Google Summer of Code 2018 with Debian - Final Report

Posted on Mon 13 August 2018 in GSoC

Three weeks of Google Summer of Code went off to be life-changing for me. This here is the summary of my work which also serves as my Final Report of Google Summer of Code 2018.

GSoC and Debian


My project is Wizard/GUI helping students/interns apply and get started and the final application is named New Contributor Wizard. It originated as the brainchild and Project Idea of Daniel Pocock for GSoC 2018 under Debian. I prepared the application task for the same and shared my journey through Open Source till GSoC 2018 in two of my blogs, From Preparations to Debian to Proposal and The Application Task and Results.

Project Overview

Sign Up Screen

New Contributor Wizard is a GUI application build to help new contributors get started with Open Source. It was an idea to bring together all the Tools and Tutorials necessary for a person to learn and start contributing to Open Source. The application contains different courseware sections like Communication, Version Control System etc. and within each section, there are respective Tools and Tutorials.

A Tool is an up and running service right inside the application which can perform tasks to help the user understand the concepts. For example, encrypting a message using the primary key, decrypting the encrypted message using the private key, and so on, these tools can help the user better understand the concepts of encryption.

A tutorial is comprised of lessons which contain text, images, questions and code snippets. It is a comprehensive guide for a particular concept. For example, Encryption 101, How to use git?, What is a mailing list? and so on.

In addition to providing the Tools and Tutorials, this application is build to be progressive. One can easily contribute new Tutorials by just creating a JSON file, the process of which is documented in the project repository itself. Similarly, a documentation for contributing Tools is present as well.

Project Details

Programming Language and Tools

For Development

For Testing


  • Pipenv for Python Virtual Environment
  • Debian 9 for Project Development and testing

Version Control System

For pinned dependencies and sub-dependencies one can have a look at the Pipfile and Pipfile.lock

My Contributions

The project was just an idea before GSoC and I had to make all the decisions for the implementation with the help of mentors whether it was Design or Architecture of the application. Below is the list of my contributions in shape of merge requests and every merge request contains UI, application logic, tests, and documentation. My contributions can also be seen in Changelog and Contribution Graph of the application.

Sign Up

Sign Up is the first screen a user is shown and asks for all the information required to create an account. It then takes the user to the Dashboard with all the courseware sections.

Merge request - Adds SignUp feature

Redmine Issue - Create SignUp Feature

Feature In Action (updated working of the feature)

Sign In

Alternate to Sign Up, the user has option to select Sign In to use existing account in order to access the application.

Merge Request - Adds SignIn feature

Redmine Issue - Create SignIn Feature

Feature In Action (updated working of the feature)


The Dashboard is said to be the protagonist screen of the application. It contains all the courseware sessions and their respective Tools and Tutorials.

Merge Request - Adds Dashboard feature

Redmine Issue - Implementing Dashboard

Feature In Action (updated working of the feature)

Adding Tool Architecture

Every courseware section can have respective Tools and Tutorials. To add Tools to a section I devised an architecture and implemented on Encryption to add 4 different Tools. They are:

  • Create Key Pair
  • Display and manage Key Pair
  • Encrypt a message
  • Decrypt a message

Merge Request - Adding encryption tools

Redmine Issue - Adding Encryption Tools

Feature In Action (updated working of the feature)

Adding Tutorial Architecture

Similar to Tools, Tutorials can be found with respect to any courseware section. I have created a Tutorial Parser, which can take a JSON file and build GUI for the Tutorial easily without any coding required. This way folks can easily contribute Tutorials to the project. I added Encryption 101 Tutorial to showcase the use of Tutorial Parser.

Merge Request - Adding encryption tutorials

Redmine Issue - Adding Encryption Tutorials

Feature In Action (updated working of the feature)

Adding 'Invite Contributor' block to Tools and Tutorials

In order to invite the contributor to New Contributor Wizard, every Tools and Tutorials menu display an additional block by linking the project repository.

Merge Request - Inviting contributors

Redmine Issue - Inviting contributors to the project

Feature In Action (updated working of the feature)

Adding How To Use

One of the courseware section How To Use help the user understand about different sections of the application in order to get the best out of it.

Merge Request - Updating How To Use

Redmine Issue - Adding How To Use in the application

Feature In Action (updated working of the feature)

Adding description to all the modules

All the courseware sections or modules need a simple description to describe what the user will learn using it's Tutorials and Tools.

Merge Request - Description added to all the modules

Redmine Issue - Add a introduction/description to all the modules

Feature In Action (updated working of the feature)

Adding Generic Tools and Tutorials Menu

This feature allows the abstraction of Tools and Tutorials architecture I mentioned earlier so that the Menu architecture can be used by any of the courseware sections following the DRY approach.

Merge Request - Adding Generic Menu

Redmine Issue - Adding Tutorial and Tools menu to all the modules

Tutorial Contribution Doc

A tutorial in the application can be added using just a JSON file. As mentioned earlier, it is made possible using the Tutorial Parser. A comprehensive ocumentation is added to help the users understand how they can contribute Tutorials to the application for the world to take advantage of.

Merge Request - Tutorial contribution docs

Redmine Issue - Add documentation for Tutorial development

Tools Contribution Doc

A tool in the application is build using Kivy lang and Python. A comprehensive documentation is added to the project in order for folks to contribute Tools for the world to take advantage of.

Merge Request - Tools contribution docs

Redmine Issue - Add documentation for Tools development

Adding a License to project

After having discussions with the mentors and a bit of research, GNU GPLv3 was finalized as the license for the project and has been added to the repository.

Merge Request - Adds License to project

Redmine Issue - Add a license to Project Repository

Allowing different timezones during Sign Up

Sign Up feature is refactored to support different timezones from the user.

Merge Request - Allowing different timezones during signup

Redmine Issue - Allow different timezones

All other contributions

Here's a list of all the merge request I raised to develop a feature or fix an issue with the application - All merge request by Shashank Kumar

Here are all the issues/bug/features I created, resolved or was associated to on the Redmine - All the redmine issue associated to Shashank Kumar


The application has been packaged for PyPi and can be installed using either pip or pipenv.

Package - new-contributor-wizard

Packaging Tool - setuptools

To Do List

Weekly Updates And Reports

These report were send daily to private mentors mail thread and weekly on Debian Outreach mailing list.

Talk Delivered On My GSoC Project

On 12th August 2018, I gave a talk on How my Google Summer of Code project can help bring new contributors to Open Source during a meetup in Hacker Space, Noida, India. Here are the slides I prepared for my talk and a collection of photographs of the event.


New Contributor Wizard is ready for the users who would like to get started with Open Source as well as to the folks who would like to contribute Tools and Tutorials to the application as well.


I would like to thank Google Summer of Code for giving me the opportunity of giving back to the community and Debian for selecting me for the project.

I would like to thank Daniel Pocock for his amazing blogs and ideas he comes up which end up inspiring students and result in a project like above.

I would like to thank Sanyam Khurana for constantly motivating me by reviewing every single line of code which I wrote to come up with the best solution to put in front of the community.

Thanks to all the loved ones who always believed in me and kept me motivated.

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