[kde-edu]: SOC proposal: a Smith Chart application
Alejandro Exojo <suy <at> badopi.org>
2009-04-03 12:03:22 GMT
Maybe it's a little late, but if you don't mind, I want to introduce myself and my idea for a Summer of Code application.
Mi name is Alex, I'm a Electrical Engineering student in Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. I've been using free software in general, and KDE in particular since a long time ago (about 2002/2003). I've been moderately involved with KDE during this years. I did translations to Spanish, and helped the rest of the team where I could (committing their translations to CVS/SVN mostly). I also packaged two KDE-based applications for Debian (konserve and kxmleditor), and I did some patches here and there, and some where accepted (at least one in kicker and other in knotes that I can remember).
I've been lurking many mailinglists during this years, and I've always wanted to be more involved with KDE. I've done coding almost only with Qt/KDE 3, so I will need to refresh my skills, though.
My idea for the SOC, is a simple to use but complete Smith Chart application that can help students (and professionals) of electrical engineering that work with this tool (it's usually called RF engineering or microwave engineering). This chart is a nomogram, that is, is like a ruler with two scales in it (e.g. centimeters and inches), and you can use it to convert from one unit to the other without any calculation. The Smith Chart is quite more complex and powerful, of course. In this days, is no longer used to make the calculations, because calculators and computers make this a charm, but is still widely used to represent points, paths and regions (some components move the characteristics of the circuit from one point to the other). Simulation programs like Qucs (free software) or Agilent's ADS (proprietary) use the Smith Chart as one way to plot the data of the simulation.
My application would be way simpler than a simulation program. It will only plot a nice Smith Chart, and allow the user to trace these paths, points and regions in it with a convenient interface. It should also feature a way to add components, so you can add the element to the circuit, and see its effect on it. It's also important to allow the user to edit the values of the existing components in a straightforward way, because it's key to the design of matching networks.
I will post the complete details this afternoon (CEST) in the SOC site. I just want to explain potential mentors that even if the purpose of the application maybe seems quite specialized and hard to understand to a person that never has done any high frequency work, I think that this will be no problem at all. My main concerns about developing it are not related with this part, and I think I can handle it well, and make it easy to understand to a mentor who knows nothing about electrical engineering.
I'm sending this message to both kde-devel and kde-edu because I think it's important that this kind of applications (university level) are added to the KDE EDU project. I think that both the Summer of Code and applications that are attractive to university students are a great way of making young people aware of free and open source software.
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