Difference between revisions of "Projects/Summer of Code/2007/Ideas"

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'''Mentor:''' Lubos Lunak <[email protected]>.
'''Mentor:''' Lubos Lunak <[email protected]>.
==== KWin -- Improved Xinerama Support ====
==== Strigi: chemistry and biology support ====
==== Strigi: chemistry and biology support ====

Revision as of 10:44, 13 March 2007

This page is an open list for ideas for the 2007 edition of Google Summer of Code. It will remain editable while the submission process is open.

This list is not exhaustive. It is just a collection of some ideas. To get further ideas, you can also look at our list of ideas for the year 2006

Before proceeding, please read the participation instructions. They are useful for students and developers alike. Before editing this page, please take a look at the Notes on editing this page section at the end.

Past ideas

You may want to take a look at the ideas page for 2006. Some of the ideas there are still valid today.

Project ideas

These ideas were contributed by our developers and users. They are sometimes vague or incomplete. If you wish to submit a proposal based on these ideas, you may wish to contact the developers and find out more about the particular suggestion you're looking at.

If there is no specific contact given you can ask questions on the general KDE development list [email protected] See the KDE mailing lists page for information on available mailing lists and how to subscribe.

When adding an idea to this section, please try to include the following data:

  • if the application is not widely known, a description of what it does and where its code lives
  • a brief explanation
  • the expected results
  • pre-requisites for working on your project
  • if applicable, links to more information or discussions
  • mailing list or IRC channel for your application/library/module
  • your name and email address for contact (if you're willing to be a mentor)

KDE Libs


Project Information: KPassivePopup is the class that displays information next to taskbar icons, system tray icons or windows without interrupting the user. It is used both directly and by KNotify and is part of libkdeui.

Brief explanation: Convert KPassivePopup to use QSvg for the frame etc. this would allow it to be much more flexible in its visual appearance and could allow us to eliminate the various custom implementations that are floating around. This would include examining these forks and ensuring the same functionality could be cleanly incorporated.

Expected results: The intended result would be a single implementation of KPassivePopup that could be reused without copying code by applications such as Kopete that currently maintain their own versions.

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: A prequisite would be knowledge of Qt/KDE and the ability to setup a KDE build environment. Knowledge of SVG would obviously be a big help.

Mentor: Richard Moore <[email protected]>, Aaron Seigo <[email protected]>.




KJS - Scripting Modules

Project Information: KJS is KDE's JavaScript engine that was originally developed for the Konqueror Web browser. It as a light-weight, standalone library that can easily be embedded into other applications to make them scriptable.

Besides being restricted to running in the sandbox of an application usage for text and file processing or other administrative or server side tasks in a command line interpreter are thinkable. Consider what made e.g. Perl successfull. What's lacking are modules providing the necessary functions.

Brief explanation: The project would start out with gathering an overview of typical functions found in other scripting languages like Perl, Python and Tcl. The most important ones would then be selected and implemented in (at first) C++ modules that are dynamically loaded by the KJS command line interpreter.

Expected results: A set of low-level modules like File, CGI, JSON or similar with a documented set of constructors, functions and properties. They should form the base for pure JavaScript modules to be build on top.

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: Some C++ programming knowledge is required. Knowledge about other scripting languages like Python and Perl would be advantageous.

Mentor: Harri Porten <[email protected]>.



Project Information: Kross is a modular scripting framework that provides a complete framework to embed scripting interpreters like Python, Ruby and KDE JavaScript transparently into native applications to bridge the static and dynamic worlds together.

Brief explanation: While Kross does already provide access to Python, Ruby and KDE JavaScript, Java is missing. With a Java backend we could provide access to JDBC databases, Hibernate, Sandboxes and all the other goodies.

Expected results:

  • Target is to implement a Java backend and offer Java as another supported scripting backend in Kross.
  • Propably just bridge or at least provide access to QtJambi.
  • Unittests and clean code :)

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: knowledge of C/C++, be able to get into the dark details of embedding Java.

Mentor: Sebastian Sauer <[email protected]>

KDEPrint -- UI redesign

Project Information: KDEPrint is the well known and very advanced printing platform common to all KDE applications.

