[FFmpeg-devel] [FFmpeg-cvslog] random thoughts about SoC (was: Re: random thoughts about refactoring)

Stefano Sabatini stefano.sabatini-lala
Tue Jan 12 00:06:55 CET 2010

On date Monday 2010-01-11 15:09:38 -0500, Ronald S. Bultje encoded:
> Hi Diego,
> [move to ffmpeg-devel]
> On Mon, Jan 11, 2010 at 3:29 AM, Diego Biurrun <diego at biurrun.de> wrote:
> [cut stuff that wasn't allowed during SoC]
> > rtp network encapsulations
> [..]
> Luca and I wrote a skeleton for this so students could fill it in. No
> student applied for this particular project. Next year, same skeleton
> may be used and one of us will mentor a student if a student is
> available.

Random ideas about soc failures / ideas for improvements.

* Qualification tasks are an important pre-requisites for seeing what
  a student is able to do and if he's willing to finalize the work. We
  missed some of them the last year, for example I didn't see any
  qualification task performed by Kevin, he disappeared after some
  time, also this is not fair towards students which actually
  completed qualification tasks. Already valuable contributors should
  be exempted though.

* IRC presence is important for monitoring the progress of students,
  both mentors and them should try to be present there the best as
  possible at least during the qualification / task completion period.

* Nationality of the student can't hardly be considered a good way to
  judge its competence/motivation, in general students from countries
  where the relative value of the prize is greater are more
  incentivated to work on those projects, so we expect to have more of
  them from those countries, maybe it should change the way how Google
  assigns the amount of money, I mean most of the prize should only be
  delivered if the task is completed so to discourage the students to
  take just the first part of it without to do any significant work
  and disappear.

* Students which complete the work even after the task completion
  deadline (rather than just disappear) should be somehow awarded (see
  the following point).

* Maybe it's time to have some bounty task managed internally by us
  (when we'll have the foundation, and the money of course ;-)).

* The level of difficulty of the task should be carefully weighted, we
  had had in the past a bunch of very hard tasks which required much
  time and work to be completed even from experienced FFmpeg
  programmers (just to do an example: lavfi completion). This is not
  encouraging students to go on with the task, even the more motivated
  and skillfull.

* It is important to define some metrics for evaluating the progress
  of the student, setting many milestones and evaluating each of them
  is better than having just one final goal, and usually leads to
  better performance.

* We should compare our results with those achieved by other projects
  and with the average performance level, and try to understand which
  are the most common failure / success patterns. Yes some real
  research/interview work should be done here.

* Completion of already started and uncompleted tasks, with an already
  existing codebase, should be preferred when possible, as the written
  not-integrated code tends to rotten and loses its value as the main
  codebase evolves...

Just my 0.02?, regards.
FFmpeg = Faithless Friendly Merciful Pitiless Exploitable Gargoyle

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