Summer Of Code 2006 – Six Months On

Six months ago, the Google Summer of Code 2006 finished, and the twelve Mozilla-related projects submitted their final reports. Just as after the 2005 SoC, I’ve spent some time looking into the current status of all the projects, and thought I would share those results with you.

I should say before I start that the following assessment is just how I see it, sometimes based on limited information. People with better knowledge should feel free to ask me to make corrections.

Name Student Mentor Story Mentor Happy? Current Status Code useful to Mozilla? Student Still Involved?
Mozilla and D-BUS Integration Christophe Nowicki Darin Fisher This student produced progress reports on his blog, and seemed to get started, but it all got a bit bogged down. There is code available, but not much evidence that it does anything useful. Yes Stalled; code is here Not really No
Implementation of APNG Andrew Smith Vladimir Vukicevic This student worked on and implemented animated PNG, to the satisfaction of all concerned. Yes Integrated into trunk on 2007-03-20 (bug 257197) Yes Yes
Rewrite of Cairo’s 2D rendering library Eric M. Hielscher Stuart Parmenter This project changed course mid-stream, rather – the end result was an AGG surface backend for Cairo.
Student site.
Yes In Cairo GIT, maintained by Vlad Unknown No
Develop JS libraries for common Thunderbird tasks Oren Nachman David Bienvenu This student made some improvements to Thunderbird to ease the lives of extension developers. Example bug, student site/final report. Yes Code checked in Yes Unknown
Enhanced Page Info window Florian Queze Mike Beltzner This work went well (log of work done), but got stalled for a long time on UI review. Yes Very nearly integrated into trunk (bug 339102) Yes Yes
XUL editor plugin for Eclipse Lian Liming Benjamin Smedberg This student discovered that the underlying Eclipse technologies also needed work, which added more effort. But an alpha version was produced. Student home page. There has been no work done since the end of the SoC. Yes Alpha code available here Probably not in its current state No
Thunderbird spam filter testing and improvements Anthony Urso Scott MacGregor The mentor was positive about the experience but the student seemed less so. Most of the interaction was private and so I can’t find records or the final code to make a judgement. Yes Unknown – I can’t find the code Possibly No
Giving web developers a better JavaScript debugging experience Gijs Kruitbosch Mike Shaver This student did a great deal of work to improve JavaScript debugging both with Venkman and Firebug. Status page. Yes Integrated into trunk Venkman and latest Firebug Yes Yes (but was already a developer)
Improvements to the Camino tabbed browsing experience Desmond Elliott Mike Pinkerton This student did a solid job implementing various tabbed browing improvements in Camino. Tracking bug, final report. Yes Integrated into trunk Camino (not 1.x branch) Yes Yes
CZilla Translator – tool to manage translation of Firefox, Thunderbird and extensions Jan Matousek Zbigniew Braniecki This one never really got off the ground; the student had a busy personal life, and the student and mentor had communication difficulties. No No code to speak of No Yes, in Czech community
Glitz improvements Daniel Amelang Vladimir Vukicevic Exams and illness meant that this student didn’t even get started by the midterm evaluation. No No code came out of the SoC No Yes – Daniel is now part of the Cairo community
ZipWriter Lan Qiang Benjamin Smedberg This student did not communicate well with his mentor, who felt that the quantity of work was not all that it should have been. No Code is in Bugzilla and on his own site, but was not of usable quality at the end of the SoC. Not in its current state Now involved in another open source project

Note the massive contrast with 2005, when all ten projects basically failed. Of the 12 projects from 2006, 9 had happy mentors at the end, 5 had code which was immediately and directly useful to the project, and several people are still part of either the Mozilla or another open source community. Let’s hope this improving trend continues in 2007.

2 thoughts on “Summer Of Code 2006 – Six Months On

  1. One more data point:

    I didn’t participate in SoC but I did participate in a similar program last summer. I had three work items: bug 18333, bug 31961 and bug 332912.

    Bug 18333 got checked it in late January. The check-in caused regressions that I was not around to fix. However, I think it would be fair to say that the code was useful.

    The two other bugs were failures. My code was not wanted.

    I continue to be involved with Mozilla but I am not working on Firefox.

  2. Henri: I really appreciated the implementation of incremental XML rendering. It’s been something that bugged me (on a this-should-be-fixed rather than a this-interferes-with-my-day-to-day-stuff basis) for a while. I used to read your log thing every week (was disappointed when I visited one Monday and it wasn’t up yet).

    I couldn’t really see huge value in the default text size zoom. I can appreciate that it was an interesting challenge but I’m not convinced it was better than the existing zooming functionality.

    I don’t know enough about Mac clipboard internals to comment on that.

    However, I think it’s harsh on yourself to refer to the other two bugs as failures. You wrote code, it worked and hopefully you benefited from the experience.