Pre-GSoC Journey#

The Beginning of Programming#

Hello Guys!! I am Praneeth Shetty, currently pursuing Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Engineering, and here is my journey from where I started to the selection into GSoC22.

My programming journey started way back in 7th std, where we had a subject called Information Technology in which the last two lessons were based on HTML and Javascript. I loved to create simple pages in HTML but was struggling to learn Javascript as it felt a bit complex at the start. I would practice these programs in our computer lab whenever we would have our practical lab (once or twice a month). Next year I received a laptop from my cousin brother(which I still use). While setting up the things he started enquiring about my academics and asked me to create an HTML code. He was happy to see that I could do that so to explain to me the usage of javascript he created a small program. He executed it and gave it to me, where it was written “Enter your Name?” I typed Praneeth and pressed Enter. A new page was loaded with a Text stating “Hello Praneeth!! How are you??” I was amazed to see the output. How could that machine know me and greet me?? Is Javascript such a powerful tool?? Can I make the computer talk using Javascript?? These questions flooded my mind. That day I realized that, If I had a good command of Javascript, I could control the whole computer and can make it do whatever I want. Because of this I started giving more attention to Javascript.

Interest in Game Development and Animation#

Around one and a half years after this, I was able to code basic javascript programs. In my vacation while I was searching for a gameplay video on Youtube, A video titled “How to make a Game” by Brackeys grabbed my attention and made me click on it. I watched the whole video but was unable to understand the most of the things ie transform, rigidbody, mesh, collider etc. But it generated an internal feeling that I can also create a game. I tried to replicate the process in the video but when I went on to the Official Website of Unity(Game Engine) the whole package size was around 1.5 Gigabytes which was a huge sum at that time(the time when 2G ruled and 100 Megabytes was for 10 INR). So I was unable to work on it. But still, some unknown inspiration motivated me to watch the whole “How to make a Game” playlist of 10 videos. As I moved ahead some concepts were getting cleared and I had a surface level idea of how to make things work in game(Not how games actually worked). As I was pretty much immersed into game development my feeds started showing “How to create a 3D character”, “How to Animate” videos which led me to discover Blender, 3Ds Max, etc. animation software. I downloaded Blender as it was a lightweight free package and started messing around with things in it. But after a few months Blender made some remarkable changes and brought version 2.80 which required a few system specifications which my laptop didn’t satisfied. By this time I used to spend some extra hours in my College to learn Unity and created my first Game which was an exact copy of the Brackeys Game Series. I was very happy to successfully create a game all on my own and used to think what all new features can be added to it.

Intro to Opensource#

While finding alternatives to Unity and Blender, I found a lightweight software called Godot and I was surprised to see the whole game engine was just around 100 Megabytes(which compared to Unity and Unreal is 10/20 times smaller). I tried searching about How and Why is Godot so Small and one of the reasons I found was, it is an open source software. I had heard this term before while working with blender but still was unable to clearly understand what it is. Another answer I received is an extended application of the previous one which stated most features are implemented from scratch by various contributors in open source software whereas in other big software libraries are used a lot for very minimalistic features too which make it dependent and bulky. Around this time I had also switched to Python and was working on some mini projects and games using it. It also helped me in working with Godot, which has its own language called GDScript which resembles python.

GSoC - 21#

As I was drowning in the oceans of Open Source, I read some blogs which mentioned some of the programs and events related to it viz. Google Summer of Code (GSoC), Hacktoberfest, GirlScript Summer of Code(GSSoC), etc. I was excited to participate in these events but wasn’t getting proper guidance. I used to watch interviews and best practices for these events due to which I found out that for GSoC we have to select the organizations then apply and this would be the basic flow of the program. So taking this into consideration I started searching for organizations on GSoC archives. Firstly I was looking for any Javascript related project as I had a better command on it than python and there I found out about p5.js which was a creative coding library. I forked their repo, cloned it, and then tried to build it on my local machine but after many attempts I was still unsuccessful to build it locally. I raised a question in their community and also mailed an old GSoC student but they too were unable to solve the query. This disappointed me a lot and kind of I was going to end my opensource journey here, but just thought of giving it a try again. While searching through the organizations I found lots of known projects regarding which I had no idea that those too were open source. While searching I found Python Software Foundation in the organization list and thought why not to consider python. After looking into the organization I found out that PSF was an umbrella project for many sub projects in which FURY(Free Unified Rendering in pYthon) suited me the most because I was a beginner and didn’t had any idea regarding the data analysis, API formation and the other stuff. But because of prior experience and interest in Game Dev, I was comfortable with FURY. I again forked, cloned and tried to execute the first tutorial on it, it took few minutes to run then few more minutes to download some required files and then a black box appeared but with nothing on it, I thought there would be some error with something so re executed it and it took few minutes and the first Earth Animation tutorial was successfully executed. I was fascinated by viewing the visuals of the Earth with the orbiting moon and the satellite animation (I had doubts whether my laptop will be able to handle these computations or not, but till now It hasn’t proved me wrong in most of the cases). I checked the code then and within 200 lines of code all this was all possible. That made me understand the real power of FURY. After this I checked for some of the good first issues but as it was GSoC period most of the issues were under process so I tried to learn more about the tutorials and the code. There I found a few documentation errors which I fixed as my first PR. I also pointed out some issues which I faced while working with FURY. FURY has a great discord community which engages newbies and solves most of their issues. After two months GSoC Contributors Applications started and I also tried to apply for the same. I created a proposal on Improving the UI system but due to lack of experience and as I was unable to prove my coding skills, I was rejected. But this didn’t disengage me from FURY. I loved the simplicity by which each part was created. Then as time passed I worked on some of the issues and created some more PRs.

GSoC - 22#

Again this year GSoC Started with new rules, new energy and with more enthusiasm I too prepared to participate in it. Five new ideas were posted for GSoC in which I again chose the UI improvement as I had a good understanding of the existing UI system in FURY. Last year’s experience helped me a lot in creating the proposal. This time I was also prepared(compared to last time) as I had made some contributions and also had spent time on the code base to understand it. Days passed and lastly the result day arrived, anxiety was at its peak. I had set an alarm to remind me to keep checking the mail for the result, refreshing and changing tabs. Exactly at 11:32 PM Indian Standard Time, a mail dropped with the subject “Congratulations, your proposal with Python Software Foundation has been accepted!” and my happiness had no bound.