We have two additional Google Summer of Code organizations to spotlight this week, LabLua and Code Combat.  Both are new to the program in 2014. Read below for more information about the exciting projects their students have taken on this summer.
LabLua is a lab at PUC-Rio dedicated to research on programming languages with an emphasis on the Lua language. Lua is a powerful, fast, lightweight, embeddable scripting language that has been used in many industrial applications, and on many embedded systems and games.

It is our first year in Google Summer of Code (GSoC). We had eight mentors create a pool of 15 projects to help students to submit proposals. We received a total of 20 proposals, from which four have been accepted. We are quite an international group — two of the accepted students are from Brazil, one is from Romania and one is from India.

The projects our students are currently working on include:
  • Adding flow typing and evolution of table types to typed Lua
  • Adding multi-CPU support to VLC
  • Creating a library to help 'memory leak' detection in Lua
  • Porting Gameduino demos to the programming language Céu (another language currently under development at our lab)
By Ana Lúcia de Moura and Francisco Sant'Anna, Researchers at LabLua

CodeCombat is a game that teaches people to code. It runs completely in HTML5 and supports playing in JavaScript, Coffeescript, Python, Lua, Clojure, Io, and more to come. Since open sourcing the site in January, we've been very happy with the huge response from people who provide code improvements, experimental game levels and extensive translations to the site. Almost every aspect of the game is available for contributors to work on, and GSoC has been terrific in bringing not only attention to our project but also many dedicated volunteers as well.

Alexandru Caciulescu is building new game levels throughout the summer. His campaign focuses on teaching intermediate-to-advanced concepts and algorithms, such as sorting, recursion and data structures. He has already built the Gold Rush level which requires efficient pathfinding, and which we based our own Greed Tournament level on.

Jayant Jain is working on improving our level editor. Building new levels is currently quite hard, arguably the most difficult thing for any contributor to do. Jayant is running UX tests and working with Alexandru and other level builders to remove pain points, fix bugs, add key features and create helpful documentation.

Dominik Kundel is doing a series of projects on the game interface which will improve gameplay in general and mobile gameplay in particular. Projects include auto-complete, separation of coding and game views and interfaces for manipulating code easily on mobile.

Ruben Vereecken is building the site's achievement system from top to bottom. It uses an experimental, highly decoupled and flexible foundation that is largely independent from the client logic. He's also digging into several other parts of the site, such as the testing systems and making server-side improvements.

By Scott Erikson, Organization Administrator for Code Combat