GSoC Ideas

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This page lists the project ideas for Google Summer of Code, see the general info about LibreOffice and GSoC. All applicants are required to complete at least one easy hack.

All tasks on this page already indicate mentors for the task. New tasks on this page should be added only by those with the experience and time to invest in mentoring new developers.

Note that the LibreOffice project selects GSOC projects that are well researched and show a good understanding of the scope of the problem. It is also possible to create a project proposal not based on the ideas given below, if the application of the student shows good understanding of the problem. In fact, if you apply with one of the prepared ideas below, we expect you to show you did research beyond the abstracts given below even more.

When doing that please use this template:


=== Title of the task ===

Some detailed description of the things to accomplish.
Don't hesitate to provide details if you have some like code pointers, links to specifications, etc.

;Required skills / knowledge: C++, Reading other's code, and any other useful skill required go here.

;Difficulty: Range among easy, medium, hard

;Potential mentors
:''Joe Devel'', IRC: jdevel, mail: joe@devel.org

Please move successfully completed projects to Development/GSoC/Successfully Implemented Ideas.

Contents

General

Tests for the VCL graphic backends

We currently have some graphic tests located here, but they are incomplete and aren't being checked. The purpose of the tests is to identify if a graphic backend works correctly, which is especially important if the backend depends on the client hardware or drivers (like for example the OpenGL backend).

Each test draws to a small surface (VirtualDevice) and evaluates if what was drawn is correct or not by looking at the pixels. As backends don't draw equally (especially when using AA), it is needed to allow for a bit of discrepancy of the values (for example sometimes a backend won't draw one pixel). In this case the test is marked as "quirky" (acceptable result, but not what is expected).

First part of this task is to write additional tests that cover more graphic functions in VCL, then make this tests run when building a backend as well as when the user uses the backend for the first time (OpenGL for example). Also allow the user to run the tests and view the results for himself (add the UI for this).

Required skills / knowledge
C++, reading other's code
Difficulty
Medium
Potential mentors
Tomaž Vajngerl, IRC: quikee, mail: quikee@gmail.com

Make SVM (StarView Metafile) format independent of the VCL Metafile + tests of the format

The SVM file is a 1 to 1 dump of the content of VCL Metafile. This makes the VCL Metafile hard to modify as the SVM shouldn't change (for example to change away from the old geometry primitives in "tools" module - PolyPolyon, Polygon, Point, Rectangle,...) so to make this possible we need to separate the two. This is also very important to allow further refactoring of VCL to make it more modern (for example native 32-bit bitmaps and surfaces and to use alpha transparency and blending of the backends and not do its own thing).

This task would include to first complete the (import/export) test of the SVM format which are located here. The second part is then separate file writing/reading of the VCL Metafile to its own classes, to make them independent.

Required skills / knowledge
C++, reading other's code
Difficulty
Medium
Potential mentors
Tomaž Vajngerl, IRC: quikee, mail: quikee@gmail.com

Move the gallery code to use ZIP files

The existing gallery code (as seen in the sidebar eg.) is extremely cumbersome. It uses some hideous custom made binary file formats - which are completely un-necessary.

The code all lives in svx/source/gallery2 - is reasonably self-contained and comprises under 6000 lines of code - making this reasonably easy to work with I hope.

New themes are built with 'gengal' - but old themes are still present in the source file as un-touchable binary files. These contain many useful pieces for LibreOffice - and we need to be able to edit and extend these easily. So - parts of this project would be:

  • read and write notes on the existing gallery code.
  • add comments to each class header describing the function of the class etc.
  • extend the 'gengal' tool to extract file streams out of our old file formats and store them as individual files with annotations.
  • research the package2/ zip code, and write a tool to dump ZIP file contents.
  • package up the above streams in a suitable form - and write new package code to read these.
  • For bonus points we should be able to ingest ODP presentations with a title + a shape per slide - and thumbnail and insert these into the gallery with a simple name + the content of that shape; but that's rather more fun.
Required skills / knowledge
C++, reading other's code
Difficulty
Medium
Potential mentors
Tomaž Vajngerl, IRC: quikee, mail: quikee @ gmail.com
Michael Meeks, IRC: mmeeks, mail: michael.meeks @ collabora.com

Porting / platform / infrastructure specific topics

LibreOffice Online

LibreOffice online has developed significantly during the last year, but there is still a lot to do there. This task will include changes in the LibreOfficeKit, and in the web/JavaScript part too.

