Google Summer of Code Roundup

Michael Drake tlsa at
Tue Sep 15 11:41:11 BST 2009


As many of you know, NetSurf has participated in Google Summer of Code for
a second consecutive year.  This year we ran three projects which have all
been of great benefit to the project.

  Mark Benjamin

  Mark worked on improving the GTK front end.  As part of his work
  on the GTK front end he has also moved functionality from the RISC OS
  front end to the multi-platform code core, as well as adding new code
  functionality than can be used by any NetSurf front ends.

  New features added include a search bar, improved toolbar, favicon
  support, improved customisation features.  Merging of these
  improvements into NetSurf's trunk code is currently pending a final

  As well as working on the GTK front end and associated core improvements,
  Mark started work on a port to the Windows platform.  The port is
  currently experimental but has already implemented basic browsing

  Paul Blokus

  Paul worked on various core UI functionality.  These include a scrollbar
  widget, a text input widget, a SELECT element menu widget and the
  treeview functionality used to display hotlist, history and cookies, etc.

  Currently the core scrollbar widget, the text input widget, and the core
  SELECT element menu have been merged into the trunk codebase.
  The scrollbar widget is used on web pages for handling of the CSS
  overflow property, and fixes various issues with the old scrollbar code.
  The core SELECT widget code is now available to front ends that do not
  use a native menu for the presentation of SELECT options.
  The text input widget code is currently unused by the core, but it will
  eventually replace the existing HTML form textarea and text input
  handling.  The existing textarea implementation has always been a bit
  flaky from a users perspective and made various developments difficult
  from a programmers point of view.

  Work on the treeview code has removed its dependence on RISC OS, and
  moved the treeview based functionality (including the hotlist, global
  history and cookie display) from the RISC OS front end to the multi-
  platform core.  In addition the treeview API has been redesigned so
  that the treeview is simpler to work with.

  Paul has implemented a GTK front end for the core treeview.  The Amiga
  front end has also been updated to use the core treeview.  Merging the
  treeview work into the trunk is currently pending work to make the
  RISC OS front end use the core treeviews, rather than the old RISC OS
  specific treeviews, as well as a final review.

  Bo Yang

  Bo has worked on the LibDOM project.  This is a Document Object Model
  library that will eventually be used by NetSurf.  Implementing the DOM
  is a huge job and over the summer Bo has worked on both the Core and
  Events DOM modules, and also started on the HTML module.  He has
  implemented a system for converting and running an automated DOM test

  Both the Core and Events modules support most of the commonly used APIs.
  The rest have stub inplementations that do nothing right now and can be
  fixed as they're needed.  The implementations of these modules have been
  merged into trunk. The HTML module is only part complete.

  The implementation of LibDOM is one of the key stepping stones towards
  the long-term goal of adding full JavaScript support to NetSurf, so this
  work is essential in achieving our plans for the future.

  In the shorter term, we hope that using LibDOM in NetSurf will enable
  greater efficiency in the browser and hopefully speed up and simplify
  certain aspects of NetSurf's behaviour.


NetSurf was blessed to be able to participate in Google Summer of Code for
a second year.  Our three students were all enthusiastic, intelligent,
helpful and understanding.  Materially, they have all done great work which
represents an enormous boon for the project.  And we're always on the
lookout for enormous boons!

Thanks to our three students for their work and to the developers who
helped with the mentoring process.  Many thanks also to Leslie Hawthorn
and the rest of the Google Summer of Code team for an excellent and most
beneficial programme.

The NetSurf Developers


Michael Drake (tlsa)        

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