My Gentoo GSoC Has Begun

I’m excited to start blogging here and announce my new life.

About one month ago, I heard of Google Summer of Code at linuxsir. I decided to join this contest several days later. At first, I was worried that maybe I was not capable enough to participate in. I’ve been using Linux for no more than three years and using Gentoo for only a year. To be honest, I was not a “power user” but just one of these normal users of Gentoo.

However, when I turned to the idea page of GSoC 2010, I found that there were several projects that I could give a try. Although I was not familiar with all the techniques listed there, I still had time to learn new things and I’d love to do that. Let alone I’ve already got some important basic skills.

Then I chose Gentoo NetworkManager Plug-in project because I think that was one of the most useful projects. I sent mails to gentoo-soc mail list and mentors to ask for some direction. I really appreciate that Nirbheek Chauhan gave me several links on how to start. I also post a mail to NetworkManager mail list where Dan Williams gave me some guide on how to write plug-in for NM.

After that, I began to learn GObject which is required by this project. I have to say that it was a bit tough at first because I was already used to Python and Java which are quite different from GObject. GObject is difficult to grasp in a short time. So I spent nearly all my time on it in those days, including the official tutorial and two books. I also started reading source code of NetworkManager and its plug-ins. Though it was difficult at first, I could understand the source code and the NM plug-in mechanism several days later.

At the same time, I started writing proposal and submitted it as soon as possible. After submitting my proposal, I still continued improving it several times a day. Robert Piasek, Nirbheek Chauhan, Arun Raghavan, Petteri Räty and Brian Harring gave me useful advice which greatly helped improve the proposal.

I’d like to add thanks to Robert Piasek, the mentor of this project. He not only gave me many suggestions and help, but also encouraged me a lot. I think that is very important for a student who has little experience in the open source world. I was very excited and full of courage every time I received his mail.

Now the proposal has been accepted and I’ve already made big progress now. I’ve learned a lot of exciting things recently and I’m definitely sure that this summer will be the most enjoyable one!



  1. #1 by hangfire on May 19, 2010 - 8:52 am

    YES 😀

    I’m so glad that someone has chosen to take nm by the horns – I saw that on the list and was hoping that someone would choose to do this project.

    I have been using nm in gentoo for a while now, and it would be great if support were a little better.

    Best of luck!

    • #2 by qiaomuf on May 19, 2010 - 4:26 pm

      Thank you for your support. If you are interested in this project, you could join us in testing it. The major part of the plug-in has been implemented. I’ll make another post later to show you how to use it. 🙂

  2. #3 by rufo on May 19, 2010 - 12:50 pm


    Keep posting your progress!

    • #4 by qiaomuf on May 19, 2010 - 4:27 pm

      Thank you!
      I’ll report the status of the project today. Welcome you to join us and test the plug-in if you are willing to.

  3. #5 by kimmie on May 20, 2010 - 7:10 am

    Go qiaomuf! Hope your SoC goes really well. I enjoyed your enthusiams. Nice page too!

    • #6 by qiaomuf on May 20, 2010 - 3:51 pm

      🙂 Thank you very much. I’ll try my best to improve this project. Hope more and more people will benefit from it.

  4. #7 by KPS on October 17, 2010 - 3:32 am

    Hi qiaomuf

    its great to hear that nm is becoming better day by day and that too by the help of GSOC participants!

    hey i was wondering if you could provide a link to your GSOC proposal here on the blog which would be really helpful for other GSOC participants! I myself applied this summer for the 1st time for drizzle and pidgin, but I wasn’t selected since I am a newbie to linux/DBMS, though I am a fairly proficient C/C++ coder!

    I am learning GObject and Glib right now and then will move on to GTK+(after a month no doubt).

    And Hey, can I help you improve nm for gentoo further ? I would be glad to contribute to nm , since it is the only software that i use almost daily(thanks to my choppy broadband connection!)


    • #8 by qiaomuf on October 20, 2010 - 3:27 pm


      Good to see you are interested. You can always give help to NM if you’d like. Subscribe NM’s mail list and start your contribution. I’m sure your programming skill is good :).

      GSoC proposal gives all your freedom to show your thought, your design and your ability. There’s no need to make a pattern for everyone. You just write whatever you feel proper and important. Keep learning and I’m sure you’ll have a bigger chance next year. ( I must also keep learning 🙂 )

      • #9 by KPS on October 20, 2010 - 9:41 pm

        Thanks qiaomuf

        I am gonna start contributing to NM right away!

        will ask for help if i am stuck!


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