[webkit-dev] WebKit Remote Web Inspector

Joseph Pecoraro pecoraro at apple.com
Fri Jun 20 17:36:55 PDT 2014


Yes, this is possible. There are currently two paths to making Web Inspector work across processes.


Currently enabled by GTK and EFL. The UIProcess process establishes an HTTP Web/WebSocket server. The index page is a listing page which advertises information about each of the different WebViews that can be inspected. For each of these there is a page which fetches the HTML web inspector frontend assets (WebInspectorUI) and then establishes a WebSocket connection back to the UIProcess to send and receive inspector protocol messages.

  - easy to implement and setup
  - a compatible web inspector frontend is downloaded on demand, so it should be guarenteed to work
  - debugger could just be another web browser (you will get best results when that other browser is a WebKit based browser)
  - pull based, debugger needs to fetch an updated listing
  - frontend features can be limited when run in a generic web environment (non-native context menus, no copy/paste, no system beep, etc)


Currently enabled by Mac and iOS. Very port specific right now. Uses XPC to communicate to a middleman process that advertising and helps set up connections for the inspector protocol messages.

  - push based. As WebViews are created, destroyed, or change, they can advertise updates to debuggers
  - using XPC the middleman process can check privileges of each side
  - frontend is not downloaded, so it requires having a debugger process with a frontend that will work with whatever it is connected to
  - not implemented in other ports, would take port specific work to get this path up and running in other ports

If this is just something you want to get up and running to make debugging as a developer easier, it sounds like ENABLE(INSPECTOR_SERVER) would work well for you. Depending on your port, there should be settings for enabling and configuring the inspector server (e.g. port # for the server to listen on) and it should be easy to get up and running.

What port are you working on?

- Joe

On Jun 20, 2014, at 4:11 PM, Vienneau, Christopher <cvienneau at ea.com> wrote:

> Hi,
> I’m investigating the possibility of getting access to the “Web Inspector” UI http://trac.webkit.org/wiki/WebInspector#no1 remotely via another browser/process.  This is useful when attempting to debug a page on a device that doesn’t have the same screen real estate as your PC, such as a mobile device.  I’m familiar with “Weinre” http://people.apache.org/~pmuellr/weinre/docs/latest/Home.html which offers many of the features of Web Inspector in a fashion that I’m talking about; but some important elements are missing, such as profiling and java script debugging.  I found “heX” https://github.com/netease-youdao/hex is able to do what I want, but I would like to be able to accomplish the same thing from WebKit itself, since the target platform isn’t on the pc.  Searching through the WebKit source code I can’t find any trace of it having the ability to open a listening port to have a debugging client attach. 
> Is such a thing already possible?  The docs, and older mail threads suggested that remote operation was once a goal of Web Inspector, does work continue on this vein? Please offer any suggestions on how this might be accomplished.
> Thanks
> Chris Vienneau
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> webkit-dev mailing list
> webkit-dev at lists.webkit.org
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