[webkit-dev] Porting Gtk+WebCore

Kent Sandvik kent.sandvik at gmail.com
Fri Jun 10 02:19:07 PDT 2005

On 6/10/05, Maciej Stachowiak <mjs at apple.com> wrote:

> This is a question that some of us on the Safari/WebKit team have
> thought about, but we're not sure which way to go yet. As I see it,
> there's two basic options:
> A) Use autotools on every possible platform, even Mac OS X. We used
> to do this way long ago towards the start of the project, and over
> time we converted to Xcode because of all the nice things we get from
> it. So in some ways this would be more of a pain for the existing
> WebKit developers at Apple.
> B) Use Xcode projects on OS X, and autotools for ports to more
> traditional unix systems (Linux, FreeBSD, etc). The major downside to
> this is that to make any kind of build change (even just adding a new
> file), you would have to do it twice. And not only that you would
> really need a Mac even if that is not your primary dev platform,
> since the Xcode project file format is not really human-editable.
> We're really not sure yet which of these is better. I think it might
> be best to start with B, and consider converting to A someday if
> there are enough active developers on non-Mac platforms.

Yes, that makes sense. The issue indeed is to keep these two  build
systems in sync, especially in cases where a developer does not have
access to a Mac platform for updating the Xcode projects...

The qmake tool from Trolltech also used to be able to export from a
canonical build-rule format to Makefiles and Xcode project files (at
least when I worked on the Mac side over at Trolltech, don't know how
well they support XCode 2.0/2.1 today.. might work fine). So that's an
option. qmake and SCons are examples of starting from a meta-level
description and build platform-dependent Makefile and project

I don't know of any good and reliable ways to convert back and forth
between GNU automake and XCode projects.


PS: I'm looking at porting WebCore on top of DirectFB/LiTE
(www.directfb.org), been working on LiTE recently to make it a very
quick way to build  toolkits on top of DirecDB, especially for
embedded systems, and WebCore/KWQ would be a nice test ground for it,
would be interesting to look at Qt code for the conversion part, too
-- been a while since I last hacked Qt.

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