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Updated: 5 hours 10 min ago

Google Summer of Code wrap-up: Drupal

Fri, 11/20/2015 - 19:00

Drupal is our featured Google Summer of Code organization this week. A long time Google Summer of Code and Google Code-in mentoring organization, they worked with 12 students last summer.drupal_logo-blue.pngHi, we're Drupal, a PHP-based content management system powering roughly 2% of all websites on the Internet and we participated in Google Summer of Code 2015 (GSoC) with a dozen projects! We have participated in 10 out of 11 years and this is no easy accomplishment. It is the dedication of each and every student who inspire us to volunteer our time year after year. Every GSoC excites us as we discover the next generation of programmers who will hopefully integrate themselves within our community.
Student work was focused on porting common modules to Drupal 8 (our newest version). Drupal 8 is a major change from a coding and systems architecture point of view, forcing students to resolve advanced logic issues on their own. Not only did students learn best practices of Drupal, but they adapted our new core technologies Symfony2 and Twig. Below is a list of our projects completed in GSoC 2015.
  • Shitiz Garg aka Dragoon: Hawk Authentication Integration for Drupal 8 - created a module to support HAWK, an HTTP authentication scheme using a message authentication code (MAC) algorithm to provide partial HTTP request cryptographic verification.

  • Lucian Hangea aka lhangea: Making Drupal smarter by learning from users’ behavior - provided a general framework to conduct experiments for advanced AI usages in Drupal by using a class of algorithms called multi-armed bandit algorithms which use reinforcement learning to display content variations based on user behavior.

  • Palash Vijay aka Palashvijay4O: Port Quick Tabs module to Drupal 8 - updated module to newest version providing an easy way to render tabs using Ajax as blocks of content.

  • Abhishek Kumar aka abhishek.kumar: Content Staging Solution for Drupal 8 - managed the transfer of content between sites based on CouchDB Replication Protocol in Drupal 8 with simple admin user interface plus command line options in Drush.

  • Sachini Herath aka sachini: Linked Data mapping tool for Drupal 8 and the Google Knowledge Graph - allows site builders to map their content to Freebase and WikiData from Drupal 8 with two options: 1. Map entity types such as nodes and taxonomy terms with Knowledge Graph. 2. Map content created using built-in WYSIWYG editor to Knowledge Graph.

  • Shivanshu Agrawal aka shivanshuag: Extending Site Audit and porting to Drupal 8 - updated an analysis platform that generates reports with actionable best practice recommendations in Drupal 8 plus implemented additional tests requested by top development agencies already familiar with the system who were surveyed by the student during proposal research.

  • Prateek Mehta aka prateekmehta: URL Embed Module for Drupal 8 - built a framework for CKEditor allowing users to display an embedded representation of a URL. Content of the URL can be video, images, rich text or a link.

  • Viktor Bán aka banviktor: Port Security Review to Drupal 8 - port new version of this module that helps site administrators automate testing for many of the easy-to-make mistakes that render your site insecure and create new tests to verify current best practices in security.

  • Alok Pandey aka zealfire: Port Print Module to Drupal 8 - update module to newest version utilizing APIs made available in Drupal 8 to make the architecture more stable and pre-processing of node's content into more robust printable formats.

Growth is critical to any community and we're proud that three of our 2014 students returned in 2015. In addition, student-alumni continue to become mentors after graduation and we're thrilled to see alumni-mentors returning annually who ultimately push this cycle of innovation forward. Most specifically, Drupal was lucky to find Chandan Singh aka cs_shadow who went from student to mentor and recently became our backup organization administrator. The system works!
A tip to mentoring organisations: utilize an org admin who does not mentor any specific project yet overlooks all projects with all students in a weekly check-in meeting. It was clear after the first and second weeks that our check-in meeting was effective. A few students needed a bit of guidance when it came to summarizing work and providing code to review (working with every student is a full time job in itself). However, by the end of summer students provided professional weekly reports that project managers in a real job would love to review. Plus students were able to share resources and peer review each other's work in meetings. Win win.
Thank you to Google for making all of this happen. It is exciting to watch this program grow and we're already planning for 2016. Learn more about contributing with us specifically at or help us prepare for Google Code-in at
By Matthew Lechleider, Drupal Org Admin
Categories: Open Source

Hungering for Game Utilities?

Wed, 11/18/2015 - 22:10
At Fun Propulsion Labs we spend some of our time building sample games to help demonstrate how to make easy-to-build, performant, cross-platform games. With the growth of Google Cardboard, we got to work and over many long evenings, feeding our animal hunger on sushi, we came up with Zooshi. Zooshi is an open source, cross-platform game written in C++ which supports:
  • Android, Android TV, Windows, OSX, and Linux
  • Google Cardboard
  • Google Play Games Services sign-in and leaderboards on Android
  • Level customization
Zooshi serves as a demonstration of how to build Android games using a suite of newly released and updated open source game technologies from Google:
  • Motive drives our Animation system, giving life and movement to the characters and environment.
  • CORGI, the Component Oriented Reusable Game Interface, is an Entity-Component system designed to allow users to define complicated game objects as collections of modular, custom-defined behaviors.
  • FlatUI is a straightforward immediate mode GUI system with a light footprint that makes building up user interfaces a breeze.
  • Scene Lab allows designers to design levels and edit entities from right in the game without needing to use an external editor.
  • Breadboard provides an easy to use node based scripting system for editing entity behaviors that's accessible to designers without deep knowledge of programming.
  • FPLBase is a cross-platform API layer, for abstracting low-level tasks like reading input and creation of graphical contexts.
As in our previous release, PieNoon, we also made extensive use of Flatbuffers, Mathfu, fplutil, and WebP.

You can download the game in the Play Store and the latest open source release from our GitHub page. We invite you to learn from the code to see how you can apply these libraries and utilities in your own Android games. Take advantage of our discussion list if you have any questions, and don’t forget to toss some sushi around while you’re at it!

Posted by Alex Ames, Fun Propulsion Labs*

* Fun Propulsion Labs is a team within Google that's dedicated to advancing gaming on Android and other platforms.
Categories: Open Source

New open source tools to import mail to Gmail

Tue, 11/17/2015 - 19:00
We have two new open-source projects to help people import their existing email into Gmail using the Gmail API: mail-importer and import-mailbox-to-gmail.

Do you have an old Thunderbird mail archive that you downloaded from an old email account? Do you want to move those old messages to Gmail so that you can use the Gmail app on your phone and still have access to everything? Then maybe mail-importer is for you! The project aims to make it easy for users to import mailbox files from their computer to Gmail. The project is in early development and only has command-line support right now.

