[webkit-dev] Windows desktop application powered by webkit

Brent Fulgham bfulgham at gmail.com
Thu Jul 31 14:27:48 PDT 2008

Hi rc,

On Sun, Jul 27, 2008 at 2:50 AM, rich.client <rich.client at yahoo.com> wrote:
> I have a requirement to build a desktop application that will run on
> windows XP (initially anyway) which is to use web technologies
> (HTML/CSS/javascript) for the presentation layer as opposed to a
> traditional desktop GUI toolkit.
> I am looking for feedback from anyone with regard to
>  1. the suitability of webkit for this requirement
>  2. where I can get help/advice/documention

At the moment, WebKit requires some work to do what you want under
Windows.  It's a "simple matter of coding", but I haven't been able to
complete everything yet due to scheduling constraints on other

First, some background:  WebKit on Windows builds natively using a
port of Apple's graphics system (CoreGraphics.dll), as well as some
utility libraries (CoreFoundation.dll, CFNetwork.dll).  Unfortunately,
these files are NOT redistributable -- you cannot create an
application using these DLLs and distribute it anywhere.  So the "out
of the box" windows build is only useful as a testing layer.

A group of us have had some success building WebKit replacing the
proprietary libraries with Cairo (for graphing) and cURL (for
networking).  I know this has been replicated by at least two other
people, so the patches I reference from my blog should be a valid
starting point.

At the moment, it's fairly hard to get everything built and running,
mainly because you have to do a lot of legwork to obtain the necessary
libraries and build them.  We are trying to simplify this (along the
lines of what the Apple guys did with their automated downloading
system), but as usual time is short and our ambitions are greater than
our resources.

Let me know if you have any specific questions and I'll be happy to
share what I know.



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