The main focus will be on making the features knows from the desktop version available in the Online version too; like the pivot tables, or other.

The online work takes place mostly in the online.git repository: https://cgit.freedesktop.org/libreoffice/online/

Required skills / knowledge
C++, JavaScript optional.
Difficulty
Medium
Potential mentors
Jan Holesovsky, IRC: kendy mail: kendy @ collabora.com

LibreOffice Online Admin

LibreOffice Online has an admin-console which provides a view of how active the machine is, what documents are open, what memory is in-use, and so on.

There are a number of small features required here - in particular:

  • controlling debug logging settings remotely
  • a coloring debug log browser with simple filtering
  • showing the pkill -USR1 output in the web-UI
  • adding detailed version numbers
  • presenting data sent & received per document / session
  • Complete half-baked history view in admin-console (tdf116233)

There is also work to be done to simplify the admin-console - merging the Admin.cpp and the AdminModel.cpp code to simplify.

Code pointers are: Admin.cpp Admin.hpp AdminModel.cpp AdminModel.hpp. Also checkout the Javascript side that renders the messages coming down the websocket.

Required skills / knowledge
C++, JavaScript optional.
Difficulty
Easy
Potential mentors
Jan Holesovsky, IRC: kendy mail: kendy @ collabora.com
Michael Meeks, IRC: mmeeks mail: michael.meeks @ collabora.com

Implement qt5 / kf5 theming using native Qt widgets (Weld interface)

Since a few years, LibreOffice has slowly created a new theming API (include/vcl/weld.hxx) while implementing it in the gtk3 backend to use native Gtk widgets. Qt5, like all other backends, just implements the drawing of QStyle themed LO widgets, which mostly look like Qt widgets, but their behavior is completely controlled / implemented by LO. This results in some bugs, which simply aren't fixable in any way inside LO. Some Qt style engines implement animation and color handling, which isn't even exposed by the QStyle API, like the default button text color in Breeze (black in LibreOffice, instead if white in KDE). The current state is documented in some kind of "meta bug" (tdf#130857), which has some closed duplicates of backend specific problems, mainly based on some KDE settings, which change the specific behavior of a widget.

The current Weld API is Gtk specific, so some things might need some more abstraction, but otherwise it should be some straight forward job to implement the needed interfaces. This task isn't very creative, but might be interesting for people, who like to work on lower level platform code, which never fails to surprise with unexpected behavior. That can become a bit tedious to implement correctly.

For some more information:

Required skills / knowledge
C++, knowledge of one of the involved toolkit APIs, either Gtk or Qt will help, but this probably goes for any non-ancient API used to build GUI applications.
Difficulty
medium
Potential mentors
Jan-Marek Glogowski, IRC: jmux, mail: glogow AT fbihome.de
Michael Weghorn, IRC: michaelweghorn, mail: m.weghorn AT posteo.de

User Experience

The design team collected a number of ideas in in the pad http://pad.documentfoundation.org/p/UX-GSoC_Ideas. Not for all ideas mentors have committed so far. If you are interested in a task that has no mentor you would need to find someone. If the topic needs further refinement feel free to contact the UX team in order to prioritize the usability engineering. Some examples for full-featured topics:

Styles Inspector

Styles are the essence of a text processor. And while experts love to unleash the power of LibreOffice Writer, it’s at the same time a major source of nuisance. In particular when you receive documents from other people, it can be quite difficult to understand the applied formatting and to fix issues around. This project intends to improve the situation with an Inspector that more clearly gives an overview of the attribute inheritance. https://design.blog.documentfoundation.org/2019/11/05/proposal-to-conveniently-highlight-and-inspect-styles-in-libreoffice-writer/