Brief explanation: Redesign user interfaces related to printing. Improve usability.

Expected results: Produce an improved set of graphic interfaces to KDE's printing technology, based on usability reports already available and using new (original) usability ideas.

Prerequisites: C++, KDE/Qt programming, experience with design and creation of usable UI.

Mentor: Cristian Tibirna <[email protected]>

KDEPrint -- porting to CUPS > 1.2

Project Information: KDEPrint is the well known and very advanced printing platform common to all KDE applications.

Brief explanation: Port the current KDEPrint code to supporting CUPS later than 1.2, both in KDE-3.5 and KDE-4 branches.

Expected results: Based on the already very well thought out interface to CUPS-1.1, work is necessary for supporting new features and following bug fixes in the latest incarnation of CUPS, the most important backend of KDEPrint.

Prerequisites: C, C++, KDE/Qt programming, writing code following specifications.

Mentor: Cristian Tibirna <[email protected]>

KDEPrint -- porting to Qt-4.3/KDE-4

Project Information: KDEPrint is the well known and very advanced printing platform common to all KDE applications.

Brief explanation: Port the KDEPrint code of KDE-4 branch to latest Qt-4/KDE-4 libraries technologies.

Expected results: This task requires a thorough analysis of technologies used by KDEPrint in the previous (KDE-3.5) incarnation and replacement as needed with new or improved equivalents from Qt-4/KDE-4. Use of the new intercommunication technologies (D-Bus) and new notification technologies is required.

Prerequisites: C, C++, KDE/Qt programming, willingness to learn D-Bus as well as KDE-4 APIs.

Mentor: Cristian Tibirna <[email protected]>

KDEPrint -- add support for LinuxPrinting's on-line drivers query

Project Information: KDEPrint is the well known and very advanced printing platform common to all KDE applications.

Brief explanation: Add support to KDEPrint for the new OpenPrinting Database which allows on-line search for new (locally unavailable) drivers for printers during printer installation.

Expected results: This task requires a good learning of the OpenPrinting Database Querying interface. Getting accustomed with KDEPrint's printer installation algorithms is also required. Target platform is KDE-4 but time permitting, a port to KDE-3.5 would be welcome.

Prerequisites: C, C++, KDE/Qt programming

Mentor: Cristian Tibirna <[email protected]>

KIConLoader: SVG Render Cache

Project Information: KIconLoader is the class the fetches icons from disk on demand and returns pixmap data for use on screen. This project would add an on-disk binary cache to be used for SVG icons.

Brief explanation: See my blog entry here for a description of the problem.

Expected results: A transparent cache that would increase the efficiency of SVG icon usage at runtime, with the possibility of adding runtime composition capabilities to KIconLoader.

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: A prequisite would be the ability to setup a KDE build environment. Qt/KDE programming knowledge is not a high requirement for this task, though the student will obviously be picking some of that up as they go. Experience with similar projects involving caching would be good.

Mentor: Aaron Seigo <[email protected]>.

(Note: KIconLoader would benefit from a generic cache, not limited only to SVG but usable also for PNG icons. See the second paragraph of the benefits section in the blog entry for reasons [less disk seeking]. I think it would make sense to change this to a generic cache for KIconLoader. Lubos Lunak <[email protected]> )

KDE Base applications

Konqueror - web browser

Konqueror - userscripts

Project Information: The goal of this project would be to implement and integrate into KDE4 a Konqueror equivalent of FireFox's Greasemonkey plugin to allow installing and running user scripts. The project could start of from this existing GPL-ed code.

Expected results: A Greasemonkey equivalent for Konqueror that allows (de)installing and running Greasemonkey compatible user scripts.

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: C++ programming skills

Konqueror & Dolphin - file manager

Plasma: icon placement

Brief explanation: Ordering the icons on the desktop has always been a pain for the users. They invent a certain arrangement (images top left, devices lower right, ...) and try to stick with it. Whenever they drop something to the Desktop folder in their filemanager, or when they plug in a new device the icon appears at an arbitrary location. Using clustering techniques and meta information about the existing icons, it would be possible to determine the most useful location for a new icon on the desktop.