Or maybe you are a Google Apps administrator trying to import all of your users’ old mbox files into Google Apps for Work? Then import-mailbox-to-gmail is probably what you’re looking for. It is a Python script that will do bulk imports of multiple mailboxes into multiple accounts in a domain. It's admin-managed, so your users won't have to individually import their archives. To migrate from other types of archives or mail servers to Google Apps, see the Help Center.

For developers, import-mailbox-to-gmail can be used as an example of how to perform domain-wide delegation for the Gmail API. mail-importer shows how to use batching and retries to efficiently query the Gmail API.

Interested? Want to contribute? Fork the projects on GitHub, send us pull requests, file issues and share your tricks on the wiki for each of the projects. See the CONTRIBUTING files for more details.
By Ian Flanigan, Software Engineer, Gmail and Liron Newman, Technical Solutions Engineer, Google for Work
Categories: Open Source

Introducing the Google Code-in 2015 Mentoring Organizations

Fri, 11/13/2015 - 22:00
Today we are happy to announce the 14 open source organizations that are participating as mentoring organizations for Google Code-in 2015! The contest, entering its sixth year, introduces 13-17 year old pre-university students to open source software development, giving them the opportunity to take the skills they have been learning in the classroom and apply them to a real open source software project. Experienced mentors are available to help the students if they have questions while working on each task.

Google Code-in officially starts for students on December 7, but before the contest begins, students can learn more about each of the mentoring organizations by clicking on the links below.
  • GCI vertical. 1142x994dp.pngApertium - rule-based machine translation platform
  • Copyleft Games Group - building game development platforms for tomorrow
  • Drupal -  content management platform
  • FOSSASIA - developing communities across all ages and borders to form a better future with Open Technologies and ICT
  • Haiku - operating system specifically targeting personal computing
  • KDE -  team that creates Free Software for desktop and portable computing
  • MetaBrainz - builds community maintained databases
  • OpenMRS - open source medical records system for the world
  • RTEMS - operating system used in satellites, particle accelerators, robots, racing motorcycles, medical devices and more
  • SCoRe - research lab that seeks sustainable solutions for problems faced by developing countries
  • Sugar Labs -  learning platform and activities for elementary education
  • Systers -  community for women involved in the technical aspects of computing
  • Ubuntu - open source operating system
  • Wikimedia Foundation - non-profit foundation dedicated to bringing free content to the world, operating Wikipedia

The mentoring organizations are currently busy creating hundreds of coding, documentation, user interface, quality assurance, outreach, research, and training tasks. The contest officially starts for students on Monday, December 7th at 9:00 PST.
For important contest information please check out the contest site for Contest Rules, Frequently Asked Questions and Important Dates. You can also find flyers and other helpful information including the new Getting Started Guide on the contest site. Join our announcement and discussion lists to talk with other students, mentors and organization administrators about the contest. For questions about eligibility or other general questions, you can contact us at
By Stephanie Taylor, Open Source Programs
Categories: Open Source

Google Summer of Code wrap-up: RoboComp

Fri, 11/13/2015 - 20:33
We continue our Google Summer of Code wrap-up series with RoboComp, an open source robotics development project. Check out their students’ work below.

RoboComp is a robotics development framework that uses distributed components over the Ice communications middleware. RoboComp also provides a set of useful tools that facilitate the life-cycle of robotics software components.  

We participated in Google Summer of Code (GSoC) for the second time in 2015. The students working with us completed four projects and all showed great enthusiasm and dedication. One of the most remarkable experiences this year was watching the students work together, supporting one another in several situations. Their projects are briefly described below.

Symbolic Planning in perception: Mercedes PaolettiMercedes improved RoboComp’s symbolic planner and its AGM domain description language (pdf) to allow domains to include abstract actions. These actions can be used to reason about how robots can achieve tasks without specifying details until necessary (to some extent similar to lazy evaluation in general programming languages). For example, if you need to go to San Francisco you can plan two abstract actions: one to get to the airport and another to fly to SF. You then try to solve the first one, leaving the details of the second for later. In order to test it in a real robot with our cognitive robotics architecture CORTEX (pdf), Mercedes implemented a generalized inverse kinematics solver based on regularized non-linear optimization. This algorithm is used to move the arms of our robot Shelly (in the image).ursus3-hall-informatica.jpgRoboComp Building and Deployment System Design: Nithin MuraliNithin Murali made contributions in several areas. The current CMake building scripts were greatly improved, so that Debian packages can now be easily generated for the project. Additionally, Nithin created an Ubuntu PPA for the project with these packages. He also developed a workspace model and several tools to ease the deployment of components.

Computer Vision Components and Libraries Management: Kripasindhu Sarkar Kripasindhu wrote a library to manage computer vision algorithms in RoboComp. He added all the library support tools as well as most of the main 2D and 3D recognition algorithms that we use. Kripasindhu developed a polymorphic and repeatable class design, yielding code that is easier to use and understand.

RoboComp Tutorial, Social Management and Documentation: Rajath Kumar M.PRajath greatly improved RoboComp’s documentation system and social media presence. He had the difficult task of learning about RoboComp yet at the same time writing a long series of tutorials of increasing difficulty. He also fixed several bugs in the installation system and has enthusiastically verified that everything now works as intended. As a result, RoboComp is much easier to install and many more people across the world have started to use it.

by Luis Manso and Pablo Bustos, RoboLab, Universidad de Extremadura, Spain
Categories: Open Source

TensorFlow - Google’s latest machine learning system, open sourced for everyone

Wed, 11/11/2015 - 01:33
Cross posted from the Google Research blog 

Deep Learning has had a huge impact on computer science, making it possible to explore new frontiers of research and to develop amazingly useful products that millions of people use every day. Our internal deep learning infrastructure DistBelief, developed in 2011, has allowed Googlers to build ever larger neural networks and scale training to thousands of cores in our datacenters. We’ve used it to demonstrate that concepts like “cat” can be learned from unlabeled YouTube images, to improve speech recognition in the Google app by 25%, and to build image search in Google Photos. DistBelief also trained the Inception model that won Imagenet’s Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge in 2014, and drove our experiments in automated image captioning as well as DeepDream.

While DistBelief was very successful, it had some limitations. It was narrowly targeted to neural networks, it was difficult to configure, and it was tightly coupled to Google’s internal infrastructure -- making it nearly impossible to share research code externally.

