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GSoC: Fixing Bugs

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  • Christopher Berardi
    Hello, I would like to apply to the Google Summer of Code and was looking at VIM. I am enrolled at Youngstown State University and will have completed one year
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 27 5:12 PM
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      Hello,

      I would like to apply to the Google Summer of Code and was looking at
      VIM. I am enrolled at Youngstown State University and will have
      completed one year of computer programming at the end of this current
      semester, though I have been enrolled in the University for several
      years including a couple in IT with a focus on networking.

      The primary language I have studied this year has been C++, but I have
      also taken courses in shell scripting and COBOL. I am very interested
      in the C/C++ language and I want to focus primarily on it in my
      studies.

      I have also been a VIM users since I switched over to the Linux/Unix
      world years ago - Red Hat 9 was my first distribution. I am currently
      using Slackware and NetBSD and still only use VIM as my primary text
      editor, so I am enthused to be able to help out with it. I know the
      basics of using VIM, though I am always learning new commands and
      quicker ways of getting things done with VIM.

      That being the case, I am still aware the my experience is limited and
      so I cannot realistically expect to be able to undertake a substantial
      project and complete it in the time allotted (though, perhaps in a
      year or two that will be feasible). When I was looking at the list of
      ideas, I saw that one was fixing bugs. I thought to myself that that
      would be something that I might be able to help out with. I don't know
      how many bugs I could potentially resolve in the time of the program,
      probably it depends on the nature of the bug.

      So I am posting here to get your opinions on my hopeful ideas about
      helping out in the SoC. I am enthused about the program and about
      helping out one of my favorite open source projects.


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    • Christopher Berardi
      Hello, I just wanted to add, that when I was looking at the voting page for features I was struck by the idea of improving the multi-byte character support.
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 27 7:13 PM
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        Hello,

        I just wanted to add, that when I was looking at the voting page for
        features I was struck by the idea of improving the multi-byte
        character support. This caught my eye because I am also interested in
        Unicode and text. But I am uncertain of this because I don't know what
        is currently deficient in VIM's multi-byte character support and also
        I didn't know how well I could accomplish said goal. I've never done
        any programming for Unicode (though it is something I want to learn)
        and I don't know if such a project would be feasible for me to
        complete.

        Again, with two semesters of C++ programming experience, a lot of
        these projects seem daunting to me. I am definitely interested in
        helping and want to learn, I am enthused about the GSoC program and
        the VIM text editor, but I am unsure how to judge myself and my
        abilities to undertake these projects.

        Any advice and/or suggestions would be welcomed.

        Thanks,

        Christopher Berardi
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      • Charles E. Campbell, Jr.
        ... Well, one thing I ve always wished for (but never got around to implementing), was the ability to set watchpoints in vimscript (ie. it would be part of the
        Message 3 of 5 , Mar 27 8:41 PM
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          Christopher Berardi wrote:

          >Any advice and/or suggestions would be welcomed.
          >
          >

          Well, one thing I've always wished for (but never got around to
          implementing), was the ability to set watchpoints in vimscript (ie. it
          would be part of the debugging suite). Just in case you don't know what
          a watchpoint is: basically, its an expression that's evaluated at the
          end of every line of script. If it becomes true, then the execution is
          stopped -- just like a breakpoint had been set there. One should be
          able to continue, etc.

          Seems like a nice, not too big, GSoC project to me. Of course, I
          haven't implemented it, so I don't know how much work is involved. On
          the other hand, breakpoints are already available, so that should be
          helpful.

          Regards,
          Chip Campbell


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        • Christopher Berardi
          Hello, Well, Google has extended the deadline by one week. So that gives me time to perhaps improve my proposal. I have posted the proposal that I submitted
          Message 4 of 5 , Mar 31 4:02 PM
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            Hello,

            Well, Google has extended the deadline by one week. So that gives me
            time to perhaps improve my proposal. I have posted the proposal that I
            submitted which is still able to be edited until the end of the
            application deadline. I know that it is weak, but I am not familiar
            with writing technical proposals such as this. Any help and
            suggestions to improve it would be appreciated.



            Abstract:

            VIM is a very good text editor. It is especially good in the fact that
            it is extremely stable. But it still has it bugs like any program. My
            goal is to eliminate as many of those bugs as possible to make VIM
            even more robust and stable.

            Proposal:

            VIM is a very good text editor. It is especially good in the fact that
            it is extremely stable. But it still has it bugs like any program. My
            proposal is to make VIM more robust and stable by fixing as many bugs
            as possible. I will use as my primary sources the todo list and the
            vim-dev mailing list.

            I will look at the issues listed and investigate whether it is a
            documentation or user error if it is an actual issue in the VIM code.
            If the code is to fault, that section of code will need to be
            corrected and patched.


            Background/Experience:

            I am currently enrolled at Youngstown State University pursuing a
            bachelor's degree in Computer Information Systems. In the past I had
            taken a few courses in programming and learned Pascal and Basic/
            VisualBasic. At the end of this semester I will have completed one
            year of C++ courses. I have also this past year taken courses in UNIX
            shell scripting and COBOL.

            I have been using UNIX/Linux for over five years now, starting back
            with Red Hat 9. I am currently dual-booting Slackware 12.0 and NetBSD
            4.0 on my HP desktop computer.

            In all that time, VIM has been my primary text editor. I have done a
            wide survey of text editors, and I consistently found that VIM was the
            best editor for me. I know the basics of using VIM, but I find I am
            constantly finding new and more efficient ways to use VIM. For this
            reason, I am excited about the possibility of helping out with the VIM
            project.

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          • John Beckett
            ... I haven t examined the GSOC terms so I can t advise anything specific. However, in general your proposal should mirror the GSOC documentation. For example,
            Message 5 of 5 , Apr 1, 2008
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              Christopher Berardi wrote:
              > Well, Google has extended the deadline by one week. So that
              > gives me time to perhaps improve my proposal.

              I haven't examined the GSOC terms so I can't advise anything specific.
              However, in general your proposal should mirror the GSOC documentation. For
              example, I imagine they suggest how long you should work. So you should say
              that you are available for that period and will be available full time with
              no other planned activity. They probably vaguely describe what they hope the
              outcomes will be. Your proposal should mimic their words with the confident
              assertion that you are ready to reach those goals. You must cover every
              point they mention.

              You should give some indication that you have researched the situation. Your
              current words just say that you like Vim (by the way, Vim documentation
              spells it "Vim"). Say that you have studied the todo list (and where you saw
              it), and the info on vim.org. There's no need to apologise for suggesting
              that Vim has bugs. Your proposal is simply to work through as many defects
              listed on the todo as you can reasonably achieve (a small number, even a
              couple would be great). You should mention a vague plan: select a specific
              simple item to work on first; analyse the problem and the associated code;
              develop a test that reveals the problem; code to resolve the problem; check
              tests ok, and other tests work; post for review on vim_dev.

              I hope some of the above is helpful because I would really like more people
              to work on the Vim todo list.

              John


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