Skip to content
wxWidgets - Cross-Platform GUI Library

Student Project Ideas

If you are interested in participating in the Google Summer of Code program with wxWidgets, we have prepared a list of some potential projects you could work on below. Please see our main Summer of Code page for details on how to apply.

Please notice that this list is not exclusive, ie that you can submit proposals to work on projects which are not listed here -- but please post to wx-dev mailing list to discuss them first if you plan to do this.

Notice that the projects are sorted roughly in order of their importance:

Alternatively, you could decide to select a project depending on your background, so that if you are a...

Create minimally functional Android port.

Hello World on Android

The goal of this project, or projects, as there could be more than one student working on this, would be to start a wxAndroid port, i.e. an implementation of wxWidgets API targeting the Android OS. It is infeasible to fully write such a port in the GSoC time frame, but we believe that a motivated student could provide a good foundation for such port and, ideally, something at least minimally working.

The plan is to start by implementing the low-level classes needed by all wxWidgets applications, such as wxApp, wxWindow, wxTopLevelWindow, wxEventLoop and a few others. Once this is done it should be possible to use wxGLCanvas to write Android applications using OpenGL for their graphics.

The next step could be to either implement more low-level classes such as the GDI classes (wxDC and/or wxGraphicsContext and wxBrush, wxPen, wxBitmap or the corresponding wxGraphicsBrush, wxGraphicsPen, wxGraphicsBitmap) and use the wxUniversal port for the GUI controls, or start implementing the GUI controls using native equivalents. In any case, the student definitely would not be expected to fully finish this part.

Providing access to native Android API from C++ for wxWidgets needs, which would be required for the native controls use, could be a separate project in its own right. It would consist in either improving one of the currently existing tools, such as CLE, cppjvm, JACE or JCC or writing a new one to allow easily creating and using Java objects, including overriding their virtual methods, from C++ code.

Difficulty: 8 Importance: 9

Potential mentors

Vadim Zeitlin, Bryan Petty

Experience needed

Some knowledge of the Android API would be definitely useful.

See also

Improve wxiOS port

wxWidgets under iOS

A previous GSoC project has created the basics of a wxWidgets port to iOS. The task for this year would be to make this port really usable and complete the missing parts.

In particular the wxiOS branch, in which all the work had been done up to now, would need to be merged into the mainline and all standard controls would need to be implemented. Note that part of this project -- which ideally should be done before submitting the proposal to work on it -- would consist of building the existing wxiOS sources and ascertaining its current state.

Difficulty: 7 Importance: 8

Potential mentors

Stefan Csomor, Václav Slavik

Experience needed

Familiarity with Cocoa/iOS.

See also

Fix bugs and implement missing features in wxUniversal

wxUniversal is a special wxWidgets port which implements high-level GUI controls using wxWidgets itself instead of wrapping the native toolkit as all the other ports do. It is useful for platforms which don't have their own native UI (such as e.g. DirectFB) or those in which the native UI is difficult to wrap (see the discussion of wxAndroid project).

Unfortunately wxUniversal hasn't got much attention for many years and the changes elsewhere in wxWidgets have introduced quite a few bugs in it. Also many relatively recent controls are not implemented.

An incomplete list of known problems that would need to be corrected includes:

  • Fix several appearance bugs seen in wxX11 port, such as too big padding for the buttons, wrongly drawn borders for many controls, occasional drawing artefacts such as failure to invert the selection in wxTextCtrl.
  • wxButton and related classes should be refactored to inherit from wxAnyButton as in the other ports.
  • wxMenu code needs to be updated to handle mouse capture loss/change events correctly.
  • Drawing wxSlider shouldn't result in a crash.
  • Implement support for popup windows and provide wxTooltip implementation using it.
  • Update the existing theme or write a new one to provide a less dated than the currently used "classic Windows"-like appearance.
  • Update the code to avoid using wxDeprecatedGUIConstants which result in hundreds of warnings when building it currently.

More problems might be discovered while working on this project.

Difficulty: 7 Importance: 6 (but more if wxUniv is used by wxAndroid)

Potential mentors

Vadim Zeitlin

Experience needed

Some prior experience with wxWidgets would be helpful, as with any other project, but no platform/toolkit-specific knowledge is needed for this task.

