Google Summer of Code 2006: The Contestents Are At The Starting Line!

KDE is happy to announce the selection of 24 student applications for the Google Summer of Code 2006. This year, Google received a total of 6400 applications worldwide spread across 102 different Open Source organisations. "It looks like we've got some very interesting projects for KDE as a whole, and a good number of projects for KOffice", said Boudewijn Rempt, the maintainer for Krita, celebrating the selection of 4 KOffice student proposals. "We spent over 3 hours debating the final list of projects on Sunday evening, but we're confident our selection is solid", commented Cornelius Schumacher, the KDE e.V. vice-president who will act as a mentor for one of the 3 KDE PIM projects. The list is completed by 3 KDevelop projects, 2 Kopete ones, one for KHTML/KJS and 11 others in various areas of KDE.

The full list of selected applications is available in the KDE Summer of Code website. Some of the students in that list have reported they have already started working on their projects -- and some who did not get selected have also said they will work on their ideas regardless of the outcome.


There's quite a nice spread of projects for KDE this year. I look forward to reading descriptions of each one when they're available and hopefully seeing the results too.

By Paul Eggleton at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

Neither of those projects makes a real difference for users... Weren't there more interesting ones?

By gooth at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

"Neither"? Theres 24 projects (just click the link!). The QQ plugin for Kopete will be quite popular with people that live in/communicate with people in China. The 'Rapid linux desktop startup through pre-caching' will make my laptop using experience much nicer, 'KDEPIM Google Calendar synchronization using OpenSync' will be useful for people that use Google's Calendar and have a PDA or other similar device, 'Oscar Filetransfer for Kopete' will be useful for everyone that uses Kopete and the Oscar protocol (AIM/ICQ) that ever wants to transfer files to a friend without having to upload to some random server.

Hopefully longer descriptions will be added soon so it will be easier to figure out what some other the other projects are about (such as 'Advanced Session Management').

By Corbin at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

Exactly. I especially like NX integration, OpenSync, Oscar Filetranfer (yay, ICQ images :-) ).

By Michael Jahn at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

Don't really see any point in writing an OS NX client? What is the official NX client not good enough? It's free to download, don't know why anyone would waste its time on it given FreeNX is a load of ..., well let's say it's subpar ;)

By Anonymous at Mon, 2006/05/29 - 5:00am

Well mine is basically to add support for the iTunes shared music to amaroK. Ask anyone in a college dorm, its useful.

By Ian Monroe at Sat, 2006/05/27 - 5:00am

There was another project for physics in soc 2006, called physika. physika would be a better choice because:

1) the name is better
2) it is an acronym(and a good one): PHYsics SImulation and eduKAtion

Seriously, i think the two softwares can coexist, because they are different. physica (the qt version) is under development in . It is just the beggining, but i think we will have the first part ready in august. It would be better to have google's money for this, for one of the students, but, if it wasnt possible, we are going to do it anyway

P.S. When summer of code ends, change the name: KPhysics is terrible

By Henrique Marks at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

Are you being serious?

Can't we just get rid of people like this? You honestly listed two reasons why your project was better and they both were "it has a better name." Honest to god, how do you think you are making a difference by leaving a post like this? Get control of your jealously and think before you speak next time...

By matt at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

I think it was the naming, not the project. And he said they would do their project anyway regardless SoC or not.

Get control and think before you speak next time...

By Faber at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

Take it easy Matt. Cant you read correctly my post? i cited two reasons, and then i said:

"Seriously, bla bla bla", meaning that i wasnt being serious about the two reasons.

Why i need to explain this ? Irony should be self-explained.

But i saw the specs of the kphysics program, earlier than soc, because i was discussing the project with a KDE developer earlier. And i must say the projects will be different, and this is nice and good. Many educational programs are a good thing, we all agree on this. They must have a good quality, of course, but with more people working, better chances we have :-)

i was not running for the dollars, because i am a professor, so i could participate. But i think that the choice for an educational program, regardeless which one, is GOOD.

P.S. Change the name after SOC. Dont forget it.

