Summer of Code 2007

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Google Summer of Code has a formal application process for mentoring applications this year. The window is March 5-12. This section is for development of our joint application with Annodex.

Here are the questions the GSoC faq says we must address:

Describe your organization is an open source project and non-profit corporation dedicated to providing open and free-to-implement multimedia technology as a foundation for an interoperable, level playing field on the internet and other digital distribution networks. Over the past 8 years we have hosted development for all the major patent-free audio and video codec development, including the Vorbis, Speex, FLAC and Theora, the Ogg streaming format, and the icecast streaming media server.

This year we are also coordinating projects for the Annodex association under our umbrella. The Annodex project is developing a set of open specifications and open source software to allow the creation of hyperlinked Webs of audio and video integrated with the text-based view of the current Web. Toward this goal, Annodex has done a great deal of work developing tools, browswer plugins and convenience libraries to facilitate adoption of's lower-level technology. As such the two projects have largely aligned goals, but focus on different levels in the stack.

Why is your organization applying to participate in GSoC 2007? What do you hope to gain by participating?

Did your organization participate in GSoC 2005 or 2006? If so, please summarize your involvement and the successes and failures of your student projects. was invited to participate in GSoc 2006, and informally mentored annodex-related projects as well.

We were granted funding for 6 slots. One we weren't able to fill because our chosen students picked (or were assigned to) other projects.

Two were successful: One, a hardware implementation of a theora decoder. This project produced HDL implementation of the major decoder components, to be used with a general purpose CPU, such as the open source LEON sparc implementation. Real time playback of SD content was achieved using the proprietary Nagios cpu design. Two, implentation of OggSkeleton support in various tools. We have maintained contact with the two successful students since the program finished, but neither has contributed significant code outside the GSoC term.

The remaining three were unsuccessful through lack of necessary skills, health complications, insufficient motivation, or some combination of all of thise.

We enjoyed our participation last year. It energized our project and improved our connections to the rest of the open source community. We learned some lessons about mentoring and especially about applicant screening and would appreciate a chance to apply them in a second round.

If your organization has not previously participated in GSoC, have you applied in the past? If so, for what year(s)?

We did not apply outside of our invitation in 2006.

Who will your organization administrator be? Please include Google Account information.

Ralph Giles: google account

What license does your project use?

In general, we use a modified-BSD style license for our libraries, to enable the widest possible uses of our formats and reference implementations. Our applications are generally GPL but LGPL or (GPL-compatible) modified BSD is also acceptable.

What is the URL for your ideas page?

This wiki page contains our current suggestions: (updates needed for 2007):

What is the main development mailing list for your organization?

We don't have a single central mailing list for all of Xiph.Org. Instead, we have per-project mailing lists; of these the most active is A complete listing of our lists is available at:

What is the main IRC channel for your organization?

We use freenode (, with a number of channels. #xiph is the main organisation-wide one, but we also have project channels: #vorbis, #theora, #icecast and #annodex are the major ones.

Does your organization have an application template you would like to see students use? If so, please provide it now.

Who will be your backup organization administrator? Please include Google Account information.

Michael Smith: google account

Who will your mentors be? Please include Google Account Information.

Mike Smith: google account

Ralph Giles: google account

Silvia Pfeiffer: google account

Christopher Montgomery: google account

Timothy Terriberry: google account

Jan Gerber: google account

Conrad Parker: google account

What criteria did you use to select these individuals as mentors? Please be as specific as possible.

We selected our mentors from the 'core' developers and contributors within Xiph. Mentors were selected based on how well they know the code area they're volunteering to mentor, how long they've been part of Xiph, how well they interact with others (particularly in terms of building community around our projects).

The majority of the mentors we've selected are core developers on the various Xiph.Org sub-projects that they've volunteered to mentor for. They have been contributing to Xiph.Org for at least several years, and have shown a persistent interest both in the software we develop, and in helping to create a community around it. We have also made sure that each mentor has sufficient time available to adequately mentor their student(s).

What is your plan for dealing with disappearing students?

What is your plan for dealing with disappearing mentors?

Our project-suggestions page has at least two mentors for every project. Should we decide to select a project not listed on that page, we would not do so without finding both a willing mentor and an available backup.

In most cases, the mentors are core developers who have been an active part of Xiph.Org for a number of years, so we think that disappearing mentors are relatively unlikely, but this provides the neccesary backup should a mentor be unable to continue for unforseen reasons.

What steps will you take to encourage students to interact with your project's community before, during and after the program?

What will you do to ensure that your accepted students stick with the project after GSoC concludes?