[webkit-dev] Handling of feature dependencies

Patrick Gansterer paroga at paroga.com
Tue Jan 4 15:48:03 PST 2011

Eric Seidel:

> The more you turn off, the less the binary you create is "WebKit".  It
> tells servers its "WebKit" via its useragent, but then it doesn't have
> the features that pages have come to expect from WebKit -- this is bad
> for WebKit and bad for your users.

Feature detection by user agent is bad (but common) and can be done in a better way.
I don't think this is a reason to remove feature switches.

> A better course of action is to study the memory usage and reduce
> memory usage for all ports of WebKit, instead of just hacking off
> lumps.  I think you'll find that things like the "console" don't use
> much memory at all.

Example from WinCE5: There's a limit of 32MB per process, so every byte is important. IMHO "console" isn't a "big player", but XSLT as an example also needs libxslt as additional dependency. SQLite for "database" is the same. Maybe the WebKit code does not need so much memory, but we don't need the third party libs (they are not system libraries on every platform :)).

> Obviously many "devices" have already shipped with "full" copies of
> WebKit.  If you have a very low-memory/low-power device (more than a
> cell phone or a TV or a car or something that would run Qt -- all of
> these have numerous shipping example devices using WebKit), then
> WebKit is probably not what you want anyway. :)

Sometimes WebKit is exactly the correct solution! If you want to maintain only _one_ version of your application I don't see a better way than using a standard compliant browser engine.
A small HTML page works perfectly on a small device and on the high end computer.

- Patrick

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