more familiar with Qt’s Qml and JavaScript.

My contribution can be found on GitHub and ReviewBoard.

While trying to familiarize myself with qml and the way GCompris works, I also started porting an activity from the old Gtk+ version. The activity is “PhotoHunter” and you can watch the progress here or look into the code here.

In the meanwhile, I started working on my own idea of activity: “Share” – a game which aims to teach children how to divide numbers in a funny way: by sharing candies to some boys and girls. To better understand and have an idea of the current state of its development, you can take a look to this video on Youtube.

With this background, I applied and got successfully accepted to GSoC with GCompris. My mentor is Sagar, a GSoC student who participated with GCompris previous year. I am sure this is going to be my best summer (until now) – i will learn a lot and have tons of fun coding.

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