Hi, my name is Patrick Edwards, and I have recently found out about GSoC 2012. I know that I'm cutting it close on getting started now, but I feel that I could really help this project with my experience in programming. I have looked over the project ideas, and the ones that most interest me are the refactoring and bug fixing ideas. I know that these are simpler tasks, but I feel that the other ideas might be out of reach for me, being so new to this project. If anyone would be able to help me help BRL-CAD, I would be very grateful.
Welcome, Patrick, and thanks for the introduction! I replied to your intro on IRC as well with some feedback. Since you mentioned most of the projects are interesting and there has already been a lot of interest in code reduction, I'd recommend seeing if there's something a little more specific you might love to work on. Lots of high-impact tasks that aren't too difficult. Several projects are essentially refactoring or general performance tuning but are more domain specific, for example. Here's a few that come to mind:
NURBS Optimization and Cleanup
Mesh library cleanup
Geometry Conversion Library
NMG Raytracing Performance Improvement
Package Library Extensions
Remember that you get to scope the complexity of what you're proposing up or down. Our ideas are merely suggestions. Proposals are expected to go into detail into what exactly you hope to accomplish given your skills and background. You can make your proposal simpler than our description if you're so inclined.
The difficulty has no bearing on proposal selection. It's merely a guide for estimating how much experience you might need or how many sleepless nights coding might be involved to complete the task. ;)