Summer of Code 2010

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Scratchfile for our Google Summer of Code application.

1. Describe your organization.

Dreamwidth Studios is an Open Source social network and content management system forked from the LiveJournal codebase run by Our project wiki includes the Operating Agreement for Dreamwidth Studios, LLC at We are a Maryland-based Limited Liability Company.

Dreamwidth Studios, LLC is founded on a commitment to openness: our motto is "Open Source, Open Expression, Open Operations", and we believe that it is our duty to produce not only a product that people will want to use in a hosted fashion, but also a robust, easy-to-install, easy-to-configure content management system that others will want to install and use locally. Our Guiding Principles can be found at

While Dreamwidth Studios, LLC is a young company, both of the Members of Dreamwidth Studios, LLC, as well as many of the active development team, have years of experience working on LiveJournal and in social networking at large. Our staff page can be seen at

Our reasons for forking were both technical and social. We believe that over the years, as both the LiveJournal codebase and have changed corporate ownership, the project's commitment to its Open Source roots has waned, and design has been focused too much on the hosted product and not on the Open Souce package.

We believe that the LiveJournal codebase has significant advantages over any other blogging, content management, or social networking platform. We also believe that many of those advantages were never fully realized over the years, or were implemented in a non-free fashion. We have built our process and procedures from the ground up to nurture our Open Source development community, and we believe that the way to get fabulous project contributors is to teach them and nurture them ourselves.

2. Why is your organization applying to participate in GSoC 2009? What do you hope to gain by participating?

We all learned how to be effective Open Source project contributors by trial and error over the years, thanks to mentoring efforts from others on various projects we've participated in. By participating in Google Summer of Code as an organization, we hope to pay it forward to the Open Source community by teaching the students assigned to us effective project management and time management techniques, good coding discipline, and most importantly, the unwritten social contracts that most Open Source projects operate under.

As we've grown over the past year since project founding, we've already built an informal mentorship organization within our project. Today, over half of our active code contributors are people who have not only never worked on an Open Source project before, but who have learned to code through our project. We believe that we are well-placed to use that experience, as part of the Google Summer of Code project, to extend that mentorship organization to help nurture the next generation of Open Source contributors.

As part of our corporate commitment to diversity and inclusiveness, we are particularly interested in mentoring non-traditional or minority students.

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

We have not participated in the Google Summer of Code previously as a company; however, our chief mentor participated in 2005 on a previous project.

[more answer]

4. If your organization has not previously participated in GSoC, have you applied in the past? If so, for what year(s)?

We have not previously applied to Google Summer of Code as an organization.

5. What license(s) does your project use?

We release our code under both the Artistic License and the GPL.

6. What is the URL for your ideas page?


7. What is the main development mailing list or forum for your organization?

Our mailing lists are at:

Our project wiki is at:

Our bug tracker is at:

8. What is the main IRC channel for your organization?

Our main IRC channel is #dw on

9. Does your organization have an application template you would like to see students use? If so, please provide it now.


10. Who will be your backup organization administrator? Please include Google Account information.


11. Who will your mentors be? Please include Google Account information.


12. What criteria did you use to select these individuals as mentors? Please be as specific as possible.


13. What is your plan for dealing with disappearing students?


14. What is your plan for dealing with disappearing mentors?


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


16. What will you do to ensure that your accepted students stick with the project after GSoC concludes?