Required skills / knowledge

  • C++, Reading other's code

Difficulty

  • Varying

Potential mentors

  • Mike Kaganski, Tomaž Vajngerl

Styles Highlighter

Styles are the essence of a text processor. And while experts love to unleash the power of LibreOffice Writer, it’s at the same time a major source of nuisance. In particular when you receive documents from other people, it can be quite difficult to understand the applied formatting and to fix issues around. This project aims to improve the situation by showing in the document what styles are applied. https://design.blog.documentfoundation.org/2019/11/05/proposal-to-conveniently-highlight-and-inspect-styles-in-libreoffice-writer/

Required skills / knowledge

  • C++, Reading other's code

Difficulty

  • Varying

Potential mentors

  • Tomaž Vajngerl, Mike Kaganski

Additions - Tight integration of extensions!

The idea of additions is to better integrate extensions. On various places it should be possible to get more content from external storage. It is an "addition" as it rather provides presets than extensions like macros or templates; but the procedure behind might be similar. https://design.blog.documentfoundation.org/2016/11/11/additions-to-libreoffice/

Required skills / knowledge

  • C++, Reading other's code

Difficulty

  • Varying

Potential mentors

  • Muhammet Kara, IRC: mkara, mail: muhammet.kara AT collabora.com

100 paper cuts

The student will solve a number of most-annoying issues and enhancement requests during the GSoC time. Issues are collected in https://nextcloud.documentfoundation.org/s/zraEHZxyCKBTNY7 with a rough estimation on effort.

If you want to apply for this, you should first solve one of the papercuts (pick an easy one) in advance.

Required skills / knowledge

  • C++, Reading other's code

Difficulty

  • Varying

Potential mentors

  • Muhammet Kara, IRC: mkara, mail: muhammet.kara AT collabora.com

Block diagrams

Most expect feature in Draw is the better implementation of block diagrams. That includes the compatibility with Visio but also simplified workflows where entered data get formatted automatically. A couple of predefined styles/presets should allow to quickly switch from one diagram style to another.

Required skills / knowledge

  • (C++, Reading other's code)?

Difficulty

  • (Medium)?

Potential mentors

  • Thorsten Behrens, IRC: thorsten mail:
  • UX team, IRC: channel #libreoffice-design, mail: design @ global.libreoffice . org

Blurry shadows

In LibreOffice the shadows are just a copy of the object. Blurring with some options is missing, and well known in competitive open-source tools like Calligra. This feature is also needed for SVG import/export.

Required skills / knowledge

  • (C++, Reading other's code)?

Difficulty

  • (Medium)?

Potential mentors

  • Tomaž Vajngerl, IRC: quikee mail:
  • UX team, IRC: channel #libreoffice-design, mail: design @ global.libreoffice . org

Chart wizard

For experienced people, the current wizard distracts from the workflow and steps are not naturally implemented, for instance the range is selected first and then the type of chart. Over the modules we have different ways to insert charts plus the wizard design is inconsistent with other dialogs which are tabbed. Mockups

Required skills / knowledge

  • C++, UI, UNO, reading other's code

Difficulty

  • Hard

Potential mentors

  • Katarina Behrens, IRC: bubli mail: bubli @ bubli . org
  • UX team, IRC: channel #libreoffice-design, mail: design @ global.libreoffice . org

Multi-color gradient

While the area fill style dialog has been reworked nicely the ability to deal with more than two steps for gradients is missing. Furthermore, gallery items with gradients that consists of more than two colors or non-linear gradients are interpreted as a collection of lines when ungrouped making a modification impossible. First analysis showed that multi-stop gradients are loaded well but not visualized as it. The project would need to implement the draw routines as well as the UI control in the area dialog as suggested.

