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This page lists all the Google Summer of Code 2013 projects with confirmed mentors, and which have been approved by the SoC administrator. New suggestions can be made on the Brainstorming page. This page is locked; contact Gerv with edits.

Potential students: you may choose from the list below, but you do not have to. Feel free to submit a proposal for your own idea. However, before you do so, see the guidelines for good ideas. You can also discuss your ideas or application in the #developers channel on IRC: irc://irc.mozilla.org/#developers . Your idea will have a significantly greater chance of being chosen if you can find an existing member of the Mozilla community who is willing to evaluate or mentor it. (You should name that person in your application.)

In addition to the specifically-named projects below, we have also tagged a number of bugs in Bugzilla with the keyword student-project. However, as the idea of a "student project" is wider than just the Summer of Code, students looking through the list will need to decide whether any particular bug listed there is actually the right size and scope for Summer of Code.

Contents

Application Advice

You should do the following:

  • Talk to the mentor. Contact details are on this page; if all you have is a nickname, get on IRC and try and contact them.
  • Read the GSoC Student Guide and follow its advice.
  • Read How Not To Apply For Summer Of Code and avoid doing the things listed there.
  • Read our examples of good applications: 1, 2, 3.
  • Apply on the GSoC site (note that we have an application template).
  • It is entirely acceptable to apply for 2 or 3 projects, if more than one catches your eye; if the applications are high quality, that probably improves your chances a little. However, more than 3 seems like spam.

Note that if a project suggests it would be helpful to know XUL (Mozilla's user interface description language), you may be able to get away with learning on the job. Don't be put off from applying if the project otherwise looks right for you.

Questions about individual projects are best addressed to the potential mentor of that project. These should be listed in the table below. If you want to contact a mentor and contact details are not here, ask people in the #developers channel on IRC: irc://irc.mozilla.org/#developers. If you have questions of any other sort, send mail to Gerv and Florian. We will try and respond as soon as possible and get your questions directed to the right person. Please allow at least 48 hours for a reply.

Firefox

Title Details Skills Needed Reporter Mentor(s) Comments
Silverfox Silverfox is the codename of a new feature meant to be an operation mode targeted to beginner users who are being guided on learning how to use the web. In this mode, most settings should be locked down, preventing the user from mistakenly tweaking settings or installing unwanted add-ons. It's not meant to be a

tightly controlled, irreversible-without-password setting, but rather a feature that will make it harder to accidentally break or deteriorate the Firefox experience.

This project will be implemented using the Add-on SDK. More info about this project.

Good JS skills and ability to work with large codebases. Previous add-on experience is a big plus. Felipe, Jared Felipe, Jared (felipe, jaws on IRC)
about:memory For Real People about:memory has been a very useful tool for us developers to better understand memory consumption in Firefox and help diagnose and fix problems (See the MemShrink project). We would like to make about:memory also useful for web developers and users by providing better data visualization and analysis that will help them understand the footprint of their websites and improve accordingly. You should be able to come up with useful and creative ways to visualize that data and implement those visualization using JS.

We would still keep the original about:memory but relabel it as something like "Stats for nerds". It is important to keep the original/light-weight version since a visual-heavy implementation of about:memory will use non-trivial amounts of memory. More info about this project.

Good JS skills and knowledge/passion for data vizualization. Past work with data visualization is a big plus. Felipe, Jared Felipe, Jared (felipe, jaws on IRC)
Fullscreen Mode One upcoming Firefox feature is a fullscreen mode that should provide an immersive experience. This mode will provide a streamlined interface as can be seen in this preliminary mockup. Features such as a clock and other OS indicators (new APIs have been implemented for these from the WebAPI project) might also be part of the project.

The implementation of this feature will mostly involve three languages: XUL, CSS and JS. More info about this project.

