GSoC 2016: Introduction

My name is Gabriel Ivașcu and I am a third year student at University Politehnica of Bucharest pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.

Ever since I joined university and got introduced to Linux I immediately became an avid fan of free and open source software, my passion evolving constantly since then. I’ve been using GNOME under Fedora as my standard desktop environment for about two years now.

I started contributing to GNOME in October 2015 with the help of my colleague and friend, Iulian Radu, a former participant of GSoC 2015 program and also a current participant in the 2016 edition. I worked mainly on Nibbles, Iulian’s 2015 project, and, later in February, we also began contributing to Web (a.k.a. Epiphany) under the guidance of Michael Catanzaro, our current mentor, who was kind enough to accept mentoring two projects this year.

Regarding my project, the ultimate goal is to introduce a session sync feature to GNOME Web. Session sync is an already present feature in many other popular web browsers such as Firefox, Chrome and Safari, which Epiphany lacks. As stated on the ideas page, the aim is to provide a simple and easy way for users to synchronize their bookmarks, history, saved passwords and open tabs between multiple devices.

Between Mozilla and OwnCloud, together with my mentor we concluded that Mozilla is a better option because it would allow users to seamlessly sync data with Firefox with only a Firefox account, no configuration required (OwnCloud would require the users to set up their own server). Yet Mozilla imposes a rather complex protocol that FxA clients need to use in order to communicate with the FxA server. Since implementing this protocol would require a considerable amount of work that I probably won’t have enough time left to finish all forms of sync (bookmarks, history, passwords, open tabs) my mentor agreed that I should focus on getting the protocol work and only implement bookmarks sync for the moment. Having a working form of bookmarks sync as reference, adding the extras at a later time would be relatively easy.

Due to my exams session between May 28 and June 17 I intend to start my work earlier during the Community Bonding period so I can cover the time lost with my unavailability during my exams.

I am very excited to be part of this and I hope good things will come out. Looking forward to the summer!

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