Google is at it again! The legendary Google Summer of Code (GSoc) is organized again for 2011, and it should be lots of fun for students, mentors and organizations alike. GSoc is a summer-long activity for students where they can work on interesting and real problems with open source projects and earn money in the process to pay for college or whatever they wish. It is an amazing gift from Google to finance young prospects to help out with open source tasks, and its great for these students to get to know a way of work and life they might not be exposed to.
I was well into open source when I applied to GSoC in 2007 and was approved to work on tools for localization which ended up as http://localize.drupal.org/, now the standard way to localize Drupal the software and its modules to almost a 100 languages as of today. Its an incredible feat, and it all started on that summer!
Now is your chance to work on interesting Drupal projects, and I've proposed two which both look like they are about localization but in fact the more interesting part in them is how you interact with the community to make them work.
1. Expose Drupal translation activity is about adding activity streams and graphing to localize.drupal.org surfacing the currently not-so-visible flow of work going on. Exciting parts include evaluating activity streaming solutions, working on code to plug in all kinds of custom data and assembling and making it run on Drupal.org's infrastructure. Lots of things involved!
2. Gettext API for Drupal contrib and core is a bit different. It does not involve the Drupal.org infrastructure but working with multiple contributed modules and eventually Drupal 8 core is at least as interesting, right? Implementing a Gettext API the right way for numerous contributed modules to use (and solve pressing shared hosting usability problems on the way) is part of the objective, and its all topped off when it gets into core for Drupal 8.
These are two of the more interesting tasks that are floating around in the community work that I'm doing, and I think both of them are more community experience than rocket science, so I'm hopeful we'll see students interested in helping out. Your feedback on the specific tasks is welcome on their GSoC group pages (linked above), or your other comments here.
Students, best of luck with your GSoC proposals, we are looking forward to your contributions!