Great CSS skills are important, and knowledge of XUL/flexbox is a plus. Good JS skills. Past theme development experience would be great. Felipe, Jared Felipe, Jared (felipe, jaws on IRC)
Enhanced Customization APIs Firefox stores most of its configuration using the Preferences system, which uses a plain text file in the user's profile folder to keep its name / value pairs. Certain add-ons have traditionally changed settings like the homepage and search engine by editing this file directly or using the preferences service incorrectly, and fail to revert the settings, causing much user annoyance. With the Enhanced Customization APIs project we want to change this, by moving these critical settings to a different system where the only accepted interaction is through an API that knows when to revert these changes. Storage would most likely be sqlite, so that it isn't trivial to edit from external installers. JavaScript and C/C++ required. Some add-on development experience is desirable. jorgev jorgev / Kris Maglione
Clearer Add-on Installation There's a mixed bag of features we want to implement in order to improve add-on installation. The ones we want to include in this proposal are the following: (1) Redesign external install opt-in screen (bug 834385, (2) The opt-in screen needs to support multiple add-on installs, (3) Make it possible to completely remove globally installed add-ons from the Add-ons Manager (disable and hide), (4) Make it possible to request add-on install / uninstall from a separate process. All of these mostly concern add-ons being installed by external installers. We want to improve the opt-in screen that shows up when they are installed that way, and other issues that will make it easier to users to control their experience. This is a group of small changes rather than a single big one, so a student would need to work closely with the mentor to direct their time appropriately. JavaScript required. Some C/C++ might be needed as well. jorgev jorgev / Kris Maglione
Autosuggest Search Engines Many websites have search fields that are used many times over, but these websites do not present themselves as search-capable in order to offer itself to be added as a search engine in the browser. Firefox should detect repeated search field usage and offer that as an option to the user. At a minimum, it should be able to detect it and add an entry with "Add [website]" in the searchbar dropdown (similar to how OpenSearch works). After the detection part is working well, a refined UX for the feature can be discussed and prototyped (but that shouldn't be the focus of the project).

The student should be able to propose methods on how the detection algorithm should work and how to make improvements on it over the course of the project. More info about this project.

Great JS skills and understanding of DOM, HTML form fields, and algorithms (db and data structures that will be used to store and search the input field history to detect patterns of search usage) Felipe Felipe (felipe on IRC), MattN

Thunderbird

Title Details Skills Needed Reporter Mentor(s) Comments
Thunderbird Tests Thunderbird's test coverage is not as complete as it could be. This task is to write tests, where they are missing, for Thunderbird features. We also have some contributors writing patches that were rejected because the contributor was not also able to produce a test for the feature (which can be much harder than just producing the feature/fix). So the task would also involve the student picking up and helping with these patches. Example bugs: bug 580349, bug 379831, bug 253830. It would be a great opportunity to get to know several different areas of the Thunderbird codebase. Javascript required. Experience with mozmill or xpcshell test infrastructure an advantage. aceman mconley
Backend Connectors for 'Ensemble' mconley is writing a new address book for Thunderbird. This should be stable enough by the summer so that it is possible to write new connectors to connect to various contact storage backends. We will only be targeting read-only support this summer - writing contacts back will come later. Possible backends include: system address book on any platform, LDAP, CardDAV servers, and Google Contacts. The connector API is specified here, but may evolve during the project. Applicants should specify which backend they're interested in implementing, and should be highly proficient in Javascript. C/C++ is a bonus, but not entirely necessary. Previous experience working with their chosen backend is highly desirable. Thorough tests for the new connector will be expected. JS, although some C/C++ for native may be necessary jcranmer mconley
Mailbox-to-Maildir Converter Mailbox and Maildir are two alternative on-disk storage formats for email messages. Thunderbird currently uses Mailbox, but wants to use Maildir. Hence the need for a converter. This is one of the last critical pieces blocking moving away from mbox-style mailboxes. See bug 856087. C++, although some JS may be necessary jcranmer jcranmer

Calendar

Title Details Skills Needed Reporter Mentor(s) Comments
Make Lightning Fast The Lightning Extension has a few performance problems, especially with lots of calendars. Now that the Gecko Profiler works in Thunderbird Daily, its a great time to harness its power and improve Lightning's performance. A Student working on this project should:
  1. Browse Bugzilla to get an overview of reported performance problems.
  2. Use the Gecko Profiler to identify performance bottlenecks, for example occurrence calculation.
  3. Propose a method to improve performance in a way that would move the bottleneck elsewhere and discuss with mentor.
  4. Fix the bottleneck.
  5. Continue with (2).

