[webkit-dev] WebKit Wishes

Ryosuke Niwa rniwa at webkit.org
Thu Jan 31 04:43:33 PST 2013

On Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 4:16 AM, Alexis Menard <alexis at webkit.org> wrote:

> On Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 6:28 PM, Eric Seidel <eric at webkit.org> wrote:
> >
> > 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!  Porting
> 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.
> Sure. I'm wondering how you would define a "peripheral" port? Anything
> not Apple or Google?
> Many "little" ports are very active every day, sure some of them does
> not contribute as much as they should on common parts but some
> companies behind these are just limited on resources. They are not
> Google or Apple with an army of engineers who have time to take any
> spec of W3C and implements it.
> In WebCore the contribution is pain mostly because the buildsystem.
> For the rest if EWS goes red, in many cases it's a real bug, a real
> problem.
> Coming from a so called "peripheral" port I find very frustrating and
> demotivating that our contributions are devalorized the way they are
> or our reviews discredited. Many of us contributes important feature
> and improvements to WebCore and sure not as visible as Google or Apple
> in terms of log but still crucial or important.
> I believe you and many people are not aware what "little" ports
> contribute because we don't work on high visibility feature such as
> Regions, Grid, FooBar W3C API. We do improve W3C compliance (CSS, XHR,
> media queries, viewport interactions, @viewport rule, various work on
> tests infrastructure, WebGL fixes) and I'm talking only of the people
> in my company and I'm probably forgetting some work. The number of
> contributions per day makes hard for me to see what others than Google
> or Apple are doing.
> I tend to agree that some are not playing the game but for the ones
> who try their best it's sad to be rejected like that.

I don't think Eric's intended to marginalize the importance or the value of
contributions non-Apple/Google ports have been making.

I think he's merely trying to point out that the ratio of the contribution
each port makes to the cost the same port imposes, i.e. contribution/cost,
is positively correlated with the size of a port. Larger the port, it can
contribute more to the core code without imposing proportionally larger
cost. Smaller the port, it needs to spend more time fixing and implementing
its own port-specific code. In some cases, they may not have resources or
expertises to help other contributors trying to make a large refactoring.

While contributors from a smal port may feel as though their work
is marginalized and other ports' contributors ruthlessly break their port,
contributors from a large port often feel that they're being taxed by small
ports; having to maintain other ports without getting much benefit out of

And I suggest we *find a technical solution *to this problem instead of
talking about which philosophy or policy is "right".

- R. Niwa
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