Application instructions for students
Updated 780 Days AgoPublic

Here Wayland covers not only Wayland (libraries) but also Weston, Wayland-protocols and possibly other things Wayland. However, we prefer desktop environment (DE) specific projects to take part with the relevant DE organisation for GSoC.

While you don't have to be a proven developer, any experience in coding and/or with graphics is always welcome.

You should start familiarising yourself with the components that you plan on working on before the start date. Wayland developers are available on IRC and the mailing list for help. Note that the timeline from Google reserves a lot of time for bonding periods: use those periods wisely.

General instructions

First of all, please read the instructions common to all participants and the GSoC FAQ. Pay special attention to the Eligibility section of the FAQ.

Recommended steps

  1. Read the Google manual for students and the Contribution guide for Wayland
  2. Take a look at the list of ideas
  3. Come up with project that you're interested in and make a small contribution before the application deadline
  4. Write a first draft proposal and get someone to review it for you
  5. Submit it using Google's web interface

Coming up with an interesting idea is probably the most difficult part of all. It should be something interesting for Wayland, for Open Source in general and the Linux/Unix desktop or embedded graphics in particular and for you. And it also has to be something that you can realistically achieve in the time available to you.

Finding out what the most pressing issues are in the projects you're interested in is a good start. You can optionally join the mailing lists for that project or go into its IRC channel: you can make acquaintance with developers and your potential mentor, as well as start learning the codebase. We recommend strongly doing that and we will look favourably on applications from students who have started to act like Open Source developers.

Student proposal guidelines

A project proposal is what you will be judged upon. So, as a general recommendation, write a clear proposal on what you plan to do, what your project is and what it is not, etc. Several websites now contain hints and other useful information on writing up such proposals.

Wayland does not require a specific format or specific list of information, but here are some specific points that you should address in your application:

  • Who are you?
  • What exactly do you intend to do? What will not be done?
  • Why are you the right person for this task?
  • To what extent are you familiar with the software you're proposing to work with? Have you used it? Have you read the source? Have you modified the source?
  • How many hours are you going to work on this a week? 10? 20? 30? 40?
  • Do you have other commitments that we should know about? If so, please suggest a way to compensate if it will take much time away from Summer of Code.
  • Are you comfortable working independently under a supervisor or mentor who is several thousand miles away, not to mention 12 time zones away? How will you work with your mentor to track your work? Have you worked in this style before?
  • If your native language is not English, are you comfortable working closely with a supervisor whose native language is English? What is your native language, as that may help us find a mentor who has the same native language?
  • Where do you live, and can we assign a mentor who is local to you so you can meet in a coffee shop for lunch?
  • After you have written your proposal, you should get it reviewed. Do not rely on the Wayland mentors to do it for you via the web interface: they will only send back a proposal if they find it lacking. Instead, ask a colleague or a developer to do it for you.


Submit your proposal early: early submissions get more attention from developers for the simple fact that they have more time to dedicate to reading them.

Keep it simple: we don't need a 10-page essay on the project and on you (Google won't even let you submit a text that long). You just need to be concise and precise.

Know what you are talking about: the last thing we need is for students to submit ideas that cannot be accomplished realistically or ideas that aren't even remotely related to Wayland. If your idea is unusual, be sure to explain why you have chosen Wayland to be your mentoring organisation.

Aim wide: submit more than one proposal, to different areas of Wayland. We also recommend submitting to more than one organisation too. This will increase your chances of being chosen.


This document is licensed under the Creative Commons License SA 4.0 and is based on the KDE application instructions because they're pretty epic.

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