Google Summer of Code 2012 project for Bazaar

Martin Packman martin.packman at
Sun Feb 26 18:16:48 UTC 2012

On 26/02/2012, Andreas Sommer <andreas.sommer87 at> wrote:
> I was wondering if there's interest in offering a GSoC project for
> Bazaar this year. From my side, I'd be interested to contribute to my
> favorite VCS, but to be honest I don't have a precise topic proposal.

This sounds like a great idea. I'm not sure if it makes sense for
Bazaar to apply as a mentoring organisation (and the deadline for that
is only a bit over a week away), but perhaps you propose a project
under the Ubuntu banner? Daniel Holbach is coordinating things there,
and there's a wiki page we could add bzr+ubuntu project ideas to:


> Bazaar Explorer would be a nice thing to work on as I think it could use
> some improvement.

There's certainly a lot in bzr-explorer that needs work and it would
be a great thing to tackle, my main worry would be how to define a
clear project. There would be real long term benefit in code
restructuring and automated testing, but that's not the sexiest thing
to work on and is harder to set out clear goals and waypoints than
working on a new feature of some kind.

> One idea would be to work a bit more on
>, i.e. improving support for
> configuring diff/merge tools (and implementing it in the configuration
> dialogs of qbzr). I think it would be nice to be able to define diff
> tools in a more precise way, such as by file extension or regex. That
> way, one could use special tools like the MS Word diffing scripts from
> TortoiseSVN for *.doc files, or other tools for comparing non-text files
> without having to use "bzr diff --using" via the command line. What do
> you think?

I think there's the core of a really good idea here. Having several
smaller targets, like making the configuration of custom differs and
mergers simple, and writing some specific ones for different formats,
would probably help the project. We also have some existing mergers
such as for Debian changelogs in bzr-builddeb, and the recent .po
merge plugin Vincent implemented, that work as specific examples.
Avoiding the messy conflicts when using bzr for ubuntu distributed
development has been helpful in those cases, and we could get feedback
on what other formats cause developers the most pain.

Jelmer has been a GSoC mentor in the past for Samba, he may also have
some suggestions from seeing what's worked in the past and what


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