Saturday, December 02, 2017

GSoC 2017 summary

As previously mentioned, wxWidgets has participated in Google Summer of Code again in 2017, after a 2 year hiatus. We had only 2 projects this time, but the good news is that both of them were successful and, as of 15 minutes ago, been merged into Git master and will be available in the upcoming 3.1.1 release.

The first project, by Jose Lorenzo, enhanced wxWebView::RunScript() to allow returning values from JavaScript code executed by this function back to C++. This wasn't a particularly big change, but it is an important one as it makes it possible to write mixed C++/JavaScript applications using wxWidgets for the standard UI parts and wxWebView for richer or more dynamic parts.

The second project, by Prashant Kumar, had a much greater scope and added support for handling gesture events, such as pinch-zoom or double-finger-rotate. This required adding new API covering the quite different native APIs provided by MSW, GTK+ and macOS and implementing it for all these platforms, congratulations to Prashant for getting it all done! The only snag is that we don't really have any multi-touch-capable devices to test this work with, so it's possible that the new code still has some issues -- but, in the best open source tradition, we count on our uses to let us know about them.

Finally, while it doesn't affect wxWidgets users directly, GSoC is also nice because it provides a rare opportunity for different wxWidgets developers to meet together at the mentor summit after its end. And this year this allowed me to finally see Mariano Reingart, who was himself a GSoC student a few years ago and was a mentor this year, in person for the first time ever:

Thanks again to our students and, of course, huge thanks to our mentors: Cătălin Răceanu, Mariano Reingart and Steven Lamerton, as well as to Bryan Petty who took care of all the organisational chores. Finally, we are obviously very grateful to Google itself and the GSoC team there, for making all this possible. We hope to be able to take part in GSoC 2018, which will already start soon, so please help us by spreading the word about this programme among any students you know and let us know if you have any interesting ideas for the student projects.