[webkit-dev] Moving forward with WebKit/GTK+

Pierre-Luc Beaudoin pierre-luc.beaudoin at collabora.co.uk
Fri Oct 31 12:44:22 PDT 2008

On Tue, 2008-10-28 at 17:04 -0200, Gustavo Noronha Silva wrote:
> From looking at history and by hanging around since around
> April, I believe Christian Dywan, is a very good candidate.

I totally agree with Gustavo: these patches have rotted in Bugzilla for
a long time.

Frankly, WebKitGtk is still missing quite a lot of API that is required
to write anything other than relatively trivial applications. Many
WebKitGtk contributors have been working on these API changes for some
time. They required a fair amount of work, but very few of them have
been merged yet.  Also, since the Commit and Review Policy requires
contributors to have many good patches in before getting commit or
review rights, we have a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem.  Because
there is a review bottleneck, contributors don't get many patches in, so
there are less candidates to become reviewers, so there is a review
bottleneck, etc.

The fact is, some of us are tired of having to beg/push to get those
patches reviewed.  Some contributors and companies have left the project
because it is so difficult to get patches reviewed and committed.

This status quo is hurting the project because we have a harder time
selling WebKitGtk without visible progress. We need to implement the API
and features that people need to be able to use WebKitGtk in real-world
applications.  I fear that GTK+ projects are going to decide that it's
not worthwhile to wait for WebKitGtk to become usable and will simply
choose to use Mozilla since the features are all implemented even if
their API is not very nice.

So I really hope that there is some way to solve this problem.  I
believe there are people within the WebKitGtk project that could do a
good job as reviewers. I second Gustavo's recommendation of Christian
Dywan, as he has been very active on the project, has plenty of quality
patches submitted and he's well aware of the required changes needed to
the Gtk+ API in order to have a working browser (he is the main
developer of Midori and a contributor to Gtk+).  But most importantly,
he's willing to do the job.

Nominating Christian might mean bending the rules, but at this point, it
would be better to have a community approved reviewer than seeing forks
starting to appear.

Pierre-Luc Beaudoin
Collabora Ltd.

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