Call for Project ideas for Google Summer of Code 2021

It is that time of the year again when we start gathering ideas for Google Summer Code.

This time around we will be posting and discussing proposals in GNOME’s GitLab instance. Therefore, if you have a project idea that fits Google Summer of Code, please file an issue at using the “Proposal” template.

Everybody is welcome to add ideas, but it would be nice to verify whether the ideas are realistic and mentorship for it will be available. We encourage you to discuss your ideas with designers in #gnome-design to get their input and plan collaboration, especially if your ideas are related to one of the core GNOME modules.

Keep in mind that there are a few changes in GSoC this year:

  1. Smaller project size - all students participating in the 2021 program will be working on a 175 hour project (instead of a 350 hr project). This change will also result in a few other changes including the student stipend being cut in half.

  2. Shortened coding period - the coding period will be 10 weeks with a lot more flexibility for the mentor and student to decide together how they want to spread the work out over the summer. Some folks may choose to stick to a 17-18 hour a week schedule with their students, others may factor in a couple of breaks during the program (for student and mentor) and some may have students focus 30 hours a week on their project so they wrap up in 6 weeks. This also makes it a lot easier for students with finals or other commitments (weddings, etc.) to adjust their schedules.

  3. 2 evaluations (instead of 3) - There will be an evaluation after 5 weeks and the final evaluation will take place after the 10th week. We are also no longer requiring students complete their first evaluation (though we encourage them to do so), so if a student doesn’t complete the first evaluation they will not automatically be removed from the program. They are still required to complete the final evaluation.

  4. Eligibility requirements - In 2020 there are many ways students are learning and we want to acknowledge that so we will be allowing students who are 18 years old AND currently enrolled (or accepted into) a post-secondary academic program as of May 17, 2021 or have graduated from a post-secondary academic program between December 1, 2020 and May 17, 2021 to apply to the GSoC program.

If you have any doubts, please don’t hesitate to contact the GNOME GSoC Admins on this very same forum or on Matrix ( in the channel


Is there any reason for the changes? how does that change the scope of what we can submit for our projects?

Also, three of us, me, Allan Day, and Mathias Clasen have been generally been the folks who approve GSOC submissions for GNOME. Will that still continue or do we have some other mechanism? Since Marina is no longer our rep - wanted to get some clarification.

I would prefer if we had some strategic control over what GSOC projects can be approved so that they provide the best opportunityi for GNOME.

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There was a long post on the google-summer-of-code-mentors-list which gave some details about the “why” (followed by a very long discussion of pros and cons). Most of the content is already in Felipe’s post. It did also mention:

  • What this means is that now the program will be open to folks participating in a variety of different academic programs, not just accredited university programs. This includes licensed coding camps, community colleges, and many other programs that may not be accredited yet but are post-secondary academic programs.

These changes were made to help find more diverse students who we hope will stay involved in your communities after their GSoC ends. We look forward to these changes and will definitely be getting feedback from all of you as the 2021 program goes on to see what is working and what we should consider adjusting for any possible future program.

I think you’re confused. You folks have been doing this for Outreachy. For Google Summer of Code, the GSoC admins have been selecting projects alongside mentors for many years already.

Exactly, here’s a link

hah, you’re right I am confused. Carry on then! :slight_smile:

Excited for this year’s GSoC! Let’s see which cool projects pop this year :slight_smile:

Hello, this is my last year at the university and I am working on a project that I would love to develop under the mentorship of GNOME. Do you also consider project ideas from outside? I am asking this because I am not sure if this post is meant for students.

Also note: if this is not the appropriate channel to discuss this, please let me know.

Thank you.

Do you also consider project ideas from outside? I am asking this because I am not sure if this post is meant for students.

Yes, we consider ideas from students too. Just make sure you talk to the stakeholders (project maintainers, developers) about the viability of the idea, and also make sure at least one of the project developers is willing to mentor the project.

If you have any doubt, feel free to continue this thread. This is the right place for these discussions. :smiley:

My project involves creating an open protocol for content-sharing and end-user friendly software that uses it. I have been planning this for a while now and I have a working prototype.

During GSoC, I want to work on a client that utilizes this protocol for the GNOME ecosystem while keeping on designing the protocol itself. Also, someone assisting me and critiquing my work while I am making design decisions is something I am lacking right now and I am seeing this as a great opportunity to create something useful while learning.

I know that there isn’t an official GNOME app that does what I described above and I wanted to know if there would be any mentors who would be interested in this (also the possibility of doing this at all).

By the way, I can also post the links to my existing work if you want too.

Thanks again :slight_smile:

Interesting stuff! Yes, please, share some links to your work if possible so we could help you find a potential mentor with the needed skill-set.

This is the JVM implementation of the protocol:

Right now, I am working on a client that uses that library ( which will replace the old one (can be found under the same organization).

At the moment, there isn’t a published specification as I am still testing features and I am going to complete that after I release the client which has only a little work left.

The protocol supports encryption and client authentication. It uses TCP with my custom messaging library that ensures stable communication which I am thinking of replacing with zeromq.

In around mid-April, I will start working on the desktop client.

(Btw, I removed some links as the forum complained that it contained more than 2 links.)

I’m afraid we don’t have a mentor willing to coordinate a project like this, given that there’s little-to-none java related development going on in core parts of GNOME at the moment.

I suggest you join #gnome-hackers on IRC/Matrix and ask around in case somebody would be willing to collaborat/mentor you in GSoC.

Thanks for the reply.

I will be on the IRC channel.

By the way, I meant creating a desktop app using GTK with C (or in other languages using bindings) :slight_smile:

Thanks again.