My first ever GSOC!!

by SR13 | June 13, 2017




I am shriraj (aka sr13), currently pursuing my B.Tech in CSE (Computer Science and Engineering) @ National Institute of Technology Goa, India. I am not just studying CSE but I like to play and experiment with CSE. Programming is just another hobby and I knew that its one of my forte the moment I had felt my first 'Hello World!!' with 'C'. (OK, that might be a little exaggeration XD, but yeah you can tell it when you start enjoying the subject so much that you felt code is better art than a poem.)

My interests lies in Open Source Softwares, Programming Languages, Operating Systems, AI and ML, etc. A computer is modeled to be a universal machine and everyone has the right to know how exactly things are under the hood (and that's what open source is for). Atleast for me its a sheer excitement and fun to know how the software which we have been using, since we were kids actually work. The intelligent design and implementation of a program is an art and that code structure is actually more beautiful and subtle then the UI. According to me True Intelligence lies in the algorithm designed and used in a particular software. I have fairly enough experience with C/C++/C++11, Java, Python, besides several other frameworks and boilerplate. But I still consider C++ as my Ace, and seeing the potential of the language and its evolution, I believe its just getting started.

So one of the programs which I always want to know end to end was ofcourse, the Window of our life (Just kidding ;D) Windows. Hopefully the book which introduced me to 'C' also showed me a slight hint of the world of windows. Now as a sophomore and experienced enough to dive in the windows world, I was thinking how come I would be able to know every bit of windows as its not an open source. And thats where ReactOS came in my life. :)

As a enthusiastic programmer since 2013 and a die hard fan of Google, I was searching for a 'muhurt' (spelled as moo- hoo- rth, a local word for a special occassion) to get my feets in the pool of gsoccers. And I thought I should start trying from now, as I am already a sophomore. So just before the end of my second year, I found there is time to apply for gsoc17. So I went for it, and guess what I found the perfect combination of the interests which I wanted to learn this summer. And off I dived into my first irc session. And I found the community so welcoming and amazing (thanks to gigaherz, gadamopoulos and all others ;P ), I had just forgotten about gsoc. That was the time I had decided, whether with gsoc or not, ReactOS will definitely help me to learn, and work on the dna of the very program which had first opened window to my computing life. I want to become a permanent member of this, my very first open source community.

Yup, and i don't know how much i should thank God for this, I was seriously selected for GSOC'17. Thank you very much ReactOS. \0/


I will be working on Taskbar Shell Extension (TSE).

I just don't know how did the community bonding phase went through, it was like just yesterday i had experienced the feeling of being selected in gsoc. I got a +v in irc, and yeah i was almost a daily noise source in irc. For the first time in my life i was diving into the huge codebase, it was amazing, though i didn't got everything at first. Slowly as time passed by i came to know about their development environment, their tools, their libraries, a sheer fun. Building a live cd out of the code base for the first time was more than enough to get a good headstart.

One of the important software was VS IDE and i was like, i know these software, i know it, and then ohhhh... why the hell i never touched it in my programming years back. As I had started with gcc, I mostly never worked with msvc. But learning VS was quick enough and it felt great to get used to it. Thanks to reactOS team, I never felt helpless anytime. :)

Next comes knowing about the things which everyone uses under hood (under windows :P) but never known in their entire life, ahh thats COM, and its friend ATL. Those were the huge technologies on which the entire windows literally ran. They were difficult to understand at first, but as i knew about how the explorer, the shell, the windows (ahh yes, now i seriously came to knew why windows is called windows.... aye xP) my excitement level reached skies and beyond. Now I want to understand entire windows ecosystem and just can't stop thinking about it. Windows programming is pure fun. Then i used to spend mostly on rosWiki, MSDN and other windows sites. Just got the same feeling when i had first started exploring Wikipedia during good old school days. Amazing it was.

Then the time came when i got my dev credentials, was like a pay check for me seriously, and i just cant tell the feeling when i got my first personal development branch in the codebase. And when i made my first commit..... forget it i don't have words to explain that excitement. (I was about to go Super Saiyan in that excitement XD)

I want to share a lot of things, and this is the minimum I can tell in this my first blog on GSOC. But thats all for now.

Thank you for listening to my First ever GSOC chitchat ;)

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