NetSurf bags GBP10K investment from GooglePublished: 21st Apr 2008, 21:03:12 | Permalink | Printable
Four uni coders lined up to improve web browserWeb giant Google confirmed this evening it will stump up $20,000 to pay for four undergraduate programmers to work on the NetSurf project this summer.
More than two dozen students from around the globe applied to work on the open source web browser after the project was accepted into Google's Summer of Code 2008 scheme. Four were this evening confirmed after the NetSurf developers spent the weekend whittling submissions from students down to a shortlist of six before finally settling on their preferred four programmers to contribute to the software.
Google says it will, on successful completion of the work, pay out $4,500 to each student while four members of the present NetSurf team will get $500 each to act as mentors. The cash grant comes to just over 10,000 quid in real money. The lucky university undergraduates will spend until August 18 working on the following:
• Adam Blokus will work on adding PDF export support to the browser and printing support to the GTK port of NetSurf with the help of mentor John Tytgat.
• Sean Fox will break up the NetSurf core into separate libraries to aid future development with the help of mentor James Bursa.
• William Michael Lester will improve the user interface of the GTK port with the help of mentor Rob Kendrick.
• And Andrew Sidwell will work on a bang up-to-date HTML engine (enabling more reliable processing of bad-written websites among other features) with the help of mentor John-Mark Bell.
It's hoped NetSurf's participation in the Google Summer of Code scheme will massively boost its profile and help it net more contributions from programmers beyond the RISC OS arena. 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 as a native RISC OS web browser 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.
John Tytgat said this evening: "This is the first year that NetSurf has participated in GSoC and quite frankly we were amazed by the number submissions from students and by their quality."
Rob Kendrick added: "We had many good applications we would have loved to have accepted but there are only four mentors and all of which in full-time employment or study themselves. It was difficult choosing the final four."
Google Summer of Code 2008 page - the NetSurf projects
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