Depending on remaining time and student experience, adding performance tests to Lightning would be a bonus.

Javascript; Python and make for perf tests Philipp (:Fallen) Ludovic (:ludovic) A student applying for this project should be able to work with large codebases. Getting familiar with the Lightning source code early improves chances of being accepted. Look for Fallen on irc.mozilla.org / #calendar if you need help getting started.
Improve Calendar Backends Lightning has historically supported two modes for calendar providers: cached and uncached. In uncached mode, each request is directly relayed to the remote end, causing a lot of traffic. Therefore, cached mode was introduced, which is close to a "real" synchronization, where only changes are transferred. In the future it would be nice to use cached mode exclusively. To do so, there need to be some changes in the backend. This project consists of a combination of the following bugs, depending on time and student skill:
  • Finish the patch I started for async storage (bug 501689)
  • Move calendar metadata from the provider inteface to the item interface (no bug yet)
  • Turn the ICS calendar into a cache-only provider (bug 780992)
  • Turn the CalDAV calendar into a cache-only provider (no bug yet)
Javascript, SQL, Philipp (:Fallen) Mohit (:redDragon) As these changes will partially require some migration steps, it is important to write unit tests for the code produced during the Summer of Code. Not all of the mentioned bugs need to be fixed for passing mid-terms and finals, please read through the bugs and consult with mentor or reporter with your suggestion when applying.

Bugzilla

Title Details Skills Needed Reporter Mentor(s) Comments
Fix Code Review on BMO The current Splinter extension which provides code review capabilities on bugzilla.mozilla.org (BMO) can be updated quite a bit. We want to pave the way toward integration with CodeReview.js from the Webkit project. Specifically, we want to integrate the Splinter review functionality with the PatchReview Perl module and experiment with integrating that with the CodeReview.js tool. JavaScript, CSS, and Perl web development Byron Jones (IRC: glob) Byron Jones (IRC: glob)
Bugzilla-MediaWiki Extension Note: this project is being done under the Wikimedia Foundation umbrella, and is copied here for publicity purposes only. You need to apply to them, not to us, if you want to do it. See their page. Mozilla has developed a MediaWiki-Bugzilla extension which allows for read-only inclusion of Bugzilla lists and charts in MediaWiki pages. For example, it is used to provide "Mentored Bugs" sections. It could also be used for basic prioritization, ToDo lists for projects, metrics... This project consists in enhancing this extension by making API calls more robust (i.e. when receiving 1000s of results), allowing more types of charts, providing good test coverage and user documentation. PHP, Javascript, JSON, Bugzilla Brandon Savage (Mozilla), Sam Reed (Wikimedia) Brandon Savage (Mozilla), Sam Reed (Wikimedia)

Automation & Tools

Title Details Skills Needed Reporter Mentor(s) Comments
Unit Tests for Mozbase Mozbase is a set of low level Python classes that all of Mozilla's automated test harnesses will soon be refactored to use. As we gradually move through the process of converting all our test harnesses to use Mozbase, we want to ensure that all our harness modules have explicit unit tests for their targeted use cases - i.e. tests for the test harness :-). We will work with interested volunteers to define a set of test cases that need to be added, and work with them to add those cases. Python, JavaScript Clint Talbert (IRC: ctalbert) Clint Talbert (IRC: ctalbert)
Improve Usefulness and Ergonomics of Peptest Peptest is a test framework that was written to test the responsiveness of Firefox. In it's current state it is more of a proof of concept that still needs to be fleshed out with all the bells and whistles that will make it truly useful to developers. Some tasks include integration with the built-in profiler, using Marionette as a back-end to drive tests (will also make it easier to run peptests on mobile platforms), improvements to the API exposed to test authors, multitude of other minor tweaks that help make the Peptest experience as painless as possible. Python and javascript Andrew Halberstadt (irc: ahal) Andrew Halberstadt (irc: ahal)