By Henrique Marks at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

Sweet, another educational program. They are my favorite part of KDE. Kalzium is stunningly full-featured and there's lots of good stuff at KDE-Apps (I love solseek).
I look forward to seeing how both these projects progress. I agree Kphysics tends to confirm the stereotype of K-random word naming of KDE, but you don't make it far in linux without learning to live with some rather odd naming choices. ;-) Good luck on your project!

By sundher at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

I agree about Kalzium, one of my favorite applications by a large margin. It has some many little thoughtful touches and the interface is so easy to learn.

The timescale slider and the "state" slider that shows how different elements change state under different temperatures is beautiful.

Keep on rocking. You guys are making the world a better place one line of code at a time.

Heartfelt thanks,


By Gonzalo at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

> 2) it is an acronym(and a good one): PHYsics SImulation and eduKAtion

Seriously?! That's worst and most contrived acronym I've ever heard. And you didn't even spell 'education' right!

By Tim at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

> 2) it is an acronym(and a good one): PHYsics SImulation and eduKAtion

>> Seriously?! That's worst and most contrived acronym I've ever heard. And you didn't even spell 'education' right!

Seriously seriously ?! Thank you. You never saw another one better than this ? bash, for instance, is my favorite. GNU is old fashion, but still nice. And education with a K is important for us KDE users, to recognize the application. This discussion has been made so many times that we all know the arguments.

physica, in, is spelled correctly. As it is qt based, we thought about physiqa, but this is way to far. physiqa, a program to teach ducks. Not good :-).

By Henrique Marks at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

I like the fact that Physika becomes pronounced in english how Physics is pronounced in other languages... makes the name more universal. And its not tongue-twisting for english speakers either.

By A Polish Canadian at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

Dream come true!

By Paul F at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

Um, can anyone enlighten me as to what a "GMail style conversation" is? Thanks!

By davec at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

It means that all e-mails of a thread are displayed together, like the combined view of akregator, but with the possibility to collapse allready read messages. The message list doesn't expand threads but considers a thread to be a "conversation". The conversations are sorted by their most recent messages, rather than their first messages as with standard KMail threads.

//the student

By Aron Boström at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

I thought KPDF had to be dropped in favour of the format-agnostic viewer ...

By oblomov at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

yes, kpdf has morphed into okular for kde4. i imagine the kpdf project will happen in okular or, worst case, against kde3 kpdf and then forward ported.

By Aaron J. Seigo at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

Commenting tools for KPDF

Wow, that means annotations in KPDF... This is a *very* good news (at least for me). Who knows, perhaps this can be integrated in KDE 3.5.5? :)

By Carsten Niehaus at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

I too would love to be able to include comments in KPDF. It would make academic work so much easier. I can just produce my files in lyx or kile, create a PDF and annotate any comments on it. That would rock!

The 3.5.x series has been wonderful and I hope that cumulative updates and releases continue happen until KDE 4 is the stellar release that we all want it to be, which, at the current pace, will be towards the early fall of 2007.

By Gonzalo at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

Early Fall? So end of 2007?

And no release in between?

By And at Fri, 2006/05/26 - 5:00am

This list of accepted projects is quite confusing, so I was just wondering whether any of these projects would speed up the KDE4 development.

By Jan at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

I assume these might be:

Advanced Session Management
avKode - A Phonon Backend using FFMPEG
Phonon Backend using NMM
Rapid linux desktop startup through pre-caching
Writing a widget (View/Delegate) for KOffice 2.0 based on Qt4's Model/View architecture

maybe WorKflow (what does this do?)

But keep in mind that the SoC is not meant to speed up development or even provide useful code, it's meant primarily to introduce students to free software development (if I got that right).

By assume at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

WorKflow is going to be the logical next step after OS X Automator (, bringing DCOP and the command line to the end user. It will automate boring tasks in a very easy way.

By Thomas Kadauke at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

So will it be a GUI for writing bash scripts? In that case, it won't bring the command line to the end user.

Or will it allow assembling actions graphically? Something like simple visual scripting?