Today we’re proud to announce the open source release of TensorFlow -- our second-generation machine learning system, specifically designed to correct these shortcomings. TensorFlow is general, flexible, portable, easy-to-use, and completely open source. We added all this while improving upon DistBelief’s speed, scalability, and production readiness -- in fact, on some benchmarks, TensorFlow is twice as fast as DistBelief (see the whitepaper for details of TensorFlow’s programming model and implementation).
TensorFlow has extensive built-in support for deep learning, but is far more general than that -- any computation that you can express as a computational flow graph, you can compute with TensorFlow (see some examples). Any gradient-based machine learning algorithm will benefit from TensorFlow’s auto-differentiation and suite of first-rate optimizers. And it’s easy to express your new ideas in TensorFlow via the flexible Python interface.
Inspecting a model with TensorBoard, the visualization toolTensorFlow is great for research, but it’s ready for use in real products too. TensorFlow was built from the ground up to be fast, portable, and ready for production service. You can move your idea seamlessly from training on your desktop GPU to running on your mobile phone. And you can get started quickly with powerful machine learning tech by using our state-of-the-art example model architectures. For example, we plan to release our complete, top shelf ImageNet computer vision model on TensorFlow soon.

But the most important thing about TensorFlow is that it’s yours. We’ve open-sourced TensorFlow as a standalone library and associated tools, tutorials, and examples with the Apache 2.0 license so you’re free to use TensorFlow at your institution (no matter where you work).

Our deep learning researchers all use TensorFlow in their experiments. Our engineers use it to infuse Google Search with signals derived from deep neural networks, and to power the magic features of tomorrow. We’ll continue to use TensorFlow to serve machine learning in products, and our research team is committed to sharing TensorFlow implementations of our published ideas. We hope you’ll join us at

Posted by Jeff Dean, Senior Google Fellow, and Rajat Monga, Technical Lead 
Categories: Open Source

Google Summer of Code wrap-up: OpenKeychain

Fri, 11/06/2015 - 21:00
This week we feature OpenKeychain, an open source project that “helps users communicate more privately and securely”. Read more below about the exciting work their students completed last summer during Google Summer of Code.
OpenKeychain helps you communicate more privately and securely. It uses high-quality modern encryption to ensure that:
  • your messages can be read only by the people you send them to
  • others can send you messages that only you can read
  • these messages can be digitally signed so the people getting them are sure who sent them.
OpenKeychain is based on the well established OpenPGP standard making encryption compatible across all of your devices and operating systems.
This was OpenKeychain’s second year participating in the Google Summer of Code program. Two of our students did particularly great work which has been released in OpenKeychain 3.6.
Adithya Abraham Philip focused on OpenKeychain's interaction with keyservers. He implemented an automatic, periodic sync of keys that requires no user interaction. Since this potentially exposes a user's contacts, he implemented Tor and proxy support using the OkHttp library and the Orbot app. Adithya also implemented a more user friendly way to revoke and upload keys to keyservers. While adding the required settings for these features, he also created a UI redesign of the preference screen allowing better keyserver management.
Daniel Ramos worked on password alternatives by adding new key unlocking methods that the user can choose from. Specifically, this adds support for pattern, PIN, and NFC-based key protection mechanisms besides using a classic password. The methods have been implemented into OpenKeychain's key creation wizard. His work will be continued by themain developers and integrated in future versions of OpenKeychain.
By Vincent Breitmoser and Dominik Schürmann, main developers of OpenKeychain

Categories: Open Source

Google Summer of Code wrap-up: STE||AR Group

Fri, 10/30/2015 - 21:00
Today we are featuring the STE||AR Group, another Google Summer of Code veteran organization. Adrian Serio gives an overview of their four students summer projects below.
The STE||AR Group is an international team of researchers who aim to improve application scalability by more efficiently utilizing hardware resources available to developers. This summer has been an exciting time for the STE||AR Group’s Google Summer of Code (GSoC) mentors and students alike! We were very pleased with the dedication and effort of all five of our participants.
Our students made contributions to three of our software products:
  • HPX: a distributed C++ runtime system which comes with a standards-compliant API and allows users to scale their applications across thousands of machines
  • LibGeoDecomp: an auto-parallelizing library for petascale computer simulations which is able to take advantage of HPX to better adapt fluctuating workloads to the system
  • LibFlatArray: a highly efficient multidimensional array library which provides an object-oriented interface but stores data in a vectorization-friendly Struct-of-Arrays format.

Just like how these three products can work together as a tightly integrated stack, our goal with the GSoC projects was to create synergy between them and steer our development towards increasing the adaptivity and efficiency of our software. Below are the summaries of our student’s projects.
Implementation of a New Resource Manager in HPX: Nidhi MakhijaniThis project set out to properly assign hardware resources to executors: C++ objects that dictate the way a thread should be executed. Nidhi was able to allocate resources to an executor when it was created and return the resources when it stops. Additionally, Nidhi laid the groundwork for dynamic allocation where the resource manager can monitor and share resources amongst all of the running executors.
SIMD Wrapper for ARM NEON, Intel AVX512 & KNC in LibFlatArray: Larry XiaoVectorization is imperative for writing highly efficient numerical kernels. The goal of this project was to extend the already existing SIMD wrappers in LibFlatArray to more architectures (e.g. ARM NEON, Intel AVX512, etc.) and to extend the capabilities of these wrappers. Larry set out to study the different ISAs (Instruction Set Architectures), and make the library run efficiently on these architectures.
CSV Formatted Performance Counters for HPX: Devang BacharwarHPX provides users with a uniform interface to access arbitrary system information from anywhere in the system. Devang’s project allows users to request these counters in a CSV format. Additionally, he has enabled the ability to get timestamps with each value as well. These features will make it easier for HPX users to perform analysis on the performance data gathered from an application.
Integrate a C++AMP Kernel with HPX:  Marcin CopikThe HPX runtime system can coordinate the execution and synchronization of OpenCL kernels on arbitrary OpenCL devices, such as GPUs, in a system. In his GSoC project, Marcin used a C++ AMP compiler to produce an OpenCL kernel from a parallel algorithm implemented by HPX. Marcin integrated the Kalmar AMP compiler into the HPX build system, transformed a parallel for each algorithm into an OpenCL kernel, dispatched the kernel to a GPU and synchronized the result with a concurrently running HPX application.
A Flexible IO Infrastructure for LibGeoDecomp: Konstantin KronfeldnerIn LibGeoDecomp, users are able to read from and write to arbitrary regions of the simulation space. These operations are carried out by objects which we call Steerers and Writers. Over the summer, Konstantin added the ability for these Steerers and Writers to be dynamically created and destroyed. LibGeoDecomp is typically used on supercomputers, where jobs are executed non-interactively via a batch system. Konstantin's extensions enable users to interact with the application at runtime. They can view and modify the simulation model dynamically. The benefit of this is a significantly lower turnaround time for domain scientists who need to carry out many computational experiments.
By Adrian Serio, Scientific Program Coordinator, STE||AR Group
Categories: Open Source

