Projects/Summer of Code/2008/Ideas

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This page is an open list for ideas for the 2008 edition of Google Summer of Code. This page is open for new ideas from anyone.

This list is not exhaustive. It is just a collection of some ideas. To get further ideas, please feel free to use any resources and past ideas.

Before proceeding, please read the participation instructions and the notes on editing this page. They are useful for students and developers alike.

Past ideas

You may want to take a look at the ideas page for 2006 and 2007. Many 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 kde-devel@kde.org. 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

KDE Core libraries

The KDE core libraries (kdecore, kdeui, kio, kparts) are the most basic libraries that all KDE applications depend upon.

Solid

Solid is the KDE hardware abstraction layer, that enables KDE programs to get consistent results when running on different platforms.

Phonon

Phonon is the KDE audio abstraction layer, that enables KDE programs to produce basic and medium-level multimedia functionality in any platform without platform-specific code.

KHTML

KHTML is the current KDE HTML engine, used by the Konqueror web-browser and other applications to display HTML in their interfaces.

KJS

KJS is the JavaScript engine used by KHTML and Kross to run JavaScript programs.

Sonnet

Sonnet is the KDE grammar, spell-checker and language-detection engine.

Kross

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.

Oxygen

Oxygen is the KDE 4's default look-and-feel. It comprises of the Oxygen icon set (including the palette and guidelines for icons), the Oxygen sound theme, the Oxygen wallpaper collection, the Oxygen window decoration and the Oxygen widget style. Note that for Summer of Code, you must produce code, so the window decoration and widget styles are your more likely candidates.

KDE Base applications

Konqueror

Konqueror is KDE's powerful web browser and file manager.

Dolphin

Dolphin is KDE 4's default file manager application.

Konsole

Konsole is KDE's terminal application.

Kate and KWrite

Kate is KDE's Advanced Text Editor, both a full-featured text editor application and a KPart engine ready for embedding into other applications (like KDevelop, Quanta and Kile). KWrite is a simple text editor based on the KatePart engine and is KDE's default text editor.

KDE Workspace

Plasma

Plasma is KDE 4's desktop and panel tool, replacing KDE 3's kicker and kdesktop. It's an advanced and power application with revolutionary ideas.

KWin

KWin is KDE's X11 Window Manager program, greatly improved when compared to its older brother in KDE 3.

KDM

KDM is KDE's Display Manager and login application.

KDE Runtime

KOffice

KWord

Project: Collaborative editing of documents over a network.

Explanation: Make it possible for two or more users to work at the same document in KWord at the same time over a network. Both users would open the same document, and changes made by each user are synchronized to the other user's editing session.

KSpread

Kexi

Krita

KDE Edu

Project: Step: 3d mode

Project Information: Step is an interactive physical simulator for KDE. Currently it lives in playground but it will be included in kdeedu package for KDE 4.1.

Brief explanation: Implement physical simulation in 3d. This involves:

  • convert all classes in StepCore to templates with dimension as a template parameter, implement specialized versions where required, modify meta-object system to handle it
  • implement 3d mode in GUI: viewing and editing

Expected results: Ability to create, edit and view 3d simulations in Step with the same set of objects as in 2d.

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: Required: C++, basic OpenGL, basic physics (mechanics). Could be useful: Qt.

Mentor: Vladimir Kuznetsov <ks dot vladimir at gmail dot com>


Project: Step: a game

Project Information: Step is an interactive physical simulator for KDE. Currently it lives in playground but it will be included in kdeedu package for KDE 4.1.

Brief explanation: The idea is to create a game based on physical simulation where the player have a fixed list of equipment (like springs, balls, cat and mice, teapot, etc.) and should use it to build a machine to achieve a given goal (for example put the ball in a basket, capture the mice, prepare a tea, etc.). The user places the equipment, than press Start button which starts physical simulation and if (in certain time limit) the goal is achieved the game is won. In the other case the user could try again. Similar projects: old game named "The Incredible Machine" and newer (but commercial) one named "Crazy Machines".

The game can be implemented as standalone application using StepCore or as special restricted 'game' mode for Step (probably with tweaked graphics).

Expected results: Playable game and several levels to test it.

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: Required: C++. Could be useful: Qt, basic physics (mechanics).

Mentor: Vladimir Kuznetsov <ks dot vladimir at gmail dot com>


Project: Step: simulation of chemical reactions

Project Information: Step is an interactive physical simulator for KDE. Currently it lives in playground but it will be included in kdeedu package for KDE 4.1. This project also relates to Kalzium.