By assume at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

the latter one :)

By Thomas Kadauke at Fri, 2006/05/26 - 5:00am

What's the point of a Phonon backend using FFMPEG? I thought Xine already used FFMPEG and that Xine can do everything FFMPEG can, and more. See the Xine website:

By AC at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

ffmpeg is a framework in itself so it's probably much more efficient to use it directly then through xine, also if you would only use ffmpeg directly you wouldn't have a xine dependancy on your install.

I suppose the reasoning will be somewhere along those lines.

By Mark Hannessen at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

But isn't having a FFMPEG backend wasteful. I mean, why wouldn't one want to have Xine installed if one needs multimedia? Also having too many choices (for backend) is a problem.

Instead the time and energy could have been employed to do something that is more useful.

By nilesh at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

> Instead the time and energy

And why do you care about the time and energy of another person?

By cl at Fri, 2006/05/26 - 5:00am

> And why do you care about the time and energy of another person?

because he will paid (if the project completes) by Google. A more useful project could have been selected instead.

By nilesh at Fri, 2006/05/26 - 5:00am

Because I looked very hard at the xinelib interface and realized that using FFMPEG directly was easier, faster and cleaner.

* FFMPEG interface is ugly
* Xinelib interface is horribly ugly

I prefered FFMPEG.

By carewolf at Fri, 2006/05/26 - 5:00am

and what (in your opinion) engine has the best api?
gst10, other?

By Nick at Fri, 2006/05/26 - 5:00am

Perhaps you could judge yourself. Take a peek at the code for amoroK or Juk, as they both has support for multiple backends. After doing the same my opinion would be NMM, the code being at a size of 1/3-1/2 that of gst.

By Morty at Wed, 2006/05/31 - 5:00am

But Xine-lib also brings together other libraries that can play other codecs, so I expect that's where the new complexity comes from. If you don't like its API or you think it has performance problems, then you should fix up Xine-lib rather than starting from scratch and reinventing the wheel. If everybody did that, we wouldn't get anywhere.

By Richard Moore at Sat, 2006/05/27 - 5:00am

the "linear scheduler" is another one that is aimed squarely at kde4.

By Aaron J. Seigo at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

It would be useful to provide more detailed explanation of the projects on this list of projects.
Maybe each project should have a page in KDE wiki?

By Krzysztof Lichota at Fri, 2006/05/26 - 5:00am

All 3 KDevelop projects are the part of KDevelop4 development efforts.

By Alexander Dymo at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

yeah, i hope in the next course i'll be lucky to get my teachers (kpi, kiev) on FLOSS side w/ beauty of kdevelop :)

By Nick at Fri, 2006/05/26 - 5:00am

Some very interesting projects. Of particular interest to me are daap support for amaroK (the one thing banshee still has over amaroK), and gmail-style conversation for KMail. Those would be really handy. Screen recording application for KDE and KPhysics sound like they could shape up to be really great, too. Good luck to all those partaking. :)

By apokryphos at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

Nice to hear of the interest in gmail-style conversations for KMail. If your interested in following the progress, there is a blog at

By Aron Boström at Fri, 2006/05/26 - 5:00am

Wouldn't it be smart to make KOffice a project of its own -- I'm sure that would attract more applicant interest, since open-source office applications are all the rage these days. Having KOffice on Google's list of projects will catch the eyes of students looking to help an office suite.

This seems to have worked well for Abiword and OpenOffice, who each got 5-6 projects accepted.

By AC at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

Yes, I wanted to do that, but it got shot down. I think we need to lobby for it earlier next year.

By Inge Wallin at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

You mean shot or shut?

By assume at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

Why was it shot down? Who shot it down?


By Bobby at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

Google said no, we have to be within the main KDE project. This is not strange in itself, but I think that in that case, Abiword (for instance) should be a part of the Gnome project. And gaim. And so on...

KDE applications, or rather kdelibs based applications, need to make it known that they are not totally tied to the KDE desktop.

By Inge Wallin at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am

It's also partially how many people use the project; Google seems to accept projects that are smaller if they are cross-platform and are used widely. Gaim and Abiword are both ported to Windows and therefore have more exposure. So does GIMP. If/When KOffice is ported to Windows and gains more presence, it'll be easier to argue that KOffice deserves its own category.

By anon at Thu, 2006/05/25 - 5:00am