Your Season of KDE opportunity in Palapeli

April 26, 2010

Season of KDE (SoK) 2010 is kicking off. SoK is an annual program which makes it easy for students to enter the world of open source development: You pick a project, write a proposal, and if it is good, you will get your personal mentor who will help you on your way to completing your project. Plus, you get a certificate some nice KDE swag.

Unlike its bigger brother, Google’s Summer of Code, the rules are less strict for SoK, which allows me to offer you a chance to do a Palapeli-related project for SoK.

Palapeli is KDE’s jigsaw puzzle game. It has just seen its first stable release three months ago as part of KDE SC 4.4, and as with every new software, it is still lacking some important features. Among the most requested features is what I call “puzzle piles”: a way to organise big puzzles into piles, which can be looked at separately. Implementing puzzle piles requires both work under the hood and in the interface, and is something which should be solvable in two to three months of work.

If you are not interested in puzzle piles, you can also come up with your own ideas how to make Palapeli rock. KDE’s Bugzilla has 21 open feature requests. I’m also perfectly fine with a project proposal that implements ten small features instead of one or two big ones.

If you would like to do a SoK project for Palapeli, do the following:

  • Grab the source code from svn://anonsvn.kde.org/home/kde/trunk/KDE/kdegames/palapeli, and dive into it. (Ask me if you have a hard time with compiling.)
  • Write your proposal. You should include details about
    • how you want to implement the features in code
    • what you imagine how the user interface will look like
    • yourself (your previous experience with C++/Qt/KDE, how much time you will have to work on your project)
    • a timeline (I expect a total project duration of three or four months. Divide these into chunks of a few weeks, with some explicit target, like “read pile association from savegame”.)
  • Send your proposal to kde-soc-mentor@kde.org until the end of next week (i.e. Sunday, 9 May 2010). We will comment on your proposal, and you are allowed to improve it and resend it within the deadline.
  • The best proposal will be picked, and you can begin to work with your mentor (which would be me most probably).
  • If you complete your project successfully, the results of your work will be merged into trunk at the end of the SoK and released in Palapeli 1.2 as part of KDE SC 4.6.

Now, after having described in detail the application process, what are the requirements? Not much. You should be familiar with C++ and Qt. Experience with Qt’s Graphics View framework will greatly improve your chances, because everything about Palapeli’s puzzle table is based on that. Also, you should have enough time for hacking this summer.

For any further questions, you may ask me personally. You find my mail address in the copyright headers of Palapeli’s source code, or in Palapeli’s About dialog.

The fine print: Even if you are not considering to take on big projects and apply for SoK, the right time to start contributing to KDE in general and especially Palapeli is right now! Write to me or to the mailing list kde-games-devel@kde.org if you are interested in hacking on Palapeli.

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