Required skills / knowledge

  • (C++, Reading other's code)?

Difficulty

  • (Medium)?

Potential mentors

  • Tomaž Vajngerl, IRC: quikee, mail: quikee @ gmail.com
  • UX team, IRC: channel #libreoffice-design, mail: design @ global.libreoffice . org

Improve OpenPGP encryption experience

With LibreOffice 6.0, there's experimental PGP/GPG encryption support. A number of shortcomings are there still, that make using this cool feature unnecessarily hard, e.g. selecting recipients anew for every safe, or finding the right keys. Keyrings can get potentially infinitely large, so smart searching / traversing / filtering is needed. Additionally, some asynchronous querying would be great, as currently it takes several minutes to retrieve all keys for large keyrings.

Required skills / knowledge

  • C++, Reading other's code, some idea about public key crypto

Difficulty

  • Varying

Potential mentors

  • Thorsten Behrens, IRC: thorsten mail: thb@libreoffice.org
  • UX team, IRC: channel #libreoffice-design, mail: design@global.libreoffice.org

Improve UX for deaf people

This idea/solution aims at a better experience of using LibreOffice for people with hearing impairments (deaf). Offering the option of tooltips in a sign language format (like LIBRAS, ASL, LSF ..) instead of texts. Example: When the mouse is over the "save" option, a tooltip sign will be displayed instead of the tooltip "Save (Ctrl + S)" in text format.

This idea/solution potentially reaches around 500 million of people (OMS data) worldwide with hearing impairment (deaf people), helping a community that faces numerous difficulties in the process of adaptation to a world totally driven towards written/spoken. Brazillian example: Although LIBRAS (Brazillian Sign Language) is the second official Brazilian language, cell phones and computers do not have LIBRAS support, whereas for a hearing impaired person the first - and almost always the only language - is LIBRAS.

There are other sign languages ​​besides that used in the Brazilian example, like ASL (American Sign Language) and LSF (French Sign Language), others.

There is currently a fork of LibreOffice (https://gitlab.com/LabIS-UFRJ/LIBRASOffice) that captures 'rHelpText' which is passed to the 'void ImplShowHelpWindow (...)' function in 'vcl/source/app/help.cxx' (https://gitlab.com/LabIS-UFRJ/LIBRASOffice/LASOBack/-/blob/master/vcl/source/app/help.cxx#L494) and save to a LOG for an external program to display the signals as tooltips. The signals are displayed exactly like tooltips, but appear in the lower right corner of the screen instead of immediately under a button.

This functionality can be offered for all sign languages ​​around the world, and could be distributed through translation packages

Required skills / knowledge

  • C++, UNO API (?), Reading other's code

Difficulty

  • Hard (?)

Potential mentors (?)

Base

Basic

Draw

Impress

SmartArt editing in Impress

SmartArt is a nice feature that allows users to quickly add charts / diagrams to presentations. We have a partial implementation as an experimental feature; the task of this GSoC would be to finish it.

At the moment, we are able to import SmartArt as a stream of shapes that is available in the pptx presentations generated by MSO 2010. We are also able to create the shapes when the stream is not available in case you enable the Experimental features Tools ▸ Options. Unfortunately:

  • The rendering of such shapes is much worse than if we use the pre-rendered stream
  • We are unable to edit the imported SmartArt

This task should first focus on improving the rendering of the shapes themselves, and then, when the student gets more familiar with the code, should add user interface for SmartArt editing.

The current experimental SmartArt import lives in oox/source/drawingml/diagram/*. The commit that introduced the functionality is Import SmartArt graphics to Impress.

