[webkit-dev] Re: ProjectVision

Lars Knoll lars at trolltech.com
Sun Nov 25 12:34:33 PST 2007

On Friday 23 November 2007 23:59:25 Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
> On Nov 23, 2007, at 9:31 AM, Alp Toker wrote:
> > http://trac.webkit.org/projects/webkit/wiki/ProjectVision?action=diff&ver
> >sion=1
> >
> > Please revert this change until the topic has been discussed on the
> > mailing list or bug tracker. You can't just make up a project vision
> > like that.

The page clearly states that these are ideas of the people working on the Qt 
port of WebKit. George, Adam, Simon and myself had a face to face meeting 
last week, and this came up there, so we thought it's best to put things 
together before it get's lost in the day to day work again. This is by no 
means something we want to impose on the project, it's the things we feel 
could be changed and improved over time.

> I don't think this page is meant to represent an opinion of the whole
> project, but rather a set of requests from the QtWebKit developers
> from the project as a whole. I think it would be a good idea to
> discuss the substance of the requests on the mailing list. I have
> already discussed some offline with Lars and George. Are you guys up
> for discussing these topics by email? I am also happy to discuss
> further off-list.

I would prefer a discussion on the mailing list. I think it's important that 
everyone contributing to the project can state it's opinion and hear all 

> > It would be great if the Qt developers could also make more use of
> > the bug tracker and allow for peer review from the wider WebKit
> > team. Unilateral commits by Qt guys have broken other builds
> > recently wasting everyone's time.

I don't think we have committed many changes that affected cross platform 
code. At least 95% of what we've done was purely inside the Qt specific 
parts. If we broke someone else's build I apologize, but usually we are 
tracking the buildbots after our changes to make sure we fix up any breakages 
that should happen.

> Actually, I'm somewhat concerned as well about the QtWebKit work
> drifting away from the core somewhat. Doing work primarily in a
> separate repository and then pushing changes upstream creates a
> situation where the Qt developers communicate less with the rest of
> the project, and makes other developers less aware of their changes.

Just as a sidenote: Part of the communication problem is that efficient 
communication currently requires being on IRC all the time. I just got my 
second child a few weeks ago, and honestly do currently not have the 
possibility to do that.

> It also means more distance from project infrastructure like the
> buildbots.
> Qt guys, is there anything we could do to make it easier for you to
> work directly in the webkit.org repository?

The reasons are purely technical. The main reason we work as we do for the 
moment is that we need to stabilize our tree. We want to ship WebKit as part 
of Qt 4.4 in Q1/2008 and are now going into a feature freeze and 
stabilization phase for the Qt port.

To be able to get a stable product out, we decided to base the stuff that will 
go into Qt 4.4 on the Safari-3 branch. Now Apple stated clearly (and I 
completely agree to that), that the Safari-3 branch is something they want to 
control, which means that we have to do our work in a branch of our own that 
tracks Safari-3. Doing that in SVN is a real pain and would be a huge waste 
of time we don't currently have.

There is quite some work remaining to turn the Qt port into a completely 
polished release, so we unfortunately have to focus our resources on that 

We are however trying our best to continue tracking trunk as well, but our 
resources are a bit strained just now, as we are currently trying to tie Qt 
4.4 together. It should however get better in a few weeks from now when we 
enter our bug fixing phase for 4.4.

As to what would make it easier to work in the webkit.org repository: 
Currently our main problem is the version control system used, that makes it 
very hard to work on a branch that follows another branch.

I am not really happy that we are currently doing most work outside of the 
main repository, but we didn't see another possibility to make things work 
for us. 

That being said, our repository is basically a git mirror of SVN and does 
automatically pull in all changes happening in trunk. It's not that much 
different from other people using git on top of SVN apart from it being a 
more collaborative effort.


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