[webkit-dev] Announcing new port: Nix

Thomas Fletcher thomas at cranksoftware.com
Thu Sep 12 18:05:33 PDT 2013

Benjamin Poulain wrote:
> On 9/12/13 5:21 PM, Thomas Fletcher wrote:
>> Geoffrey Garen wrote:
>>>> Sure. We at University of Szeged who work on WebKitNix from this year
>>>> contributed many fixes to various part of WebKit: JavaScriptCore,
>>>> WebCore, Tools, ...
>>> Thank you for this list. I started reading through it, but I noticed a high percentage of patches that were port-specific build fixes or port-specific features like support for legacy ARM chips. For example, "...on ARM traditional" (<https://trac.webkit.org/changeset/142616>). Those patches are cost to core WebKit development, not benefit.
>> I don't want to mis-interpret your statement here.  Can you clarify 
>> what you mean by "Those
>> patches are cost to core WebKit development, not benefit."
> I cannot talk for Geoff but here is my take.
> The WebKit code base has:
> -Core features used by everyone.
> -Core features used by many (e.g. curl, Texture Mapper, etc).
> -Port code that is only useful for some people.
> In the WebKit project, we value the first two. The port work is 
> necessary for everything to fit together, but that is not a 
> contribution to the project per say.
> It is always good to refer to the project goals as it summarizes this 
> quite nicely: https://www.webkit.org/projects/goals.html
> This being said, I think this thread is not longer very productive.
> If you are interested in things like removing ancient CPU 
> architecture, better start a new thread.
I disagree .. I think that this has been a very civil discussion on a 
very relevant topic to the long term sustainability
of WebKit as an OpenSource project via an easier barrier to adoption 
into custom environments.  I'm familiar with
the project goals, which is another reason why you've never seen much 
back contributions from @cranksoftware.com
since most of our work does indeed end up being in the area of "Port 
code that is only useful for some people".

What this discussion is starting to center on is why the NIX port would 
not be valued as a mainstream port that,
like the other ports, validates that the implementation of Core features 
(the first two items) makes sense in a broader

Is the main concern about having maintainers for the port so it can be 
kept up to date or is it more a concern that
the technology direction that the NIX port represents, as an alternative 
porting layer.  That if people want to port to
platforms they should drop down to a lower level and effectively start 
copying and pasting the stub implementations
from other ports?


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