A group of students at the Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse will be collaborating on the KDE projects KPlato and Umbrello as part of their Institut Universitaire Professionalisé en Ingénierie des Systèmes Informatiques (Professional Institute of Computer Software Engineering) course of study.
Students undertaking the course of study engage in a group project at the end of each year, with a focus on project planning, architecture, coding and testing phases. Traditionally, the proposed projects were very focused on process and project management. Kévin Ottens, KDE developer and a PhD student at the University proposed the addition of Open Source projects to the proposal, and was instrumental in arranging the collaboration. The students were given a choice between the more traditional style java based projects usually offered by the University and a KDE project, and chose to work on a KDE project as part of their course of study. When asked what version of KDE they wished to work on, all chose KDE4 (trunk).
11 fourth year students have already started, with 4 or 5 more third year students to join each team mid project. The students are being mentored by KDE developers, Jonathan Riddell for Umbrello, and, Thomas Zander and Will Stephenson for KPlato. While the KPlato maintainer, Dag Andersen, is unable to find the time to mentor, he has been very supportive and the students report that they are pleased with his feedback.
The students currently involved are:
- KPlato team
- Gohar Avetisyan
- Frédéric Becquier
- Frédéric Lambert
- Alexis Ménard
- Nicolas Micas
- Florian Piquemal
- Umbrello team
- Caroline Bourdeu d'Aguerre
- Hassan Kouch
- Florence Mattler
- Thibault Normand
- Pierre Pettera
When asked his opinion about the projects, Henri Massié the director of the institute stated that "This collaboration with the KDE community is a good thing for us. It is refreshing to see our students so motivated by these kind of projects. I wish it will be a success and hope that we will be able to reiterate this collaboration next year".
Kévin Ottens graciously consented to interview the students about the projects.
Kévin: Why did you choose to work on these projects?
Thibault: Avoid working on yet another Java based project!
Frédéric L.: I wanted to see something new than a Windows based workspace.
Florence: It's an original project domain wise.
Florian: Mainly curiosity, and that's a good opportunity to switch to Linux.
Alexis: We're sure that it'll be useful to people.
Pierre and Caroline: Free Software and being part of a community!!
Nicolas: Because it looks fun, and at the same time it will allow to improve my resume.
Florian and Frédéric B.: To improve our skills, and learn Qt.
Pierre: Because I'd like a kde.org mail address. :-)
Gohar: To improve my C++ skills.
Kévin: You already contacted people involved in your respective projects. Did you feel well accepted?
Caroline and Thibault: Yes! We're very happy!
Florence: We got a lot of feedback and proposals.
All: Warmly!!! We were welcomed warmly.
Kévin: How did you perceive the development environment setup?
Florence: Not enough documentation.
Frédéric L.: Well, the documentation is okay for the base, but I perceived a lack of documentation for the other modules like koffice.
Florian: Not exactly easy, but really interesting, I learnt a lot!
Thibault: It's a change, it looks less like simply applying what we learn
Kévin: And for the future? How do you feel what will happen in your projects next?
Alexis: I'm impatient to work more with the code itself!
Caroline: I don't feel confident yet.
Florence: Yes, that's quite a lot of code to learn.
Gohar: I feel confident, it doesn't look unfeasible.
Nicolas: Moreover we have tremendous community to find help!
Hassan: Only "KJoy"! :-)
The enthusiasm of the students is clear to see, and KDE can only benefit from the contribution of this talented team. KDE warmly welcomes the students of the Paul Sabatier University and thanks the University and Kévin Ottens for providing this opportunity. Special thanks also go to the mentors for their dedication to KDE.