[webkit-dev] Status of WTFURL

Adam Barth abarth at webkit.org
Tue Oct 12 23:47:32 PDT 2010

Hi webkit-dev,

I'd like to gauge interest in the WTFURL work [1].  Currently, there
are two WTFURL patches that have been up for review for over a month
without a single comment:


That leads me to believe this work is not desired by the project.  It
seems like there are a few paths forward:

1) I recruit folks to review the patches.  To date, I've been waiting
for Apple folks to review these patches on the theory that they might
like to have input on this topic.  If that's not necessary/desirable,
I can expand my reviewer recruitment.

2) I can spam the review queue with all the WTFURL patches so that
reviewer can see how the whole thing is going to work.  Typically, we
advise folks to land things like this in small, buildable chunks,
which is what I've been doing.  However, if there's a month latency
between chunks, that means the project will never be finished.

3) I can delete the existing WTFURL code and stop work on the project.
 This path is easy, but it doesn't solve the underlying problem: lack
of interoperability between ports that use different URL libraries.
To improve interoperability, I can modify the separate URL libraries
to converge their behavior based on a test suite.  Of course, we'll
never get perfect interoperability without using the same code, but we
can easily get an order of magnitude better interoperability than we
have today.  The other cost of this path is an ongoing maintenance
burden of have duplicate code that needs to be keep in sync.

(There are other options, of course, but I've left off the ones that
have been unpopular in the past.)

I understand this work has been controversial, but I think its solving
an important problem for the project.


[1] By way of background, Chromium uses a different URL parsing
library than other WebKit ports.  In the interests of not fracturing
the WebKit platform, I've been working on implementing a URL parsing
library, called WTFURL, that meets the needs of both the WebKit and
Chromium projects.

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