Expected results: Improve the icon placing strategy of kdesktop (plasma) using clustering techniques.

  • Try various clustering algorithms (Wikipedia Data Clustering might help) and choose the one most suitable for the task
  • Implement an icon placement strategy in plasma, using the chosen clustering algorithm.

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: Familiarity with clustering algorithms or motivation to study them, C++/Qt coding skills

KWin -- Tiling Support

Project Information: Some window managers (e.g. Ion) have the ability to divide the screen to smaller sections which make it simpler to work with several windows at the same time (window maximize only to its tile, etc.).

Expected results: Implemented tiling support in KWin, the KDE window manager.

Knowledge Pre-Requisite:

  1. C++, Qt/KDE (KWin doesn't use much functionality from Qt and KDE libraries besides basic classes though)
  2. X11/Xlib knowledge beneficial. X11 parts are mostly abstracted in KWin, but it's possible at least little knowledge might be required (it should be possible to learn necessary things while working on the project though).
  3. Multiple-monitor (Xinerama) setup beneficial. KWin already has Xinerama support, parts of which possibly could be used as a base for tiling support. With tiling support implemented, Xinerama support should be implemented as tiles representing Xinerama screens.


  1. Wikipedia window manager entry
  2. KDE bug #59338
  3. KDE bug #107554
  4. Ion

Mentor: Lubos Lunak <[email protected]>.

KWin -- Improved Xinerama Support

Strigi: chemistry and biology support

Project Information: Strigi is a promosing alternative to other desktop search tools, like Beagle/Kerry. It has a plugin architecture that allows writing indexing plugins for a specific area, or specific enhanced purposes. Available are both inline plugins (written in C++), as well as plugins that call programs written in other languages via the command line. Strigi is showing progress towards integration to semantic desktop ideas, as in the Nepomuk project. This allows chemical information to be semantically marked up, and easily retrieved.

Brief explanation: The idea of this project is to integrate chemistry and biology knowledge into the KDE desktop, by writing chemistry and biology aware plugins for Strigi. Exact molecule searching on the hard disk will be supported via the InChI. For the rest, normal free text searching will do fine for now. Generation of InChI's will be done via OpenBabel, for files supported by the Chemical MIME's (which has existing KDE support) and kfile-chemical (which is available for KDE3 and KDE4). Optionally, the student can incorporate the chemical text mining tool OSCAR3 developed in Cambridge, UK, to extract InChI's from text documents, like PDF, HTML, etc. Here Strigi's jstream technology come in handy, as it will provide a plain text version for all those formats. Extraction of biochemical information is much easier, as these files commonly plain text already.

Expected results: Strigi plugins that:

  1. extract meta data for (bio)chemical files defined by the Chemical MIMEs, via the kfile-chemical kfile plugins,
  2. process files with a (subset of) (bio)chemical MIME with OpenBabel to generate an InChI for indexing,
  3. (optionally) use OSCAR3 to process plain text and create InChIs for molecules found in that text. Additionally, the student is invited to propose a useful ontology for marking up the extracted chemical and biological information.

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: knowledge of C++ is a requirement, as is high school education in chemistry and biology.

Mentor(s): Carsten Niehaus <[email protected]>, Jerome Pansanel <[email protected]>, Egon Willighagen <[email protected]>, Jos van den Oever" <[email protected]>

Mailing list: [email protected]


A 3D Molecular Editor

Project Information: There are several 3D molecular editors, but only few open source programs, such as Ghemical. The GPL-ed OpenBabel project open chemistry library has expanded its usefulness improving chemistry software. This resulted in, among other things, an application and library called Avogadro. Kalzium and Avogadro will soon merge a lot of code so that both apps share an underlying rendering library for molecules (using OpenGL). Avogadro already has basic "molecule construction" capabilities. The goal of this project is to extend these such to yield a 3D editor suitable for basic molecular drawing and visualization for high school and university students.