Brief explanation: Simulate some basic chemical reactions using classical molecular dynamics methods with empirical potentials. At first initial settings for simulation should be prepared by hand (as XML file), if there will be enough time an editor could be implemented too. This project involves:

  • convert required classes from StepCore to handle 3d simulations (you will need only several classes which are trivial to convert)
  • implement required objects and potentials in StepCore
  • implement GUI for observing the simulation (investigate the possibility to use avogadro library for visualization), GUI should also allow altering of some properties like masses and charges
  • prepare demonstrations of several common reactions

Expected results: Chemical reaction viewer which could load predefined experiment, modify some basic properties and run the simulation. Prepared simulation for several common reactions.

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: Required: C++, physics, basic chemistry. Could be useful: Qt, basic quantum mechanics, knowledge of common molecular dynamics simulation technics and numerical methods.

Mentor: Vladimir Kuznetsov <ks dot vladimir at gmail dot com>


Project: Step: fast water and gas simulation

Project Information: Step is an interactive physical simulator for KDE. Currently it lives in playground but it will be included in kdeedu package for KDE 4.1.

Brief explanation: Currently Step has molecular dynamics based simulation of gas and water (that is a gas is simulated as a collection of particles). This is very usefull for demonstrating microscopical properties of the gas as well as its connection with macroscopical quantities like temperature. But this is far from optimal to demonstrate things like a boat floating in the water, water flowing from a glass, etc. This project involves:

  • investigate fast methods of simulating water and gas: ranging from molecular dynamics but with simplified potentials, various optimizations, coarse graining methods, to lattice Boltzmann methods; investigate existing libraries for water simulation (for example take a look at elbeem library from Blender)
  • implement selected method of simulation or incorporate selected library in StepCore
  • implement GUI in Step for creating and modifying macroscopical quantities of gas and watter

Expected results: Ability to easily simulate in Step experiments like a boat floating in the water, water flowing from a glass, etc.

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: Required: C++, physics, numerical methods. Could be useful: Qt.

Mentor: Vladimir Kuznetsov <ks dot vladimir at gmail dot com>


Project: Step: other ideas

Project Information: Step is an interactive physical simulator for KDE. Currently it lives in playground but it will be included in kdeedu package for KDE 4.1.

Brief explanation: These are smaller ideas related to Step. You can combine several of them to compose you project.

  • use KAlgebra library for parsing user-supplied expressions in PropertiesBrowser; allow value in Meter, x- and y-values in Graph to be arbitrary expression; implement ParametricForce object that will apply a force given by user-supplied expression; implement a series of ParametricJoint objects that will allow creation of various parametric constraints (like fixed particle trajectory)
  • scripting for Step using either QtScript or Kross
  • multi-threaded calculations in StepCore (knowledge pre-requisite: multi-threaded programming)
  • correctly handle stiff problems in StepCore (knowledge pre-requisite: numerical methods)
  • calculation of gravitational and electromagnetic force between non-point objects by integrating (knowledge pre-requisite: numerical methods)
  • make StepCore compilable without Qt
  • improve soft-body support: implement automatic creation of arbitrary-shaped soft bodies, investigate better (more accurate) methods of modeling soft bodies (knowledge pre-requisite: physics)
  • framework for dynamic object creation/destruction in order to allow implementing particle emitters
  • statistical models (for example prey/predator model)

If you have other ideas please feel free to propose them !

Mentor: Vladimir Kuznetsov <ks dot vladimir at gmail dot com>

KDE PIM (Personal Information Management)

Kontact

KOrganizer

KPilot

KMail

Akonadi

Project: Akonadi backend for Microsoft Exchange Groupware server

Project Information: Akonadi (http://kdepim.kde.org/akonadi/) is the framework for groupware and other PIM applications for KDE4.1 and later. The proposed SoC task will implement an Akonadi backend to allow users to work with Microsoft Exchange servers and applications using compatible protocols (e.g. Outlook).

Brief explanation: The implementation will almost certainly need to use the OpenChange (http://www.openchange.org) libraries. A proof-of-concept implementation has been done (available in KDE's SVN archive), but has bit-rotted as the OpenChange libraries have evolved. It does not currently compile.

Expected results: A completed, and tested, backend that can operate with a current Microsoft Exchange server. Important capabilities include:

  • ability to receive mail,
  • ability to create and receive appointments, and to view the calendar,
  • ability to access the address book, and
  • ability to create and receive tasks.

Sending mail is outside the scope of Akonadi, and is a "growth" potential if the project is proceeding particularly well.

Knowledge Prerequisite: You need to have some familiarity with groupware applications (e.g. knowledge of how appointments and address books are used). C and C++ is pretty much essential, and at least passing knowledge of Qt. It would be useful (but not absolutely essential) if you had access to a Microsoft Exchange server you can use for testing - we may be able to arrange access.