Documentation

Title Details Skills Needed Reporter Mentor(s) Comments
MDN CSS Generation Tools The task is to create 6 visual and interactive tools to be added into the Mozilla Developer Network website that allow people to generate CSS with complex effects in an easy way. Some examples of CSS features which would benefit from such a tool: gradients (linear and radius), border-radius, border-image, color picker, &-code finder, ... Example of such tool (rough): https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/CSS/Tools/Cubic_Bezier_Generator You need to know about JS (good), CSS (basic), HTML (basic) Jean-Yves Perrier Jean-Yves Perrier (irc: teoli) In your application, you should list the tools you would create. You should submit 8 tool ideas, and the ones you will actually do will be agreed at the beginning of the project. Success will be measured if 6 of these tools are implemented, reviewed and live in the MDN.
Localization Dashboard Build a Localization Dashboard for the Mozilla Developer Network (MDN) to help contributors view localization progress and find articles that need to be localized. The dashboard should be somewhat similar to the existing Revision Dashboard. Over the course of the summer, the student should build a minimum viable product and work with the MDN team to iterate on it, making as many improvements as time allows. HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python John Karahalis (openjck) John Karahalis (openjck)

Rust

Title Details Skills Needed Reporter Mentor(s) Comments
Rust Debug Symbol Generation Rust is a new compiled programming language that Mozilla is working on. At the moment, Rust programs are tricky to debug when they don't work because they lack debugging symbols. This work has been started, but for many core Rust features the current debugging support is little to none. The goal of this project would be to support building the self-hosted (i.e. written in Rust) compiler with full debugging symbols enabled, and fill out the suite of automated gdb tests to ensure that the debugging support does not regress in the future. The project will require making use of LLVM's source-level debugging features and building on the debugging support that already exists in the compiler. Rust, LLVM experience beneficial Josh Matthews (jdm) Josh Matthews (jdm) Practical experience with Rust is rare. Therefore, any student interested in this project should take some time to become familiar with Rust so that the actual project time is spent on practical work instead of learning the language.

Add-on SDK

Title Details Skills Needed Reporter Mentor(s) Comments
NPM Support for SDK The add-on SDK (previously known as Jetpack) has no good story for dependency management. It would be great if SDK users could use npm - the Node Packaged Modules system from node.js - for publishing and installing reusable SDK modules. Javascript, NodeJS gozala gozala

Foundation

Title Details Skills Needed Reporter Mentor(s) Comments
Notebook Playback The aim of this project is to add record-and-playback to the IPython Notebook - an interactive Python development environment - using popcorn.js (or its successor) so that people can create "screencasts" that are actually first-class content replayed in the browser. Based on discussion with the IPyNB team and Bobby Richter, we believe this can be done as a Javascript plugin to IPyNB v. 0.14 or higher by embedding timing metadata in the notebook's JSON file. The project would require substantial UI design and evaluation as well as Javascript hacking. The result would immediately be used by Software Carpentry and other projects for teaching, sharing code examples, etc. JavaScript, User experience design gvwilson gvwilson
Meemoo Media Server Meemoo is a framework for connecting open-source modules, powered by any web technology - "hackable web apps". This task is to design a method to record audio and video locally, using WebRTC streaming to a local Node.js server. Saving images could also be a good goal. It should be easy to save media and then bring it back into the Meemoo app. JavaScript, WebRTC, Node.js Forrest Oliphant Forrest Oliphant
Design Hacktivities http://meemoo.org/ is browser-based data flow coding environment. The goal is to bring more people, including children, to the world of open source creative coding with instantly-hackable creative apps that run in the browser. "Hacktivies" are activities that encourage playful exploration with images and code. For this project, you should prototype and design ways to bridge the digital/analog high/low tech code/craft divide. http://meemoo.org/hack-our-apps/ for some examples. A successful proposal will include some creative output made with Meemoo to show understanding of the system. JavaScript, craft, activity design, graphic design, writing Forrest Oliphant

Instantbird

Title Details Skills Needed Reporter Mentor(s) Comments
FileLinks in Instant Messages Goal: File transfers that work reliably for every protocol.

