LXDE Foundation Application for Google Summer of Code 2010

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Organization Name

LXDE Foundation


The "Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment" is a fast-performing and energy-saving desktop environment. Maintained by an international community of developers, it comes with a beautiful interface, multi-language support, standard keyboard short cuts and additional features like tabbed file browsing. LXDE uses less CPU and less RAM than other environments. It is especially designed for cloud computers with low hardware specifications, such as, netbooks, mobile devices (e.g. MIDs) or older computers. LXDE can be installed with distributions like Ubuntu or Debian. It provides a fast desktop experience; connecting easily with applications in the cloud. LXDE supports a wealth of programs that can be installed locally with Linux systems. The source code of LXDE is licensed partly under the terms of the the General Public License and partly under the LGPL. LXDE is ranking among the top 2% of active projects internationally according to Ohloh.

Home page


Main Organization License


Why participate?

Why is your organization applying to participate in GSoC 2010? What do you hope to gain by participating?

The main goal of our application for the Google Summer of Code is to put the eyes of developers on LXDE and to attract more contributors. We are looking for developers interested in actively joining our community. By participating in the GSoC we hope to push LXDE and our goals for full featured low resource desktop systems. Some ideas as follows: - we are looking to attract more long-term developers - we want to bring more developers from the international community including Asian developers into development - we would like to see more components and plugins developed for LXDE thus offering new features. GSoC offers us an opportunity to get students contributing more.

Mailing list

What is the main public mailing list for your group?:


Other years

If your organization has not previously participated in GSoC, have you applied in the past? If so, for what year(s)?

Yes, we have applied for the previous year in 2009.

Ideas page

What is the URL for your ideas page?


Other information

What is the main development mailing list for your organization? This question will be shown to students who would like to get more information about applying to your organization for GSoC 2010. If your organization uses more than one list, please make sure to include a description of the list so students know which to use.


What is the main IRC channel for your organization? oftc.net #lxde

Add a Comment (optional):

Does your organization have an application template you would like to see students use? If so, please provide it now. Please note that it is a very good idea to ask students to provide you with their contact information as part of your template. Their contact details will not be shared with you automatically via the GSoC 2010 site.

--- Template ---- Please let us know your contact details and background

  • Name
  • Email
  • Blog
  • Phone
  • IRC Nick and Network
  • Name of School/University, Grade
  • Project Title
  • Possible Mentor (optional)
  • Benefits to the Free Software Community, who would gain from your project?
  • Deliverables - It is very important to list quantifiable results here e.g.
  o "Improve X modules in ways Y and Z."
  o "Write 3 new man pages for the new interfaces."
  o "Improve test coverage by writing X more unit/regression tests."
  o "Improve performance in FOO by X%." 
  • Project Details - more detailed description.
  • Project Schedule - How long will the project take? When can you begin work?
  • Availability - How many hours per week can you spend working on this? What other obligations do you have this summer?
  • How do you plan to continue with your project and within the LXDE community after GSoC?
  • Bio and Free Software Experiences - Who are you? What makes you the best person to work on this project? What free and/or open source projects have you participated in? Please describe your contributions.

Please contact the mailing list for more details and discussions.


What criteria did you use to select the individuals who will act as mentors for your organization? Please be as specific as possible:

  • contributions to the Linux and LXDE project
  • previous mentorship for GSoC with other organizations or participation in other code programs
  • Good proximity for potential face to face contacts with students
  • activity and role in the community
  • time to allocate to students

What is your plan for dealing with disappearing students?

In case a students disappear, the mentor will contact them times by email, chat and by phone. If there is no response, the admin of the project will contact the student. Students failing to respond will be excluded from the program.

What is your plan for dealing with disappearing mentors?

We only choose longterm contributors as mentors. All student projects generally will get at least two mentors assigned. Mentors who disappear are very unlikely.However, in the case of a mentors disappearing the admin will contact the mentor several times by email, chat and finally by phone. If the admin does not get any response, another mentor will be assigned to the student.

What steps will you take to encourage students to interact with your project's community before, during and after the program?

The LXDE community is a very active community. We have developed a good infrastructure to welcome and support newcomers. We set up dedicated wiki pages and mailing lists for specific topics for example, which attracted many new comers who later joined core developers. During GSoC students are required to write regular reports and attend online meet ups. After GSoC mentors will follow up with students from time to time as well and support them to stay active in the community. We also offer opportunities to meet up in person besides meeting in our online channels. Our community is participating in many events in Europe, Asia, Latin America and other regions. LXDE core contributors organize talks, presentations and events with developers and offer workshops for new contributors and programmers. In 2009 the LXDE community participated and co-organized GNOME.Asia, ICOS Taiwan, Mini-Debconf Asia, FOSDEM presentations, Linuxtag Berlin and many more.

What will you do to ensure that your accepted students stick with the project after GSoC concludes?

Mentors of the GSoC program will stay in touch with students after the end of the program. Contributors will be invited to LXDE meet ups. LXDE is a completely volunteer driven development community. We have many discussions and exchanges online across different channels. For development we use git repositories making collaboration much easier. There are also many ties to companies using LXDE for their purposes. Contributors to LXDE get opportunities to join an interesting project and to participate in a truly global project. We will also put students in touch with communities and commercial projects in their region and partners they are interested in.

Is there anything else you would like to tell the Google Summer of Code program administration team? :

LXDE has become one of the established desktops known for its low ressource usage. The community did not have the chance to participate in GSoC before. So, we would be more than happy to be accepted this year and would like to feature a few achievements of the last year to support our application: Internationally LXDE ranks among the top 2% of active projects internationally according to Ohloh. The famous file manager of LXDE PCManFM has been completely rewritten in 2009. LXDE is one of the first Open Source project founded in Asia (Taiwan) that attracted developers from all over the world. The translation team alone includes 83 (active!) contributors. Phoronix has tested the top Linux desktops at the beginning of march and LXDE shows to be the most energy-saving and lowest in resource usage while offering all the necessary features of an X-desktop. During the last 12 months LXDE became the standard desktop of Knoppix. Official LXDE spins have been introduced for OpenSuse, Fedora, Debian and others. LXDE is #2 in the Fedora spin download charts. On April 29 lubuntu (light Ubuntu) will be released by a team of more than 250 developers, contributors and testers. With the wider distribution through different distros LXDE receives more bug reports and feature requests. While the community is growing the development tasks are also becoming more. Being featured through the participation in GSoC would be a main goal for the LXDE project as it puts the eyes of more developers on the project - who might choose to contribute.

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See Also