Further information: The related bug in the LibreOffice bug tracker is: tdf#37932. An external extension (not nicely integrated) trying to implement at least some SmartArt functionality: SmART (Extensions/SmART Gallery)

Required skills / knowledge
C++, Reading other's code.
Difficulty
Difficult
Potential mentors
Thorsten Behrens, IRC: thorsten, mail: thb@documentfoundation.org
Jan Holesovsky, IRC: kendy, mail: kendy@collabora.com

Attach animations to styles

Currently, Impress styles control most of the visual shape appearance, but not the slideshow animation effect. Which is a pity, as the styles concept is pretty powerful inside LibreOffice, and provides a nice way to change animation settings and type for a great number of objects simultaneously. For a slightly different view onto the same problem, see this bug report, and this one from the LibreOffice side.

Original patch from GSoC 2010: https://cgit.freedesktop.org/libreoffice/build/tree/patches/dev300/sd_effects_styles.diff?h=master-backup

Required skills / knowledge
C++, Reading other's code
Difficulty
Hard
Potential mentors
Thorsten Behrens, IRC: thorsten, mail: thb @ documentfoundation . org
Katarina Behrens, IRC: bubli, mail: bubli @ bubli . org

Rework Impress slideshow to use DrawingLayer primitives

The Impress slideshow, while being designed to only interact with Impress via interfaces, had to resort to an ugly hack to be able to render all Impress content. That was ok back in the day, but is becoming a liability these days. Nowadays, what one want to use is the DrawingLayer Primitives (https://wiki.openoffice.org/wiki/DrawingPrimitives), which means porting over slideshow/source/engine/shapes/* to use this kind of abstraction, instead of the StarView Metafile previously in use.

Required skills / knowledge
C++, Reading other's code.
Difficulty
Difficult
Potential mentors
Thorsten Behrens, IRC: thorsten, mail: thb @ documentfoundation . org

Mix and Merge Impress presentations

For the professional slide jockey, mixing a new presentation out of existing slide decks is a common task, that unfortunately Impress does not support very well. This task is about providing, possibly stand-alone, functionality to:

  • display lots of presentation files conveniently, possibly with tagging/searching functionality
  • out of existing slides, quickly create a new presentation
  • provide functionality to conveniently exchange / homogenize slide layouts and/or master pages, such that new presentation has consistent look
  • as a bonus task, be able to create virtual slide decks, by referencing other files, and have the resulting presentation automatically update, once the referenced slides are
  • can be built-in to Impress, stand-alone (but then portable across all our platforms), or web-based.

Code pointers:

Required skills / knowledge
ODF, UX, possibly c++, possibly Python, possibly web frameworks
Potential mentors
Thorsten Behrens, IRC: thorsten, mail: thb @ documentfoundation . org

Add Impress shape animations that use a real physics engine

Impress already sports a number of shape animation effects, though they start to look a bit dated in this day and age. With powerful 2D and 3D physics simulation engines available as open source, it would be cool to plug them for having slide contents interact with each other, bouncing around stuff on the screen. This task would involve:

  • integrating a suitably-licensed physics engine with LibreOffice (Box2D or Bullet come to mind)
  • interact with LibreOffice User Experience people on how to best present this in the UI
  • wire things up in the slideshow / canvas component of LibreOffice
  • be able to load and save the new effects, at least to odf files
  • in the end, have at least three effects ready to be used

Code pointers:

Required skills / knowledge
C++, basic game/animation skills useful, reading other people's code
Potential mentors
Thorsten Behrens, IRC: thorsten, mail: thb @ documentfoundation . org

Calc

Implement interface for external data source import into Calc

With more and more data in different forms it becomes more and more challenging to visualize and evaluate them. Calc could be an amazing tool to allow inspecting existing data. To allow that we would need an interface to import and more importantly update data from external data sources. The interface should be modelled similar to how the orcus interface is currently implemented and the data should be stored inside of a ScDBData (a database range). The interface would then be used together with either an existing document where you mark a range for the external data or a template document that is automatically filled. The initial work on providing some structure has already been done in sc/source/ui/dataprovider/ and in sc/source/ui/miscdlg/dataproviderdlg.cxx

This task is about extending the existing data providers and data transformations, implementing an usable UI for the feature and start working on storing the information in a file.

