[kde-edu]: SOC proposal: a Smith Chart application

Alejandro Exojo suy at badopi.org
Fri Apr 3 14:03:22 CEST 2009


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

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

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.


Alex (a.k.a. suy) | GPG ID 0x0B8B0BC2
http://barnacity.net/ | http://disperso.net
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