Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Google Summer of Code 2010 midway point

We've reached the midway point in the 2010 Google Summer of Code, and I've just completed the mid-term evaluation process. This year, Derby are mentoring three students, and all 3 seem to be doing well. In the project I'm involved with, Nirmal Fernando is making great progress on building Query Plan visualization tools, which are crucial for comprehending the behavior of Derby on large and complex queries.

The core PlanExporter functionality that Nirmal is working on is now a solid piece of software, backed up by automated regression tests that demonstrate its functionality. We're starting to work through more advanced issues, such as packaging, security, and looking for more advanced test cases.

I'm particularly pleased to see Nirmal's comfort level growing as he gains experience working with the Derby community. For example, Nirmal recently approached the community with questions about Java security policy and privileged action implementation (not simple subjects). He raised the topic, worked through several iterations of follow-up and clarification, and solved the problem, all without any assistance from me. You can see the discussions here and here.

We've still got a lot of work left to do on the visualization tools, but if the second half of GSoC 2010 goes as well as the first half, I'll be quite pleased with the results.

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