mark: A photo of Mark kneeling on top of the Taal Volcano in the Philippines. It was a long hike. (Default)
Mark Smith ([staff profile] mark) wrote in [site community profile] dw_dev2010-03-21 11:44 am

Welcome, Google Summer of Code students!

We've been getting a lot of interest from people who are applying to Google's Summer of Code. Welcome! It's good to see new people poking around and looking at what we are doing here. Briefly, I want to share some information and links that will make things a little easier for you to get started with Dreamwidth as a possible mentoring organization for your summer.

Getting More Information

If you have any questions, you are welcome to comment to this post (look for a link that says Reply or Leave a Comment). One of our community will get back to you as soon as we can, and hopefully the shared knowledge can help everybody out.

If you have any questions that you don't want to be public, you can email [staff profile] denise and myself at summerofcode at-sign dreamwidth period org.

What First?

Since you're looking at this post, you've already done the very first step of contacting us and getting referred to here. Great! Your very first step, after that, if you haven't done it already, is to get a Dreamwidth account. It's a very easy thing to do -- if you send us an email at the above address, or comment to this post, we'll give you a URL you can use to create an account.

Once you've gotten your account created, your first step should be to explore what exactly you can do with your account. Look around the site!

* Customize your profile
* Write a post in your journal about what you're working on, what you've done
* [site community profile] dw_dev: Join this community
* [site community profile] dw_dev_training: Join this community
* See the latest posts on Dreamwidth
* Search the site for content you are interested in

Those are some great first steps. Get a feel for what the site does, how it works. You will not have to know how to do everything, but familiarity with the site is going to be very helpful to working on any projects with us.

Next Steps

With a little familiarity of what the site can do and how people use it, you should probably understand a bit more about our culture and the things we believe in. Dreamwidth is a site that is working hard to promote a healthy, diverse community. It is more important to us that we have a strong, vibrant community than we have the latest and greatest code. At the end of the day it's the people that matter, and we believe that.

First read our Guiding Principles to get an idea of what [staff profile] denise and I founded the site on. Then, read our Diversity Statement -- hands down the most important thing to read and understand if you're going to work on Dreamwidth as a project.

We believe in respect for people. No matter where you come from or who you are, we will do our best to respect you and give you the ability to contribute to this community and be a part of things. That is the standard we hold ourselves to, and we expect the same from anybody who is going to participate in the community -- whether they come in on their own or through the Google Summer of Code program.

If you firmly believe in the meritocracy and think it's acceptable behavior to call someone stupid and belittle their efforts, you might have some difficulty here. Those are not acceptable in our community. We spend our time encouraging and building people up, not tearing them down.

If you have any questions, or you don't feel you understand this, please let us know. You can email me personally at mark at-sign dreamwidth period org if you want, too. I'm happy to discuss this as it's an important issue.

Going Deeper

Okay, now that you've looked around the site, created your account, had some time to play with it, and thought about the meaning behind our Diversity Statement, it's actually time to get down and look at the code and start thinking about preparing your application to work with us this summer.

Your first step should be to get a Dreamhack account -- this is our development environment. It provides you with the ability to tinker with your own version of Dreamwidth without having to actually install it on your own machine. While you certainly can install it yourself, and doing so is actually a very useful experience for learning how things work, it's not something we expect people to do.

Request a Dreamhack.

Once the application is sent in, it will take a day or two for [personal profile] sophie to process it and get your access sorted. After you have access to the system, you should read through the Dreamhack Getting Started page for some tips and advice on what to do with it now that it's setup.

You should also look at our Programming Guidelines which talk about issues of style and how to write code for us.

Once you've gotten to this point you can start writing code! Don't worry if you have many questions, most people do. We'll cover that... about now!

Oh my, help!

It's going to seem a little overwhelming -- but learning how to contribute to a project you're new to, especially one so complex as a website such as ours, is going to take some time and effort. We're here to help you through the process, and we're really excited to see more people interested in helping out on Dreamwidth.

