Version 16 (modified by Russell Keith-Magee, 9 years ago) (diff)

Elaboration of #3011

Google's Summer of Code 2010

Django is once again applying to be a sponsoring organization for the 2010 Google Summer of Code. (Read Google's page for more information on how the program works.)

Django's SoC program is being run by Jannis Leidel (jannis /at/ leidel /dot/ info).


If you're interested in mentoring -- supervising a student in work on Django-related activities -- add your name and email here:

  • Jannis Leidel (jannis /at/ leidel /dot/ info)
  • Russell Keith-Magee (russell@…)
  • Ville Säävuori (ville@syneus dot fi)
  • Greg Wilson (gvwilson@…)
  • Your Name (Your Email)


Student applications open March 29 and end on April 9.

If you'd like to get started on your proposal early, we'll be looking for a few things.

  • You'll need to have a concrete task in mind (some ideas are below) along with a solid idea of what will constitute "success" (you tell us).
  • If your proposal is a single large feature, you'll need to present a detailed design specification. This proposal should be posted to django-developers, where it can be refined until it is accepted by the developer community.
  • We'll want to know a bit about you -- links to previous work are great, if any. If you're proposing something ambitious, you'll need to convince us that you're up to the task.
  • You'll also need to provide us with a schedule, including a detailed work breakdown and major milestones so your mentor can know if and when to nag you :)

Note that none of the ideas below are good enough to be submissions in their own right (so don't copy and paste)! We'll want to know not just what you want to do but how you plan to pull it off.

Don't feel limited to the ideas below -- if you've got a cool project you want to work on, we'll probably be able to find you a mentor. We plan on approving as many projects as we possibly can.

Note: we're looking for projects that add value to Django itself - not application/CMS projects that use Django.

You should also note that as far as proposals go, we don't make a distinction between a GSoC project and any other proposal for a new feature. When you contribute code, you will be expected to adhere to the same contribution guidelines as any other code contributor. This means you will be expected to provide extensive tests and documentation for any feature you add, you will be expected to participate in discussion on django-developers when your topic of interest is raised. If you're not already familiar with Django's contribution guidelines, now would be a good time to read them.


The django-gsoc Google Group has been setup to facilitate communication between students and mentors in the GSoC efforts. This list should only be used for GSoC administrative matters. Any discussions on the specifics of a given proposal should be directed to django-developers.


Here are some suggestions for projects students may want to propose (lazyweb: please add to this list!). This isn't by any means the be-all and end-all of ideas; please feel free to submit proposals for things not on this list. However, if you're going to propose something that isn't on this list, you might want to check on django-developers to see if there is any interest before you start drafting a full proposal.

When developing your proposal, try to scope ideas/proposals to the 4-month timeline -- simply proposing to fix a ticket or two will probably result in your proposal being rejected in favor of a more ambitious one. The GSoC does not cover activities other than coding, so certain ideas ("Write a more detailed tutorial" or "Create demonstration screencasts" or "Add a pony?") are not suitable for inclusion here.

On the other side, though, be sure to be concrete in your proposal. We'll want to know what your goals are, and how you plan to accomplish them.

In no particular order:

Template compilation

  • Complexity: High

A common criticism of Django's template language is that it is too slow. One reason for this is that the rendering process is handled at a very high level, interpreting a tree of tree nodes that have been generated by parsing the template source file.

Other Python-based template languages gain significant speedups by compiling templates directly to Python bytecode. A Django template compiler would allow for similar templating speedups.

Issues to consider:

  • How does Django's template variable scoping rules map to a compilation scheme?
  • Django Template tags are able to modify the context as the template is rendered. How does this affect the compilation process?
  • How should we handle the upgrade path when compiled templates are added to trunk?

See also:

Enhanced auth.user

  • Complexity: High

One of the most class of questions on django-users surrounds issues of customizing Django's User model:

  • How can I use an email address as a username?
  • I want to use Twitter/OAuth/Facebook to login - why can't I leave the username field empty?
  • How can I make the username field X characters longer/shorter?
  • How can I allow [insert random character] in usernames?
  • How can I have a single "name" field instead of "first_name"/"last_name"?

At present, there is no easy answer to these questions. Use of Django User model is not mandatory, but it is a dependency for a lot of Django applications. It is possible to do some of these customizations, but it's not trivial to do so.

Ticket #3011 describes one approach that has been rejected - the idea of a 'pluggable' User model. However, the general problem remains.

Note: This isn't a problem with a trivial solution, and it isn't a problem where we will take the first proposal we see. A successful proposal on this project will require extensive discussion on django-developers.

Issues to consider:

  • How can we represent the generic idea of a User without reducing the user table to little more than an identifying primary key?
  • How can we differentiate the ideas of identity, permission and authentication?
  • How can we manage the dependencies that exist in contrib.admin (and other parts of Django core and Django.contrib) that rely on the internals of auth.User as currently implemented?
  • How can we roll out a new/modified User model without requiring almost every Django application on the planet to undergo a complex database modification?

See also:

  • Discussions on django-users when users have asked the "how do I" questions
  • The [source:django/trunk/django/template django.contrib.auth code module]


  • A big housekeeping run. Formalize and document the stable parts of _meta; Cleanup of error messages (BetterErrorMessages and #3349 for ideas); profile the test suite looking for low hanging optimizations.

Improve annotation and aggregation

  • Improvements to annotation/aggregation: string concatentation, date operations, annotation of non-aggregate results, etc

Customizable serialization

  • Customizable Serialization. Define a class-based structure that allows users to define their own serialization format (including different output structure, including non-model fields, etc). Define Django's own serializers in that format.

App loading

  • Refactoring of the app loading mechanism (ref. #3591)

IPv6 support

  • Implement proper IPv6 support in django (ref. #11442, #7735, +++)

Testing updates

  • Update Django's system tests -- migrate Doctests to UnitTests, and merge the modeltests and regressiontests directories.
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