Summer Coding 2010 proposal - Backup Configurations Of Softwares

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For information how to complete this form, refer to Summer Coding 2010 step-by-step for students.

Contents

About you

Name: Tao Lin

Contact: lintao30@gmail.com

Wiki username: iaml

IRC nickname: iaml

Primary language:

Chinese will be the first choice and English is ok

Programming language:

I usually use C++ and Python to program. Besides these two languages, I also know shell, Java, C and C#.

Location: Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China

Hours tend to work: 09:00 ~ 23:00 UTC+8

Reason to work on an open-source project this summer:

This project is attractive and I want to make some contribution to open source community. It will be a ticket for me. Besides, it is a challenge to me, too. It is time for me to put my knowledge into practice. And it is also the time to act as a developer, not as a user. There must be something new I have not met before. I can't wait to join it!

About your project

Project Name

Backup Configurations Of Softwares


Idea

idea page:

https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Summer_Coding_2010_ideas_-_Customizable_application_installer


Description

Ailurus is an application which makes Linux easier to use. It has attractive feature: RPM recovery. But this is not enough. config files are the twins of software. Backup configurations of system and softwares is necessary. My work is to add a new feature -- backup configurations of system and softwares, to Ailurus.

It mainly contains two parts.

The first part: backup configuration files, including config files and plugins.

  1. Ailurus will find out nearly all the configuration files of system and software in the system, not just the ones in /home/$USER.
  2. User chooses the files they want to archive(well, if Ailurus don't find the file the user want to archive, the user can type the path he want to archive!).
  3. Multiple archive programs is provided. User need to choose one of them to archive the files.
  4. Ailurus will send archived file to the mailing box which is set by user.

The second part: restore the backup files(from local or from mailing box).

  1. Ailurus will automatically sync the archived files information with the mailing box
  2. The user choose the version of archived file from Ailurus(well, Ailurus will get the selected archived file from the mailing box automatically if it can't find it on the computer)
  3. Then user need to choose the configurations to restore.
  4. More attractively, user can get the difference between previous version of configuration with the current one. Then he can merge them if needed.

Other functions not mentioned above are scheduled backup files, management of archived files.

Optional function is sharing configurations via google application engine.

This project is potential. Configuring software is a big stuff in using Fedora, and other distributions. Almost every software has their own config file. It will take lots of time to configure them again if the config files are lost by some accidents. On the other hand, user may have more than one computer nowaday, such as one in work place and the other at home. With this project, user can synchron their configurations of computers conveniently without taking configurations here and there. Besides, we can save a lot of time when we want to reinstall the system, because configuration of software will be restored in several minutes.

In this project, I will use python, GTK. QT(in order to support different desktop environments), regular expression and some protocols in email, such as SMTP and POP3.


Timeline

Notice: the schedule below, when it mentions "finish the function", it means finish the development of the function and GUI(both GTK and QT).

Timeline

week 01 ~ 02 (05-24 ~ 06-06): Communicate with mentor for more details on this project. Do some more research on the technoligy used in this project. Finish the function: search the configuration files in the system as many as possible and archive them according user's choices.

week 03 (06-07 ~ 06-13): Finish the function: schedule backup configuration files and send archived files to the target mailing box

week 04 (06-14 ~ 06-20): Module(backup configuration files of softwares) test and fix bugs

week 05 (06-21 ~ 06-27): Finish the function: search archived files locally and in mailing box

week 06 (06-28 ~ 07-04): Finish the function: restore selected configuration from archived files which is stored in the mailing box or local

week 07 (07-05 ~ 07-11): Finish the function: managing archived files(delete selected archived files to free the space) in mailing box

week 08 (07-12 ~ 07-18): Finish the function: show difference and merge two configurations of the same software

week 09 (07-19 ~ 07-25): Module(restore configuration files of softwares) test and fix bugs

week 10 (07-26 ~ 08-01): Integrate this project to Ailurus, integration test and fix bugs

week 11 (08-02 ~ 08-08): Write documents for this project


Convincing

I am familiar with python and has lots of project experience in programming and web development. I have won some honors.

