What free software projects will be sponsored by Google this summer?


Last night Google started publishing the list of mentoring organizations that are going to participate in the Summer of Code 2013 program. There’s a fair share of content production tools again. What are the opportunities for students exactly?

Inkscape has a more or less same list of project ideas, but here’s a clue. Even with threaded SVG filters rendering there’s a place for further performance improvements, and the way Inkscape deals with text certainly needs more work. Also, a new idea this year is color management support in Cairo — the topic we extensively discussed half a year ago. Richard Hughes (GNOME Color Manager, colord) agreed to co-mentor it.

GIMP’s team suggests focusing on porting more plug-ins to GEGL, the new editor’s image processing engine, to get GIMP 2.10 released as soon as possible. Other ideas include OpenEXR support and improved support for Adobe Photoshop files. Historically, however, developers gravitate towards students who come up with cool ideas of their own.

Krita’s participation is officially handled by the KDE organization, and the wiki lists some ideas from the previous year that focus on making the application a great tool for VFX and animation. Well, who would expect the team dropping that after the recent visit to Double Negative studio in London?

Blender has a huge list of potential ideas (they also typically get a lot of slots). It’s quite a relief to see video sequencer grabbing attention again, since it’s one of the most neglected parts of Blender.

As usual, both GNOME works as umbrella organization and formally handles work on 3rd party projects that are close enough. Apart from porting color management in GNOME to Wayland (initial work already done by Richard Hughes) there are ideas like integrating 3rd party RAW processing software with Shotwell, and proxy editing in PiTiVi via GStreamer Editing Services (more PiTiVi ideas available ).

The only large digital photography project this year is digiKam, with suggested ideas like tags manager, HDR composer, video metadata support improvements etc.

Two most relevant project ideas for LibreOffice are Macromedia FreeHand filter and improvements in the WMF/EMF/EMF+ importer. Sadly, OpenType support isn’t mentioned, although you can suggest that should you decide to work on this feature.

For MuseScore it’s their first GSoC, and they already have a student willing to work on Jianpu notation support. Other project ideas include cloud storage of resources and configuration, and a Native Client (NaCl) port of libmscore.

Finally, if you are into DJing, Mixxx has a wide range of project ideas , from plug’n’play MIDI Mode and community MIDI mappings to library GUI Layout Redesign and support for streaming services such as Soundcloud.

With all that in mind it’s worth mentioning that teams typically encourage potential students to come up with ideas of their own.

Project submissions period starts on April 22 and closes on May 3. If you are eligible for participation, you have over 3 weeks to contact a mentoring organization, propose a project, familiarize yourself with the code, and flesh out the schedule.