We're reaching the halfway mark for the GSoC and it's been a great journey so far.
I have had some off court issues. I was hesitant to write about them because I don't want my blog to turn into me ranting and complaining but I have decided to briefly mention them in this occasion because they are relevant and at this point they are all but overcome.
Long story short, I was denied the scholarship that I needed to be able to go to Sheffield so I had to start looking for financing options from scratch. Almost at the same time I was offered a place at the University of Toronto (which was originally my first choice). The reason why this is relevant to the GSoC is because it coincided with the beginning of the program so I was forced to cope with not just the summer of code but also with searching/applying for funding and paperwork for the U of T which combined to make for a lot of work and a tough first month.
I will be honest and say that I got a little worried at around week 3 and week 4 because things didn't seem to be going the way I had foreseen in my proposal to the GSoC. In my previous post I wrote about how I had to make a change to my approach and I knew I had to commit to it so it would eventually pay off.
At this point I am feeling pretty good with the way the project is shaping up. As I mentioned, I had to make some changes, but out of about 40 open issues, now only 23 remain, I have lined up PRs for another 8 and I have started discussion (either with the community or with my mentor) on almost all that remain, including some of the longer ones like NaN handling which will span over the entire scipy.stats module and is likely to become a long term community effort depending on what road Numpy and Pandas take on this matter in the future.
I am happy to look at the things that are still left and find that I at least have a decent idea of what I must do. This was definitely not the case three or four weeks ago and I'm glad with the decision that I made when choosing a community and a project. My mentor is always willing to help me understand unknown concepts and point me in the right direction so that I can learn for myself and the community is engaging and active which helps me keep things going.
My girlfriend, Hélène has also played a major role in helping me keep my motivation when it seems like things amount to more than I can handle.
I realise that this blog (since the first post) has been a lot more about my personal journey than technical details about the project. I do apologise if this is not what you expect but I reckon that this makes it easier to appreciate for a reader who is not familiarised with 'scipy.stats', and if you are familiarised you probably follow the issues or the developer's mailing list (where I post a weekly update) so technical details would be redundant to you. I also think that the setup of the project, which revolves around solving many issues makes it too difficult to write about specific details without branching into too many tangents for a reader to enjoy.
If you would like to know more about the technical aspect of the project you can look at the PRs, contact me directly (via a comment here or the SciPy community) or even better, download SciPy and play around with it. If you find something wrong with the statistics module, chances are it's my fault, feel free to let me know. If you like it, you can thank guys like Ralf Gommers (my mentor), Evgeni Burovski and Josef Perktold (to name just a few of the most active members in 'scipy.stats') for their hard work and support to the community.
I encourage anyone who is interested enough to go here to see my proposal or go here to see currently open tasks to find out more about the project. I will be happy to fill you in on the details if you reach me personally.