Required skills / knowledge
C++, Reading other's code, debugging

Difficulty: Medium

Potential mentors
Markus Mohrhard, IRC: moggi, mail: markus.mohrhard@googlemail.com

Support charts in orcus

Orcus is an external library for importing spreadsheet formats that is already used for a few features in Calc. However for now we are limited to spreadsheet support and we should extend support to charts. Orcus works by providing an interface of virtual methods that must be implemented on the client side. We try to keep the interface format independent and try to always support at least OOXML and ODF.

If the time permits we should also work on some experimental integration of the chart import code into LibreOffice.

The spreadsheet interface is mostly in include/orcus/spreadsheet. The chart interface should be similar.

Required skills / knowledge
C++, Reading other's code, debugging, Reading specifications

Difficulty: Medium

Potential mentors
Markus Mohrhard, IRC: moggi, mail: markus.mohrhard@googlemail.com

Implement table styles

Calc so far lacks real table styles, which for example can be seen in Impress tables, with formatting of header row, header column, banded rows and columns, total row, rightmost column, ...

The existing old technology Format → AutoFormat Styles are visually similar, but very inefficient in that they apply individual attributes to individual cells, which a) is slow, and b) bloats the document size, and also can't cope with hidden rows or columns to keep a visually stable table style layout.

See also tdf#132780

Required skills / knowledge
C++, Reading other's code, Debugging, Understanding the concept of different layers of cell attribution, Having an idea of how a single attribute with one value could be used for this
Difficulty
Hard
Potential mentors
Eike Rathke, IRC: erAck, mail: erack@redhat.com

Writer

Document Themes

Document themes are a simple way to allow users to quickly & consistently restyle the entire document. There is an implementation of this in MSO, and also Calligra plans to something in this regard, so this task actually consists of 2 parts:

  • Implementing user interface for the feature
  • Implement the ODF support for that

More ideas about the feature you can get by reading http://blogs.msdn.com/b/jensenh/archive/2006/02/22/537054.aspx and https://blogs.kde.org/2011/12/14/fruits-css2-shared-themes .

The import code for DOCX is here: https://cgit.freedesktop.org/libreoffice/core/tree/writerfilter/source/ooxml, you might need to change also https://cgit.freedesktop.org/libreoffice/core/tree/writerfilter/source/dmapper

For XLSX and PPTX, it resides in https://cgit.freedesktop.org/libreoffice/core/tree/oox/source

Required skills / knowledge
C++, Reading other's code, reading specifications :-)
Difficulty
Hard
Potential mentors
Jan Holesovsky, IRC: kendy, mail: kendy @ collabora . com
Tomaž Vajngerl, IRC: quikee mail: tomaz.vajngerl @ collabora.co.uk

Help system

Have an independent Helpcontent build from core

Motivation: One the the difficulties of the Help work is that the Help build needs to have the full core build. This is because the Help build depends on gbuild and some l10n tools in core/.

The Help contents is in XML, and the build transform XML to HTML, using XML tools. So the idea is have an Help build independent from core, allowing to build the Help in a simpler way, likely not to depend on C++ (use Python instead) and even use ninja build system if ninja adds benefits over gbuild.

Both traditional gbuild and new Help build must coexist, until gbuild on core can manage the independent Help.

On a second moment, have the Help build merge the translated strings and create a full l10n Help.

Required skills / knowledge
XML, Reading other's code, Python.
Difficulty
medium
Potential mentors
Olivier Hallot, IRC: ohallot, mail: olivier.hallot@libreoffice.org

Filters

Improve Zoner Draw import filter

libzmf, a library for import of Zoner Draw documents, was implemented as a GSoC 2016 project. Currently the library only supports documents created by versions 4-5. There are two goals in this task:

  • handle some of the missing features (blending, warping of the bounding rectangle);
  • add support for the file format produced by versions 2-3.

Both formats have been almost completely reverse-engineered.

