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      1 Project ideas
      2 =============
      3 Please read our [philosophy](/philosophy) for background information.
      5 Peer review
      6 -----------
      7 The community will act as a rigid reviewer of the progress.
      9 General ideas
     10 -------------
     11 Our project ideas in general intend to focus on our innovative development
     12 environment from bare hardware to the graphical interface.
     14 * Idiomatic interfaces for developers (such as more advanced concepts for mail
     15   clients, messaging clients, music players, text editors).
     16 * Simple protocol interfaces for developers.
     17 * General userland enhancements to UNIX-like operating systems.
     18 * Foundations of a new windowing system for UNIX-like operating systems.
     19 * Improvements to our existing software projects and infrastructure.
     20 * Replacements of bloated existing software and libraries in a suckless way.
     23 Current small tasks
     24 -------------------
     25 * Write a gopher back-end using build-page.c:
     26   <>
     27   This should use the geomyidae gopher server and the gph output format.
     28   Difficulty: medium-rare.
     29 * Fix broken patches on the wiki. Difficulty: trivial-medium.  
     30   See: <>
     31 * Fix broken links on the wiki. Difficulty: trivial.  
     32   See: <>
     33 * Fix typos and formatting errors on the wiki. Difficulty: trivial.
     36 Concrete ideas
     37 --------------
     38 The listed ideas generally require good knowledge of C and experience with
     39 UNIX-like operating systems. The difficulty ranges from medium to high.
     42 ### Suckless font rendering library
     44 There is libdrw in suckless now, which still uses xft and fontconfig.
     45 Fontconfig and xft are ugly and require too much internal knowledge to be
     46 useful. The next logical layer evolved as pango and cairo. Both of course added
     47 HTML formatting and vector drawing. This is not needed to simply draw some text
     48 somewhere. And this is what a suckless font rendering library should do: Give
     49 it a font string and render at some position the given font without having to
     50 care about font specifics.
     52 ***Requirements:*** C knowledge, some X11 knowledge and of course knowledge
     53 about the font formats and how to handle them.
     56 ### Write ld wrapper or replacement for static linking
     58 The GNU autotools such as automake and autoconf are completely unusable in
     59 non-chroot'ed cross-compile environments and often completely fail to produce
     60 statically linked libraries or executables. Also they are extremely slow and
     61 bloated.
     63 The stali build system is not using autotools for good reason, however many
     64 UNIX/Linux open source packages do. To create statically linked libraries out
     65 of the ld arguments we need an ld wrapper or re-implementation that creates
     66 static libraries or executables. This would enable us to build static libraries
     67 and executables out of any automake generated makefiles without the need to
     68 write make replacements or patching the build system of a particular package.
     70 The ld wrapper needs to be extended to also link against uclibc first and if
     71 that fails to fallback to glibc, in order to produce smaller executables in the
     72 general case.
     74 ***Requirements:*** Good C/UNIX knowledge is essential, knowledge about
     75 linking/linker internals are desirable.
     78 ### Write a decent mailing list Web archive system
     80 All web archive systems such as hypermail, pipermail, etc. have plenty
     81 drawbacks and are quite out-dated. This task requires to write a completely new
     82 web mailing list archiving tool that follows the thread view concepts found in
     83 the mutt MUA and which is designed with low footprint and efficiency in mind.
     85 We expect this tool as a stand-alone UNIX tool written in C or shell. To get
     86 started you could use [Dovecot]( to produce a sanitized
     87 structure:
     89 	printf "1 select inbox\n2 thread references us-ascii all\n3 fetch 1:*
     90 	envelope\n4 logout\n" |
     91 	/usr/local/libexec/dovecot/imap  2>/dev/null
     93 * <>
     95 ***Requirements:*** Good C/Shell/HTML knowledge would be desirable. Must not
     96 use JavaScript.
     99 ### Write cookie handler for surf
    101 The biggest disadvantage of [surf](// is sloppy cookie
    102 handling. libwebkit and libsoup (which are used for HTTP) were never designed
    103 to run in multiple processes simultaneously.
    105 This task requires writing a new cookie handler in surf which:
    107 * creates a nice human-readable cookie file
    108 * is able to run in multiple concurrent processes
    110 ***Requirements:*** Good knowledge of C and POSIX file locking. Basic knowledge
    111 of GTK and its other evil friends.
    114 ### Gopher services
    116 Gopher is a sane protocol which has hierarchy in its design. It allows the
    117 abstraction of a mass of information in a filesystem. The goal of this meta
    118 project is to find ideas how to implement gopher services to easily access the
    119 web and new information.
    121 See the
    122 [protocol]( for
    123 how easy it is to write a `menu`, which can be seen as a directory.
    125 * [](
    126 * [gopher proxy](
    127 * [Gopher wikipedia article](
    128 * [geomyidae](
    130 Anyone creating a gopher interface to will get a bonus.
    132 ***Requirements:*** Just some shell scripting and a way to setup a gopher
    133 daemon is required. Everyone can do this.
    136 ### A sane backend for surf
    138 There is dillo, netsurf and abaco which implement HTML. The problem is
    139 JavaScript and extensions to replace webkit as the big dependency hell for web
    140 rendering in surf.
    142 If you prepare to work on this project, plan ahead in recruiting more
    143 developers. You will need them.
    145 ***Requirements:*** Very good C knowledge, a very good knowledge in web
    146 standards and how to strip them down to the suckless level. ***Difficulty
    147 level:*** Probably impossible.