Over the years Google Summer of Code (GSoC) has resulted in some really great projects in the X.Org ecosystem from work in the early days on the open-source Radeon graphics driver stack to VKMS more recently to many other improvements especially as it pertains to open-source graphics drivers / Mesa. But for Google Summer of Code 2021 at least, the organization will not be participating.
With rare exceptions, the X.Org Foundation has been a regular fixture of GSoC for as long as Google has been putting it on for more than one decade. It’s resulted in many great contributions not only about the X.Org Server but the X.Org Foundation / FreeDesktop.org ecosystem to the likes of Mesa, Wayland, input, and more.
But as reported on back in January, for Google Summer of Code 2021, Google basically halved the time requirements and stipend. Their justification that it’s due to COVID-19 times is a bit awkward considering many have extra time on their hands while isolating at home, virtual schooling, etc. At this point it’s not clear if Google will continue this lightened, less rigorous GSoC program beyond this year.
In any case, with students are only expected to work on a summer project for about 175 hours rather than 350 hours as it’s been in prior years. For fairly technical projects like what the X.Org Foundation encompasses, it makes things more difficult to manage unless the student is voluntarily engaging more to get big ticket work accomplished as there are less projects that are suitable for that expedited timeframe.
So the X.Org Foundation had been mulling if it even made sense applying for GSoC 2021 due to the changes, but now with not even finding any developers willing to serve as mentors for this year’s Google Summer of Code, the foundation didn’t even submit an application.
So as outlined at the latest X.Org board meeting, they will not be participating in this year’s Google Summer of Code. Too bad as there is always much work that can be made to the open-source graphics stack and many former GSoC X.Org students have quickly found employment afterwards as a result of their experience.