Project Proposal Guidelines

We expect more project proposals than Google will be able to fund. Here is our list of suggestions about how to write a Summer of Code proposal that will stand a chance of rising to the top of the heap.


  • Applicants meet Google's requirements for participation in Summer of Code.
  • Applicants are in regular and close contact with their X.Org mentors.
  • Applicants know their target programming language.

Proposal Outline

  • Name and Contact Information
  • Title
  • Synopsis. A short summary.
  • Benefits to the Community. What novel technologies or approaches will be demonstrated?
  • Deliverables. Give a brief, clear work breakdown structure with milestones and deadlines. Make sure to label deliverables as optional or required. You may want plan to start by producing some kind of whitepaper, or planning the project in traditional software engineering style. Work should include
    • investigation
    • programming
    • documentation
    • dissemination
  • Description. A list of project details (rough architecture, etc).
  • Related Work. A list of other people's work. Could be as simple as a URL with one sentence description. Be sure to explain how the proposed work is different from similar related work.
  • Biographical Information.
    • Summarize your education, work, and open source experience.
    • List your skills and give evidence of your qualifications.
    • List published papers, successful open source projects, etc.
    • Please list any non-Summer-of-Code plans you have for the Summer, especially employment and class-taking. Be specific about schedules and time commitments.

General Notes

Your proposal should be around 1500-4000 words in plain text. There is a limit on the number of submitted proposals, if you have several ideas, please submit several proposals. Do include URLs pointing to information that would help convince us of your chances of success: preliminary project plans or progress, other projects you've been involved with that were successful, code samples, etc.

It is better if your project is under-scoped and sure to complete; as opposed to a largeish project which may not get done.

One of the features of Google/X.Org Summer of Code is that it is a organization to help with projects involving integrating free software and hardware from different sources.

See SummerOfCodeIdeas for project ideas.