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

Vijay Menon vsm at google.com
Mon Dec 5 13:06:43 PST 2011

On Mon, Dec 5, 2011 at 11:48 AM, Geoffrey Garen <ggaren at apple.com> wrote:

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

Hi Geoff,

I don't think we're inconsistent with the goals.  I'm reading "adopted into
WebKit" to mean checked into WebKit trunk.  That's not what we're trying to
do right now.  We're creating a branch in order to demonstrate that it's
useful and that it does not negatively impact hackability or performance.

Are there guidelines as to what is appropriate for a branch?



> Geoff
> 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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