Google Summer of Code wrap-up: Cesium

Wed, 10/28/2015 - 21:00
Today we are featuring Cesium, a three-time Google Summer of Code participant. Read more below about the fascinating work their students did with imagery this past summer. Cesium_Logo_Color.jpgCesium is a JavaScript library for creating 3D globes and 2D maps in a web browser without a plugin. It uses WebGL for hardware-accelerated graphics, and is cross-platform, cross-browser and tuned for dynamic-data visualization. Cesium first participated in Google Summer of Code (GSoC) in 2013. The bright students who have joined us through GSoC have made significant contributions to the Cesium community. This summer, our students worked on the following projects:NASA Worldview - Abhishek PotnisBringing Cesium to NASA imagery, Abhishek improved visualization of LIDAR profile data from NASA’s Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO). CALIPSO data is used to study atmospheric developments such as cloud formation and aerosol interactions, and can be extended to develop models for climate predictions among other possibilities. Using Cesium, Abhishek developed an interface that takes a user’s location input and displays the profile curtains nearest to that location. The user can select the time range for the data curtains, and the profile curtains near the location of interest will be refreshed accordingly. Perhaps most importantly, the interface shows the CALIPSO profiles in their natural “curtain” orientation in the context of traditional “flat” maps served by NASA’s Global Imagery Browse Services. This allows users to effectively combine the strengths of both types of maps for tasks such as determining the three-dimensional structures of clouds and dust storms. See the live demo and source code. GSoCBlog_Cesium.pngBy combining “flat maps” with “data curtains,” a user can visualize the height of clouds and dust storms above the Earth’s surface. In this case, cloud heights above western Africa are shown as red and yellow blobs in the generally blue LIDAR curtain. The CALIPSO satellite recorded the LIDAR curtain at approximately the same time as the Aqua satellite recorded the “flat map” below it.Cesium Support for GPX and Shapefiles - André NunesAndré joined us in 2013 as part of GSoC and worked on client-side support for KML, allowing users to easily visualize the many geographic data sets widely available in KML files. This year, he returned to tackle native Cesium support for GPS Exchange Format (GPX). GPX support will let anyone with a cell phone or other GPS device easily transfer their own outdoor activities (such as bike rides, running, boating, and even drone flights) into Cesium. Check out his GitHub pull request for the full technical details. Since he will be graduating from Técnico Lisboa in January, this is André’s final GSoC, but we hope he continues to contribute to Cesium as he embarks on his professional career!

Cesium Support for GML SFP - Ayush KhandelwalGeography Markup Language (GML) Simple Features Profile (SFP) is a common way of representing geospatial vector features such as points, lines, and polygons, plus accompanying metadata. In addition to being useful in its own right for spatial data visualization, GML SFP is commonly used to encode features retrieved from an OGC standard Web Feature Service (WFS) and to represent the result of a GetFeatureInfo call to a Web Map Service (WMS). This summer Ayush implemented support in Cesium for GML SFP.

By Sarah Chow, Cesium Organization Administrator
Categories: Open Source

Hungering for Game Utilities?

Wed, 10/21/2015 - 21:00
We here at Fun Propulsion Labs spend some of our time building sample games to help demonstrate how to make easy to build, performant, cross platform games. With the growth of Google Cardboard, and demand for useful resources, we got to work and over many long evenings, feeding our animal hunger on sushi, we came up with Zooshi.  Zooshi is an open source, cross-platform game written in C++ which supports:

  • Android, Windows, OSX, and Linux
  • Google Cardboard
  • Google Play Games Services sign-in and leaderboards on Android
  • Level customization

Zooshi serves as a demonstration of how to build Android games using a suite of open source game technologies from Google such as Motive, Breadboard, FlatUI, CORGI, Scene Lab, and FPLBase. As in our previous release, Pie Noon, we also made extensive use of Flatbuffers, Mathfu, fplutil, and WebP.
  • Motive drives our Animation system, giving life and movement to the characters and environment.
  • CORGI, the Component Oriented Reusable Game Interface, is an Entity-Component system designed to allow users to define complicated game objects as collections of modular, custom-defined behaviors.
  • FlatUI is a straightforward immediate mode GUI system with a light footprint that makes building up user interfaces a breeze.
  • Scene Lab allows designers to design levels and edit entities from right in the game without needing to use an external editor.
  • Breadboard provides an easy to use node based scripting system for editing entity behaviors that's accessible to designers without deep knowledge of programming.
  • FPLBase is a cross-platform API layer, for abstracting low-level tasks like reading input and creation of graphical contexts.

You can download the game in the Play Store and the latest open source release from our GitHub page. We invite you to learn from the code to see how you can implement these libraries and utilities in your own Android games. Take advantage of our discussion list if you have any questions, and don’t forget to toss some sushi around while you’re at it!
By Alex Ames, Fun Propulsion Labs*
* Fun Propulsion Labs is a team within Google that's dedicated to advancing gaming on Android and other platforms.
Categories: Open Source

