Google Summer of Code 2013

We’ve submitted our application to take part in the 2013 Google Summer of Code event. If you are a student and are interested in not only learning about how the Web is built, but taking an active role in creating the foundation that billions of people around the world use, here’s your chance. Our company works with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) on a number of Web standards that are used as core infrastructure in the Web. The W3C is the standards organization that brought you things like HTML5, CSS3, Web Apps, geolocation, and a variety of other foundational Web technologies.

We are heavily involved in standardizing RDFa, which is used by Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, Yandex, and over 190,000 websites on the Internet. We are actively developing JSON-LD, which is one of the big up-and-coming Linked Data formats for the Web. We are also building the worlds first universal payment standard for the Web, called PaySwarm. These are all big, world-changing technologies.

We wanted to do a Google Summer of Code project because there are very few avenues for students to be introduced to the process that is used to build new technologies for the Internet and the Web. We hope to change that by running a few projects that involve students directly in the standardization process. You’re going to be building the future of the Web, so we want to make sure that you know how to do it correctly.

During your time with us, you will be writing cutting-edge code for next generation technology, editing standards documents, and getting directly involved in standards meetings. You will be creating code demos that will help people use the standards and doing some evangelizing by writing about the work that you’ll be doing over the summer, which will be published in widely read blogs. We hope that it’ll provide a good introduction to the broad skill set that is needed to not only create a world-class standard, but convince others to use it while building tools to speed its adoption.

We’re offering three major areas where you could become involved in helping to direct the future of the Web: RDFa, JSON-LD, and Web Payments.

RDFa

RDFa 1.0 was launched in 2008 with an update to the standard in 2012. We are currently working on integrating RDFa 1.1 into HTML5, and the standardization work is wrapping up on that specification. The work to get Web developers familiar with this new technology is just starting, and we will need somebody that can not only write some great tools for helping Web developers mark up their pages with RDFa, but help launch the RDFa Community Group at the W3C that will be tasked with doing developer outreach. You will be working to make sure that companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Yandex, Drupal, and others have the tools that they need to evangelize RDFa within their organizations. Some of the potential projects and activities include:

  1. Create a tool to generate valid HTML5+RDFa 1.1 for a variety of common markup scenarios (people, places, events).
  2. Create a tool to read LinkedIn data and spit out valid HTML5+RDFa 1.1 for people that want to post their resume on their website, or keep it synced with their LinkedIn profile.
  3. Participate in RDFa calls while we take the standard through the W3C Recommendation process.
  4. Expand the http://rdfa.info/play/ tool to add support for JSON-LD, more/smoother visualizations of data.
  5. Add interactive tutorials to the http://rdfa.info/docs/ site to explain how to use RDFa to beginners.
  6. Blog about how to use HTML5+RDFa 1.1 to mark up people, places, and events using Google’s schema.org technology.

Skills required (many can be learned on the job): HTML5, CSS3, RDFa, JSON-LD, PHP, AJAX, Git, JavaScript, Angular, Bootstrap, Linux, technical spec writing, minute taking, technical blogging, Apache configuration and maintenance.

JSON-LD

JSON-LD is going through the final stages of standardization at W3C and is being more actively developed than RDFa. If you want to see what the final stages of creating a world standard for the Web looks like, JSON-LD is a great place to start. There is a dynamic group of people working on the standard across multiple groups at the W3C. You will be able to join and participate with all of these groups along with ensuring that the testing framework for JSON-LD implementations is solid and operational. There will be an opportunity to learn how to edit world standard-track Web specifications and how to test implementations against the specification. Students will also be expected to write code and tools for working with JSON-LD and ensuring that large organizations like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, WordPress, Wikipedia, Drupal, and others have the tooling they need to integrate JSON-LD into their products.

  1. Create a tool to generate valid JSON-LD markup for a variety of common markup scenarios (people, places, events).
  2. Create a tool to read LinkedIn data and spit out valid JSON-LD for people that want to post their resume as data on their website.
  3. Update http://json-ld.org/playground/ tool to newest version of Code Mirror, provide a better UI for working with data, provide translation of data to RDFa, provide more visualization features.
  4. Add tutorials to the http://json-ld.org/ site to explain how to use JSON-LD to beginners.
  5. Participate in JSON-LD Community Group calls while we take the standard through the W3C Recommendation process.
  6. Blog about how to use JSON-LD to mark up people, places, and events using Google’s schema.org technology.

Skills required (many can be learned on the job): Node.js, HTML5, CSS3, RDFa, JSON-LD, PHP, AJAX, Git, JavaScript, Angular, Bootstrap, Linux, technical spec writing, minute taking, technical blogging, Apache configuration and maintenance.

Web Payments

PaySwarm is currently in the pre-standardization phase, incubating in a W3C Community Group. If you want to get in on the early days of creating a standard for the Web, the Web Payments work will offer a great introduction to what it takes to go from an idea to getting a group spun up and going at W3C. The Web Payments work is built on top of the previous two technologies, RDFa and JSON-LD, and there will be plenty of opportunity to learn about both in this group.

The Web Payments work, if successful, will have a huge impact on the way that we deal with money as a society on the Web. It has very far-reaching implications and will lay the groundwork for a fully programmable financial network that will be accessible to everyone on the Web. The goal of the work is the democratization of finance; it will place the financial tools that have typically only been available to large banks and corporations into the hands of everyday people. There is a great need to do a large amount of design, specification writing, code for implementations of the standard, tools to test implementations for the standard, tutorials, and a variety of other demos and examples to show developers how to use the standard.

  1. Participate in the Web Payments Community Group calls while we spin up the standardization process at W3C.
  2. Write code to test nodes in the financial network to ensure that they’re operating per the constraints of the specification
  3. Think about and write code to do white-hat attacks against the developer financial network.
  4. Participate in weekly design meetings to map out future extensions for the PaySwarm specifications.
  5. Add tutorials to the http://payswarm.com/ site to explain how to use Web Payments specifications to beginners.
  6. Expand paySwarm.js to show more ways that Web Payments standards can be used. Coordinate with Mozilla on potential use of PaySwarm for FirefoxOS marketplace.
  7. Become an editor or heavy contributor of one of the PaySwarm specs (http://payswarm.com/specs/)
  8. Create code tutorials and blog about the Web Payments work.

Skills required (many can be learned on the job): Node.js, HTML5, CSS3, RDFa, JSON-LD, Web Keys, Web Payments, Web Commerce, Payment Intents, PHP, AJAX, Git, JavaScript, Angular, Bootstrap, Linux, technical spec writing, the W3C Standardization Process, minute taking, technical blogging, Apache configuration and maintenance.

Conclusion

There are not many opportunities that you get to work with the people that create the core architecture for the Web. This is your chance to work with some of the top minds in the world. If you’re interested in making a significant impact on the lives of hundreds of millions of people, you should submit an application to the 2013 Google Summer of Code event.