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{21} HelenOS and Google Summer of Code 2014 (18 matches)

Google Summer of Code is a global program that offers student developers stipends to write code for various open source software projects. We work with many open source, free software, and technology-related groups to identify and fund projects over a three month period. Since its inception in 2005, the program has brought together over 7,500 successful student participants from 97 countries and over 7,000 mentors from over 100 countries worldwide to produce over 50 million lines of code.

[ ... from Google Summer of Code 2014 site. ]


HelenOS is a portable microkernel-based multiserver operating system designed from scratch. It decomposes key operating system functionality into isolated but intensively communicating server tasks that reside entirely in user space. HelenOS thus provides a computing environment that has several virtues, such as flexibility, increased robustness, well defined explicit interfaces and reduced complexity of individual components as compared to other operating systems.

HelenOS does not aim to be another clone of Unix or some other legacy system and is not POSIX-compliant (even though it may seem POSIX-similar at times). Instead, we try to design it according to our sense for what is the most elegant and right thing to do. What makes HelenOS unique among the other multiserver operating systems is its multiplatform and multiprocessor microkernel. HelenOS runs on seven different processor architectures, ranging from a 32-bit uniprocessor little-endian ARMv4 and commodity PC (x86 and x86-64) to a 64-bit multicore big-endian UltraSPARC T1.

A Bit of History

HelenOS has traditionally been a project with significant student participation. Its first lines were written by a student in 2001. In 2004, the project turned into a collective academic effort and ever since then, new students have been joining every year to work on HelenOS-related theses and assignments. In 2011 and 2012, HelenOS became a Google Summer of Code mentoring organization and mentored 8 students in total during their journey through the program. HelenOS and the Google Summer of Code make a perfect match enabling students from universities worldwide to experience the thrill of the microkernel multiserver operating system development.

Who Are We Looking For?

We are looking for students with real interest in operating systems, system-level programming, software design and HelenOS. We are looking for people who will play nicely with our community and by our guidelines. We are looking for those who are willing to give their project the necessary time and care. If a student only wants to pass Google Summer of Code with the minimum effort, HelenOS is not a good match for him or her. We are looking for already experienced C coders as all our projects start at the medium difficulty level and the code itself is not trivial. The successful candidate should be a good communicator, too.

We would like to invite prospective students to demonstrate their abilities and determination to work on a HelenOS project during the Google Summer of Code 2014 by completing a simple HelenOS task before the student application deadline on March 21. The student should check out the latest mainline sources of HelenOS, build the system, then either pick an existing bug or enhancement or think of their own improvement, implement it, test it and submit the patch / public bzr branch / merge directive to our mailing list. Students interested in applying for a Google Summer of Code project also need to fill out the application form and attach it to their application.

If a student is accepted, he or she will be asked to participate in the community mailing list and IRC channel from day one. We will also want him or her to periodically document his or her progress via mailing list write-ups and/or blog entries. The mentor will act as a buddy in our team who will monitor the development and provide the student with guidance when necessary. However, as a first-class member of our development community the student will also receive feedback from other developers besides the designated mentor.

Ideas List

The project ideas for the Google Summer of Code can be characterized as things that will improve the usability of HelenOS while building on the functionality already present in the source tree. No project in the list poses an open-questions topic in the academic sense. Instead, each project is rather implementation-oriented and achievable in one trimester. Each idea is also accompanied by a motivation and a short explanation of why we think somebody should work on it. We expect the students to deliver code that could be seamlessly integrated with the mainline development branch of HelenOS.

In the past years we learned that some students may be under the false impression that the projects for HelenOS need to involve kernel programming. In general, this is a false assumption. Because HelenOS is a microkernel-based operating system, most of the projects involve work on the user space parts of the system, such as libraries and server tasks. Having said that, we don't object pure kernel projects either.

The Ideas List is just a small subset of all open tickets for HelenOS. If you do not see an appealing topic on this list, you might want to consider looking at the broader list or suggest a completely new topic or a variation on an already existing topic. Remember that the ideas are not set in stone and, after all, it is the student who is going to suggest the idea to us. In any case, talk to us so that we can see whether the new topic would work for HelenOS during the Google Summer of Code. If not, the idea may still seem interesting to us even outside of the Google Summer of Code program. Besides our regular project ideas, the HelenOS team might also sponsor ideas for related projects in the form of mentoring or co-mentoring (see the list of cross-project ideas for inspiration).

For your convenience, before presenting the entire ideas list, we provide several views on the ideas grouped by a common theme. Click on the idea of your interest to see the detailed description.

Porting of existing applications to HelenOS

Networking related

Graphics stack related

Sound related

Device drivers

Domain-specific languages and code generation

Ticket Summary Component
#358 IRQ pseudocode compiler helenos/lib/other
#424 RPC/IPC generator helenos-infrastructure

Improving debugging support

Support for a new architecture, machine or improving support for an existing one

Infrastructure projects

Recapitulation of all ideas

Ticket Summary
#11 Support PAE on ia32
#40 Implement support for Sgi Octane (mips64)
#310 Support for DWARF Debugging Information Format
#313 Enhancement of user space debugging and observability features
#358 IRQ pseudocode compiler
#402 Port QEMU to HelenOS
#414 Graceful system shutdown
#424 RPC/IPC generator
#425 Implement support for Lemote Fuloong/Yeeloong (mips64)
#517 Port the clang (LLVM) compiler to HelenOS
#520 Driver for VESA-compatible graphics adapter
#524 Implement support for Ben NanoNote (mips32)
#525 Service manager
#526 Port DOSBox to HelenOS
#571 Driver for Broadcom VideoCore IV (Raspberry Pi)
#572 USB DisplayLink driver
#576 Network file server and network file system client
#577 AC'97 Audio driver
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