Google funding offered to NetSurf projectPublished: 17th Mar 2008, 20:07:56 | Permalink | Printable
Web browser accepted into Google Summer of Code 2008 schemeWeb giant Google is set to pay programmers to work on and improve NetSurf this summer. The web browser project was today accepted into the Google Summer of Code 2008 scheme, which promotes and funds open source software development. It's hoped the move will dramatically boost the profile of NetSurf, sparking further development of the freely available application.
Projects, such as NetSurf, are invited each year to enter Google's summer coding programme with a list of ideas for future development. Budding computer boffins can then apply to take up the todo lists and, if accepted, are paid by the search engine giant for their work. NetSurf, a web browser developed initially for RISC OS but has since sprouted various platform ports, was officially welcomed into Google's 2008 scheme, and university students have until March 31 to apply to take part. The final results are announced on April 14.
The NetSurf team's list of potential summer work includes a new CSS engine, native Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X ports, support for keyboard navigation, improved printing support, a PDF export function, support for sight-impaired people with a text-to-speech engine, CSS dynamic pseudo class support, pulling the RISC OS user interface code into a library for use with other projects, extracting the web browser core into a portable library, improved inline element handling and and improved GTK user interface. Students can opt to offer their own feature ideas.
NetSurf GTK developer Rob Kendrick said: "Many, many students will be interested in participating in Google Summer of Code, more than there are places. So we're likely to get people be interested in us. On the bright side, this advertises NetSurf no end."
NS contributors John-Mark Bell, John Tytgat, James Bursa and Rob are set to act as mentors for the student or students given the green light to work on the web browser over the summer, guiding the paid contributors on how best to implement new features and understand the existing source code.
According to Google, its summer coding programme has involved more than 1,500 students in over 130 open source projects, creating millions of lines of code. The NetSurf project came to life in April 2002 and after five years of development, the first stable version of the browser was released at the Wakefield 2007 RISC OS show. The latest version, NetSurf 1.1, was released for RISC OS as well as Debian GNU/Linux in August last year.
The project was one of 175, out of 505 projects that applied to Google, to make it into GSoC 2008.
NetSurf website - its GSoC ideas
The Google Summer of Code 2008 website
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