Required skills / knowledge

  • C++, Reading other's C++ code (to understand the existing libzmf code)
  • Python (for OLEToy) is welcome, but probably won't be needed

Difficulty: medium

Potential mentors:

  • David Tardon, IRC: dtardon, mail: dtardon@redhat.com

Improve Adobe Pagemaker import filter

libpagemaker, a library for import of Adobe Pagemaker documents, was implemented as a GSoC 2013 project. In the current state, the library only supports documents created by versions 6.5-7.0 on Windows. Documents of version 6.0 should be opened more-or-less correctly, but the support has never been specifically tested. Documents created on Mac are never opened correctly because of many oversights in the code.

The goals of this taks are to fix import of Mac 6.5-7.0 files, implement some missing features and add support for older versions, both Mac and Windows (starting at 6.0 and proceeding to older ones until we run out of time :-)

We will use OLEToy for any necessary reverse-engineering. We will also create documents for regression testing for all versions we add support for.

Required skills / knowledge

  • C++, Reading other's C++ code (to understand the existing libpagemaker code)
  • Python (for OLEToy)

Difficulty: medium

Potential mentors:

  • David Tardon, IRC: dtardon, mail: dtardon@redhat.com
  • Fridrich Strba?, IRC: Fridrich, mail: fridrich.strba@bluewin.ch

UNO

UNO is the LibreOffice component model, cross-language and intra- as well as inter-process. It is somewhat similar to Corba and COM. It is used to extend LibreOffice via document-related scripts and more general extension packages, as well as to use LibreOffice functionality remotely from another process.


Rust UNO Language Binding

UNO's cross-language abilities are implemented by bridging between various language-specific environments and a binary runtime representation (with a C API). Next to C++, Java, and Python, it would be great to have such a bridge also for a great language like Rust.

One aspect is to use Rust FFI to interface with the binary UNO C API. Another is to design the Rust representations of the various UNO constructs (its data types; objects with their multiple interfaces and methods; services and singletons), so that this language binding can not only be used to interact with existing LibreOffice services written in other languages, but also to create new services in Rust. A third aspect could be to create a pure Rust implementation of the UNO remote bridge protocol.

Some documentation pointers are:

Some code pointers are:

Required skills/knowldege: Rust, interfacing to low-level C/C++, working against formal specifications

Difficulty: medium to hard

Potential mentors:

  • Stephan Bergmann, IRC: sberg, mail: sbergman @ redhat . com
  • Michael Stahl, IRC: mst___, mail: mst AT libreoffice DOT org
  • Bjoern Michaelsen, IRC: Sweetshark, mail: bjoern.michaelsen AT canonical DOT com

LUA UNO Language Binding

UNO's cross-language abilities are implemented by bridging between various language-specific environments and a binary runtime representation (with a C API). Next to C++, Java, and Python, it would be great to have such a bridge also for a small, lightweight scripting language like LUA.

LUA is small (few K lines of C), and written with the goal of embedding in mind:

Besides hooking LUA up with LibreOffice's UNO subsystem, a taker for this project would need to map the various UNO constructs (its data types; objects with their multiple interfaces and methods; services and singletons) to suitable LUA types, so that this language binding can not only be used to interact with existing LibreOffice services written in other languages, but also to create new services. LUA should be expressive enough to permit that (its dynamic typing helps a lot there), just for exceptions and error handling, some extra thoughts might be needed:

Some code pointers are:

Required skills/knowldege: LUA, interfacing to low-level C/C++, working against formal specifications

Difficulty: medium to hard

Potential mentors:

  • Michael Stahl, IRC: mst[_]*, mail: mst AT libreoffice DOT org
  • Thorsten Behrens, IRC: thorsten, mail: thb AT libreoffice DOT org
  • (Bjoern Michaelsen, IRC: Sweetshark)

Tooling

Integrate .ui dialogs with translation tooling/string search webservice to help translators

Translators often have a hard time determining the context of a string to translate. It would be great if translators would be able to search for a string and have it presented in the context of the UI, a picture of a dialog for example.

