Version 14 (modified by davea, 14 years ago) (diff)


Development projects

We need volunteers to help with software testing and development. If you have one or more of the relevant technical skills (C++ system programming, PHP/MySQL web development, wxWidgets programming, autoconf/automake expertise, etc.) you may be able to help us maintain and enhance BOINC.

The University of California holds the copyright on all BOINC source code. By submitting contributions to the BOINC code, you irrevocably assign all right, title, and interest, including copyright and all copyright rights, in such contributions to The Regents of the University of California, who may then use the code for any purpose that it desires.

To get started, find a small bug fix or enhancement to do (look at the BOINC bug database, the email lists, or message boards for ideas). Look at the source code and think about how you would implement it. Then communicate with the area owner, sketching what you want to do and how. Work with the the area owner to carry out and check in the work.

The following medium-to-large development projects are available:

  • Applications
    • Write an example compound application (and suggest API revisions to make this easier).
    • Create Makefiles and project files to build the sample applications using MinGW and DevC++.
    • Investigate the crlibm library for generating identical results across processors (or at least reducing the number of cases for HR).
    • Java support: core client checks for the existence of JVM, reports version to scheduler. Write Java wrapper (runs JVM, gives it jar files). Note: Sztaki has already done some part of this.
    • Same, .NET
    • Distributed Python: Borrow or invent a notation for master/slave execution in Python. Develop a system that implements this on BOINC, i.e., creates WUs and applications, and harvests the results.
    • Write example FORTRAN application and Makefiles/ project files
  • Core client:
    • Add a preferences for total download and upload in a month (many Australian ISPs have monthly limits), or per X hours of processing time (see email from Kevin Reed).
    • Have the core client sense CPU temperature and throttle CPU if it goes too high. Open-source software for this (on Linux) is at
    • Windows: get proxy config info directly from the OS
    • After an applications exits or is killed (for whatever reason) make sure (after a few second delay) that its subprocesses are gone too. Don't restart the job until this happens. Unix: use process groups and killpg().
    • More generally: make a better state machine for shutting down apps: tell them to checkpoint, wait a little, tell them to quit, clean up straggler processes.
    • Same, but for suspend: if we tell a client to suspend and it's still using lots of CPU after a few seconds, abort it (or something).
    • Integrate BitTorrent (libtorrent?) with the core client.
    • Do potentially slow RPCs and other tasks (such as computing disk usage) in a separate thread.
    • Don't enforce RAM limits unless free RAM is low
    • Log result start/ends (for use by 3rd-party software like BoincView).
    • Prevent disk space usage from exceeding user preferences, and enforce resource shares, with file deletion according to project policy.
    • Make messages of class MSG_USER_ERROR translatable.
    • GUI RPC to tell apps to checkpoint and quit.
    • Vista: if get 'about to shut down' msg from OS, stop apps immediately (don't tell them to checkpoint). Investigate.
    • XML stats: add lat/long to user record?
  • BOINC Manager:
    • If using an AMS, put link to AMS (or user page) in sys tray popup, elsewhere
    • Properties pages for projects, jobs
    • Turn off alerts (Rom's working on this)
    • Have the Manager do RPCs in a separate thread.
  • Server/Back? End:
    • When using HR, if the scheduler has sent one result of a WU using a particular app version, it should use the same app version for other results from that WU.
    • Implement a mechanism so that server software detects incompatible database format
    • Scheduler: implement mechanisms so that server:
      • Attempts to send results from the same WU to hosts with similar speed, so that a fast host doesn't have to wait weeks to get credit.
    • Implement a 'benchmark result' mechanism: every host runs a benchmark result per app version, and the CPU time determines credit/CPU for future results
  • Web features:
    • User flag: team admin.
    • Team flag: approval required.
    • Groups (sub-teams). New DB table with name, description, team ID, flags, forum ID. Flags:
    • Group membership table.
    • Propagate profiles between projects. When create or edit profile, if attached to other projects, show 'propagate changes' page, with checkboxes for other projects (must have same password on other projects). Add web RPCs for updating profile (args: user ID, profile, password hash). Implement this so that page doesn't block waiting for replies from RPCs. NOTE: this may not be a good idea - spammers could exploit it.
    • Same for forum preferences
    • Combine user page and profile
    • Add new profile features:
      • 'Buddy lists'
      • list of recent posts and threads this person created, on this and other projects
      • other features from social networking sites?
    • Change the ops/ web pages to require login by a user with admin privileges.
    • Add 'referral' mechanism: new user creates account, enters email of 'referrer' (or goes to URL that has it embedded). Give referrer a fraction of credit (or a 1-time bonus). List referrals on user page (show only those still active). Add new referral table to DB.
    • Make it easy for teams to offer a client download that features their skin, and pre-register the user on that team for any projects he attaches to.
    • Change default Q&A page to refer BOINC-specific questions to BOINC web site

Please check with David Anderson before undertaking any of these.