As many of you already know, yesterday we learned that the Joomla! project was not accepted for the 2010 Google Summer of Code program. This was both disappointing and surprising. Joomla! has been in the program every year for the past five years, and we had a very successful program in 2009.
However, this decision serves as a reminder that GSoC participation is not automatic, and we should not take it for granted. After all, Google has the unenviable task of deciding among many competing projects which ones they will sponsor. I'm sure many of these decisions are difficult to make.
So, what do we do now?
First of all, I would like to thank Google for their generous support of the Joomla! project. Last year alone, they sponsored 18 projects and paid for two community members to attend the GSoC Mentor Summit in California. Over the years, their contributions to Joomla! have been many and substantial. The decision this year in no way diminishes the value of Google's past support. Google is not obligated to support FOSS projects in general or Joomla! in particular, and the fact that they choose to do so is fantastic and should not be taken for granted.
Second, the project leadership will be talking to Google to understand what we can do going forward to strengthen our application for any future GSoC programs. Obviously, we would like to again participate in GSoC, and we will do our best to make that happen.
Third, as those of you who have been following 2010 GSoC effort at Joomla! know, we have a very strong group of mentors and proposed projects. We also have an enthusiastic group of students. Many of the mentors have already expressed a willingness to continue to work with students on summer projects, and a number of students have also expressed an interest in working on Joomla! projects, even without financial support from Google.
We can provide mentoring support to any student who wishes to take on any of the projects on the list. Obviously, the difference is that we won't be able to pay the students a stipend. However, for many students, the greatest value of the program is the opportunity to work closely with experienced mentors on real-world development projects. That opportunity is still available, and we can still get some great work done this summer.
Finally, I would like to thank the members of the community who have volunteered to help as mentors and the students who have been working on their ideas. I hope we can work together to make this a great learning and coding experience and help make Joomla! even better.