Summer Internship Projects Announced

Over the past few years, WordPress has made it a tradition to take part in the Google Summer Of Code. This year however, thanks to Jane Wells, there will be two interns from the Gnome Outreach Program for Women. This program is organized by the GNOME Foundation to encourage more women to get involved with open source development.

Google Summer Of Code 2013

This years list of WordPress projects are as follows:

  • Ryan McCue, from Australia, working on a JSON-based REST API. Mentors will be Bryan Petty and Eric Mann, with a reviewer assist from Andrew Norcross.
  • Kat Hagan, from the United States, working on a Post by Email plugin to replace the core function. Mentors will be Justin Shreve and George Stephanis, with an assist from Peter Westwood.
  • Siobhan Bamber, from Wales, working on a support (forums, training, documentation) internship. Mentors will be Mika Epstein and Hanni Ross.
  • Frederick Ding, from the United States, working on improving portability. Mentors will be Andrew Nacin and Mike Schroder.
  • Sayak Sakar, from India, working on porting WordPress for WebOS to Firefox OS. Mentor will be Eric Johnson.
  • Alex Höreth, from Germany, working on adding WordPress native revisions to the theme and plugin code editors. Mentors will be Dominik Schilling and Aaron Campbell, with a reviewer assist from Daniel Bachhuber.
  • Mert Yazicioglu, from Turkey, working on ways to improve our community profiles at Mentors will be Scott Reilly and Boone Gorges.
  • Daniele Maio, from Italy, working on a native WordPress app for Blackberry 10. Mentor will be Danilo Ercoli.

I always think of the summer internship programs as a way for WordPress to scratch an itch. While the core team continues to work on the next version of WordPress, the interns get to work on the items that at times, are relegated to the bucket list. First off, I’m happy to see that someone has been assigned the task to create a Post By Email plugin to replace what exist in core. This is interesting because JetPack already has the ability to post by email. When I asked Jane Wells about this conundrum, this was her response:

Because it’s still in core currently, and we don’t replace core functions with proprietary plugins, which Jetpack is.

This makes sense as it wouldn’t be kosher to replace core functionality with a plugin that needs to be tied into to function.

The other project that gets me somewhat excited is adding native WordPress revisions to the theme and plugin code editors. This has been a long time coming and is in alignment with Matt’s vision where users are unable to break their website or at the very least, are able to return it to normal at the click of a button. A part of me loves seeing revisions added to the plugin and theme editors but another part of me wonders why a code editor is within WordPress at all. In the early days of using WordPress, I used the code editor to make the necessary changes to theme files in order to add plugin functionality, as per the directions. But we’ve advanced so far from that, that I rarely ever use the code editor. I’m more inclined to use something like NotePad++. I conducted a non-scientific Twitter poll today asking my followers when is the last time you used the code editor in WP to edit a theme or plugin code?. Turns out, there are definitely circumstances in which having a built-in editor is beneficial. For instance, when there is a lack of FTP access. It’s also a major convenience factor as it’s easier to edit a file from within a clients WordPress install than having to go through the process of gaining FTP credentials. After all, adding revisions to the editor is just another layer of protection that has very few, if any drawbacks.

Keep in mind that there is no guarantee that any of these projects will be completed or that the finished product will see the light of day. Do you see anything on the project list that you would love to see become a reality?