Google Summer of Code wrap-up: Portland State University

Fri, 10/16/2015 - 21:00
We’ve enjoyed featuring new organizations to Google Summer of Code over the past six weeks. But it’s now time to turn our attention to our veterans. Portland State University is one of our longest running participants – 2015 marked their 11th year in the program!Portland State University, in our eleventh year with Google Summer of Code (GSoC), is a relatively unique organization. Portland State is obviously not an open source project; neither are we focused on a particular kind of software or service. Instead, we concentrate on two attributes of projects: individual focus and academic relevance. Portland State serves as a home for projects that might otherwise not find an organization within GSoC, either because they require especially theory-based or academic mentoring or because there is no GSoC organization that fits. Even more than most organization, we insist that students do a self-contained piece of technical work. Many of our projects are "from scratch".
As with every year of GSoC, the results for Portland State this year are fantastic. We supervised projects covering a wide range of activities. Below are snippets about each of our student projects. You can view the full project descriptions and outcomes on our blog.
Alexia Ingerson: Efficient Parallelized Bitmap CompressionAlexia implemented a parallelized compression algorithm in C in order to run some CPU and cache analyses. She and her mentor originally hypothesized that the decrease in speedup was caused by an increase in cache misses, but analysis showed that it was in fact the I/O that could be significantly improved.
Hisham Benotman: Multiple Diagram Navigation Drupal Module Multiple Diagram Navigation (MDN) is a Drupal module that allows website authors to incorporate diagrams, maps, infographics and other visual structures in their sites. The diagrams are supplied in SVG format. Using MDN, website authors can both connect shapes in a diagram to related shapes in other diagrams and to related Drupal nodes. Based on these connections, users can browse the website content using multiple diagrams which provide multiple points of view for the content.
Jon Barnes: Web Application for Geologic Thin Section Mapping and Mineral Analysis Jon worked on Python-based code to identify minerals in geologic rock thin sections. The focus of this project was to work on a website to analyze and share data about thin sections between geologists. The first half of this summer he focused on building and designing the website, and the second half of this summer was focused more on getting the Django code to work for the site.
Josh Leverette: High-Precision Open Source Indoor Tracking System Josh took on the task of getting a COTS 9-DoF Inertial Measurement Unit, the STM LSM9DS0, working with Linux and implementing sensor fusion with the goal of building a portable embedded system that could track a person through a building. His intended target was emergency First Responders, but the system has a variety of uses.
Karthik Senthil: A Tool To Build Definitional Trees Karthik built an open source tool useful in the compilation and execution of Functional Logic Programming languages; this tool is related to research conducted with his mentor. The tool was completed successfully and fielded in demonstration projects.
Maxim Grishin: Commercial-Quality Sound In MuseScore Maxim took on the task of improving MuseScore, a high-quality open source music composition tool that was not part of GSoC this year. In particular, the MIDI and audio generation needed some help, especially after the release of MuseScore 2.0 which made fundamental architectural changes.
Melissa Fabros: WebLogo: Making Sequence Logos Easy and Painless A "Sequence Logo" is a graphical representation of RNA, DNA, or protein multiple sequence alignments. Melissa worked to rewrite portions of a web tool, WebLogo, for managing Sequence Logos. She modified WebLogo's front-end to enable the web application€™s use on mobile computing devices and to incorporate dynamic web features, modernized the HTML and CSS to meet Responsive Design€ standards, and added substantial capabilities around Sequence Logo upload, download and sharing.
Michael Kennedy: A Mobile Application Privacy Testing Tool The aim of Michael's project was to develop a network privacy testing tool for Android applications. This tool detects the disclosure of personal information and specifically two disclosure issues: the "leakage" of personal information through unencrypted network traffic, and inappropriate disclosure of personal information to third-party providers such as advertisers (in encrypted and unencrypted traffic).
Nalin: XBoard Enhancement and Accessibility XBoard is an open source cross-platform C program that is one of the oldest and most-used interfaces to Chess engines. Nalin took on the task of fixing some user interface issues in XBoard with the specific intention of improving accessibility for users with disabilities, under the mentorship of two of the XBoard authors.
Tim Cooper: Adding gRPC support To The Mumble VoIP server Tim worked on the server-side code of the Mumble project, an open-source VoIP system that is primarily used in the online gaming community. He added support for Google's new gRPC library, one that allows developers to remotely invoke functions on a server. These changes allow Mumble server owners to write code in several different languages to interact with and change how their Mumble servers operate.
Vaibhav Sharma: Face Detection and Recognition In Videos Vaibhav took on the task of recognizing actors' faces in videos using machine learning. Building the infrastructure alone was a major effort, and there were countless challenges in algorithms and techniques. One major hurdle was building a good corpus for training and evaluation.

Overall this was one of the best years ever for Portland State. I was really impressed with the students and with the work that they produced. I learned some valuable lessons that will be applied to the program if we are accepted next year, and as always really enjoyed the process.Huge thanks to all the mentors and students who made this year so successful.
Bart Massey and Team, Portland State University
Categories: Open Source

Dozen of one, half dozen of the other: the 6th Google Code-in and 12th Google Summer of Code are on!

Tue, 10/13/2015 - 22:00
Since 2005, our Open Source Programs Office has enabled 11,000+ students, ranging in age from 13 to 56, to explore open source software development. They’ve worked hands-on with over 515 projects across a variety of disciplines.
If you’re a student looking to learn new coding skills that can help make a difference, check out our upcoming programs: Google Code-in for students 13-17 and Google Summer of Code for university students.

Google Code-in - Program starts for students December 7, 2015
For the sixth year in a row, Google Code-in will give 13-17 year old pre-university students an opportunity to dive in and explore the world of open source. Students with many different skills -- coders and non-coders alike -- will find opportunities to learn by doing and earn prizes. It’s easy to get started: just choose an interesting task from our participating organizations’ lists and complete it under the guidance of a mentor.

GCI-logo generic no border.pngGoogle Code-in is for students asking questions like:
  • What is open source?
  • What kinds of stuff do open source projects do?
  • How can I write real code when all I’ve done is a little classroom work?
  • Can I contribute even if I’m not really a coder?

With tasks in five different categories, there’s something to fit almost any student’s skills:
  • Code: writing or refactoring
  • Documentation/Training: creating/editing documents and helping others learn more
  • Outreach/research: community management, outreach/marketing, or studying problems and recommending solutions
  • Quality Assurance: testing and ensuring code is of high quality
  • User Interface: user experience research or user interface design and interaction
GCI 2014 Grand Prize Winners on the Google Campus

Over 2,200 students from 87 countries have taken part in Google Code-in, and we’re excited to welcome many more into this year’s edition. We’ll be announcing this year’s participating organizations on November 13th, so stay tuned.

Google Summer of Code - Student applications open on March 14, 2016GSoC logos from the last 10 yearsGoogle Summer of Code (GSoC) is an innovative program dedicated to introducing students from universities around the world to open source software development. The program offers student developers stipends to write code for a wide variety of carefully selected open source projects while under the guidance of mentors. Our goal is to help these students pursue academic challenges over the summer break while they create and release open source code for the benefit of all. Over the past 11 years, over 8,300 mentors and 8,500 student developers in 101 countries have produced a stunning 55 million lines of code.

500+ GSoC Students and Mentors

We’re proud to continue this tradition for another year: we’ll be welcoming another batch of students into Google Summer of Code 2016. We’ll be accepting applications from open source organizations in February and student applications from March 14 - 25, 2016 so it’s not too early to start thinking about proposals.

Spread the word to your friends and stay tuned for more details coming soon!