Mentor: Optional, possibly Brad Hards <bradh@kde.org>

KDE Games

KDE Development & Web Development

KLinkStatus

Project Information: KLinkStatus is a link checker, part of the kdewebdev module.


Project: Aided correction of broken links

Brief explanation: Currently, it is possible to find out broken links. It would be great if those links could also be corrected within KLinkStatus. The corrector should present the user with suggestions, like a spell checker does (it might be possible to reuse the KSpell heuristics).

Expected results: Ability to fix broken links, being effectively assisted with suggestions.

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: Some knowledge of the Qt/KDE framework. Language wise, this feature can be implemented using C++ or a script language like Python, Ruby or Javascript.

Mentor: Paulo Moura Guedes <moura at kdewebdev dot org>


Project: Site check automation

Brief explanation: Allow to schedule recurring site checks. This would be like cron jobs but offering a nice frontend inside KLinkStatus. The results could then be exported into files and/or emailed to the site administrator.

Expected results: Easy site check automation and notification system.

Knowledge Pre-Requisite: Some knowledge of the Qt/KDE framework. Language wise, this feature can be implemented using C++ or a script language like Python, Ruby or Javascript.

Mentor: Paulo Moura Guedes <moura at kdewebdev dot org>

KDevelop

Quanta

KDE Network

Decibel

Decibel is a realtime communication framework for KDE 4.x.

Kopete

  • add support sip-with video calls

Amarok

Okular

Project: Okular backend

Project Information: Okular has plug-in system that allow it read different documentation formats. It currently reads a range of formats, but there are several that might be able to be improved (e.g. XPS) or implemented.

Brief explanation: The project would need to identify a format that requires improvement (or implementation). Candidates that have been requested in the past include the Microsoft Word (.doc) format and the .lit e-book format. Given a suitable library, potentially any format could be considered. Consider:

  • Microsoft Visio
  • Microsoft Access snapshot (would require implementing a .emf file renderer - not simple, but could be useful in many other places in KDE).

Note that improving PDF requires changes to the poppler library, and you would need significant previous experience with PDF (and ideally with poppler) to make much progress.

Expected results: A working backend, capable of rendering most documents to a readable level.

Knowledge Prerequisite: YC and C++ is pretty much essential, and at least passing knowledge of Qt.

Mentor: Potentially one of several. Contact the okular mailing list.

Other applications

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 <bradh@kde.org>

Usability

The KDE Usability Project is willing to offer support mentoring to one or two projects (more if additional design mentors are available) which involve heavy UI development or UI redesign activities.

Infrastructure

KDE infrastructure tools, like Bugzilla, the Review Board, etc.

KDE dependencies and non-KDE projects

Depending on the relevance of the proposal, the KDE Project will accept student proposals on projects that are not part of KDE, but which are either KDE dependencies or relevant to KDE or the Free Software Desktop.

Qt Cryptographic Architecture

The Qt Cryptographic Architecture (QCA) isn't strictly part of KDE, however it is used in a range of KDE applications (and other applications). A range of projects are possible, in terms of adding security features to applications (e.g. SASL, encrypted content, client side puzzles).

A specific need is the provision of alternative backends, which are typically the interface between QCA and some underlying crypto library. We already have several, but only the OpenSSL one is fairly complete, and OpenSSL is pretty ugly. A new backend would require some previous crypto knowledge, and ability to program in C++ and C. No GUI experience required! We probably only need one good alternative on each platform.

- Alternative backend - GNU crypto libraries: We have a basic backend using libgcrypt, which is mostly working. However a lot of the more interesting capabilities are present in gsasl and GNUtls. Mentor: Brad Hards

- Alternative backend - Mozilla Network Security Services: The Mozilla project has a library that is separately packaged on most Linux systems. It offers a fairly complete alternative to OpenSSL. We have a basic skeleton for NSS, but it only offers a couple of basic crypto primitives. Mentor: Brad Hards

Strigi

Soprano & Nepomuk

D-Bus

  • a named pipe or shared memory transport implementation for win32
  • can QLocalSocket and QSharedMemory (in 4.4) be used?

Other Freedesktop.org initiatives

Notes on editing this page

Before making any modifications, please log in to Techbase. This will help us track who is contributing to the ideas.

When making modifications to existing ideas, please consider whether you're changing it more fundamentally or just superficially. If your changes are substantial, you probably have an entirely new idea. Similarly, if your idea is modified and you feel it no longer reflects your original thought, please split the idea in two, restoring yours.

Please use the talk page if you want to discuss an idea.

Finally, do not delete ideas without a reason for doing so (like, for instance, being contrary to KDE ideals, being completely unrelated to KDE, being unfeasible, etc.) -- you may want to state in the talk page why you removed the idea.

Do not re-add ideas that were removed without discussing first with the developers of the target application.


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