[webkit-dev] Peripheral ports (was Re: WebKit Wishes)

noam.rosenthal at nokia.com noam.rosenthal at nokia.com
Thu Jan 31 00:06:22 PST 2013

From: ext Eric Seidel <eric at webkit.org<mailto:eric at webkit.org>>

I wish we didn’t have to worry about platforms we couldn’t test.

It can’t be the job of the core maintainers to care about all the peripheral ports which contribute very little core code. Our code needs to be structured in such a manner that its easy for the core to march forward, while letting the ports catch up as they need to asynchronously.  Platform support code shouldn’t even need to be in webkit.org<http://webkit.org>!  Porting webkit.org<http://webkit.org>’s platform abstractions should be trivial, but core developers (which probably 90% of them use only 2 ports Mac WK2 + Chromium Linux) shouldn’t need to worry about keeping all ports working.
As someone who works on the "peripheral" ports quite a bit I would have to agree that this is not a good situation. I would prefer a situation where my core contributions are considered valuable, and my "peripheral ports" contribution are not considered taxing.

> I wish we only had one build system
I think that having one meta-build system might help this quite a bit.
But what would really help me is if I could have a better understanding of which parts of the code are taxing for Apple and Google. For example, in 2011 Oliver Hunt has communicated that the Qt JSC bindings were too taxing, and ever since we've done a lot of work to reduce that tax (https://bugs.webkit.org/show_bug.cgi?id=60842). This was, to me, a productive communication about that problem.

> I wish I felt like reviewers understood/trusted each other more.
I think that if there was a clear and detailed communication about taxing properties of the "peripheral ports" or platform abstraction, perhaps in the form of bugs on bugzilla like the one I've mentioned, we can trust the contributors from the peripheral ports, together with everyone else, to find the right solutions.
How would it feel for people if we had something like a bugzilla component/topic to track those issues?

I think that solving those issues rather than pushing the peripheral ports to the side is in the benefit of the WebKit project, and is one of the things that differentiates it from projects like Mozilla that only support one company's browser(s). I'm hoping that other people see this value as well…

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