Required skills / knowledge python (when integrating into pootle), java (when integrating into opengrok) or php or other suitable framework for the user-facing part, reading c++ code to identify where strings come from (not all strings are in dialogs) and GTK/glade ui definitions as the basis for the rendered dialog, scripting/makefile stuff to automate updating of the data

Difficulty: easy (when only limiting yourself to the glade dialogs) to medium (depending on the level of integration with the current tools: weblate as the platform where translation happens or opengrok where the source code is indexed)

Potential mentors:

  • Christian Lohmaier, IRC: cloph, mail: cloph@documentfoundation.org

Feasibility study: building LibreOffice using meson

Currently the LibreOffice build system uses autoconf and make. Most of the complex stuff is organized in the LibreOffice-internal, high-level build system written in make, called gbuild. It offers a lot of functionality to make it easy for developers to build LibreOffice or external libraries on various platforms with a multitude of configuration options. Generally this works well for LibreOffice, until you need to either extend gbuild or even fix a bug. gbuild itself is ~18,000 lines of code and lives in solenv/gbuild/. Additionally the configure.ac file adds ~13,000 lines of mainly shell code and m4 macro calls. And since the whole make code is ~150,000 lines, it takes a lot of time to start a new build. On a first impression a lot of the gbuild functionality can be mapped to meson functionality in a straight-forward way, but as always the first 80% are the easiest.

There is already some kind of playground branch as private/jmux/meson, based on the initial work done by the meson author Jussi Pakkanen in https://github.com/jpakkane/core/commits/master. It currently builds ~80 of the ~200 internal LibreOffice libraries and completely depends on a Linux system to provide the external libraries. The branch currently builds inside a Ubuntu focal chroot (schroot setup can be provided).

This is currently a Linux-only idea. It seems it's a realistic goal to get LibreOffice build and running in the GSoC timeframe on Linux without depending of the possibility to build all the external libraries too.

For some more information:

Required skills / knowledge python, reading makefiles, reading shell code, some C / C++ to understand compiler errors.

Difficulty: medium

Potential mentors:

  • Jan-Marek Glogowski, IRC: jmux, mail: glogow AT fbihome.de
  • Jussi Pakkanen, IRC: jpakkane
  • Luboš Luňák, IRC: llunak

Select tests (or flag patches with missing tests) to run on gerrit patches based on machine learning

Inspired by Mozilla's work in this area (https://hacks.mozilla.org/2020/07/testing-firefox-more-efficiently-with-machine-learning/), it would be great to:

  • extract a training set out of git, gerrit, CI and bugzilla (might need some _very early_ preparations to perhaps retain CI failure logs) by finding regressions that could have been caught by running a proper test on the respective platform, in the right configuration
  • extract a training set out of git, gerrit, CI and bugzilla by finding regressions that later added a test for a feature - thus correlating code areas, and the locus for needed tests
  • and training a suitable AI algorithm with the above, such that:
    • CI can smartly choose the right tests to run, based on the gerrit patch (instead of running _all_ tests on _all_ configurations, which is prohibitive)
    • CI can -1 patches that don't come with test loci touched, if the gerrit patch suggests it

Required skills / knowledge data science/machine learning/AI active, basic & hands-on knowledge. Ability to read and write c++ code, scripting languages, and some basic knowledge of the tools used in our CI chain (Jenkins, gerrit, cppunit, ASAN/UBSAN) - many, but not all of the before might be acquired before GSoC, while joining the community prior to the application phase

Difficulty: Medium - provided the applicant has good machine learning/data science skills

Potential mentors:

  • Thorsten Behrens, IRC: thorsten, mail: thb@documentfoundation.org

Ideas without a mentor

A number of ideas from previous years can be found at the Development/GSoC/Ideas without a mentor page. Please note that you need to find a mentor willing to mentor the task. There is no guarantee that anyone in the community is going to mentor one of these tasks this year.