SummerOfCodeProposal ctrlfreak

From The Battle for Wesnoth Wiki

This page is related to Summer of Code 2010
See the list of Summer of Code 2010 Ideas

This is a Summer of Code 2010 student page
Project: SoC Ideas WML Debugging


ctrlfreak - Improve WML debugging support

I plan to modify the debugging code to contain clearer error messages which pinpoint the exact location and line number where the errors occur. I also intend to improve the infrastructure for errors to make it more modularized and easily extendable/externally accessible.


ctrlfreak, ctrlfreak_


1) Basics 1.1) Write a small introduction to yourself.

I'm a senior highschool student, set to graduate in a couple of months, and I have a passion for coding. I enjoy tinkering with various operating systems, particularly Linux and BSD-based ones. I'd love to be able to gain some experience programming in a team environment, and am enthusiastic to learn.

1.2) State your preferred email address.

john /at/ altenmueller /dot/ com

1.3) If you have chosen a nick for IRC and Wesnoth forums, what is it?

ctrlfreak on freenode, ctrl_freak on Wesnoth forums

1.4) Why do you want to participate in summer of code?

I want to participate in GSoC for several reasons: learning how to work on a project in a team environment, getting college credits for the completed project, and work experience for when I plan on applying for a longer-term job in the future.

1.5) What are you studying, subject, level and school?

As mentioned earlier, I am completing my senior year in highschool. I've also applied to University of Waterloo's mathematics department for an undergraduate degree in pure mathematics.

1.6) What country are you from, at what time are you most likely to be able to join IRC?

Canada, times most likely able to join IRC are from 16:00-23:00 PST.

1.7) Do you have other commitments for the summer period ? Do you plan to take any vacations ? If yes, when.

1 week vacation at the beginning of July.

2) Experience

2.1) What programs/software have you worked on before?

I've developed a media file framework, and an audio file tagger application.

2.2) Have you developed software in a team environment before? (As opposed to hacking on something on your own)


2.3) Have you participated to the Google Summer of Code before? As a mentor or a student? In what project? Were you successful? If not, why?


2.4) Are you already involved with any open source development projects? If yes, please describe the project and the scope of your involvement.


2.5) Gaming experience - Are you a gamer?


2.5.1) What type of gamer are you?

Light gamer

2.5.2) What type of games?

I've played First Person Shooters, as well as some action and strategy games.

2.5.3) What type of opponents do you prefer?

AI 2.5.4) Are you more interested in story or gameplay?


2.5.5) Have you played Wesnoth? If so, tell us roughly for how long and whether you lean towards single player or multiplayer.

I've played Wesnoth fairly intensively 2 years ago, haven't played much since then.

2.6) If you have contributed any patches to Wesnoth, please list them below. You can also list patches that have been submitted but not committed yet and patches that have not been specifically written for GSoC. If you have gained commit access to our S­­V­­N (during the evaluation period or earlier) please state so.

3) Communication skills

3.1) Though most of our developers are not native English speakers, English is the project's working language. Describe your fluency level in written English.

Highly proficient (native speaker).

3.2) What spoken languages are you fluent in?


3.3) Are you good at interacting with other players? Our developer community is friendly, but the player community can be a bit rough.

Yes, I'm used to interacting with gaming communities.

3.4) Do you give constructive advice?


3.5) Do you receive advice well?


3.6) Are you good at sorting useful criticisms from useless ones?

The majority of the time.

3.7) How autonomous are you when developing ? Would you rather discuss intensively changes and not start coding until you know what you want to do or would you rather code a proof of concept to "see how it turn out", taking the risk of having it thrown away if it doesn't match what the project want

I can work with whatever is preferred, though I'm more comfortable completing work on my own and seeing if it's useful afterwards.

4) Project

4.1) Did you select a project from our list? If that is the case, what project did you select? What do you want to especially concentrate on?

Yes, I selected "WML Debugging Support". I want to concentrate particularly on rewriting the error feedback to be more descriptive, so developers have a better understanding of what's wrong in their markup.

4.2) If you have invented your own project, please describe the project and the scope.

4.3) Why did you choose this project?

I chose this project because I believe it is well within my area of experience, and because I believe it would greatly benefit the Wesnoth developer community.

4.4) Include an estimated timeline for your work on the project. Don't forget to mention special things like "I booked holidays between A and B" and "I got an exam at ABC and won't be doing much then".

The entire project will need a little more than 2 months.

4.5) Include as much technical detail about your implementation as you can

Acquiring a full understanding of the task at hand will probably require 1-2 weeks. Once the code base is understood, I will proceed with improving the error messages (probably 2 weeks), and changing the structure of the error handling so it can support line numbers and a more flexible handling system. This will require at least 1 month.

4.6) What do you expect to gain from this project?

Better understanding of the Wesnoth code base, experience working in a team environment, experience working on a debugging system, and relationships with members of the online developer community.

4.7) What would make you stay in the Wesnoth community after the conclusion of SOC?

Successful completion of the project at hand, and positive interactions with other members of the Wesnoth developer and user community.

5) Practical considerations

5.1) Are you familiar with any of the following tools or languages?

Sub­­version (used for all commits)


C++ (language used for all the normal source code)


STL, Boost, Sdl (C++ libraries used by Wesnoth)

STL, C++, Yes. Boost, SDL, minimal experience.

Python (optional, mainly used for tools)

Minimal experience.

build environments (eg cmake/autotools/scons)


WML (the wesnoth specific scenario language)


Lua (used in combination with WML to create scenarios)


5.2) Which tools do you normally use for development? Why do you use them?

In a Unix environment, I normally use C++ and the automake toolset. On OS X, I use the Apple Developer Tools (Xcode, Objective-C). I use them because they are most native to the environment I am developing for.

5.3) What programming languages are you fluent in?

C, C++, Objective-C

5.4) Would you mind talking with your mentor on telephone / internet phone? We would like to have a backup way for communications for the case that somehow emails and IRC do fail. If you are willing to do so, please do list a phone number (including international code) so that we are able to contact you. You should probably *only* add this number in the application for you submit to google since the info in the wiki is available in public. We will *not* make any use of your number unless some case of "there is no way to contact you" does arise!

No, I do not mind.

This page was last edited on 21 March 2013, at 01:26.