Joining the Community

Sandro edited this page Mar 3, 2017 · 9 revisions

This page was primarily written to help GSoC students through the community bonding period. It will evolve to a guide to joining DBpedia Spotlight as a developer.

For more advice, see:

Table of Contents


Your primary objective is to complete your project proposal successfully. Use this period to review and revise with mentors every roadblock that may show up in front of you. Add as many details as you can to your plan now! Make every assumption explicit. If there is some technique that you're unsure about, some background that you are missing, some data set that you will need to find, or an implementation task that seems hairy, bring it up now! Mentors may be able to help you to organize yourself in a way to prevent failure. At the end of each week, plan the beginning of the next.


Approach the simple tasks first, implement the easiest algorithms first, always use small data sets to test, and only move to full data once everything is set up. Do not overengineer, do not prematurely optimize. I always say to myself: Keep it Simple, Stupid! (KISS)

Baby steps

Implement individual functions separately, test them. Then put them together. Test. Make sure to commit regularly. Document as you go. Always add a class header describing the intention of the class. Share the data that you produce. Others could use it. Focus on your core code, make it work, and discuss with us how to integrate it with the rest.

Bug your mentors, but don't *bug* your mentors.

We are here to help. Do not sit in silence, scared. If a difficulty comes up, let us know. If you have a question, ask! However, we expect you to at least search for answers before you ask something trivial. Try different keywords, different websites (e.g. Stack Overflow), read the manual. Didn't find the answer? Ask, even if it seems trivial! Don't understand what the mentor explained? Ask! Don't have any questions? Inform us of your positive progress. We expect to hear from you at least twice a week.


Ask your questions to the list, answer questions to the list. We will be evaluating also your development as an open source developer, and we hope to welcome you as a committer after you complete a successful GSoC. Therefore, if you think you can help with any question sent to the mailing list, feel free to chip in with an answer.


Please take some time to read the contribution guidelines.

Warm up tasks

Please see Warm Up Tasks.

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