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KDE Gains from Google Summer of Code (GSoC)

Google's Summer of Code project, which sponsors students to write software in the summer break from university has benefited Linux once again, with contributions to, among others, the KDE desktop environment.

The project has produced some intriguing results, with work on integration between KDE and Gnome's Zeitgeist activity journal as well as lots of work on Nepomuk and other semantic technologies.

Lydia Pintscher, a KDE contributor and Summer of Code monitor based at the University of Karlsruhe, said: "At KDE, we're thrilled to have been given the opportunity again to work with so many bright and enthusiastic students. We've given them a good introduction to the world of free software and helped them see just how much they are capable of when they put their minds to it. I obviously want all of them to stay with KDE and help us create the future. But even if some of them don't. I'm sure this Summer of Code made a difference in their lives."

Not being evil

When the Summer of Code launched, it was seen as a way for Google to give something back to the free software community, as well as a way for the company to identify talent.

It still retains those attributes, but with growing disquiet over Android's relative non-freeness, the Summer of Code has arguably become more important to Google for the positive PR it brings. The work on KDE is also a vindication of the structural changes it underwent with the release of KDE 4.0. At the time it was criticized for focusing on abstraction layers and new ways for programmers to work, rather than providing features for the end user, but that work is paying off now.