Guidelines for Students Participating in GSOC 2012 for SSF


  • Both new and prior GSOC Students with the Sahana Software Foundation will be considered as applicants.
  • Students must submit a bug or feature enhancement fix/patch for the project first. (Please engage with proposed mentors to identify an appropriate ticket that will demonstrate your skills and capabilities).
  • Students should get involved with projects now.
  • Our priorities and project ideas are likely to be weighted more favorably.



It is expected that students will read and follow the developer guidelines for the project that they are working with.

For Agasti (PHP):

For Eden (Python/web2py):


  • It is expected that students will report to the main Sahana discussion list (discuss@lists.sahanafoundation dot org) 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 main Sahana discussion 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 developer's mailing lists (see below) so that other developers can provide feedback & suggestions on the ideas being worked out and for future archival purposes.
  • GSOC-related discussions should be prefaced with “[GSOC]” in the subject line.

IRC Channels

We maintain and monitor the followin IRC Channels on freenode. A web interface is available at

  • #Sahana - main disussion channel
  • #Sahana-Agasti - for Agasti developers
  • #Sahana-Eden - for Eden developers
  • #Sahana-Meeting - for meetings

All channels are logged. See for more information.

Mailing Lists

We maintain several e-mail discussion lists. The main point of entry for prospect GSOC students and GSOC discussions and reports to the community through the GSOC program is our main discussion list: discuss@lists.sahanafoundation dot org.

Contributor License Agreement

In keeping with Sahana Software Foundation policy, all accepted students must sign and return a Contributor License Agreement. A CLA form may be downloaded here and should be scanned and returned to cla-submissions at SahanaFoundation dot org. Alternative means of return by post or fax are provided on the form.


  • 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).

Work Load

  • It is expected that students will treat this as a full time job (This means approximately 40 hours per week). Students should disclose any other commitments to other jobs, internships, etc.

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 timeline for GSOC2012?
  • 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 (24 April - 20 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 (21 May - 9 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 (10 July - 13 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:

If your questions are specific to a particular Sahana Project (Agasti or Eden), mentors may direct you to a more specific mailing list or IRC channel. You should not expect to use personal email or direct messaging to communicate with mentors.

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