[webkit-dev] Greetings

Rob Burns robburns1 at mac.com
Sat Jul 22 00:47:12 PDT 2006

Hello All,

Not sure how active this list is, but I thought I'd introduce myself.  
I've been browsing the WebKit website, downloading the latest build  
and just checked out the source from the subversion repository. It's  
a lot to wade through, but I hope to be able to contribute something.  
There are a few technologies that I'm particularly interested in,  
that show no mention on the website, and so I thought I'd ask for  
some information and opinions here. The two omissions that most  
interest me are: XForms (I submitted a bug) and CSS paged media.

I've been running some tests on Safari and some other browsers on  
these specifications and apparently the supporst not there. However,  
I'm wondering what the views of those most active in this project. I  
see mention of WHAT WG and I'm not really sure how they play into the  
XForms issue. From the reading I did on their website, they seem to  
want to alter user-agents to bring XForms functionality to the old  
HTML forms specification. If both the user-agents and the web app  
developers will need to change to support the WebForms 2.0, then  
what's the advantage over directly embracing XForms?

XForms:  I'm not sure where to start on this, but XForms relies  
significantly on XPath, which I've seen mentioned at WebKit's  
bugzilla. With XPath in place the binding of controls to a model  
should be pretty straight forward to add. Also the XForms controls do  
not add anything that Safari doesn't already render: just the  
elements have different names and work slightly differently.

Paged Media and the @Page Directive: Is anyone else working on paged  
media? This is something I'd be interested in taking advantage of,  
but fear I don't have the know-how to contribute anything worthwhile  
to this endeavor.

The last issue I'm interested in is editing XHTML. I''m working on an  
editing app based on WebKit and, to my surprise WebKit doesn't appear  
to support editing of XHTML. I thought it would just work. I might be  
missing something, but from what I can tell WebView loads the file  
(passed as NSString) then just lops off the DTD declaration and  
turns  all the tag names into upper-case. That's with the latest  
version of WebKit delivered by Apple. I haven't tested the latest  
version from the repository. Since Safari does such an excellent job  
of handling XHTML, I had thought the web editing functionality would  
do just as well.

I was hoping to even add elements  from another namespace and be able  
to use CSS selectors to style them. Which brings me to another issue.  
Where would I look to see how WebKit handles the various elements and  
CSS selectors.  It strikes me that WebKit need not be familliar with  
a particular element to at least position the box for the element and  
allow CSS properties to style it.Obviously, for certain elements this  
would do now good (e.g., a MathML element for integral), but for a  
wide assortment of elements, this would be a versatile and flexible  
approach to handling unknown elements. In other words internally  
handle any element as a span or div, but then set the default CSS is  

I welcome any comments, pointers, or recommendations. Thanks.

Take care,

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