[webkit-dev] Feature removal: CSS variables

Jon Rimmer jon.rimmer at gmail.com
Sun Apr 7 18:29:21 PDT 2013

On 8 April 2013 01:36, Ryosuke Niwa <ryosuke.niwa at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sun, Apr 7, 2013 at 4:17 PM, Jon Rimmer <jon.rimmer at gmail.com> wrote:
> I definitely see a value in keeping the feature.  However, there is a
> practical problem of someone having to maintain the code.  Now that all
> contributors who have previously worked on this feature has left to work on
> Blink, I don't see who can be maintaining this code in WebKit.  Are you
> volunteering to maintain the code?  If not, then who is?
> Not having this feature will be unfortunate and we might need to add it back
> in the future, but that's much better than leaving unmaintained code in our
> codebase.

I wish I could maintain it, but alas, I'm not a C++ dev. And even if I
was, it wouldn't help much unless someone's willing to turn in on and
ship it.

But my main point was, whoever ends up picking it up, it will likely
cost more in terms of time and effort to revive or reimplement it than
finding the resource, somewhere, to do it now. I've seen other
features in WebKit that have drifted along through various rewrites as
priorities shifted and work started and stopped, and it just seems
like a lot of effort is ultimately wasted. The cost may be amortised
over several years and different contributors, but from a project
management it would still seem preferable to find a way to maintain
the momentum.

I understand that engineering resource is finite, I've certainly been
on enough projects where there hasn't been enough, but I've also
observed that if there's sufficient will to do something, the resource
usually gets found. When I look at the list of companies contributing
to WebKit it's difficult as an outsider not to think the resource
could be found.

I really don't want to come off as a stereotypical, entitled
open-source user, demanding the maintainers bend to his will. If it
can't be done, it can't be done. But it also worried me to see a
feature that I do believe is objectively important to the web being
removed in a fairly casual fashion, with an intimation that it is
unpopular or unimportant; I don't believe it is either.

Jon Rimmer

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