Expected results: The improved application would be based on the new OpenGL based rendering code, and able to construct common organic molecules (such as this one). The 3D-display code inside Kalzium will be reused and expanded to handle, for example, protein "ribbon" views, surfaces, and surface-mapped functions like electronic charge. Additional features such as configurable labels (for atoms, protein residues, etc.) and flexibility to change rendering for individual atoms or bonds would be welcome.

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: Basic Qt-knowledge and basic chemistry knowledge. OpenGL experience welcome.

Mentor: Carsten Niehaus (cniehaus at kde dot org)

Mailing list: kalzium at kde dot org

MARBLE - Adding a 2D View

Project Information: Marble is a Qt 4-based generic virtual globe widget which is meant to integrate well with the KDE desktop to provide basic input and visualisation facilities for geographical data. Marble currently lives in http://websvn.kde.org/trunk/playground/base/marble/ and the author would like to see Marble be included with KDE-Edu soon. More information: the Marble description.

Brief explanation: To be properly integrated with other applications a 2D View for Marble will be needed in addition to the preferred 3D View (e.g. for merging functionality of KGeography and Marble). Three steps are suggested:

  1. reuse the current rendering engine in 2D mode
  2. write an optimized approach for the 2D case and thereby refactor parts of Marble (especially the texture mapping)
  3. include adding proper access methods for applications and the user interface

Depending on the knowledge of the applicant the refactoring part can be extended.

Expected results: adding the 2D View Mode to Marble. Optionally, if enough time is available, integrate that view mode in another application like KGeography.

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: basic knowledge of C++ is a pre-requirement. Basic highschool trigonometry knowledge would be helpful. Other useful skills, but not mandatory are:

  • Qt experience

Mentor: Torsten Rahn <[email protected]>.

Mailing list: The kde-edu mailing list: http://lists.kde.org/?l=kde-edu&r=1&b=200702&w=2 .

MARBLE - OpenStreetMap, GPS, Almanac, improved KML support

Project Information: Marble is a Qt 4-based generic virtual globe widget which is meant to integrate well with the KDE desktop to provide basic input and visualisation facilities for geographical data. Marble currently lives in http://websvn.kde.org/trunk/playground/base/marble/ and the author would like to see Marble be included with KDE-Edu soon. More information: the Marble description.

Brief explanation: There are a lot of other interesting projects that would make a nice Google Summer of Code 2007 project each on their own. Keep in mind that all those should be introduced in an unobtrusive manner as Marble is aimed at casual users without much technical knowledge. So a larger part should be dedicated on the usability (Of course it needs to work, too ;-):

  1. Basic support for GPS devices: Introduce an interface to support GPS tracks and / or provide support for the GPX format. Co-Mentor: Inge Wallin.
  2. Basic support for OpenStreetMap ( http://www.openstreetmap.org ). The applicant should find a way to incrementally download data collected by the Open Street Map project. This should happen in the background.
  3. Marble Almanac: The applicant should extend the current placemark info dialog into a module of its own that compiles together various geographical information from different sources (like the CIA fact book).
  4. Improve KML capabilities. Currently Marble has very basic KML support already. Although Marble won't be able to support the whole range of KML tags that e.g. Google Earth supports, it would be nice if support could be made more standards compliant. The student should be able to refactor the current code and introduce an improved design.

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: All these projects require that the student is a self-starter and will be able to do some research concerning the topics on their own. Beyond that you should have basic C++ knowledge. Prior Qt experience is a plus.

Mentor: Torsten Rahn <[email protected]>, Co-Mentor for GPS support: Inge Wallin <[email protected]>

Mailing list: The kde-edu mailing list: http://lists.kde.org/?l=kde-edu&r=1&b=200702&w=2 .

