Few years back, I had posted about “Smallest GUI Operating System – KolibriOS“; It’s as small as 1MB, needs just 8 MB RAM and boots in less than 10 seconds! 8-0 Yes it’s that great!
Google Summer Of Code
Google Summer of Code is an annual program, first held from May to August 2005, in which Google awards stipends (of 5,000 USD, as of 2013) to hundreds of students who successfully complete a requested free and open-source software coding project during the summer.
Several open source organizations apply for Google Summer Of Code. Google then sponsors these organizations for the stipend of the students for their projects.
This year, KolibriOS had applied at Google Summer of Code. So here, we @ TTW, take the opportunity to interview the organization administrator of KolibriOS – Mr. Yogev Ezra:
Zainil – Hello Yogev Ezra! Well KolibriOS does not need an introduction, but still we would appreciate few words about the OS and the organization from you.
Yogev – KolibriOS is the fastest open-source graphical operating system that currently exists in the world. It can boot from power-on to completely functioning desktop in less than 10 seconds (I am counting the BIOS screen as well!). It needs only 8MB of RAM to run (Yes, that’s MEGAbytes – not GIGAbytes!) and around 1MB disk space. It is so small and fast mainly because its core parts (kernel and drivers) are written entirely in FASM assembly language.
KolibriOS is free both as in “Free Speech” AND “Free Beer”; it is both “gratis” and “libre”. Anyone is free and even encouraged to copy, modify, distribute and make derivative works of it, as well as use our source code.
We introduce ourselves as “KolibriOS Project Team”, but we don’t have a formal organization that represents KolibriOS – we are just a group of around 20 individuals who can be called “active project contributors”. The contribution in this case doesn’t mean only writing code – it can be testing, our website design and maintenance, or, like in my case, representing KolibriOS in front of authorities and other organizations (I took a role of KolibriOS Public Relations Coordinator). All our contributors (including myself) do their work voluntarily and in their spare time, and nobody is paid for their efforts.
Zainil – Let’s come directly to the topic of the day, Summer of Code 2013! What are the coding plans; what new features are expected in the KolibriOS after the summer 2013?
Yogev – We wanted our own Summer of Code to be similar to the official Google Summer of Code. So there are no specific plans – there is only a list of ideas we wrote that one or more of them can potentially be implemented by the students that are selected (if we get the funding, of course). Everyone (including your readers) is welcome and encouraged to suggest other ideas, beyond our initial list – http://wiki.kolibrios.org/wiki/Google_Summer_of_Code_2013
If you are asking me what is the most desirable feature I would like to see done as part of this Summer of Code, then I’d name Font subsystem/Locales/Unicode support. Currently KolibriOS supports only Cyrillic and Latin fonts, so it is limited to the languages that can be used in the system – no right-to-left languages like Arabic and Hebrew, no logograms (Chinese, Japanese, Korean), no Devanagari (Hindi language). Adding locale/Unicode support would open KolibriOS to all languages so it is a very useful feature.
Zainil – How will the students be benefited from this? What are the criteria’s for applying and where do the students apply from?
Yogev – If we are lucky and raise enough funds to hold the Summer of Code, we will post instructions for potential students on how to apply on our Kickstarter project page. The applications themselves would need to be submitted on our forum (http://board.kolibrios.org) Once the students applied, we will rate their proposals and select 1 or 2 best proposals (depending on how much money we gather), and those would be students that would work with us during the summer. Those students will get stipend paid by us from the funds we collect, similar to students that work on Google Summer of Code. The main benefit for those students would be learning how to work for real-life organization, and get introduced to the open-source world.
Update :- KolibriOS is been 100% funded and KolibriOS Summer of Code 2013 student applications are opened now! 2 selected students will receive a stipend of $2250 USD!
Zainil – Where will this coding program be conducted? Are you planning for any webinar’s so that more volunteers and students can participate? If yes, then please share the details about webinar; and if not, then why not?
Yogev – The students are expected to do all the coding work on their home (or university) computer. Travel or relocation are not needed to participate in this project. For communication with mentors and other project members, students will mainly use our forum (http://board.kolibrios.org), but also IRC, Jabber or Skype, whichever is convenient at that time. We haven’t thought about conducting a webinar, but your suggestion looks great, and we would be happy to conduct it if our fundraising is successful. Meanwhile, anyone interested to contribute to the project can reach us on our forum.
Zainil – About Google Summer of Code 2013, out of 417 applications made to Google, Google selected only 177 organizations for sponsoring them. KolibriOS had also applied for getting sponsorship, but Google rejected the application. Why were the 177 organizations ranked before you; what do you think, what were the reasons for your rejection?
Yogev – I have already answered that specific question on our Kickstarter page, so I will just quote it: Some people have told us: “My organization participates in Google Summer of Code for a few years, and we were never rejected.” The truth is that each organization competes for place in GSoC with similar purpose organizations, and not with all the organizations that apply. So, since our project is an Operating System, we were considered versus all other OSes that have submitted the application, and this year there were many! Minix, ReactOS and even Haiku were all rejected as well, just for the same reason. If you still don’t believe us, you can check the feedback session that Google held for the rejected organizations via IRC.
Zainil – It’s a great idea of continuing the Summer of Codes, by collecting the donations! Could you please tell our readers from where they can contribute to your summer project?
Yogev – Our fundraising campaign is running at this address: http://kck.st/11La589 Please note that you need a valid credit or debit card in order to donate money!
Zainil – To conclude, what message would you like to share with our readers?
Yogev – Even if you can’t donate money, we would really appreciate if you can help us spread the word. Please share this project with your friends and family on Twitter and Facebook. And you are also encouraged to try KolibriOS yourself, now. Just run it once, and you would be amazed forever by its size and speed!
Thank you Yogev Ezra for spending your precious time with us!
It’s a sincere request to all the TTW readers to help KolibriOS with the best that you can!