[webkit-dev] Changes in QtWebKit development

Allan Sandfeld Jensen kde at carewolf.com
Sat Sep 14 03:24:18 PDT 2013

On Friday 13 September 2013, Benjamin Poulain wrote:
> This is sad.

Yes :(

> When "modules" of Qt are put on "maintenance", it is basically a synonym
> to "it's unmaintained, just let it die". I am very unexcited about
> having one of those in the tree along the live development from everyone
> else.
> It is unfair for all the ports who put real efforts in the WebKit
> opensource project.

Previously modules put in maintenance in Qt were already dead because we had 
lost the developers during business transitions. This is different, QtWebKit 
is still being actively developed and we still have the developers, even if 
the primary focus has changed.

> Realistically, how much development will go in QtWebKit/Linux? Why does
> it stay in WebKit trunk if the two other ports are "maintained" in a
> branch?
Staying in trunk is the best way to still be part of the development of 
WebKit, and WebKit is still our main web api, and will remain so in the next 
release of Qt. As long as we ship WebKit as a major part of Qt, we also want 
to be active in project and contribute back, even if we are forced to scale 
back our commitment.

We are keeping QtWebKit/Linux in particular because it is the easiest to 
maintain and requires the least amount of Qt specific code (most is shared 
with GTK, EFL and Nix) and QtWebKit/Linux has use cases beyond just being part 
of the official QtWebKit releases. WebKit has a number of advantages over 
Chromium especially on embedded linux, using less memory, having better JIT 
support of smaller architectures (MIPS, old ARM, etc), more customizable 
feature set, and a more powerful API on the WebKit1 side that is not easily 
duplicated in a multiprocess design. Those use cases are all outside the stock 
QtWebKit releases though.

That said, in all likelihood the Qt port will not remain part of WebKit 
forever, but leaving will not be Digia's decision alone to make. For now I 
will continue working full time on WebKit, my coworkers are still bug-fixing 
in WebKit whenever necessary, there are still several developers from 
Cisco(NDS) using the Qt port of webkit, and we still have a handful of 
developers from the university of Szeged working on the port as well. So some 
5-10 developers, though the majority are not Digia employees any more.

Best regards
`Allan Jensen

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