Perl and Python are available on the Hurd, but there are still test suite failures. These could be caused by problems in the system-specific implementation bits of Perl/Python, and/or shortcomings in the actual system functionality which Perl/Python depends on.
The student applying for this project can pick either Perl or Python, whichever he is more comfortable with. (Perl is higher priority though; and there are more failures too.)
The goal then is to fix all of the problems with the chosen language if possible, or at least some of them. Some issues might require digging quite deep into Hurd internals, while others are probably easy to fix.
Note that while some Perl/Python knowledge is probably necessary to understand what the test suite failures are about, the actual work necessary to fix these issues is mostly C programming -- in the implementation of Perl/Python and/or the Hurd.
Possible mentors: Samuel Thibault (youpi)
Exercise: Take a stab at one of the testsuite failures, and write a minimal testcase exposing the underlying problem. Actually fixing it would be a bonus of course -- but as it's hard to predict which issues will be easy and which will be tricky, we will already be satisfied if the student makes a good effort. (We hope to see some discussion of the problems in this case though )