KDE PIM libraries and applications

KPilot - Enhance Record based syncing

Project Information: KPilot is the KDE application which synchronizes Palm OS PDAs with various KDE applications, including KMail, KAddressbook and Calendar. KPilot makes use of the pilot-link library to handle the interaction between the device and the conduits. These conduits are plugins which handle the actual synchronization of the items. For more information see [1]

Brief explanation: The vast majority of KPilot's conduits are record-based in nature. This means that the logical program flow for each of the conduits is very much the same in that they will each:

  1. Open a Palm database
  2. Retrieve either all records or just the changed records
  3. Open a PC data store
  4. Retrieve either all or changed records
  5. Handle tri-directional syncing, conflict handling, and merging changed data
  6. Then write the resolved data sets back to the PC and Palm data stores

But the current conduit framework does not abstract this common functionality into a set of base classes as it should. This has resulted in a lot of duplicated code throughout KPilot's conduit base, and each conduit has its own way of handling this common functionality. Understandably, this has led to bugs in the syncing algorithms and has made maintainability of the conduits (and KPilot) a much more difficult thing than it should be. For every conduit, the maintainer has to learn how the actual syncing is done. To make matters worse, there are a couple of conduits which don't sync correctly because of a incomplete implementation of handling records.

Expected results: The student will create an improved framework for KPilot's record-based conduits and (re)implement a (new) conduit as a proof of concept.

  1. Documentation about the syncing process of a record based conduit.
    1. Sequence diagrams detailing sync logic for each of the major scenarios: HotSync, FullSync, Copy PC to Handheld, Copy Handheld to PC
    2. Class diagram detailing:
      • Inheritance hierarchy
      • Class relationships
  2. Implementation of the abstract record based conduit in the KPilot library.
  3. (Re)implementation of a (new) Conduit as proof of concept.

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: basic knowledge of C++ is a pre-requirement. Other useful skills, but not mandatory are:

  • Qt experience
  • Pilot-link experience

Mentor: Adriaan de Groot <[email protected]>, Jason 'vanRijn' Kasper <[email protected]>.

Mailing list: The kde-pim mailing list: http://lists.kde.org/?l=kde-pim&r=1&w=2.


KitchenSync is the frontend to the generic synchronization system OpenSync. It is supposed to become the standard syncing solution for KDE. Right now it already supports synchronization of KDE PIM data with a wider variety of mobile devices like phones and PDAs as well was synchronization with other applications like Evolution or Google calendar.

KitchenSync works pretty well as OpenSync, but doesn't yet cover all functionality OpenSync provides. The goal of this project would be to improve that. For example the configuration GUIs for the various OpenSync plugins would need some work.

This project requires some knowledge in KDE programming. It will also involve collaboartion with the OpenSync team, so some experience with C is helpful.

Mentor: Cornelius Schumacher <[email protected]>

KOrganizer Theming

KOrganizer Theming: In the real world calendars are made from paper and carry lots of pretty pictures, witty sayings, historical data or similar things. Compared to that calendar programs are extremely plain. One of the intents of the CalendarDecoration plugin interface for KOrganizer was to make it possible to add theming to the calendar views, so that you can add all the fun things which make paper calendars more than just a bunch of papers with dates on it. Combined with the KNewStuff technology this could bring much more color to our desktops and make KOrganizer interesting to people which currently wouldn't think of using a calendar program.

Mentor: Cornelius Schumacher <[email protected]>

KDE Games

Kombinaton - AI Engine

Project Information: Kombination is a KDE4 scrabble clone. The project would be adding an artificial intelligence interface and at least one engine. Kombination currently lives in trunk/playground/games/kombination/ and the author would like to see Kombination be included with KDE Games soon. More information: the Kombination web page.

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: basic knowledge of C++ is a pre-requirement. Basic knowledge of Scrabble rules is a must too. KDE and Qt skills will be useful but not mandatory.

Mentor: Albert Astals Cid <[email protected]>.

Mailing list: The kombination mailing list: http://home.gna.org/kombination/ .

KDE SDK Applications


Project Information: Kate is a multi document editor, based on a rewritten version of the kwrite editing widget of KDE, offering all the features of that plus a bunch of its own.

Brief explanation: Make Kate a much more capable yet still lightweight development tool for KDE4. Add features to Kate including CVS and SVN integration (either via recognition of the kdesvn or kcvs utilities, or with a custom implementation), Eclipse-like workspace and project management, and build environment integration for various languages/tools via an extensible interface. Scale Kate as much as needed to accomodate these changes, and not beyond that (at least for the scope of this project).

