[webkit-dev] Cleaning House

Maciej Stachowiak mjs at apple.com
Thu Apr 4 19:08:45 PDT 2013

On Apr 4, 2013, at 4:54 PM, Per Bothner <per.bothner at oracle.com> wrote:

> On 04/04/2013 10:21 AM, Oliver Hunt wrote:
>> Supporting V8 places a considerable burden on webkit, there are a number of
>> large, cumbersome and expensive abstractions required for to support multiple
>> JS engines (see the original discussions on the topic from many years ago).
> We at Oracle are working on using WebKit with our own JavaScript engine,
> Nashorn: http://openjdk.java.net/projects/nashorn/
> This is for the WebView component of JavaFX:
> http://docs.oracle.com/javafx/2/api/javafx/scene/web/package-summary.html
> This is still experimental, and no committed deliverable.  However,
> it is obviously preferable in the eat-your-own-dogfood way that we
> use our own JavaScript engine, especially once that engine becomes
> part of the Java distribution.
> This is still in pretty rough shape, but we would find it
> unfortunate if if becomes more difficult to build WebKit
> with an alternative JavaScript engine.  For the Nashorn "port",
> I created a new WebCore/bindings/nashorn directory in
> parallel to WebCore/bindings/js and WebCore/bindings/v8.
> We generate .java class from the .idl file.  No "JavaScript
> classes" are ever created.  Instead Nashorn provides an
> on-the-fly bridge to the Java objects.

I think we'd be pretty reluctant to support this. Supporting multiple JS engines has been a pain, and we only agreed to it because it was a showstopper for Google, and we had the expectation that Google would be a valuable high-volume contributor. Which they were, during their time in the WebKit project. Even so, it caused significant code complexity, divergence of efforts, and friction on architectural direction, because of the differing characteristics of JSC and V8.

I personally would be reluctant to make that type of deal again.


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