1. SEO (Google Sitemaps / Adwords)
Improve SilverStripe's already good SEO capabilities by adding Google Sitemaps support. This would provide an accurate gzipped sitemap XML file driven from the MySQL database, ensuring that large sitemaps are quick to produce and do not act to burden a SilverStripe server. It would automatically notify Google of changes performed by the CMS or on the website itself (e.g. if someone adds a forum topic). The CMS would also be extended so that you can do basic configuration (e.g. you might want to exclude some pages from the sitemap, set update frequency, or preferred domain).
Assuming you make good headway, you'd move onto Adwords integration. Using Google APIs, you'd make it convienient to manage aspects of your campaigns from within the CMS. For instance if you had a website about native trees, you could mark particular pages of your website to be sponsored links for "pohutukawa trees" in Google searches.
These would become a standard feature of SilverStripe. Supporting our focus on usability, they must require as little configuration to work other than intuitively prompting for a necessary Google Account login. This idea would require basic PHP5/MySQL knowledge, and to learn the SilverStripe framework.
2. Google Maps
3. CMS Usability
In late 2006, we commissioned a Usability Report (50 page PDF). It has been the source for many improvements already found in the current v2.0.0 release, and will continue to define how we make our product better over the next year. You will be speeding up performing the report's suggestions, and reversing the norm that open source products suffer from poor usability.
4. OpenID authentication
Allow authentication via OpenID. This would allow people to perform tasks on SilverStripe sites with having identified themselves as an Open ID account holder. This could be to blog, access private content, buy products, join mailing lists, access forums, or even log into the CMS. This helps with our aim to make life easy for visitors to websites powered by SilverStripe, because it is more likely for people to have an OpenID account than a username/password for a specific single SilverStripe-powered website. (Don't you hate it when you see an interesting forum post but you need to sign up for that forum on top of the other 100 you already belong to, just for 1 or 2 posts?) This would require a moderate knowledge of PHP5. An interest in web-based APIs and security would be helpful.
5. Mash Ups
We'd love to make it dead simple for a SilverStripe website to be able to take popular sources of information (flickr, youtube, wordpress blogs, etc) so that we support and engage with them rather than compete. For instance, flickr is a great place to store (and promote) your photos, so why not stick your photos there and be able to randomly show a photo or have a full gallery on your SilverStripe. This task would require good programming skills but first and foremost, a really good sense of website innovation.
We're already underway for making SilverStripe support multiple languages, based on requests in our forum and offers to provide translations. You could either help out with completing the framework for i18n, or contribute foreign language translations.
How Do I Apply?
You must submit an inspiring application between March 14-26 which Google and SilverStripe jointly review. (See full timeline and program process). This year is expected to similiarly competitive as last year (6000 applications for the 600 project spots), so you should read the student application tips. In addition to great programming abilities, we are looking for passion in interface design and innovation. You are also doing yourself a favour by demonstrating that you would stay a long term contributor to SilverStripe past your project.
If you have other project ideas, or questions relating to Summer of Code in relation to SilverStripe, definately get in touch. Use the blog below, email email@example.com, or skype sigurdmagnusson to quickly run high-level ideas by if you wish. Please note you must use the normal process for submitting your detailed final application.
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