Expected results: The intended result would be a stable and extended implementation of Kate, providing CVS and SVN integration, Eclipse-like workspace and project management, and build environment integration.

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: A prequisite would be knowledge of Qt/KDE and the ability to setup a KDE build environment. Additionally, knowledge of interfacing with source code repositories via C++, and general C++ knowledge would be required.

Mentor: Christoph Cullmann <[email protected]>.

Mailing list: The Kate mailing list

KDevelop & Quanta

Extend KDevelop's snippet support

Project Information: Extend KDevelop's snippet support, see RFE 106165 for a detailed description (this proposal has been confirmed by popular vote).

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: basic knowledge of C++ is a pre-requirement. KDE and Qt skills will required. Likewise, familiarity with XML is probably required, too in order to provide a flexible, multi-platform file format for data storage and -exchange.

Suggested Approach: given that the envisioned functionality would probably be interesting to a rather large user base/audience, one should consider using a library-oriented approach, where key-functionality is provided in a fashion that facilitates standalone library-deployment, so that other OSS projects (i.e. other IDE projects) may eventually employ the corresponding library to add "snippet"-support, too.

Mentor: none yet

Mailing list: KDevelop mailing list

Implement foundations for KDevelop4 Ruby language support

Project Information: Ruby language and Rails web development tool is rapidly gaining popularity. The goal of this project is to implement the foundations for the best possible Ruby/Rails support in KDevelop.

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: advanced knowledge of C++ is a pre-requirement. KDE and Qt skills are desired but not required. At least basic knowledge of parsing theory (lexers, LL parsers, AST's) is necessary as well. This is a challenging project.

Brief Explanation: There're beginnings of Ruby support for KDevelop4 already. So the Ruby parser would be finished first and then definition-use chain for would be implemented. Those would allow to build extended code highlighting, navigation and problem reporting. The design for Ruby code completion would also be in the scope of this project.

Expected Results:

  1. Ruby parser with tests covering most of the language features
  2. DUChain builder for class/method definitions and their usages
  3. Advanced Ruby code highlighter and problem reporter
  4. Working and well-tested Ruby language support plugin
  5. Design for Ruby code completion

Mentor: Alexander Dymo

Mailing list: KDevelop mailing list



Project Information: Amarok website

Tightening of Web Service Integration

Brief explanation: Amarok's motto is Rediscover your music. Since listening to music can be a somewhat uninteresting experience, we try to enhance this aspect in a number of ways:

  • Wikipedia information retrieval
  • Lyric downloads
  • Cover Art
  • Music suggestions

etc, etc. I'm sure you are more than familiar with the 'omg-im-going-to-wet-myself-this-is-so-cool' experience that you have at least once experienced.

We would like to see some sort of enhancement to meta-information which can be displayed to the user. Some ideas that come to mind may include:

  • Upcoming concerts
  • Random artist trivia

Expected results: The student will come up with a set of web-service enhancements and will implement them so that they integrate tightly with the final Amarok 2.0 interface and design goals.

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: basic knowledge of C++ is a pre-requirement. Other useful skills, but not mandatory are:

  • Qt experience
  • Web service skills, such as SOAP, XML/DOM structures etc
  • A keen eye for usability and the difference between features and benefits

Mentor: Seb Ruiz <[email protected]>

Mailing list: The Amarok mailing list

Integrate Additional Music Store or Streaming Music Service

Brief explanation: Since the introduction of the integrated Magnatune.com music store in Amarok, there has been many proposals for other stores or services that could be integrated in a simmilar way. In the process of working towards Amarok 2.0, a new framework for adding such services without cluttering the interface has been proposed and the Magnatune store has been ported to this framework. Adding a new store or service is a nice way of getting into coding on Amarok at is fairly easy to approach witout knowing all the intricate details of Amaroks inner workings.

There are several types of services that could be of interest:

  • DRM free music stores ( preferably with good, full length, previews )
  • Streaming audio content services ( Again, no DRM is a must )
  • Live recording archives
  • Most likely a 100 other kinds of sites that I have not thought of...

The service chosen will have to be legal, and the service must agree to the integration taking place.

