[webkit-dev] Porting WebKit to PalmOS

Krzysztof Kowalczyk kkowalczyk at gmail.com
Sun Feb 12 23:01:35 PST 2006

On 2/12/06, Donald C. Kirker <dkirker at wapuniverse.com> wrote:
> That is why I  want to port the Apple WebKit over to the PalmOS.

Not to discourage you, since everthing is possible, but based on my
experience of writing lots of Palm OS code, Palm OS port will be hard.

The first obstacle will be the compiler. WebKit is very heavy on
advanced C++ features to the point that many C++ compilers simply
can't compile the code. On Palm you have a choice between abandoned
Metrowerks compiler or (also abandoned) gcc based on 2.53 or 3.3.1.
Most likely both those compilers will have problems even compiling
WebKit. In which case you'll have to either re-write the code in a way
that is acceptable to the compiler or port the prc-tools patches to a
newer version of gcc. Neither is simple or fun.

And after you submit compiler to your will, you'll still have to deal
with incredibly weak operating system (small amounts of dynamic
memory, poor support for runing native ARM code etc.)

But again, don't take it as discouragement. Personally I would love to
see WebKit ported to Palm and I think it would be tremendous

To offer some helpful (hopefully) advice:

* you should probably start by porting just JavaScriptCore - it's
stand-alone piece of code and simpler to port than the
layout/rendering part. You'll probably have to disable threads (given
that Palm OS doesn't have them (at least not exposed)).

* you'll have to go ARM native. See the sources of
http://www.sealiesoftware.com/pssh/ and  tcpmp (it's gpl but you have
to ask for the source
Those two program are examples of large, mostly-ARM applications for
Palm and the techniques they use to achieve that might be applicable
to WebKit port

Krzysztof Kowalczyk | http://blog.kowalczyk.info

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