Apr 10, 2011

Contributing on Arora browser: QuickView mode

As I announced in the previous post, for the Software Process Management course we have to choose a medium/large opensource project, add a feature and enhance another feature. I decided to perform this project alone and to enforce my C++ knowledge by choosing the Arora project. Arora is a lightweight cross-platform web browser that runs on Linux, embedded Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, Windows, Haiku and any other platforms supported by the Qt toolkit. I really enjoy this browser and its sourcecode, that is readable and supported by many Unittests.

My contribution to the project can be summarized with the sentence “bring more Google Chrome to Arora”.

The addition I am bringing to Arora browser is what I called QuickView mode. QuickView is what in Google Chrome is the “Most Visited” panel, or the “Top Sites” in Apple’s Safari. It uses some statistics applied against the user history and displays the most visited websites (more precisely, the most visited hosts) when the user opens the browser or a new tab.

The feature is complete at 99%, it just needs to be rendered in a more user-friendly way. But the code under the hood is finished. Here is a screenshot of the feature:

There is a little bug with the “trunk” release of Arora under Mac Os X: tabs are too small. It is not my fault. Anyway, the feature is heavily tested using QTestLib framework, therefore it seems quite stable already. I will write more tests before delivering the project to the Professor for evaluation.

My fork of the browser can be found on my GitHub repository BodomLx/arora. I hope that at the end this feature will be integrated in the next release of the browser, with the other feature I will add: a unique toolbar for both visiting websites and searching in search engines.

written by dgraziotin

Dr. Daniel Graziotin received his PhD in computer science, software engineering at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy. His research interests include human aspects in empirical software engineering with psychological measurements, Web engineering, and open science. He researches, publishes, and reviews for venues in software engineering, human-computer interaction, and psychology. Daniel is the founder of the psychoempirical software engineering discipline and guidelines. He is associate editor at the Journal of Open Research Software, academic editor at the Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO) journal, and academic editor at the Open Communications in Computer Science journal. He is the local coordinator of the Italian Open science local group for the Open Knowledge Foundation. He is a member of ACM, SIGSOFT, and IEEE.

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