[webkit-dev] Proposal: upstream the WPE port

Maciej Stachowiak mjs at apple.com
Sat Apr 22 01:39:25 PDT 2017

The GTK+ port has been a good WebKit citizen. And Igalia has a strong track record of WebKit contributions. So I am generally supportive of upstreaming the WPE port, as I expect it to be a net positive for the project.

I can see we will need to work out issues around the API that is exposed. In the early days of WebKit2 (or what we now call "Modern WebKit" or just plain "WebKit"), we hoped the WebKit2 C API could be a generic cross-port public API. But it seems that it hasn't worked out, and some aspects of it are regrettable legacy.


> On Apr 21, 2017, at 4:48 AM, zan at falconsigh.net wrote:
> Hi,
> the WebKit team at Igalia would like to propose upstreaming the WPE port
> of WebKit, taking on the duty to maintain it alongside the GTK+ port.
> The WPE port started in 2014 as the 'WebKit for Wayland' project inside
> Igalia [1].  The port was derived from the GTK+ port, but avoided
> dependency on any GUI toolkit.  It relied on the Wayland display
> protocol for on-screen presentation.  That dependency was later dropped
> in favor of using generic interfaces to adapt to different
> platform-specific presentation systems.  This allows any vendor to
> simply provide the necessary backend implementations that are tailored
> to their platform.
> The port is intended to be the Web platform engine of choice for
> embedded Linux systems.  Since late 2014 Igalia has been sponsored by
> Metrological to further develop the WPE port, targeting primarily
> various set-top box platforms.  Miguel Gomez blogged about this effort
> back in December [2].  The port can also address other embedded use
> cases, for instance in-vehicle infotainment or digital signage.
> The GTK+ and WPE ports mostly have the same dependencies except for the
> GTK+ toolkit library.  That enables the two ports to already share a lot
> of code.  The biggest difference between the two is that the WPE port
> exposes the WebKit2 C API, while the GTK+ port exposes a GObject-based
> API.  Apart from that, the maintainers' plan is to further align the two
> ports as much as possible, ideally simply stacking the GTK+ port on top
> of WPE, with only a few additional tweaks for GTK+ integration.  This
> would lessen the maintenance burden for both ports and the project as a
> whole.
> The WebKit team at Igalia thinks this port is on stable footing and has
> solid prospects for the future.  That's why we'd like to join the
> upstream community and continue our work there.
> The patch with the port changes is in bug #171110 [3].  We have existing
> x86_64 buildbot configurations [4] that we would have to port over to
> the webkit.org build master.  We're planning further builder and tester
> configurations for ARM architectures in the future.  Layout test
> baselines would be landed separately.  (Those too would be subject to
> alignment with the GTK+ port.)
> We're happy to address any questions or considerations.
> Regards,
> Zan
> [1]
> https://lists.webkit.org/pipermail/webkit-dev/2014-December/027087.html
> [2]
> https://blogs.igalia.com/magomez/2016/12/19/wpe-web-platform-for-embedded/
> [3] https://bugs.webkit.org/show_bug.cgi?id=171110
> [4] https://build-webkit.igalia.com/waterfall?category=WPE
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