Pandora FMS and GSoC

August 13th was the the “soft pencils down” date for the Google Summer of Code, with a hard end date of August 24th. So I contacted the SourceForge projects that were involved, to see how their summer went.

Some of them are still hard at it, and expect to go all the way up to the hard end date, but a few were ready to talk about how great their summer was.

I heard from Sancho Lerena of the Pandora FMS project, who told me that the summer went very well.

Give us an overview of what your project is.

Pandora FMS is an all-purpose monitoring system, but very oriented to big sites ( > 1000 nodes). It’s very very flexible and able to get information from almost any kind of source, and produce useful reports, alerts, graphs, etc.

What was your student’s assignment?

We try to use the student time in small and isolated tasks, or subprojects. We have three students and put each of them in different tasks, so they get interaction only with other developers in the project. They have been evolving a event viewer for Android and the Android agent, adding some features and increasing the usability and stability. Our other student has developed (from scratch) a Chrome and Firefox extension to show monitoring events by using our Web API.

Was the assignment completed to your satisfaction?

VERY satisfied.

When can we expect to see the fruits of the summer’s work in a released version?

Of course, all of three subjects has been produced useful code and will be used for next version, probably even before, because all of them are using interfaces and/or API compatible with current version, so, in a few weeks probably we’ll release something. All of this time they have been working with our SVN server, on Sourceforge, of course ;)

Would you participate in GSoC again?

Will be a pleasure.

What advice can you give to a project interested in GSoC for next year?

Try to locate small parts of the project, something which don’t require learning a full API, a full architecture or Database design. Do a “roadmap” based on isolated subtasks, so if you there are any delays, you can remove some points, but have something functional at the end. If you plan five subtasks, but at the end you get only three, but these three are OK – you’ve got something to evolve and do more things in the future.

We had good luck, and two of the students (one from Spain, and other from UK) were near our main office, so we organized a small meeting at the beginning, That was useful to meet people and talk about what we all expected – much better than an IRC Meeting. With the other student, from Singapore, gtalk was the best tool to keep updated on progress and give tips.

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