By Stephanie Taylor and Carol Smith, Open Source Programs Office

Categories: Open Source

Google Summer of Code wrap-up: HPCC Systems

Fri, 10/09/2015 - 21:00
Our wrap-up post this Friday features HPCC Systems, another organization new to Google Summer of Code 2015. HPCC aims to solve big problems around big data. Read below to learn more.
HPCC Systems was designed to solve “big data” problems. It can process, analyze and find links and associations in high volumes of complex data at high speed and with incredible accuracy. While it was originally created by LexisNexis and is still used in-house, the HPCC Systems Project went open source four years ago. Free downloads of the software, documentation and training materials are available from our website.

This is the first time we participated in Google Summer of Code (GSoC) and it has been a great success. As a first-time organization, we were allocated two student slots. It was quite hard to choose which proposals to accept because there were many high quality contenders. We selected two projects that highlight areas of specific interest not just for us but for our community and the world of big data.

Add Statistics to the Linear and Logistic Regression Modules - Sarthak Jain
Machine learning statistics are important to the big data world, providing a way to drill down into data using complex queries and produce meaningful results to help businesses maintain their competitive edge in the market place. The HPCC Systems Machine Learning Library has been around for a while now and we are always looking for ways to improve it. The new statistics added as part of this project give vastly improved results about the models created.
Slide taken from Sarthak's presentation describing some of the tasks completedThe statistics Sarthak added provide metrics which indicate the “goodness” of the model created. He completed the tasks associated with these statistics in very good time and also added three stepwise functions to the same modules which find the best model by adding or taking away independent variables. A goodness metric was also added to these features to select which independent variables are added to or taken away from the model. The three functions he added were forward, backward and bidirectional.

Expand the HPCC Systems Visualization Framework (Web-Based) - Anmol Jagetia
Currently the HPCC Systems Platform has very little support for visual analytics. While there are plenty of “off the shelf” visual analytic tools and dashboard creators, none are really suitable for big data because they typically work with local datasets (think charting with a spreadsheet). The HPCC Systems Visualization Framework aims to solve the issue by bringing together existing “best of breed” visualizations as well as bespoke HPCC Systems visualizations into a consistent framework.

Anmol’s project involved adding unit tests and linting as well as adding new visualization widgets and enhancing existing ones. He used his knowledge and experience to enhance our build quality infrastructure and has also added a range of new features to the existing framework including the addition of a time lapse capability and a number of features which enable bar charts to be used as Gantt charts. The work he has done, which is already being used, significantly improves the user experience.

Below is an illustration of the work Anmol did to add range support in a column chart where there is both an upper and lower bound.
We’ve really enjoyed participating in GSoC this year and we will definitely apply to be accepted again next year. Our thanks go to the students for contributing to our project. We hope they enjoyed working with us.

By Lorraine Chapman, HPCC Systems Release Manager and GSoC Org Admin

Categories: Open Source

Google Summer of Code wrap-up: Red Hen Lab

Fri, 10/02/2015 - 18:00
For our Google Summer of Code wrap-up this week we have The Distributed Little Red Hen Lab. A new organization for 2015, Red Hen Lab had three student projects. Read on to learn about the Lab and their effort to scan a huge repository of international television news programming. redhenlogo.jpgThe Distributed Little Red Hen Lab is an international consortium for research on multimodal communication. We develop open source tools for joint parsing of text, audio/speech and video, using datasets of various sorts, most centrally a very large dataset of international television news called the UCLA Library Broadcast NewsScape. Red Hen uses 100% open source software. In fact, not just the software but everything else—including recording nodes—is shared in the consortium.
The Red Hen archive is a huge repository of recordings of TV programming, processed in a range of ways to produce derived products useful for research, expanded daily, and supplemented by various sets of other recordings. Our challenge is to create tools that allow us to access audio, visual, and textual (closed-captioning) information in the corpus in various ways by creating abilities to search, parse and analyze the video files. However, as you can see, the archive is very large, so creating processes that can scan the entire dataset is time consuming, and often with a margin of error.
Our projects for Google Summer of Code 2015 (GSoC) challenged students to assist in a number of projects, including some that have successfully improved our ability to search, parse and extract information from the archive.
Ekateriana Ageeva - Multiword Expression Search and Tagging
Ekaterina built a multiword expressions toolkit (MWEtoolkit), which is a tool for detecting multi-word units (e.g. phrasal verbs or idiomatic expressions) in large corpora. The toolkit operates via command-line interface. To ease access and expand the toolkit's audience, Ekaterina developed a web-based interface, which builds on and extends the toolkit functionality.
The interface allows us to do the following:
  • Upload, manage, and share corpora
  • Create XML patterns which define constraints on multiword expressions
  • Search the corpora using the patterns
  • Filter search results by occurrence and frequency measures
  • Tag the corpora with obtained search results

The interface is built with Python/Django. It currently supports operations with corpora tagged with Stanford CoreNLP parser, with a possibility to extend to other formats supported by MWEtoolkit. The system uses part of speech and syntactic dependency information to find the expressions. Users may rely on various frequency metrics to obtain the most relevant search results.
Owen He - Automatic Speaker Recognition System
Owen_He-web.jpgOwen used a reservoir computing method called conceptor together with the traditional Gaussian Mixture Models (GMM) to distinguish voices between different speakers. He also used a method proposed by Microsoft Research last year at the Interspeech Conference, which used a Deep Neural Network (DNN) and an Extreme Learning Machine (ELM) to recognize speech emotions. DNN was trained to extract segment-level (256 ms) features and ELM was trained to make decisions based on the statistics of these features on a utterance level.
Owen’s project focused on applying this to detect male and female speakers, specific speakers, and emotions by collecting training samples from different speakers and audio signals with different emotional features. He then preprocessed the audio signals and created the statistical models from the training dataset. Finally, he computed the combined evidence in real time and tuned the apertures for the conceptors so that the optimal classification performance could be reached. You can check out the summary of results on GitHub.
Vasant_Kalingeri-web.jpgVasanth Kalingeri - Commercial detection system
Vasanth built a system for detecting commercials in television programs from any country and in any language. The system detects the location and the content of ads in any stream of video, regardless of the content being broadcast and other transmission noise in the video. In tests, the system achieved 100% detection of commercials. An online interface was built along with the system to allow regular inspection and maintenance.
Initially the user uses a set of hand tagged commercials. The system detects this set of commercials in the TV segment. On detecting these commercials, it divides the entire broadcast into blocks. Each of these blocks can be viewed and tagged as commercials by the user. There is a set of 60 hand labelled commercials for one to work with. This process takes about 10-30min for a 1hr TV segment, depending on the number of commercials that have to be tagged.
When the database has an appreciable amount of commercials (usually around 30 per channel) we can use it to recognize commercials in any unknown TV segment. On making changes to the web interface, the system updates its db with new/edited commercials. This web interface can be used for viewing the detected commercials as well. For more information see Vasanth’s summary of results.
By Patricia Wayne, UCLA Communication Studies
Categories: Open Source