There are currently no concrete agreements in place with other services, so this is very much a "bring your own idea" project, which both makes it a bit harder to get started, but also more rewarding.

Expected results: The student reaches an agreement with a music store/service/whatnot and integrates its service into Amarok. Some effort would most likely also be spent on helping to mature the service framework.

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: basic knowledge of C++ is a pre-requirement. Other useful skills, but not mandatory are:

  • Qt experience
  • Web service skills, such as SOAP, XML/DOM structures etc
  • A keen eye for usability and the difference between features and benefits

Mentor: Nikolaj Hald Nielsen <[email protected]>

Mailing list: The Amarok mailing list


Project Information: okular is a KDE 4 document viewer. http://www.okular.org

Mailing list: The okular mailing list

Improve the rendering of PDF patterns

Explanation: okular uses the Poppler library to render the PDF files. Some files with complex patterns may take even minutes to render, while with Acrobat Reader just a couple of seconds.

Expected results: One needs to improve the Poppler library code that handles rendering of PDF files with patterns, making the pattern rendering faster with no drawbacks.

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: basic knowledge of C++ is a requirement. Qt4 is strongly suggested too. Graphics and PDF konwledge are strongly suggested as well, but not mandatory.

Mentor: Albert Astals Cid <[email protected]>

Improve the presentation mode

Explanation and Expected results: okular has a presentation mode for displaying documents on the screen in a way similar to a presentation application (think about KPresenter, OpenOffice.org Impress). Currently, the mode can just display only a single page, at the maximum size allowed by the screen. The idea is to extend the presentation mode by adding:

  • zooming support and pan mode
  • facing mode
  • missing PDF transitions, like Fly, Push, Cover, Uncover, Fade

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: knowledge of C++ and Qt4 is a requirement. KDE 4, graphics and PDF konwledge are strongly suggested as well, but not mandatory.

Mentor: Albert Astals Cid <[email protected]>

Improve the annotation support

Explanation and Expected results: one of the okular's goals is to support the annotations, mainly coming from PDF documents (but also from DjVu and ODT documents). As the support is not yet complete, some ideas could be:

  • adding the visual editing features (e.g. mouse click to visually select, drag to move around or resize, etc)
  • adding support for more kind of annotations (e.g. Caret, Watermark, etc)
  • improve the annotation toolbar
  • better support for text and line annotation drawing

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: basic knowledge of C++ is a requirement. Qt4 is strongly suggested too. Graphics and PDF konwledge are strongly suggested as well, but not mandatory.

Mentor: Albert Astals Cid <[email protected]>

3D artwork support

Explanation and Expected results: the PDF formats allow the embedding of 3D artwork in documents. The idea is to start supporting this kind of artwork, and start displaying them on the document. What is required to do is:

  • basic reading support
  • basic displaying of the artwork on the document (thus creating a 3D view)
  • basic interaction with the 3D artwork (mouse or document actions)

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: knowledge of C++ is a requirement. Qt4 is strongly suggested too. Graphics and PDF konwledge are strongly suggested as well, but not mandatory.

Mentor: Albert Astals Cid <[email protected]>

Other Applications


KBugBuster is a native KDE client for the bug tracking system Bugzilla. It allows to browse, search and view bug reports and make modifications to them. It provides features which the web interface can't provide like an offline mode.

One potential task would be to make KBugBuster work with the XML-RPC interface of Bugzilla. This would make access to Bugzilla more robust and make it possible to better support the editing of bug reports.

Mentor: Cornelius Schumacher <[email protected]>


Knoware is previous SOC project. It creates a system that collates bug reports as well as anonymous system specs offered by users. It provides a statistical way of matching up bugs to likely culprits in a system or configuration so that developers can get a better handle on what the problem likely as as well as informing users of KDE what the potential pitfalls of their current system could be.

One potential task would be to document the current system for further development. Another could be porting the curent code to Qt4.


Application User Interface Test System

There are a couple of tools available for Qt / KDE that allow testing of applications - squish and kdexecutor. Both are binary only, and are specific to the systems that they are built on.

