While searching about self-hosting services and some kind of distributed social network I found GNU social, a federated social network. GNU social wasn’t in its most active year and I thought about helping them out as I had some experience with PHP! I had also recently read about GSoC in a forum and so figured that maybe I could make some while coding :)
I checked GNU’s SoC Ideas page and there was nothing about GNU social, so I mailed them asking about it. Mikael Nordfeldth rapidly proposed some ideas and we made it formal with an HTML snippet!
Okay, now I just had to get a proposal done, easy, right? Right… Maybe not that easy but I decided to get ActivityPub implemented, so the learning had started!
I got to know the fediverse and understand both ActivityPub and GS’s plugin interface. Before I started the implementation of the plugin I, fortunately, met Daniel Supernault who would become my co-mentor (and friend). He was equally interested in this plugin and helped me when AP would become overly confusing and when the implementation would reveal harder than anticipated.
I think GSoC 2018 worked fairly well with me, mostly due to the incredible folks around GS, it has had its highs and lows as everything, but in general… :) If you’re interested in learning more about what was accomplished, refer to my tech report.
I’m happy that I’ve not only developed something useful but also met various new interesting friends during the summer. I wouldn’t say this was only possible due to Google’s initiative I don’t think this would have been much different without it, but I agree it’s important that initiatives like these exist and that some people wouldn’t have this chance otherwise.
The GSoC advantage: offers some structure and organization, a clear objective goal, and provides a helpful stipend. I had a lot of fun but I also ended up very tired which wasn’t that good given that it ended at the beginning of the new academic year :/
I’m now organizing GNU social’s Summer of Code 2019. Did I say that at the end of GSoC you earn a t-shirt and a sticker? The ultimate form of motivation!!!