OCaml Forge


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To apply as a mentoring organization for the GSoC, we are expected to answer the following questions. A good read before modifying this page: Mentor manual.


Describe your organization.

Name: OCaml Community

Description: We represent the users of the OCaml programming language, a functional language created by INRIA and released under an open-source license. We are not directly affiliated to INRIA but, as the community of developers of this language, we are eager to promote it.

Homepage: http://forge.ocamlcore.org/ [Ideally we would like to also add http://caml.inria.fr but there is no space for that.]

Main Organization License


[We have to chose one in a list. There is no space to say that there are several sub-projects in the OCaml community and that most of them use "LGPL with OCaml static linking exception", "MIT" or "BSD3".]

Why is your organization applying to participate in Google Summer of Code 2011? What do you hope to gain by participating?

The OCaml community is growing and we would like to take the advantage of GSoC to boost some existing projects that will make OCaml even more appealing.

If accepted, would this be your first year participating in GSoC?


Did your organization participate in past Google Summer of Codes? If so, please summarize your involvement and the successes and challenges of your participation.


If your organization participated in past GSoCs, please let us know the ratio of students passing to students allocated, e.g. 2006: 3/6 for 3 out of 6 students passed in 2006.


What is the URL for your Ideas page?


What is the main development mailing list for your organization? This question will be shown to students who would like to get more information about applying to your organization for GSoC 2011. If your organization uses more than one list, please make sure to include a description of the list so students know which to use.

caml-list@inria.fr To subscribe, go to http://caml.inria.fr/resources/forums.en.html

The list gsoc-team-discussion has been created to discuss matters specific to the GSoC. It will not be mentioned on the Google application but will be communicated to students.

What is the main IRC channel for your organization?

"#ocaml" on irc.freenode.net

Does your organization have an application template you would like to see students use? If so, please provide it now. Please note that it is a very good idea to ask students to provide you with their contact information as part of your template. Their contact details will not be shared with you automatically via the GSoC 2011 site.


What criteria did you use to select the individuals who will act as mentors for your organization? Please be as specific as possible.

We pick long-term supporters and upstream authors of the OCaml community who have demonstrated their abilities by releasing quality programs or libraries. Our mentors — see https://forge.ocamlcore.org/plugins/mediawiki/wiki/gsoc-team/index.php/Main_Page#Contact — are well known figures in the OCaml community who interact on the mailing list and have released quality software. They also have added drafts on our ideas page related to their field of expertise.

What is your plan for dealing with disappearing students?

We have a three-levels plan:

1. Pick people who are likely to be reliable:

  • students who are working at the same place as mentors (University, CS research facility);
  • people involved for more than one year in the OCaml community;
  • people who already have authored or contributed to OCaml projects.

However, we would like to stay as open as possible, and will study student applications on a case by case.

Students should at least provide:

  • true identity
  • phone number
  • postal address

This information will be required when they create the mandatory account on the OCaml Forge. We may ask for academic grades and repository of software they have written.

2. Release early, release often

We plan to make them commit as frequently as possible in our VCS. We will also try to make them publish their work as soon as possible. This will allow to quickly have a product that can be used. We think that this can be a motivation for students to see their work used early, and at least get something working if they disappear.

3. Community support

We will not start new project but improve existing ones.

In this way, even at the end of the project, the upstream author can continue the project. That will ensure that the projects are not "GSoC only".

What is your plan for dealing with disappearing mentors?

We define ourselves as a community. Each mentor should have a backup. We will require that the project be hosted on http://forge.ocamlcore.org ; if a mentor disappears, we will be able to transfer (at least temporarily) administrative rights to another member of the community who can pickup the job.

What steps will you take to encourage students to interact with your project's community before, during and after the program?

The administrator team will keep posting blog articles on our Planet about the GSoC. Several members of our community who work in universities have also been contacted to inform students. Our annual OCaml Meeting (April 15, 2011) takes place right after the application period ends but before the deadline to rank the students. Applicants will be invited to attend this event to meet their mentor and discuss further their proposal if needed.

During the program we will invite the students to describe their ongoing work on the wiki associated to their project as well as use the "release early, release often" scheme as said above. That will foster the participation of the community as a whole who will offer suggestions, try the code, and report bugs. Moreover, the attention their project is getting will increase the motivation of the student to perform well.

To motivate our students after GSoC ends — they clearly will have other duties to care about after then — we will invite them to our annual meeting (April 2012) to present their achievements. This will also enable them to have face to face discussions with the users of their project.

If you are a small or new organization applying to GSoC, please list a larger, established GSoC organization or a Googler that can vouch for you here.

Debian has kindly accepted to vouch for us.

If you are a large organization who is vouching for a small organization applying to GSoC for their first time this year, please list their name and why you think they'd be good candidates for GSoC here:


Anything else you'd like to tell us?

[Left empty.]

Who will be your backup organization administrator?

Administrator: C. Troestler

Backup administrator: S. Le Gall

Email: gsoc-team-admin @spam@ ocamlcore.org

Admin Agreement