It would be useful to have an open source tool that allowed us to test applications in a scripted way. Similar open source tools include Dogtail and LDTP, which use the accessibility interfaces in Gnome.

There are arguments for and against using accessibility - it might be a lot more useful to implement a separate system, using some of the Qt4 specific features including QMetaObject. Qt4 has a nice set of hooks, and QTestLib shows how they can be implemented. However instead of requiring specific code in the application (as done by QTestLib), it would be more flexible to use LD_PRELOAD and a small interface library.

More discussion: Brad Hards <[email protected]>



A new design for contextual help (Whatsthis)

Implement Ellen Reitmair's, Olaf Schmidt's, Philip Rodrigues' plan for a new infrastructure for contextual help. ideas_whatsthis_january06_v1.3.pdf


  • A way to make bugzilla help in finding duplicated bugs. could be some kind of 'suggested related bugs'


A list of KOffice ideas can be found at the KOffice wiki.

KWord Scripting

Brief explanation: KWord comes with a Scripting Plugin based on Kross. The plugin provides a clean interface to offer access to the KWord functionality from within scripting backends.

Expected results: Improve the current scripting plugin.

  • Evaluate what is needed or what a script could need and implement it to earn a powerful scripting backend for KWord 2.0.
  • The current design may need to be refactored cause the scripting API should be as simple as possible.
  • Provide sample scripts to demonstrate what's possible and Unittests for regression testing.

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: knowledge of C++/Qt, experience with word-processing

Mentor: Sebastian Sauer <[email protected]>

Improve Kexi Data Import/Export

Brief explanation: Currently Kexi allows importing CSV files into an existing database, and converting MySQL/PostgreSQL/MS Access databases into Kexi databases.

The aim of this project is to provide plugin(s) that import from more database backends/formats.

You can select a backend you like to implement migration for:

For the ODBC driver, a migration plugin and a backend plugin should be provided. For Paradox, only a migration plugin is required, although this will require modifying the migration framework to allow more than one file to be selected as the source database (i.e. the database to be imported).

Both a migration plugin and a backend plugin could be provided for HSQLDB, which should be implemented using JNI to invoke JDBC methods in the HSQLDB library.

In any case, migration plugins are simpler to implement than direct access plugins (drivers), so these can be developed first.

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: knowledge of C++, (knowledge of Qt and experience with a given database format/backend is recommended)

More info:

Mentor: Jaroslaw Staniek <[email protected]>, Sebastian Sauer <[email protected]>

Mailing list: kexi-devel

Kexi Web Forms

Brief explanation: Web Forms allow to read-only or read-write access to database projects created with Kexi. It is optional feature for uses where client has no Kexi installed for any reason. The fact that the Web Forms will use Web standards, adds another advantage over competitors like MS Access (which uses proprietary Windows-only ActiveX bindings).

Proposed solution is to develop a small standalone web server. It is probably already written in C++ or C by FOSS community. Good examples are lighttpd - http://www.lighttpd.net/ and (being already in KDEnetwork module) KPF - http://rikkus.info/kpf.html.

The web serwer would be dynamically linked to kexidb and thus can access Kexi databases via universal KexiDB API, and create HTML content on demand as an answer to HTTP requests.

For alternative solution see "Alternative solution for Kexi forms using PHP" below.

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: knowledge of C++ and HTTP/web standards, (knowledge of Qt and experience with a given database format/backend is recommended)

More info: Solution proposed by Jacek Migdal last year

Mentor: Jaroslaw Staniek <[email protected]>

Mailing list: kexi-devel

Alternative Solution for Kexi Forms Using PHP

Brief explanation: Create a Kexi plugin generating PHP code saving it directy to the filesystem. This will require Apache (or other PHP-compatible web server) to be present and configured, and also will require the plugin to be packaged with a script that will install appropriate tools that allow r/w accessing the Apache/php subdirs.

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: knowledge of PHP, web standards and C++, (knowledge of Qt is recommended)

Mentor: Jaroslaw Staniek <[email protected]>

Mailing list: kexi-devel

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This page was last edited on 13 March 2007, at 10:44. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.