See also

Support multi-touch gestures

The goal of this project is to generate wxWidgets events for the multi-touch gestures recognized by the underlying system and, possibly, also the raw touches which compose them. But it's adding support for the high level events, such as "zoom", "pan" or "rotate" which is the most important part of this project.

Modern desktop systems all support sending such events but do it in different ways, so the first part of this project will be to find a subset of events and information carried by them sufficiently rich to be useful, yet also supported by more than one, and ideally by all three, major platforms.

Difficulty: 7 Importance: 7

Potential mentors

Eric Jensen, Stefan Csomor

Experience needed

Ability to work with more than one platform is definitely required.

See also

Implement wxGraphicsContext using Direct2D

Drawing example

Currently, wxGraphicsContext is implemented using GDI+ under Windows. GDI+ seems, unfortunately, to be abandoned by Microsoft and has a lot of problems including generally very poor performance (as it is not hardware-accelerated at all) and horrible text rendering, especially at small font sizes.

Since Windows 7 (and Vista with updates installed) another solution is available: Direct2D. This project would consist of implementing a new wxGraphicsContext backend using this new API, and its companion DirectWrite for the text output.

Difficulty: 7 Importance: 8

Potential mentors

Vadim Zeitlin

Experience needed

Windows, COM (at a basic level), Direct2D itself would be great but can be learned during the project.

See also

Add support for Windows 7 taskbar features

Taskbar button anatomy

Windows Vista/7 has added support for several new features to the task bar which are all accessible via ITaskbarList3 interface:

  • Overlays: example
  • Buttons: example
  • Progress display
  • Custom, possibly live, thumbnails: example
  • More control over grouping: example
  • Jump lists.

None of these features have equivalents under the other platforms, unfortunately, but it would be nice to be able to make use of them at least under Windows.

Difficulty: 5 Importance: 4

Potential mentors

Vadim Zeitlin

Experience needed

Windows, COM (at a basic level).

More information

Power management under non-Windows platforms

wxWidgets has support for power events but it's currently only implemented on Windows and doesn't work for Vista and later systems right now, e.g. it's impossible to prevent the system from suspending in this way (which was used until Windows XP) any more. The goal of this project would be to update power management support for Windows Vista/7 (which is simple to do, see this thread) and, most importantly, also implement them for Linux and/or OS X. This will include devising an API which can be implemented on all platforms and actually implementing it for Windows and at least one of Linux/OS X (and ideally both).

Difficulty: 7 for either Linux or OS X, 8 if both Importance: 6

Potential mentors

Paul Cornett, Stefan Csomor

Experience needed

Linux part will require the use of DBUS and/or DeviceKit so experience using them would be handy. OS X part obviously would be easier with some prior experience with this platform (foundation level) API.

See also

Cross-platform animation support

Animations are becoming and more important in the modern UIs but are not yet supported by wxWidgets. The goal of this project would be to allow simple to use cross-platform (including falling back to suppressing animations entirely on the systems that don't support them) API for animating parts of the program UI.

This project has been started during GSoC 2011 but never brought to completion. The goal would be to revisit the work done so far and finish the implementation of it for Windows and Cocoa.

Notice that in 2011 there was no simple way to support animation with GTK+, but if this has changed since then, working on GTK-specific implementation would be welcome too and could replace Windows or Cocoa part of this work.

Difficulty: 8 Importance: 6

Potential mentors

Bryan Petty

Experience needed

Windows, Cocoa.

More information

Cross platform support for playing system sounds

wxWidgets provides a wxBell() function which is as simple as it gets and the wxSound class which allows sound files to be played but requires the file (or sound data) to be present and produces the same result under all platforms (meaning that it won't sound good on any of them). The goal of this project would be to provide a way to play various "system sounds" in a simple and portable way and respecting the user settings (in particular, not play anything at all if the sound effects are turned off).

Difficulty: 5-7 Importance: 5

Difficulty is 5 is for a minimal usable implementation, 7 for something sufficiently powerful to represent libcanberra API while still being implementable on the other platforms.

