Summer of Code/2018/Music Blocks Widget Improvements

From Sugar Labs
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Music Blocks Widget Improvements

About You

What is your name?

My name is Ritwik Abhishek. I am 3​rd​ year undergraduate student at Indian Institute of

Technology Guwahati.

What is your email address?

What is your Sugar Labs wiki username​ ?


What is your IRC nickname on


What is your first language?

My first language is Hindi. English is my language of communication and I am fluent in it.

Where are you located, and what hours (UTC) do you tend to work?

I live in Guwahati, India (UTC+5:30). I usually work from 5AM (UTC) to 2PM (UTC), But these

timing can vary depending on the need of project or mentor. I will remain active on IRC

during my working hours.

Have you participated in an open-source project before? If so, please send us URLs to your

profile pages for those projects, or some other demonstration of the work that you have

done in open-source. If not, why do you want to work on an open-source project this


I am new to the world of open-source. I like the idea very much that anyone can contribute

to a project of his/her choice and help to develop products which are comparable or better

than proprietary products. I chose Sugar Labs because Education is very close to my heart

and Sugar Labs works to provide kids equal opportunity to learn, irrespective of their


About your project

What is the name of your project​ ?

Music Blocks Widget Improvement

Describe your project in 10-20 sentences. What are you making? Who are you making it

for, and why do they need it? What technologies (programming languages, etc.) will you

be using?

My project involves 3 separate parts

1) Fix widget bugs​ - There are several widgets in Music Blocks. As reported on github

repository ​​ , there are around

20 bugs reported currently. I think there would be another 10 bugs related to widgets which

would be reported during summers. I am planning to remove 2-3 bugs per day. Most of the bugs

involve pitch-time matrix, tempo, timbre, filters, rhythm ruler. Most of bugs are easy

and they would be fixed in around 10 days. Other bug reports involve adding some

functionality and are actually enhancements.

2) Pitch tracker​ - It involves making a widget which would record sound, process it to find

fundamental frequency for every small segment, and then choose blocks (whose frequency

is closest to fundamental frequency of each segment), and then use these blocks to code

the recorded sound in Music Blocks language.

I chose to use fundamental frequency because it can be calculated in real time and is easy to

calculate as well. For calculating fundamental frequency I will be using autocorrelation as

feature vector. Autocorrelation is correlation of a signal with its delayed copy.

There is a webapp written in javascript which calculates autocorrelation, whose code we

can use as it has MIT license. The repository is ​

If the fundamental frequency is not very strong then we will use fourier transform to get the

frequency domain representation of the signal, then we will find frequencies at which the

amplitude is higher. The smallest of these frequencies will be fundamental frequency. For

example in figure given below, fundamental frequency is shown by yellow arrow.

3) Integrating software keyboard in Music Blocks - ​ The keyboard currently works fine but It

looks very different than rest of Music Blocks. I would like to work on design part of the

keyboard and change its design in following ways

- Currently the keyboard is fixed in size and it can not be moved, I would change it and

it would be available in at least 2 sizes and its position on the screen could be


- Currently the toggle button to minimize/show for keyboard is on bottom right

corner, I would change it such that It remains on the top left of keyboard just like


- Making the edges of each key rounded, so it looks similar to other blocks

- Although actual keyboard is black and white, there should be option to change colors

of keys.

I think we should measure time for which a certain key was pressed, for that we need to

measure starting and stopping time. I have not finalized how to deal with this, and would

finalize this while going through the code of keyboard and after having detailed discussion

with my mentor.


Was uploaded in main proposal.

Convince us, in 5-15 sentences that you will be able to successfully complete your project

in the timeline you have described.

I think I will be able to successfully complete the project because I am a hard working and

goal oriented person. I will be giving around 40-50 hours per week to the project. I will work

on every day of the week. I have no other commitment this summer. I am willing to learn

technologies that I don’t know and work hard to finish the project.

Some of the relevant projects done by me are described below

Audio class histogram​ - For a given audio segment we had to find out which part of audio

contains speech, music and silence. For this we had used 5 feature vectors. It was done in

MATLAB. Experience from Audio class histogram project would help me to complete pitch

tracker this summer. To know more about visit ​

Contribution​ - I have started contributing to music blocks. I have submitted a few bugs, and

am trying solve bugs as well.

* will be adding more pull requests soon

Basic Website using Flask framework-​ Made a basic website using Flask framework. The

website has log in/out feature. I am proficient in HTML, CSS and JavaScript. To know more

visit - ​

To see smaller projects that I have done please visit my github page

You and the community

If your project is successfully completed, what will its impact be on the Sugar Labs


My Answer​ - My project has 3 parts, I have explained their impact one by one1- Fixing existing bugs of different widgets in Music Blocks - There are currently several

widgets in Music Blocks, and fixing existing bugs from them will enhance user experience,

remove improper system behavior, and make Music Blocks more robust.

2- Pitch tracker – After its completion, we can give input from microphone and use pitch

tracking to generate Music Blocks code. So after this we do not have to manually code for

each and every song, It could be done with good enough accuracy by the pitch tracker. As

Devin Ulibarri has suggested It could be a GCI task to choose a song, sing it, and then submit

both recording and Music Blocks code.

3- Integrating software keyboard with Music Blocks- This would be implemented as a widget

which on key press will give corresponding output as chunk. Currently the keyboard works

fine but it looks very much different than the theme of Music Blocks. The project will create

unity in design of keyboard with Music Blocks.

Walter’s Answer​ -

The most pressing need for Music Blocks right now is stability, so addressing the widget bug

list would be an important contribution. Further, widgets for pitch tracking and keyboard

input would provide some basic scaffolding for beginners, which would lower the barriers to

entry, also important if we want to grow the user base.

What will you do if you get stuck on your project and your mentor isn't around?

If I am stuck and my mentor is not around, I will search on the web and stackoverflow for

solution. If that does not work I would ask the question on IRC and Sugar-devel mailing list

to get help from other members of the community who contribute to Music Blocks. Some of

my college seniors also contribute to open-source, I can get help from them as well.

How do you propose you will be keeping the community informed of your progress and

any problems or questions you might have over the course of the project?

I will write a blog, where I will post updates of my progress as well as difficulties that I faced

weekly. I will post to Sugar-devel mailing list after completing important milestones and I

will also attend meetings which are held on #sugar-meeting.


Link to screenshot of Sugar development environment

My project does not require Sugar development environment, but I have set it up in virtual


link to a pull request or merge request you have made

* I will be adding more pull requests soon

Describe a great learning experience you had as a child.

I was weak in mathematics when I was a kid, although I used to attend all the classes. When

the teacher solved questions on blackboard, I just copy them to my notebook mindlessly.

Once I scored very badly in Mathematics exam. I then talked to the teacher and he asked me

to try solving questions before seeing answer. I followed his advice and started solving

exercise questions and asked for help only after I had tried enough. This helped and I

became good in mathematics. This was a very good learning experience for me.

Is there anything else we should have asked you or anything else that we should know

that might make us like you or your project more?

Sugar Labs is doing very good work to provide equal opportunity to students all over the

world to learn, but one thing that I have noticed is that our community need to have better

outreach to prospective contributors, this would make us grow fastly as an organisation.

After summers I would like to work with Sugar Labs team to increase our outreach.

Category​ – Music Blocks GSoC 2018 application