Summer of Code 2006

As long as we’re talking about the second Summer of Code, what other open-source projects would people like to see? Here’s one I’d like. Ubuntu is really good at handling wireless connections, even on a laptop. But I’d love a simple-to-use VPN wizard or client for Linux/Windows. That way, if you have VPN configuration instructions for Windows, the new VPN utility would have look-alike options as Windows. A similar-looking VPN set-up would make it much easier for VPN users to transition from Windows to Linux/Ubuntu. Also, Ubuntu is looking for someone to implement easy multiple monitor support.

How about it? If you had a few dozen students thinking about open-source projects, what would you ask them to work on?
- Are there improvements you’d like to see in Linux, Apache, MySQL, or Python/Perl/PHP?
- Do you wish Asterisk, the open-source PBX software was easier to try out or configure?
- Are there features you’d like to see in Juice, the cross-platform podcast receiver? Personally, I’d like the ability to save all my podcasts in one directory, instead of forcing podcasts into different directories for each source.
- Or maybe you wish that Audacity could easily help you produce podcasts and handle the RSS wrappers for you?
- Wish you could convert .mod files from camcorders into an easier-to-process video format?
- There’s gotta be something you’d tweak in Firefox. Every Firefox user has 1-2 things that they’d like to see. There’s already a list of potential ideas for Firefox.

The official Summer of Code page has more info and ideas.

22 Responses to Summer of Code 2006 (Leave a comment)

  1. Rex

    mod rewrites…
    definition: work done by officals in government not easily translated and mostly commonly called budgets…ahhhhh make that budget deficits

    open source…
    definition: budgets written by the highest bidder co-authored by the offical with the biggest pocket

    too much time…so little sleep

  2. Ah, and I just figured it out… I forgot to move my lib files into WindowsSystem32

  3. Argh, sorry Matt, posted the last one in the wrong spot… please delete. I was too happy I found it out that I just clicked on the first RSS listing for your site :

  4. A rewite of php into php.net

    A rewite of MYsql to finaly remove all the anoyances magicquotes oh and a replacement Relational engine to replace INODB.

  5. It would be great to see PHP supporting threads :)

  6. Jon Cram

    I think we need a full re-branding and re-design of all open source software to make the transition from MS software to open-source equivalents easier, to the point where people switch over unwittingly and never actually notice.

    This could easily be achieved by simply re-naming products and making sure that all are availalble for a Windows platform with a purely visual interface with plenty of tool tips, baloons a-plenty and animated assistants.

    And then make the product names sound better than the MS alternatives. Cunning use of the apostrphe can be used to make product names suitablly confusing.

    So, we get the folllowing changes:

    – PHP -> Visual PHP.net Vista Special Edition
    – Perl -> pASP (perl active server pages)
    – OpenOffice.org -> Office 2008 Gold Edition
    – MySQL -> M’S” SQL Server Platinum
    – FireFox -> Internet Exciter XP
    – Thunderbird -> Outlook Advanced Titanium Release

    On second thoughts, I may be being a little silly. Sorry.

  7. Jon Cram

    Sorry, I forgot a very obvious one:

    – Python -> Visual P++ Essential Developers Super Bonus Pack

  8. Matt,

    Slightly off topic, but connected to code updates, a few weeks back you mentioned the advanced search facilities being quite good. I have been craving an update to the advanced search for sometime and previously mentioned my idea to a couple of your guys in the UK.

    I believe that having a “domain containing” search would be really useful. Currently you can look for URLs containing, but that always produces a huge list. In particular having a domain containing search would be really useful when searching for hotels and suchlike abroad.

