[[!meta author="James Bursa"]]
Basic requirements for GSoC students
Students are expected to work a "standard" work week. Anything above
that is fine too, but we expect a commitment similar to normal
employment. After all, Google are paying for your time.
Expectations for communications
The NetSurf team use IRC, so you will be expected to be on \#netsurf on
Freenode and communicate there.
Each week, (or more often if suitable) you are expected to send a report
to your mentor indicating what you have achieved, what you intend to
achieve over the coming week, and anything which is blocking you from
proceeding. Your mentor will then post to the netsurf-dev mailing list
providing a redux of this information suitable for others.
If you have any issues with anyone else, you are expected to take it up
with your mentor, or if the issue is with your mentor, with one of the
other mentors in the project. The mentors are: John-Mark Bell (jmb),
Michael Drake (tlsa), Rob Kendrick (rjek) and Daniel Silverstone
Who to talk to
Your mentor is your first point of call for anything directly related to
the running of GSoC. They are the person responsible for your midterm
and final assessment and you should be using them for this.
For queries about your actual project work, you are encouraged to ask
for advice or help on the IRC channel or mailing list. Generally the IRC
channel is most suitable for but for involved questions or issues that
require a lot of planning, use the netsurf-dev mailing list. This allows
the entire NetSurf team to help and advise you.
Sometimes we may ask you to work something out for yourself, not out of
spite or laziness, but to encourage you to learn more for yourself. GSoC
is not just a chance to make money, but a chance for you to learn new
skills and to interact with other ways of developing software.
How to work
In terms of your work environment, we recommend that you have a well-lit
comfortable place to work, and that you isolate it from your normal home
computing environment in the sense that if you normally have hundreds of
IRC channels open, browse tens of websites etc, you try not to during
your "work day" -- we're not saying you can't enjoy yourself, just that
the fewer distractions, the easier you will find it to begin with.
We recommend that you don't have the television or a talk-radio station
on while working. Music however is fine and often encouraged.
You will be given a branch space on our Subversion repository. It will
be in /branches/<yourname> and you will have total control over that
part of the repository. You are encouraged to make feature branches and
to request that your mentor review and merge them regularly. Ideally you
will make a branch, implement one feature (or one packet of work towards
a feature) and get it reviewed and merged. Then make a new branch and
work on the next bit.
This sounds a little long-winded, but it means that we don't get huge
merge jobs at the end of GSoC, but still fulfils the requirements that
we have to provide to Google your work so that they can see that you
didn't cheat them out of their money.
You are encouraged to commit early and often to your branch. Changes you
make will be sent to the public commits list, so be sensible in your
commit logs. Regular smaller commits will allow the team to review your
code in-flight and suggest improvements or ideas which might mean you
waste less time writing something which ultimately isn't suitable.