Description: The Thunderbird Filelink feature allows users to upload attachments to an online storage service, replacing the email attachment with a link. This existing code could be used to implement file transfer. While some protocols support file transfer directly, this approach would provide a fallback that should always work. Designing and implementing a good UI frontend would also be required.

JavaScript, XPCOM, XUL Florian Quèze Florian Quèze The frontend should be flexible enough to be able to handle other file transfer methods when they are implemented, e.g. WebRTC for XMPP or DCC for IRC.
Additional JavaScript Protocol Plug-ins Goal: Implement new protocol plug-ins in JavaScript, or create more stable implementations of existing ones.

Description: Instantbird supports protocol plugins implemented in JavaScript, in addition to the C libpurple plugins. The student will either add support for new protocols in Instantbird (if so, explain why this protocol matters) or reimplement in JavaScript a protocol that is poorly supported by libpurple (if so, explain what will be better supported in the new implementation, or why the current implementation is not adequate). All new protocol plugins will go through a strict code review to ensure high code quality. The student working on new protocols should take every opportunity to improve the code and APIs shared by all JS protocol plugins. Please name the protocol or protocols to be worked on in your application.

JavaScript, XPCOM, maybe js-ctypes Patrick Cloke Florian Quèze for JS-SIP, Patrick Cloke for other protocols IRC, XMPP, Twitter and OSCAR (AIM/ICQ) have been (or are in the process of being) implemented and should not be considered.
Improve JS-XMPP Goal: Ease working with the JavaScript XMPP implementation and implement new features.

Description: Include better syntax for XML handling, implementing handling of MUCs and other features. Feature-parity with libpurple's XMPP support is one of the prerequisites for replacing the libpurple XMPP plug-in that is currently used. One possible improvement would be to support voice and video calls between a JS-XMPP client and a Jingle client using WebRTC.

JavaScript, maybe XUL, XPCOM Florian Quèze Florian Quèze
Instantbird Awesometab Goal: Create a tab that "knows" what conversation you want to open (like the "awesomebar").

Description: The current "Join Chat" dialog is ugly and difficult to use. A user should be able to open a new tab to create a new conversation which will auto-complete fields based on history and server information (e.g. LIST from IRC).

JavaScript, XPCOM, XUL, maybe some protocol interactions? Florian Quèze Florian Quèze, aleth

Security Engineering

Title Details Skills Needed Reporter Mentor(s) Comments
Project Janus Build a Firefox addon that emulates dynamic profile switching, like Chrome supports signing in as multiple profiles. The actual profile-switching code is out of scope of a GSoC project, but writing a visual stub that users can interact with would give us valuable information as to what kind of support (real multiple profiles, Guest Mode, Private Mode) are most useful to people. The addon would need to collect metrics, e.g. how often to people switch profiles, how many profiles does an average user need, how many sites to people access across multiple profiles. Building a Chrome extension to collect the same metrics would also be very useful. Javascript, Addon SDK Monica Chew (mmc) Monica Chew (mmc), Tanvi Vyas (tanvi) This is primarily a quantitative user experience project.
Security Report It can be tricky for a developer to cover all their bases when it comes to security. Moreover, information about the security of a website can be difficult for advanced users to find without searching through multiple data sources in the browser (error console, cookie manager, certificate manager, etc.) This project is to build a Firefox addon that reports all of this data in one place. Developers can then view the report for their websites or pre-production pages and quickly identify their security issues. Advanced users can quickly learn about a website's security before deciding whether or not they want to enter sensitive information on the page.

Here are some examples of what the security report could include:

  • information about network requests that have been blocked by the browser for security reasons (e.g. mixed content, CSP, CORS)
  • information about the cookies on the site (are they marked secure, do they have the httponly attribute?)
  • security related headers (does the site set STS, CSP, or X-Frame-Options headers?)
  • SSL information (is the websites ssl certificate about to expire?)
JavaScript, Add-on SDK, some platform knowledge. Mark Goodwin (mgoodwin), Tanvi Vyas (tanvi) Mark Goodwin (mgoodwin), Tanvi Vyas (tanvi)