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From Oliver Heger <>
Subject Re: GSoC application
Date Fri, 04 Apr 2008 19:03:40 GMT
Hi Hao,

I am one of the active committers for Commons Configuration. What you 
write sounds very good, and I am pleased that you are interested in this 

I was not involved in the creation of the project proposal, so I don't 
know the details. I think this was done by Emmanuel Bourg (I hope he 
will join this thread to provide further advise).

In Jira, our bug tracking system [1], there are enhancement tickets for 
the new configuration formats to implement [2-4]. These tickets also 
link to pages with reference information.

I would suggest using classes in the 
org.apache.commons.configuration.plist package as examples. They are 
based on a grammar for reading specific formats. You will probably have 
to do something similar.

If you have further questions or comments, don't hesitate to post them 
to this list!



Hao Zheng schrieb:
> Dear all commons devs:
> I am a graduate student. I want to apply for the project "New file
> formats for Commons Configuration". I have submitted my proposal on
> Google. Please give me some suggestions on it. Thank you all.
> Abstract
> I have much experience in Java programming. For this project, I plan
> to find the most similar format for each new format first. Then I
> could implement the new format with the help of the old format.
> Existing tests can also be converted for the new format. In this way,
> I believe I can achieve the goal of this project.
> I am interested in Open Source development, and I am eager to
> participate in an open source project. I have used so many open source
> software/tools for a long time. GSoC is a good opportunity for me to
> contribute to open source community. I want to get started here, and
> continue to contribute even after the GSoC.
> 1. Biography
> I am a graduate student at CS department, Shanghai JiaoTong
> University, Shanghai, China. I have about 4 years experience in Java
> programming. I am proficient in Java, and have taken part in several
> large projects. I have used many open source library/tools, e.g. Ant,
> Commons, Tomcat, Log4j, Lucene, etc. from Apache. My resume could be
> accessed at
> Recently, I am interested in Open Source development, and eager to
> participate in an open source project. GSoC is a good opportunity for
> me to contribute to Apache. I want te get started here, and continue
> to contribute even after the GSoC. Coincidently, I have suggested a
> new feature for Commons Email [1], just one week before Google
> announced GSoC 2008 [2]. The devs from Apache Commons thought my
> suggestion is useful, and let me file a JIRA asking for an enhancement
> [3]. Although the issue has not been resolved, it is still a good
> start for me to approach open source development.
> 2. Plan for Commons Configuration
> I have used some components of Apache Commons: DBCP, Email, Logging,
> and Pool. However, I have to admit I haven't used Commons
> Configuration. I take a glance at it, and feel it is easy to use, like
> most Commons components. I believe it is in my competencies. Here is
> my detailed plan.
> 2.1. Preparation Phase
> Learn completely how to use Commons Configuration, by which I can gain
> a deeper understanding of it. Then I will begin to read the existing
> code, to learn how to implement it.
> By now, I am not sure how it is implemented. I guess some
> lexical/syntax analyzer are used. I have taken a course on Compiler
> Implementation when I was an undergraduate. The course required to
> implement a compiler of a subset of Java language. I used JLex [4] for
> lexical analysis and Cup [5] for syntax analysis.
> As for the new formats, I have used JSON files when developing some
> web application. I will learn the format of YAML and OGDL in this
> phase.
> 2.2. Coding Phase
> Existing support for XML format will be a good reference. I am
> familiar with JSON, so I will talk about JSON particularly. JSON could
> be considered as "simplified XML", so I think existing XML
> implementation or tests could largely benefit JSON implementation. For
> the other two formats, maybe similar formats also exists. The detailed
> plan is:
> a). read one similar old format for reference
> b). implement the new format
> c). convert the tests for old format to tests for new format, and test
> my implementation
> 3. Schedule
> now - May 26: Preparation Phase. Learn more on Commons Configuration.
> Consult mentors on what to started first. Take part in the discussion
> on the dev maillist.
> May 27 - August 11: Coding Phase. In this 11 weeks, plan to implement
> 3 new formats: JSON, YAML, and OGDL, which means about 3-4 weeks per
> format. Write documentation and unit tests.
> August 12 - August 18: Revise some minor errors. Complete some documentation.
> [References]
> [1]. My new feature suggestion on Feb 20,
> [2]. Google announced GSoC 2008 on Feb 26,
> [3]. My JIRA,
> [4]. JLex,
> [5]. CUP,
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