Summerbits 2009

Sapo Summerbits is a grants program similar to Google Summer of Code. Its main differences are the proposing institutions that are Portuguese, the projects that are focused on the Portuguese community and the students that should be attending at a Portuguese university. Thus, this is a tiny Google Summer of Code clone for the Portuguese country.

This year it is running by the second year. Also, I am involved again in a Project. This year, instead of being involved as mentor for only one project, I am involved in two projects, being mentor in one of them, and being a co-mentor or just a developer in the other one.

One of the projects is related to card sorting, a psychology application where the individual is asked to sort or group a set of cards. These cards have words. The individual will read these words and try to associate a concept to each one. Then, these concepts are the things that should be grouped. Giving the same set of words to different people will result on different groups. These groups can then be analyzed and conclusions obtained.

The second project is related to the Portuguese language. At the Natura Project we are responsible for the Portuguese dictionaries for Firefox, Thunderbird and other Open Source applications. This year a law appeared changing the language, trying to approximate the Portuguese from Brazil to the Portuguese from Europe. While I could discuss the benefits or the problems of this law I prefer to just say the Portuguese dictionaries need an adaptation. These changes can be done manually by linguists, or we can try to infer them looking to texts before and after the law taking effect.

So, this summer is full of projects. Unfortunately I am not sure of what I will be doing in two months, as I should get unemployed.