Potential mentors

Robin Dunn

Experience needed

Experience with the platforms being targeted would be welcome.

See also

Make wxWebView more configurable

wxWebView currently works very well as a browser, but it lacks some features to allow using it in other roles. For example, to use it for displaying HTML messages in an email client, it must allow turning off support for JavaScript, plugins, Java and even automatic image display as well as allowing intercepting more events such as context menu building. We also need more control over the use of cookies, file downloading etc.

The goal of this project would be to add the necessary API to allow for such "controlled" use of wxWebView. Notice that ideally this would need to be done for all three of the existing backends, ie Internet Explorer, WebKit and Chromium, and at the very least for the first two.

Difficulty: 5-7 (depending on the number of backends) Importance: 6

Potential mentors

Steven Lamerton, Vadim Zeitlin

Experience needed

Any experience with using IID_IWebBrowser and/or WebKit would be helpful.

See also

Integrate and extend the Chromium backend

This project involves integrating and extending the existing wxWebViewChromium backend for wxWebView on all platforms. Although the port current runs on Windows and only a small amount of work should be needed for Linux support further work is needed for Mac integration. Porting the code to the CEF3 API would also be highly beneficial. This project has the potential to provide a uniform backend for all three major platforms, and potentially opens the way for better JavaScript integration.

Difficulty: 6 Importance: 7

Potential mentors

Steven Lamerton, Bryan Petty

Experience needed

Knowledge of Chromium would be a plus.

See also

wxWebView JavaScript Integration

wxWebView currently provides a simple RunScript() function for running JavaScript. However in many cases it would be preferable have access to a return value, or even to call C++ from the JavaScript. This project would aim to provide at least basic functionality for accessing JavaScript values. An API would be required that ensures uniform behaviour across the different backends. Before applying for this project please contact the wx-dev mailing list as further research is required.

Difficulty: 8 Importance: 7

Potential mentors

Steven Lamerton, Vadim Zeitlin

Experience needed

Minimal knowledge of JavaScript.

See also

wxWebView Cookies and Downloads

Currently wxWebView does not support cookies. This has been implemented as a GTK+ specific patch, but this is not useful for a cross-platform library. The idea here would be to implement a cross-platform API for this that supports at least GTK+, Windows, and OSX - covering "the big three" platforms usually required for new additions to wxWidgets.

Additionally, wxWebView has no way of managing file downloads. At a minimum, we would require a download request event available to be tied into, but ideally providing a full API for managing multiple downloads, and tracking status is desired.

Considering how similar these two projects are, and the approximate time required to implement both, the proposal here is to join both tasks into one potential project for Summer of Code.

Difficulty: 5-7 (depending on the number of backends) Importance: 6

Potential mentors

Steven Lamerton, Bryan Petty, Stefano Mtangoo

Experience needed

Any experience with using IID_IWebBrowser and WebKit would be helpful.

See also

Right-to-left languages support in wxRichTextCtrl

The goal is to support right-to-left languages such as Hebrew, including support for composing individual diacritics from within wxRichTextCtrl.

This will also require improving support for the entry of Unicode characters in wxWidgets globally, ie adding events for various IME actions and so would be useful even for the programs not using wxRichTextCtrl.

Difficulty: 8 Importance: 7

Potential mentors

Julian Smart, Vadim Zeitlin

Experience needed

Good knowledge of Unicode and BiDi would be helpful. Knowledge of IME under different platforms is also needed.

Native art providers for wxAUI

The goal is to make wxAUI blend in better on a set of platforms, particularly on Mac, GTK+ and Windows 7. The original wxAUI art is rather Windows XP-like and it should be possible to take colours from the current theme and apply them to wxAUI. Mostly this will be writing separate art provider classes, but occasionally it may be necessary to dig deeper into the wxAUI code.

Difficulty: 6 Importance: 5

Potential mentors

Bryan Petty

Experience needed

No platform-specific experience is needed as the art provider should behave in the same way under all platforms.

See also

  • The ribbon classes, implemented as a GSoC 2009 project, has customisable art and demonstrates a Vista/Windows 7-like art mode.
  • wxRendererNative documentation