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GSoC 2008 Student Application Guidelines

I hesitate to require a specific format for student applications, but there are some things that we'll need and want to know to be able to make a good decision as to whether or not to accept a particular application. This list is not meant to be comprehensive: if you'd like to provide more or include other information, please do so! This is just intended as a starting point if you aren't sure how to start or format your application. You may also want to look at the applications submitted for various other projects for last year's Summer of Code.

What To Include

  • Your background. You may have a great idea, but we need to be able to make an educated guess as to whether or not you're capable of implementing that idea. To what other open source projects have you contributed? Do you have a website (or something) that has information about other projects you've worked on? Less important, but still notable, also tell us about any formal training you've had that might help. Help us put a person behind your application: tell us where you're from and give us a brief intro.
  • Your idea. Obviously we need to know what you want to do. Describe in as much detail as possible. Don't just copy and paste your idea from our ideas page. We want to see that you've thought through the implementation and possible issues you might encounter along the way. Showing that you understand how your work will fit into Xfce as a whole is a plus. If you aren't yet familiar with the code base in question, say so. And then get yourself over to #xfce and/or the mailing list to find out what you need to do to learn.
  • Your motivation. Why do you want to work on Xfce, and, more specifically, on the particular project idea you've picked? Are you a long-time Xfce user, and it's a deficiency that has always annoyed you but you've never had the time to work on it before? Are you a recent convert from a different desktop environment, and miss some functionality you just can't do without? Let us know why your project is important to you.
  • Your contact information. We may want to ask follow-up questions about your application if we need clarifications or don't understand parts of it. At minimum, include your full name and email address (I assume that Google's application form will require this anyway). If you hang out in #xfce (on Freenode), let us know your IRC nickname.

General Guidelines

  • Be articulate. I understand that many people aren't native English speakers. However, that's no excuse for poor spelling and sloppiness. Use a word processor with a spell checker, and, if possible, a grammar checker. If you're unable to get your ideas across, we aren't going to know what you want to do.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions. You don't have to complete your application in the dark. If you have any questions about your application, just ask on the mailing list. We're not going to proofread your entire application for you, but we'll certainly help where we can.