[webkit-dev] WebKit branch to support multiple VMs (e.g., Dart)

Geoffrey Garen ggaren at apple.com
Mon Dec 5 11:48:53 PST 2011

Looking at http://www.webkit.org/projects/goals.html, I see:
To make rapid progress possible, we try to keep the code relatively easy to understand….

WebKit is an engineering project not a science project.
For new features to be adopted into WebKit, we strongly prefer for the technology or at least the use case for it to be proven.

It sounds like you're proposing a change to the goals of the WebKit project -- namely, to use a branch in the WebKit project as a substrate for experiments with new technologies, including new technologies that might negatively impact hackability. Is that right?


On Dec 5, 2011, at 9:26 AM, Vijay Menon wrote:

> Hi all,
> Many languages compile to JavaScript today to run on the web.  As alternative, we’ve been experimenting with enabling different language runtimes in WebKit to run in web pages alongside JavaScript.   
> This could be used to support languages like Python, Java, Ruby, Lua, or - what inspired us - Dart (www.dartlang.org).
> Some reasons to consider additional runtimes include:
> - Speed.  Many languages are faster than JavaScript when run natively and/or do not compile to JavaScript efficiently.
> - Developer choice.  Another runtime provides developers with more choice without requiring them to use a toolchain.
> - Development experience.  Languages supported directly in the browser can have a significantly better debugging and profiling experience than they can with compiled code.
> We have a quite early patch of this work available here:
> - multi-vm changes: http://codereview.chromium.org/8806015/
> - dart bindings: http://codereview.chromium.org/8802010/
> We’re planning to create a multi-vm branch on webkit.org to experiment with this idea.  Our goal with this branch is to (a) demonstrate the above points and (b) show that we can do this without degrading JavaScript performance or the WebKit development experience.  If successful, we’d like to submit these changes to WebKit trunk.  We welcome your feedback.  
> Regards,
> Anton Muhin
> Pavel Podivilov
> Vijay Menon
> _______________________________________________
> webkit-dev mailing list
> webkit-dev at lists.webkit.org
> http://lists.webkit.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/webkit-dev

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