  1. 2009 Guangdong(a province in China) College Students Programming Competition (GDCPC) third prize;
  2. "Citi Cup," Finance and Information Technology Competition second prize in China;
  3. Sun Yat-sen University students scholarship (2007-2008: first prize, 2008-2009:second prize);
  4. Sun Yat-sen University scholarship excellence (2007-2008)

The last project I join in is developing a web application(online judge system) for Software school, Sun Yat-sen University. I use python and django. Source code: git@github.com:iaml/OEAP.git. Besides, I have excellent receptivity and know much about Python, C++, QT and network, such as TCP/IP, STMP as well as POP3. And Fedora is my daily working environment. I know it well. More importantly, I am eager to make contribution to Fedora and earn a ticket to open source community. There is no reason for me to mess it up.

You and the community

Impact on Fedora

  1. My Answer: it will enhance the the usability of Fedora. A greater portion of users will obtain a benefit
    • It improves recovery ability in Fedora. The system can recovery its configurations from accidents.
    • It will make Fedora more user friendly. Using Fedora will never be a dream or a troublesome thing. User can shared configurations of softwares via email. New comers can get shared configurations via email and no more need to spend lots of time in configuring their system and softwares, which mainly obstructs them using Fedora.
    • Users will feel free to configurate their system without worrying about how to restore them if they do not like the changes.
    • User can sync their computers without taking their configurations here and there.
    • Reinstall the system will be piece of cake, the configurations will restore in several minutes.
  1. Mentor's answer:
    • Nowaday, more and more people have more than one computers. Tao Lin's work will help users synchronize the computer configurations, and help users setup same development environment for different computers. His work also help users when they re-install Fedora. A lot of Fedora users will obtain a benefit from his work.
    • I am Homer Xing. My email is homer.xing [AT] gmail [DOT] com
  1. Fedora Community's answer:
    • I am quite interested in this feature. Many configuration files stay at various of places. How do you find out them. And how do you storage the setting? I hope you can tell us more details.
    • When users backup configures, can he export the configurations to the other desktops?
    • I am Liang Suilong. My mail is liangsuilong [AT] gmail [DOT] com. I also comes from Guangzhou.

What will you do if you get stuck on your project and your mentor isn't around?

In my opinion, mentor is a guide. He just tell me the effective way to solve the problem I meet. The one to solve the problem is me. So when mentor is not around, I will find answers from google, BBS, documents and mailing list. Maybe it will not as effective as communicating with mentor, but it is also a way to the answer. Mentor is not the one that can guide me to finish my project. So when mentor is not around, I still can overcome the problems and finish my project.


In addition to the required blogging minimum of twice per week, how do you propose to keep the community informed of your progress and any problems or questions you might have over the course of the project?

Well, I will keep the community informed of my progress by posting my progress in BBS and mailing list. Besides, I will update my progress on my wiki page. If I have any problems and questions, firstly I will try to find answers from documents, Internet and communicate with mentor. If I still can not find the answer, I will ask in BBS and mailing list for help.

Miscellaneous

We want to make sure that you are prepared before the project starts

I have already communicated with the developers in Ailurus and asked their opinions on my project. Besides, I am reading the source code of Ailurus and documents of smtplib and poplib in python.


Can you set up an appropriate development environment?

I use Fedora as my daily working environment. I code my programs here. My development environment is set up long long ago. I use gvim and ecilpse depends on what I want to do.


Have you met your proposed mentor and members of the associated community?

Yes, I have joined their develop team. And I have asked the members' opinions about my project. I got lots of feedback, and adjust my project. Finally, I work it out here.


What is your t-shirt size?

XL


Describe a great learning experience you had as a child.

With my father's help, I remember Multiplication table in one day. Several years later, under some emergency, I learn how to use google application engine, in two hours, without hearing of it before.


Is there anything else we should have asked you or anything else that we should know that might make us like you or your project more?

I major in Software Engineering, I know how to develop software well. And I believe in myself that I can do it well. Besides, I have great love in developing and Fedora which is my first Linux distribution and teach me a lot. So if I have the chance to make contribution, I will take it and do my best.

Comments

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