Google Summer of Code 2015 Wrapup Report

This summer the RTEMS Project had 10 excellent students participate in the Google Summer of Code Program (GSoC).

All of the students were new to RTEMS. We also had three outstanding new mentors: Ben Gras and Cyrille Artho, who are veteran mentors from other projects, and Ed Sutter, who is new to GSoC but a long-time contributor to open-source. Student projects once again spanned the range of RTEMS: low-level embedded systems work with pins, ports, and protocols; kernel hacking backed-up by formal methods; networking support; video and graphics; application porting; and GUI development for improving the configuration and compilation of RTEMS.

Due to widespread student interest, 7 of our 10 projects were in two categories targeting the Raspberry Pi/Pi2 and BeagleBoard Black (BBB) embedded systems platforms, respectively. We carefully divided the labor in these projects to avoid inter-dependency, overlapped the mentors in each category, and strongly encouraged the students to interact and collaborate. Additionally, some of the projects in both boards work with the same subsystem in RTEMS and thus were inter-related. Grouping related, independent projects together with team mentorship and group collaboration was successful beyond our expectations. The students were able to help each other overcome similar problems, and the mentoring time was less than if all projects were only loosely related, as in the past. Of special note, Ragu Nath, working with the BBB, was able to help out Yurii Shevtsov when he was stuck for a long time on a problem that his mentors were unable to resolve.

In preparing for this year’s GSoС, we decided to continue our past tradition of weekly “all-hands” meetings. Student progress, next steps, goals, and problems were discussed in an IRC meeting moderated by Gedare Bloom and Joel Sherrill, two of the RTEMS Organization Administrators. These meetings have continued to be vital for engaging students and defusing problems before they explode. This year students had to post summaries of their status updates on a Wiki page in our Trac dedicated to GSoC 2015. The same page includes a table with project-related links for each student. The consolidated status updates and project links has made monitoring students easier, and should prove useful for posterity and the next generation of RTEMS developers.

For more detailed information on each student's project, please see our detailed GSOC 2015 Final Report.