[webkit-dev] Apple's feature and performance goals for WebKit

Nicholas Shanks contact at nickshanks.com
Thu Nov 29 15:16:28 PST 2007

On 29 Nov 2007, at 10:56, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:

> We may post more details about some of these soon. I'm curious what  
> is of interest to other WebKit contributors. I'm especially  
> interested in areas where particular organizations or individuals  
> might be interested in directly contributing.

In reply to Maciej's goals email, I thought more about the features I  
would like to see in WebKit that are not there for one reason or  
another, and would like to know how best to add these on a conditional  
basis such that normal users can remain oblivious, and power users can  
customise them. For example, an API for Safari, NetNewsWire, Sandvox  
&c. to hook into, or user defaults that apply to all WebKit clients  
without the app needing to support them explicitly. In the case of the  
latter, how should the defaults be named?

Things I would like to see (new features and high priority bugs)  

• Fixed support for :last-child, :nth-child and related selectors.  
This is probably the biggest issue.
• Support for better typography, including kerning, automatic  
ligatures, true (AAT/OpenType) Small Caps, font-stretch, &c.  (this  
can be a pref—off by default, if Apple prefers performance to  
presentation. As I have a fast computer i don't really care about a  
few milliseconds here or there during layout, i spend much longer  
reading the text than i spend waiting for it to be drawn. Maybe there  
should be browser engine tests that examine how easy the screen is to  
• Support for the <link> navigation elements in HTML headers and an  
API to be exposed with Safari implementation.
• Alternate stylesheets automatically offered with Safari interface  
for switching between them  (will require API for other WebKit clients)
• Allow user disabling of horrible/clueless author stylesheets  (will  
require API)
• A means by which to inject CSS and JavaScript into sites I visit,  
and have those modifications remembered across sessions.
• A means by which to disable quirks mode for text/html (i would like  
this to be a persistent pref)
• A means by which to disable <marquee>, <applet> or other arbitrary  
• Ability to right-click on an element and remove it from flow  
(probably by adding a display: none attribute; so the DOM tree is  
• Ability to customise one's HTTP headers manually, especially the  
Accept-* ones  (another persistent pref)
	• and further, the ability to specify what headers would be  
automatically sent in response to a 3xx code
• When rendering a web page aurally, the page should go through a  
series of xslt transformations: (HTML to) XHTML to SSML,  which would  
then either be sent to a third party TTS (e.g. swift from  
cepstral.com) or further transformed to PlainTalk + Applebet and sent  
to the Speech Manager.

And a developer-only feature:
• A means by which to manipulate the current media to something other  
than screen (e.g. for previewing tv, handheld, print, projection) and  
override various media properties manually (page dimensions, maximum  
volume) so media queries can be tested against them.

- Nicholas.

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