Your best bet for getting questions answered is to use [site community profile] dw_dev. You can either write a new post to this community (on the Update page, you can select to post to here instead of to your own journal) or you can comment to this post (look for a Reply or Leave a Comment link).

If you want real-time assistance, you can try joining us in #dreamwidth on Keep in mind that we're still in the process of moving to Freenode, so things are a little slow until we have everybody over there. If you don't get an answer to your question, just wait a bit. We'll get to it!

Summer of Code Application Tips

If the above didn't really give you a good feel for the kind of things we're looking for, let me try to clear that up. Dreamwidth is a complex project with a lot of opportunities to code really interesting and challenging things. We have a lot of opportunities here for some really great coding and we will be looking for proposals that seem to have a good grasp of what they're trying to do and have the coding skills to pull it off.

That's not all we're looking for, however. Dreamwidth is a fairly unique project in the world of open source because of our strong stance on diversity and respect and how we run our culture. We're going to be prioritizing applicants that understand this and are similarly interested in what we're doing here.

So, in short, to maximize the odds you get accepted to work on Dreamwidth: write a good proposal (detailed, understand what you want to do), make sure you have explored the site, understand our Diversity Statement, and make sure this is all apparent on your application. It also wouldn't hurt to get involved in the community and show that you are interested. We've already had a few people coming by IRC and participating -- hanging out, talking, getting a Dreamhack setup, etc.

If you have any questions, let us know! Thanks for your interest in Dreamwidth. :)
princessofgeeks: (donutscript by hsapiens)

[personal profile] princessofgeeks 2010-03-21 09:53 pm (UTC)(link)
(reading this purely as an editor and a lurker? you rock.)
princessofgeeks: (Default)

[personal profile] princessofgeeks 2010-03-22 01:29 am (UTC)(link)
(one of my previous jobs was as an editor and proofreader)
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)

[personal profile] yvi 2010-03-22 10:14 am (UTC)(link)
Briefly, I want to share some information and links that will make things a little easier for you to get started with Dreamwidth as a possible mentoring organization for you summer.

princessofgeeks: (Calvin Yay by hsapiens)

[personal profile] princessofgeeks 2010-03-22 11:00 am (UTC)(link)
definitely all right! but what i liked most about it was the step by step ness. first, do this, etc. very clear.

A possible GSOC applicant who desires an account

[identity profile] 2010-03-23 12:08 am (UTC)(link)
Hello. I'm a high school senior who will be applying for GSOC this year(I'm particularly interested in creating an iPhone client for Dreamwidth).

I'd like to be able to create a Dreamwidth account.

Would you please provide me with the URL mentioned in the post with which to create an account?
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)

Re: A possible GSOC applicant who desires an account

[staff profile] denise 2010-03-23 04:17 am (UTC)(link)
We can certainly give you an account creation code, but dropping it in a comment here would risk someone else taking it before you can see it! if you email us directly (the address is in the post) we can make sure it gets to just you.
avendya: blue-green picture of a woman's face (Default)

Re: A possible GSOC applicant who desires an account

[personal profile] avendya 2010-03-24 08:20 am (UTC)(link)
+1 -- I'd love a better interface for my iPod touch. (Denise and Mark: this is awesome, you are awesome, may apply and have linked CS major friends.)
panna: (Default)


[personal profile] panna 2010-03-25 11:05 am (UTC)(link)
This is a very helpful and clear guide that smoothly introduced me to DreamWidth.
Thank you.
cesy: Unofficial Dreamwidth volunteer (Dreamwidth volunteer)

Re: Thanks:)

[personal profile] cesy 2010-03-25 11:06 am (UTC)(link)
Welcome to the site! I hope you like it here, and do ask if you have any questions :)
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)

[staff profile] denise 2010-04-06 03:44 am (UTC)(link)
Interested students should also read these posts:
Edited (de-ircify) 2010-04-06 03:44 (UTC)