Guidelines for Students Participating in Google Summer of Code 2009 for Sahana

Application Process

Application Template

It is expected that all students follow this template for their application. Entire Application should be within 7500 Characters.

1. Personal Details

  • Name
  • Communication details - Email*, Freenode IRC Nickname*, IM, Skype, Blog etc (* compulsory)
  • Include Biographical information about yourself, your education, country, timezone etc.
  • If you have a link to a resume/CV/LinkedIn profile, include it here
  • Please provide an overview of your exposure to similar technologies and/or FOSS in general.
  • Please answer the question - “Why would you like to help the Sahana project?”

2. Personal Availability

  • Have you reviewed the Important Dates and Times for GSOC2009?
  • Do you have any significant conflicts with the listed schedule? If so, please list them here.
  • Will you need to finish your project prior to the end of the GSOC?
  • Are there any significant periods during the summer that you will not be available?

3. Project Abstract

Provide a brief overview of the proposed idea and objectives you want to achieve with it here. (250 word limit).

4. Project Plan

This section is to provide the detail of your project proposal. Take as much space as is necessary.

  • Project Deliverable - What is the essence of the project? What capability are you looking at adding to Sahana that will expand its capability for emergency/disaster management?
  • Project Justification - What is the relevance of your idea to the project? Why do you think its important to *have* this idea integrated to the Sahana system.
  • Implementation Plan - How are you going to implement your project? Use this section to expand in as much detail as possible how it should be constructed.
  • Future Options - Identify some aspects of the project that may not be within the scope of this submission, but could form the basis for future work that would build upon the outcomes of your project
  • Relevant Experience - Please list all experience you have that is directly relevant to the proposed project, and how they would help you deliver the project. If you have contributed to the Sahana project previously, please clearly outline your contributions.

You can also include links to additional details like diagrams etc outlining your ideas acting as supplementary information for your proposal outside of this scope. But it is highly advised to follow the KISS principle and stay as specific as possible.

5. Project Goals and Timeline

Clearly outline your timeline and goals for the project. All goals must follow the SMART methodology - they should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. Each goal should explicitly tell us how we can measure it (e.g. code committed to trunk and can be assessed on and the date it is due. This should be provided as three columns - Due Date, SMART Goal, and Measure. The project is looking for explicit and well-written goals - proposals that contain broad and general goals will not be accepted. The more specific your goals, the better chance you have of being accepted.

These should be broken down into the following stages.

  1. Work already undertaken - What research have you undertaken in this area in advance? (these can just be bullet points and are not required to follow the SMART methodology)
  2. First trimester (20 April - 22 May) - identify the SMART goals you have for the community bonding period. Most of these are likely to revolve around further scoping of the project with the community, engaging with the community, and updating and finalizing the project plan.
  3. Second trimester (23 May - 6 July) - identify the draft SMART goals you have for the first half of the project. These will be used to assess project process and form the basis for the mid-term evaluation.
  4. Third trimester (7 July - 10 August) - identify the draft SMART goals you have for the second half of the project. These will be used to assess the whole project and in conjunction with the mid-term goals, form the basis for the final evaluation.

We recognize that the goals may change during the project, and the mentors will accept modifications to the goals at any time. For example, discussion during the community engagement stage may change the scope of the project, and the goals may need to be subsequently modified. As such, the goals are not hard-and-fast, but we do want to see reasonable effort go into the initial project timeline.

The intent is to maintain these as a shared Google Spreadsheet so that mentors can track progress in the spreadsheet.

The Project Goals and Timeline will form a significant part of the assessment of your application, as well as mid-term and final evaluations.

Communication with Sahana Team During Application Process

It is encouraged for students to communicate with the Sahana team members during the application process to help guide their applications. Venues to discuss projects:


Coding Standards

  • It is expected that students read up on the developer guidelines from the project wiki beforehand to have an overview of the Sahana system

For PHP:

For Python:


  • It is expected that students will report to the Sahana development mailing list at the beginning of the project to introduce themselves and their project to the rest of the Sahana community.
  • It is expected that students will report to the Sahana development mailing list at a minimum once every other week providing a summary of current activities with pointers to their work in the code and on the wiki.
  • It is also advisable to keep all development related discussions on the mailing lists so that other developers can provide feedback & suggestions on the ideas being worked out and for future archival purposes.


  • It is expected that students will document all of their work in an appropriate place on the Sahana wiki (mentors will help with where to put things and with wiki access).

QR Code
QR Code community:gsoc:gsoc2009_student_guidelines (generated for current page)