Google Summer of Code 2020 is over, and boy was this a great year. Three very different projects, and tons of improvements. Here’s a little summary, both to express our thanks and, for future potential employers trying to sneak-google candidates, a good summary of what these guys can achieve. Consider this our letter of recommendation to the wider world.
Improving MWOffliner Scraping Experience (TypeScript / github repo)
Mediawiki offliner is the tool that allows us to make an offline copy of every wiki, starting off with Wikipedia. Without this, no offline Wikipedia exists. When we put Utkarsha to work on our most essential asset, she delivered. You can read her full report here, but if there’s one thing that stood out is that she got to be mentored by our CTO / co-founder and he was happy with her work. This also means that she got to do 110% real-life coding work, ie tons of bug fixing (and not the easy ones) while interacting with the rest of the team.
Improve python scrapers (python / github repo)
Good coders are those who solve tickets quickly, and without adding any new bugs. And then there are great coders. They will solve the same tickets just as elegantly and then will continue asking questions and make suggestions as to how we can improve things. Satyam clearly belong to this most rarest second category. This probably explains his communicative enthusiasm (and his overuse of the word “awesome”) in his report and blog posts.
Creating a design guide and refactoring the Kiwix user interface (kotlin / github repo)
To quote his mentor “You now have the capability to teach others and have honed instincts for good code”. That Jedi-like assessment came after three (3) months of work only. Considering the amount of work needed, the learning curve, three months are very, extremely short. Frans-Lukas is the definition of a quick learner. His report is here, but we said the important part already.