Hi, my name is Marek, I study informatics (I’ve just ended my second year), I’m GNU Volunteer Webmaster and this summer I was an intern at FSF working on GNU MyServer. You can be curious why I’m not listed here along other interns – being first FSF intern I was accepted before FSF’s new internship program was started and I’m not part of it. I’m a pretty bad writer so please excuse my style and errors=).
For those that don’t know it, GNU MyServer is a web server as Apache or lighttpd. During my internship I’ve developed GUI application that lets you edit GNU MyServer’s configuration. Application is written in Python using GTK+ toolkit. I have used Python a lot and done some GUI programming before so it wasn’t completely new to me, but it was my first time using GTK+ which several times refused to do what I wanted=). Fortunately it is nicely documented and I managed to overcome all difficulties. I also had problems with not properly documented GNU MyServer configuration files, but Giuseppe Scrivano (GNU MyServer maintainer and my mentor) always helped me out=). I think that’s enough said about technical details, if you want to know more my work is now merged with main tree, so everyone can get it by pulling GNU MyServer’s master git branch from GNU Savannah.
This internship was a great experience, mostly because I’ve never worked on a bigger project with few years of history and active development team, but also because I’m huge Free Software fan, so being an intern at foundation that’s behind GNU operating system and the GPL was pretty exciting. As an informatics student I can tell you that Free Software is perfect for learning. I can’t imagine using software that I can’t study. I learnt much from Free Software and I wanted to contribute back to Free Software community for some time, but I’ve never knew how to start. Well, first time is behind me and I hope that it will be easier now to enter other projects=). During this internship I’ve learnt a few new things (GTK+, GNU Autotools) but I think that the most important aspect was learning how to work in a team and how to contribute to bigger projects when you can’t easily learn how internals work.
My internship is now over but still there are things to be done, both for my GUI application and for GNU MyServer. I’m going to continue contributing to GNU Myserver and I hope my code will be useful for others.
For those who have reached this point I have a prize, we all love screen shots don’t we?;)
Good luck to other FSF interns and happy hacking!
Marek Aaron Sapota (maarons at gnu.org)