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Xapian GSoC 2012 Projects

At the end of the previous episode, you may remember our gallant heroes had a pile of 30 proposals to review. We soon spotted one more to mark as invalid (just a paste with our ideas list plus a some biographical details), and another got withdrawn by the student without explanation (but was low quality anyway), so that left us with 28.

We had six volunteers for mentoring, and in the initial allocation we received five student slots from Google, but we asked nicely if we could have an extra one, and were lucky enough to get it. Last year we had four students, so that's a 50% increase.

Here's those 28, broken down by the project idea:

  • 8 - Weighting Schemes
  • 6 - Learning to Rank
  • 3 - Dynamic Snippets
  • 2 - Lucene Backend
  • 2 - QueryParser improvements
  • 1 - Erlang Bindings
  • 1 - Improve C# and Java bindings
  • 1 - Improve PHP Bindings
  • 1 - Improve Python Bindings
  • 1 - Improving Japanese Support
  • 1 - Node.js Bindings
  • 1 - Postlist encodings

I find it interesting that the most popular three ideas have closer connections to Information Retrieval theory than most - probably these appeal to students who have taken IR courses and already have an interest and some knowledge of the project area. I think we should aim to get more ideas like these on the list in future years.

It's worth noting that in several cases students had taken an idea in sufficiently different directions that there wasn't much overlap, so we didn't just pick the best proposal for each project idea to narrow things down. Also, the proposal isn't the only factor - we like to see applicants work on patch, and to interact with us on IRC and/or email. But in the end it happens we ended up with proposals which were all from different ideas - here are those we selected:

My congratulations to the lucky six, and my commiserations to those we weren't able to select. It wasn't an easy selection to make, and we truly appreciate the time you spent writing your proposal, working on patches, and on the rest of the application process. We'd encourage you to remain involved with Xapian, and to apply to us again next year if you're still eligible for GSoC.

Posted in xapian by Olly Betts on 2012-04-26 19:06 | Permalink

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