So, I got selected as a student applicant for the Google Summer of Code (or GSoC) and will be working with Neovim over the course of next three months!
Neovim is a fork of Vim, one of the most loved text editors that is used not only by the coding community but people from all over walks of life. I have been a devoted worshipper of Vim for about two years now and have fought in the Editor wars whenever the need arose.
Neovim got my attention when Vim implemented the asynchronous behavior after Neovim but I hadn’t made the switch. Recently, when I was looking into the organizations that were selected for GSoC, I found Neovim and started looking for any projects that I may help in. And since I was going to work in Neovim, I thought might as well switch!
Coming back to what this post is about, I came across the idea of improving and extending the UI protocol on the ideas page of the organization. Turns out, Neovim allows external applications to implement Vim-mode by letting them open a Neovim instance and communicate with it via the UI protocol. The existing protocol is pretty sufficient but has scope for improvement. Since, I was working on implementing Vim-mode in my pet project, this hugely captured my interest.
I started lurking in the public chatroom and started following all progress for the idea that I wanted to work on. In March, I started working on my proposal and submitted a draft very early. The proposed mentor, bfredl was very helpful in his feedback and helped shape the final proposal after about 6-7 iterations of changes and suggestions. I think the proposal that I ended up submitting was a result of his help.
The selection period after the submission was a very baffling time for me. On one hand I was pretty confident of my proposal and had high hopes for selection. On the other hand, I kept thinking if I could’ve added something more or removed something unnecessary. I reread my own proposal several times even though I knew I could not make any more changes.
Finally, the wait ended on April 23rd, when the projects were announced. I was in the computer lab in my college when I got a call from my brother congratulating me and I almost ran from the lab to my hostel all the while trying to check the result on my phone. I clearly remember not being able to breathe as I opened the announced projects and saw my application status!
The first Saturday after that, I had a chat with my mentor and we came up with a concrete plan for the next three months. Over the next two weeks, since I had my end semester exams, I could not actively participate in the community but I went through all the pending work that my mentor had posted and on which I would be building upon in the summer.
So here I am, writing this post as I fly home after the exams and hope to have a great summer ahead doing what I love the most, with something that I feel passionate about. Let’s code!
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