|[soc-dev] GSoC timeline|
I've received a few confused emails from some folks, so I thought
I'd take a minute to describe the process.|
The timeline is on the GSoC site 
The first step is for mentoring organizations (e.g. The Eclipse Foundation) to enter an application into Google's "Melange" System . The deadline for application is March 29. Jelena and I will start the application process today.
Google administrators will stew over the applications for a few days and announce their decisions on April 8. Sometime after that Mentors can apply. We only accept people that we know as mentors. This includes Eclipse project committers and others who are endorsed by existing mentors.
The student application process doesn't start until April 22. On or near this date, we will send out instructions. The short version is that students must use the Melange system to enter their project. Students should be prepared to provide detail about a _specific_ project. Every year, we get a handful of projects that are nothing more than "I'd love to do work on an Eclipse project"; these applications get rejected immediately.
Once the student application process starts, our "Ideas" page becomes an historical document. The Google administrators don't look at the ideas page; the project application page in the Melange system needs to be a complete document.
Plan to include scheduling information in your application. Don't include your resume, but do plan to tell us a little bit about yourself (FWIW, don't bother telling us about your "combat kite" flying experience; we don' t care). Students, you need to make us believe that you can complete the work. If your project description requires a lot of background, be sure to include a concise summary. It's in your best interest that as many as possible mentors actually read at least some part of the document.
The deadline for student applications is May 3. Throughout the student application process, mentors will have an opportunity to ask questions and rank the proposals during the application process. We will send out reminders.
Students take note that you need votes from multiple mentors to have any chance of success. Keep this in mind while writing your application. Talk about your project in this list. Make us excited about it. Answer questions promptly. Students, please also keep in mind that we have a few mentors who are extremely good at identifying cheaters. We take cheating very seriously.
Mentors have until May 6 to complete the evaluations. On that day, Jelena and I will make a request for the number of projects we'd like accepted. In accordance with the spirit of the rules, we will request as many slots as we have good proposals. Google will most likely give us fewer than we ask for. Mentors, we need to make sure that the most viable and valuable projects are at the top of the list.
Slot allocations are announced on May 8. Some haggling between organizations follows. Accepted student proposals will be announced on May 27.
Let me know if you have any questions. I prefer that you pose your questions here in the public list where others can benefit from the responses. Keep in mind that we are an open and transparent organization.
 I believe that "Melange" is named after the spice in the excellent "Dune" series (just in case you're interested).
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