    Sorry for going slightly off topic…

    Richard
    PS re I am not sure how frank… (is google having a case of the 3 monkeys?) hear no evil, see no evil & speak no evil! :)

  9. I would like to see more support for the Nokia 770 device.
    It is a very good gadget, and I use it to access internet from anywhere (where WiFi doesn’t reach, I can use my Bluetooth cellular to connect the net). But sometimes I feel that the 770 could do more than just surfing… so, if there is any programmer out there, take a look at htttp://www.maemo.org and help the Nokia 770 community :)

  10. Hi Matt,

    I would like to have more php Gtk2 based applications and that set of framework easily installed on all platforms, like i try with gnope, but on a larger scale.

    Also, a replication file system on Linux, which should be a no-brainer, like the GFS from RH, just PRE-installed and with a simple conf in /etc/ (like add nodes with simple IPs). Replication and fail-over in Linux involves so much work right now!

    I’d also like agree with Maurice: MySQL 5.x is great, but still carries some annoyances: the cluster functionality is nowhere in standard tools like Lifetype, etc. If you want to setup a cluster: good luck! That sux, because it could be so much easier!

    I am sure to have like 100 more suggestions for the Apache or Mambo, but all these suggestions cook easily down to a major thing: usability!

    IMHO is Google doing a GREAT job in keeping things simple and that should be the major message: create OSS for usability, not the geeks!

  11. I agree with puzzler… usability needs major attention

    I primarily use microsoft operating systems. I recently attempted to get Ubuntu running on a spare machine, to act as a playground for alternate technologies (ruby, python, etc). The user experience to get all of that working together is complete crap, imo. Installing software in linux is a pain. Sure, apt-get makes things easier, but there were many steps involved to get the machine to a usable point. Shit, just to get apache setup with support for ruby on rails gave me new grey hair.

    I’d like to see a project that aims to simplify installing programs for Linux. It would be cool if it was cross distribution friendly. The project should support both graphical and command line UIs…

    As a user, I don’t want to worry about compiling anything. Even worrying about dependencies is a stretch.

  12. I am an AdWords customer and I am unhappy about this.

    I consider one of those projects on your Summer of Code list to be a major competitor to my niche Linux product that I advertise with AdWords. So I pay Google money and Google is going fund my competitor. Great…..

    I suggest Google focuses the Summer of Code funding on things that are core to it’s search and advertising business. It would also be wonderful to see Linux versions of Gtalk, Google Earth, and Picasa.

    I’m just a struggling entrepreneur trying to make an honest living. Thank you for listening.

  13. If Thunderbird made a fully functioning, shared calendar like Outlook has… so the full transition from Outlook would be complete.

    (If anyone knows of one, let me know!)

  14. WiredTiger, have a look at the Mozilla Calendar Project. They’re working on the Lightning project (to put a calendar in Thunderbird) and the Sunbird project (to make a standalone calendar app.)

  15. +1 for work on Asterisk ease-of-use

  16. Matt,

    I’d love to see some on to it guys duplicate the live.com gadget functionality inside Firefox. I.e. allow me to have widgets on my home page that I can control and use to display snippets of info from out there on the web.

    I’m a little scared that MS might succeed with live.com and break the web again.

    (ps. in Firefox if I get the security code wrong, then press back, my comment is gone. Yopur blog sucks in this regard. ;-))

  17. Ben

    @ Richard – http://www.hostels.com

    After extensive research multiple times during the last month, all the hostel “portals” are using the same data and the same crappy engine.

    You have to actually google for a hostel name because the portal sites are so desperate for their $1 commission they don’t provide phone/fax info heh.

  18. It would be great to have them work on an algorithm for google that closed the holes that exist today with the search engine results..

  19. Good suggestions, everyone. Nameless, I’m sorry to hear that one project is similar to your product. :(

    Sorry about that, Tim Haines. I usually use SessionSaver for just this reason, so I usually assume most people do.

  20. For a cross platform vpn client you might check out the Mono based OpenVPNAdmin:

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/openvpnadmin/

    We swithced from a Cisco VPN hardware to OpenVPN last year and have been very happy with it using it on Linux, FreeBSD, Windows, and Macs.

  21. So Google algo uses this method as well ?

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