Google Summer of Code wrap-up: Linux XIA

Fri, 09/25/2015 - 21:00
It’s Friday! Time for another Google Summer of Code wrap-up post. Boston University / XIA is one of the 37 new organizations to the program this year. Read below about three student projects and their work to discover the future architecture of the internet.lx-motto.pngLinux XIA is the native implementation of eXpressive Internet Architecture (XIA), a meta network architecture that supports evolution of all of its components, which we call “principals,” and promotes interoperability between these principals. We are developing Linux XIA because we believe that the most effective way to find the future Internet architecture that will eventually replace TCP/IP is to crowdsource the search. This crowdsourced search is possible in Linux XIA.
Our organization, Boston University / XIA, received 34 proposals from 12 countries. As a first-year organization in Google Summer of Code (GSoC), we were surprised by the number of proposals, and we did our best to choose great students for each of the following projects:
Extending XLXC to support arbitrary network topologiesXLXC is a set of scripts written in Ruby that creates network topologies using virtual interfaces and Linux containers. While testing a new network stack, a good amount of work goes into creating testing environments. XLXC saves developers and tinkerers a lot of time while experimenting with Linux XIA. Our student Aryaman Gupta from India worked with mentor Rahul Kumar to enable XLXC to emulate any topology using a language to describe the topologies.
Implementing perfect hashing for mapping XID types to loaded principals Linux XIA needs to call forwarding functions that correspond to each XID type in order to forward a packet. XID types are 32-bit identifiers associated with principals which, in turn, define the forwarding functions. Being able to hash each XID type to a unique entry in an array increases the number of packets Linux XIA can forward per second because it reduces the number of memory accesses per lookup. Our student Pranav Goswami, also from India, worked with mentor Qiaobin Fu to find the best perfect hashing algorithm for Linux XIA to use in this case, and implemented it in Linux XIA.
Implementing the LPM principal We do not know how the future Internet will route packets between autonomous systems (ASes), but we are certain that Linux XIA can leverage IP's routing tables to have large deployments of Linux XIA. This is the goal of the LPM principal: leveraging routing tables derived from BGP, OSPF, IS-IS and any other IP routing protocol to forward XIA packets natively, that is, without encapsulation in IP. Thanks to the evolution mechanism built into Linux XIA, when a better way to route between ASes becomes available, we will be able to incrementally phase LPM out. Student André Ferreira Eleuterio from Brazil implemented the LPM principal in Linux XIA with the help of mentor Cody Doucette.
We are going to work with our students during the fall to have their contributions merged into our repositories and to add new projects to our ideas list that build upon their contributions. We expect that this will motivate new contributors by showing how much impact they can have on Linux XIA. Finally, new collaborators do not need to wait for the next GSoC to get involved! Join our community today, and "do what you can, with what you have, where you are" to make a difference like our three students successfully did.
By Michel Machado, Organization Administrator for Boston University / XIA
Categories: Open Source

Introducing Brotli: a new compression algorithm for the internet

Thu, 09/24/2015 - 23:08
At Google, we think that internet users’ time is valuable, and that they shouldn’t have to wait long for a web page to load. Because fast is better than slow, two years ago we published the Zopfli compression algorithm. This received such positive feedback in the industry that it has been integrated into many compression solutions, ranging from PNG optimizers to preprocessing web content. Based on its use and other modern compression needs, such as web font compression, today we are excited to announce that we have developed and open sourced a new algorithm, the Brotli compression algorithm.
While Zopfli is Deflate-compatible, Brotli is a whole new data format. This new format allows us to get 20–26% higher compression ratios over Zopfli. In our study ‘Comparison of Brotli, Deflate, Zopfli, LZMA, LZHAM and Bzip2 Compression Algorithms’ we show that Brotli is roughly as fast as zlib’s Deflate implementation. At the same time, it compresses slightly more densely than LZMA and bzip2 on the Canterbury corpus. The higher data density is achieved by a 2nd order context modeling, re-use of entropy codes, larger memory window of past data and joint distribution codes. Just like Zopfli, the new algorithm is named after Swiss bakery products. Brötli means ‘small bread’ in Swiss German.
The smaller compressed size allows for better space utilization and faster page loads. We hope that this format will be supported by major browsers in the near future, as the smaller compressed size would give additional benefits to mobile users, such as lower data transfer fees and reduced battery use.
By Zoltan Szabadka, Software Engineer, Compression Team
Categories: Open Source

Introducing CCTZ: a simple time zone library for C++

Thu, 09/24/2015 - 18:00
"Time zones are logical and easy to use."—no one ever

Programming with time zones is notoriously difficult and error prone. Sure, this is partially because time zones have some inherent complexity. But perhaps the bigger problem is that programmers don't have a clear conceptual model of how time and time zones work. Additionally, library support may not be what it should. The end result is that code dealing with time zones is often overly complicated and sometimes even wrong.

A couple years ago we set out to fix these time zone programming woes within Google. We did this first by defining a greatly simplified mental model that enables programmers to understand time concepts and correctly reason about their code. We also created a C++ Time Zone library that closely matches this mental model and allows programmers to handle even the most complicated issues in a general and clear way.

And since we don't believe that time zone programming problems are unique to Google, we think our solutions may be useful to others. We presented these ideas and announced the open sourced cctz library this week at CppCon 2015. Even if you don't use C++, we hope you'll take a moment to read about the simplified mental model and perhaps flip through the slides from our talk, because those ideas are language independent.
by Greg Miller and Bradley White, Google Engineering
Categories: Open Source

Google Summer of Code wrap-up post: Pencil Code

Fri, 09/18/2015 - 20:00
Pencil Code is a collaborative programming site for art, music and creating games. It is also a place to experiment with mathematical functions, geometry, graphing, webpages, simulations and algorithms. Pencil Code had three Google Summer of Code students in 2015. You can read more about their project successes below.

