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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...

  • Linux hacker -- then you could be interested in cross-platform power management or system sound projects.
  • Mac guru -- then, in addition to the two projects above, you could be interested in wxiOS.
  • Mobile enthusiast -- then wxiOS could be exciting for you.
  • Web/JavaScript developer -- then you should have a look at one of wxWebView-related projects.
  • Somebody else -- tell us what could be interesting for you!

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

Implement support for frozen rows/columns in wxGrid

Illustration of frozen panes

The goal is to implement support for freezing some rows or columns in wxGrid, i.e. fixing them in place while allowing the rest of the grid contents to scroll. At the very least, it should be possible to freeze a single row at either top or bottom of the window, as this is commonly used to implement header or footer rows, but ideally all possible combinations of freezing single or multiple rows or columns at either side of the grid window should be supported.

This is a difficult project as implementing this feature will require updating the existing wxGrid code to deal with the consequences and it is not impossible that relatively major changes in it would be required. On the other side, wxGrid is entirely implemented in wxWidgets itself, so unlike almost all the other projects in this list, this project can be implemented entirely under a single platform.

Difficulty: 8 Importance: 7

Potential mentors

Vadim Zeitlin

Experience needed

No specific requirements.

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

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

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