What this page is about
This page is dedicated to students wanting to contribute to Ubuntu in terms of a thesis or a project. First of all: every bit of help is appreciated. So if you plan to enhance current features or do something completely new, your work will actually make a change and be accepted by loads of existing users. This is what "research in general" should be about!
How you benefit:
- you'll work with a bunch of really cool people,
- your work is entirely appreciated and not the 24527nd implementation of some dumb topic,
- you learn something new: never used Python before? never played around with arch? always wanted to contribute? Here you go!
- you show initiative and deliver an innovative project,
- you do something which *really* serves a particular purpose.
- you need a easy-to-use workstation environment for scientific computing.
How Ubuntu/Debian/Linux/theOpenSourceWorld benefits:
you can make the change!
What we need on this page
Ideas! If you have an ingenious idea, how someone could serve a purpose in devoting his/her time in a well-defined environment, just propose it here or you may have a look at either
to get a brief idea.
If you already did a cool project involving Ubuntu and want to tell how it all went, just add a description and a link on the SuccessStories wiki page.
Course of action
- If you should find a cool idea you'd like to research on, talk to people (on IRC, on the mailing lists), tell them what your idea is all about.
- If they like it, find a professor or teacher, who likes the idea too.
- Just start working. You'll surely find people who will help you, if you're stuck in the design or encounter problems.
Receive good marks!
A brief example
Here's how I (DanielHolbach) did it: this is no success story yet, because I have until March/April 2005 to finish my thesis. It also isn't Ubuntu-specific, but may serve as an example nonetheless.
I always wanted to have a way of storing my user preferences on a serverwithout copying huge amounts of config files or copying registry files around. So i sat a night in front of a blank piece of paper and thought about the design. I had also never used C++ before, so I thought: "Well, see a professor about it and you'll see." At my "University of Applied Sciences" you have to do a project (3-6 months) and a diploma thesis (6 months). So I split the work up into two parts: a server and a library. A week later, I talked to a professor (doing Databases and Information Systems) and he was impressed, so I started working on the server part (http://protosquared.berlios.de) and received an 1.7 (a 90% grade) for the project. Now I'm working on the library part and a proof-of-concept client (http://libaccustom.berlios.de) and am eager to know, what mark I'll get for the diploma thesis.
What academic users of ubuntu (and OO.org) desperately need is a working and well-integrated tool to manage bibliographic references! The biblio-subproject of OO.org has announced that nothing of relevance will be available before version 3.0. This might take years and we are losing valuable time because a nice python add-on has been developed by Pierre Martineau (http://bibus-biblio.sourceforge.net). As you can see in the forums (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=50762), the installation is still a big challenge for most of the users as there is a python version collision. That means, some hacks have to be done to get it running.
Now, a helpful soul of Debian (whose name I could not find right now) created a package recently, which made it into "unstable" AFAIK. Although this is a very good step, the installation is not yet smooth enough.
Finally, my idea is two-fold: 1) get "bibus" integrated into the Dapper release and work out the python version hell for that people can start using this crucial add-on to academic OO.org/ubuntu use. 2) Find somebody to help working on "bibus". AFAIK it is mainly (only?) Pierre working on it right now. I think it could be a perfect task for a thesis as it is reasonably sized but not too large and for sure not trivial. 3) The OO.org bibliographic crew put together all kinds of documents (specifications, comparisons of different bib-managers etc.). Even some small proof-of-concept code is around... It is all there. They simply lack developers.
Alright, that would be the cool thing to have for ubuntu 6.10