As we return to school and look around Pencil Code in preparation for classes this fall, there are quite a few improvements created by our Google Summer of Code (GSoC) students. The first thing you see when you log in — icons everywhere! But better yet, if you have saved the program recently, the icon will be a screenshot of the program's output. This change will help students and teachers quickly identify saved projects, and will help people find interesting projects they want to share.The icon implementation was done by Xinan Liu, a student at Singapore National University. He rewrote several bits of the Pencil Code server to support the icons, and then on the client side, he integrated the very cool html2canvas library to create the screenshots.
Xinan also contributed quite a bit beyond this project. He refactored our node.js-based build to switch from require.js to browserify, and he has been contributing to other sharing and scaling features on Pencil Code, helping other non-GSoC contributors get up to speed and reviewing their pull requests. We're looking forward to Xinan's continuing involvement and contributions to our little open source community.The next contribution was by IIIT Hyderabad student Saksham Aggarwal. Saksham has implemented an HTML block mode for the Droplet block editor, which means that teachers can introduce beginners to HTML syntax using a drag-and-drop interface. And as usual with Droplet, you can toggle between blocks and text at any time. Saksham is also working on a similar Droplet-based editor for CSS syntax. The visual HTML syntax editor is a very accessible way to see and work with HTML syntax without having to type every bracket. And yet, magically, it does not hide the syntax - by toggling into text, you can work directly with traditional code. It is fully authentic, but highly accessible. You can read a paper about Saksham's work here.The final project was a collaboration between GSoC student Jeremy Ruten from the University of Saskatchewan, and two of our summer students Amanda Boss from Harvard and Cali Stenson from Wellesley. They created an incredibly ambitious project to implement a "rewindable" debugger in Pencil Code. Although it is not quite ready for production yet, we are already using pieces of it in Pencil Code. You will see the debugger in coming months! For examples of how it transforms code, you can check out Jeremy, Amanda and Cali's writeup of their debugging work.

Did I mention that the three of them are students? And that they built this rewindable debugger over just one summer!? They made improvements that will make a real difference as we use Pencil Code to bring computer science to the next generation of students.We'd like you to participate!If you are interested in bringing some of this cool work into your classroom, join our discussion group by signing up at We have teachers from elementary school to college, from Texas to Singapore. And if you'd like to make an open source contribution, check out for project ideas, and join the teaching discussion group — also an area where our open source contributors hang out.
We are grateful to Google for supporting our summer open source program with GSoC. We hope the summer was as interesting for our students as it was productive for our project. We look forward to our students' continued involvement in the Pencil Code community.
By David Bau, Organization Administrator for Pencil Code

Categories: Open Source

Google Summer of Code wrap-up post: Institute for Artificial Intelligence

Fri, 09/11/2015 - 18:00
Now that the 11th year of Google Summer of Code has officially come to a close, we will devote Fridays to wrap-up posts from a handful of the 137 mentoring organizations that participated in 2015. Organizations this year represented a wide range of computing fields including artificial intelligence, featured below.

Two software libraries that originate from our laboratory, the Institute for Artificial Intelligence, that are used and supported by a larger user community are the KnowRob system for robot knowledge processing and the CRAM (Cognitive Robot Abstract Machine) framework for plan-based robot control. In our group, we have a very strong focus on open source software and active maintenance and integration of projects. The systems we develop are available under BSD and MIT licenses, and partly (L)GPL.

Within the context of these frameworks, we offered four projects during the summer term in 2015, which were all accepted to Google Summer of Code (GSoC).

Multi-modal Big Data Analysis for Robotic Everyday Manipulation Activities
The project "Multi-modal Big Data Analysis for Robotic Everyday Manipulation Activities" added to our ongoing work to build the robotic perception system RoboSherlock for service robots performing household chores. Our GSoC student, Alexander, made exciting progress and valuable contributions during the summer. He ported an earlier prototypical proprioceptive module from Java to C++ to integrate it into RoboSherlock, he developed tools for visualizing the module's various detections and annotations, and applied this infrastructure to detect collisions of the robot's arms with unperceived parts of the environment in a shelf reordering task. We are also very happy that Alexander decided to stay and keep on working on RoboSherlock after GSoC ended.

Kitchen Activity Games GUI

Our GSoC student, Mesut, developed a GUI to interact with the robotics simulator Gazebo. The simulator has been used as a library, allowing different scenarios (worlds) to be selected and executed. Playlists can be generated in order to replay logged episodes. During the replay, various plugins can be linked and executed from the GUI to allow post processing the data. The user interface will ease organizing and saving simulation data further used for learning. You can view Mesut’s project on GitHub here.
Symbolic Reasoning Tools with Bullet using CRAM

Autonomous robots performing complex manipulation tasks in household environments, such as preparing a meal or tidying up, are required to know where different objects are located and what properties they have. The knowledge about their environment is called “belief state”, i.e. the information that the robot believes holds true in the surrounding world. Our GSoC student, Kunal, worked on improving the world representation of the CRAM robotic framework, which represents the environment as a 3-dimensional world where simple physics rules of the Bullet Physics engine apply. The goal of the project was to issue events when errors are found in the belief state, such as, if the robot thinks its arm is inside of a table, which is physically impossible. A stand-alone ROS (Robot Operating System) publisher node, that would notify all its listeners about errors, was partially implemented while integration with the CRAM belief state is still in progress.

Report Card Generation from Robot Mobile Manipulation Activities

Throughout the summer, our GSoC student Kacper made great progress in developing a framework for automatically generating report cards from robot experiences. We have a special focus in mobile manipulation activities in robots and are interested in anomaly detection in our rather complex systems — the developed components greatly help us save time on mundane analysis tasks, and make complicated analysis steps (looking up all aspects of a certain action, comparing different trials) easier to do.
By Jan Winkler, Organization Administrator and PhD student at the Institute of Artificial Intelligence
Categories: Open Source

Building a Build System: Bazel reaches Beta

Wed, 09/09/2015 - 18:00
We're excited to announce the Beta release of Bazel, an open source build system designed to support a wide variety of different programming languages and platforms.
There are lots of other build systems out there -- Maven, Gradle, Ant, Make, and CMake just to name a few. So what’s special about Bazel? Bazel is what we use to build the large majority of software within Google. As such, it has been designed to handle build problems specific to Google’s development environment, including a massive, shared code repository in which all software is built from source, a heavy emphasis on automated testing and release processes, and language and platform diversity. Bazel isn’t right for every use case, but we believe that we’re not the only ones facing these kinds of problems and we want to contribute what we’ve learned so far to the larger developer community.
Our Beta release provides:

Check out the tutorial app to see a working example using several languages.
We still have a long way to go.  Looking ahead towards our 1.0.0 release, we plan to provide Windows support, distributed caching, and Go support among other features. See our roadmap for more details and follow our blog or Twitter account for regular updates.  Feel free to contact us with questions or feedback on the mailing list or IRC (#bazel on freenode).
By Jeff Cox, Bazel team

Categories: Open Source