[webkit-dev] Re: Comments on ProjectVision document

Lars Knoll lars at trolltech.com
Thu Nov 29 04:15:10 PST 2007

On Thursday 29 November 2007, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
> On Nov 25, 2007, at 12:34 PM, Lars Knoll wrote:
> > 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
> > arguments.
> Sounds good to me.
> Here's some parts I can comment on briefly:
> > Commit and review rights
> I agree that we should have a fair and open policy on commit and
> review rights. Notwithstanding Alp's remarks that Apple has been
> reasonable in administering this, I think open source projects thrive
> on openness. I'm hoping we can improve the situation soon. One thing
> we are working on now is putting together a complete list of current
> committers anr reviewers to publish on the wiki.
> > Project planning should become more transparent. The mailing list
> > should be used for larger discussions or decisions that affect all
> > platforms, to give all involved parties a chance to comment.
> I agree that large changes should be discussed on the mailing list.
> I'll try to post information about Apple's near to mid term feature,
> performance and architecture goals for the project to inform everyone
> and for discussion.

Thanks. I think your mail there is a good start :)

> > * Platforms need to have an idea of when to expect the next stable
> > WebKit version.
> > * Releases should be time based.
> > * Release schedules and a (loosely defined) roadmap should be
> > discussed and agreed upon inside the community.
> These requests are pretty challenging to meet. We have a few
> conflicting constraints:
> 1) Currently more than half of development, and probably a bigger
> proportion of core cross-platform work, is done by Apple engineers.
> Also, most dogfood testing is currently done on the Mac platform via
> nightlies. That means it is strongly advantageous to be relatively in
> sync with Apple's release cycles; otherwise we'll be forced to do
> stabilization and feature development based on Apple product cycle in
> a vendor branch instead of on trunk. I think that would be a bad thing
> for the project as a whole, since Apple's Safari releases would end up
> out of sync with project releases.
> 2) Apple's general policy is to not comment on future product
> releases, either dates or features. For the WebKit open source
> project, it is obviously important to have shared discussion of the
> overall roadmap. So we finesse this by discussing plans and roadmap in
> general, and not details of the timetable.

I do agree that it makes sense to sync webkit releases with Safari releases. 

Not having a date for these is however a large challenge for others. If we 
don't have an idea, we can't really plan which WebKit version to base 
ourselves upon for Qt 4.5. This in turn implies that we can't tell our 
customers or the open source community which new features WebKit in Qt 4.5 
will contain.

> 3) As more organizations and companies ship WebKit-based products,
> there will be more different vendor release cycles to consider.
> I can tell you that Apple's drive for stable WebKit releases is likely
> to become more frequent now that Safari 3 is out, and we are unlikely
> to see a gap as big as the Safari 2 --> Safari 3 gap for the
> foreseeable future.
> We'll probably have to evolve our approach over time.

Yes :)

> > * The webkit.org/blog should aggregate the blogs of all contributors
> > (Surfin' Safari and blogs of external contributors)
> I think I'd like to keep Surfin' Safari as a blog for WebKit
> contributors where we also post occasionally Apple-focused info, and
> where any significant contributor is welcome to post. But I think we
> should add a planet.webkit.org type aggregator which includes Surfin'
> Safari and other WebKit contributor blogs.

Sounds good to me. The main thing is that it would be great to have a central 
place where all WebKit related blogs/news appears. Currently you have to 
search on lots of different places for blogs about WebKit (labs.trolltech.com 
and planetkde.org for the Qt port, planet.gnome.org for the Gtk port and 
other places for other people). This is IMO unfortunate as it doesn't give 
the public a good enough view on how large the community really is.

> > * The main webpage and the navigation bar should be platform agnostic
> I think the main page mostly is. Many of the pages linked from the
> sidebar have Mac or Safari specific info. However, that's not a matter
> of policy but just happens to be what the pages started with. The
> content is all in SVN and we welcome patches to add build info for
> other platforms. If we get enough different platforms maybe we can use
> a tab approach to split out instructions that are different per-
> platform.

Sounds good. We'll see that we add more info for the Qt port in there over the 
next weeks.

> > * Safari specific things should go in a subpage (with a prominent
> > link form the main page)
> Is there anything on the main page that you consider Safari-specific?

Mainly the nightlies stuff. I was more thinking that it will be important to 
have a link to a good page giving information about the Safari version 
prominently, as this is the port with the highest number of users.

> > * A free use WebKit logo would be great to have
> I agree; I'm not a huge fan of the current one. We're thinking of
> having a design contest, I expect Adam will be starting some
> discussion about this.

Great to hear :)


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