Google Announces Some Very Interesting GSoC 2021 Projects
Written by Michael Larabel in Google on 17 May 2021 at 05:19 PM EDT. 5 Comments
GOOGLE --
Google announced today the accepted projects/students for this year's Google Summer of Code. While for GSoC 2021 Google trimmed the length of this summer coding initiative and also cut the stipend amounts, there ended up being still a good turnout for this year with some interesting projects to be attempted.

Google announced that 1,292 students were selected from 69 countries. Some 4,795 students submitted 6,991 applications from 103 countries in total.

Below is a look at the GSoC 2021 projects I found most fascinating when digging through that list of nearly thirteen hundred different student projects that span more than 200 different open-source projects.

- Working on "100 paper cuts" of LibreOffice to improve the UI, implement various enhancements, and fixing other UX-related "most annoying issues" of this open-source office suite.

- ReactOS is hoping to see SMP hardware abstraction layer support for the ACPI APIC HAL.

- GNOME is to see work to extend libsecret's file back-end to allow it to use TPM2-derived encryption keys.

- GNOME is also looking to experiment with implementing GNOME Shell layout managers in Rust code.

- For benefiting Intel video capabilities on Linux but should help with other vendors given it's in GLES, there is a project to implement and optimize Equirectangular Projection (ERP) and Cubemap Projection (CMP) conversions in OpenGL ES that are used for handling 360 degree video content.

- The Intel Video and Audio for Linux project is hoping to see a VVC parser for GStreamer. VVC (Versatile Video Coding) is the H.265/HEVC successor and to get GStreamer support started, the hope is to make a codec parser this summer as a first step.

- Redesigning the VLC macOS user interface. A separate project is looking at a VLC Qt interface redesign.

- Under the Linux Foundation umbrella are plans to implement multi-threading support in perf.

- Improving Gentoo's cross-compiling abilities. The hope is to allow building Gentoo stages and boot media for other CPU architectures in a "robust manner with increased security and reliability."

- Modernizing the tutorials/documentation around building an LLVM JIT.

- Helping to make the Pidgin 3.0.0 instant messenger release a reality.

- ScummVM is seeing a continuation of work last summer on the Director Engine so that it can be "production reader" for some Director 2-4 games and potentially newer Director releases as well.

- Getting the latest Android SDK tools updated and packaged in Debian Sid.

- H.264/HEVC ARM64 10-bit Assembly SIMD code for FFmpeg along with various other CPU-specific tuning for FFmpeg across multiple GSoC projects.

- Libvirt is hoping to see libnbd / nbdcopy acceleration using the Linux kernel's IO_uring interface.

- Haiku hopes to see XFS file-system support take shape after it was started last year. This year they hope the XFS file-system support will be in more workable shape.

- Xrdesktop is hoping to see predictive text input support for virtual reality environments.

- Improving inter-procedural analyses and optimizations within LLVM.

- Improving the Godot Engine's soft-body dynamics.

- Implementing a Cargo tool for the Rust-GCC project.

- Porting digiKam to Qt 6 on Linux.

- Finishing the new web interface for Kodi.

- ZFS root support for NetBSD.

- File transfer improvements and user experience enhancements for Xfce.

It will be interesting to see how all of these projects and the rest pan out over the course of the summer.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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