[webkit-dev] Safari/Webkit Team and Developer Communication

Matthew Thomas matthew.garrath.thomas at gmail.com
Wed Jun 9 18:48:24 PDT 2021

To *Safari/Webkit-Developers*,

I'd like to draw your attention to the following threads on this years

https://developer.apple.com/forums/thread/681748  (Safari/Webkit Team and
Developer Communication")

https://developer.apple.com/forums/thread/681575 (Notifications for
Web-Apps on iOS?)

As web-developers we feel we have limited influence over Safari
(specifically iOS Safari) and there's the growing perception that Safari is
being strategically underfunded with specific features never being
developed in order to push users towards the AppStore and it's 70+ billion
$ in yearly revenue.  We also understand that as people who actually
develop browsers you are as passionate if not more so than the development
community about the open web but we also understand that you don't have
control over exactly what gets built/funded.

Our feeling is that:

   - The Safari/Webkit Team does not have the budget/staffing it needs to
   keep up with the full feature set of a modern browser.
   - Upper management *strategically underfunds* or does not develop
   specific features to push developers to use the AppStore instead where
   Apple can then take a 30% cut off revenue / lock apps into the Apple
   - Upper Management does not see much value in funding the open-web in
   general but specifically does not want to fund anything that would allow
   native-app like functionality in a web-app on a mobile device.
   - Developer feature requests are largely ignored because of point no 2.
   - Other browsers are not allowed in iOS primarily because of point no 2.
   (with privacy/security being a very secondary reason)

In terms of developing web-apps Safari on iOS is the *number one limiting
factor*.  Every year goes past, we request the same basic set of features
but the *core *capabilities of web-apps remains largely stagnant. The
Safari team needs a much higher budget, a ton more staff and should be able
to operate relatively independently of external business goals. Priorities
should be set between a combination of what's good for users and what's
good for developers,  how much money the AppStore makes should not be a
consideration when deciding what does and what doesn't get developed.

Safari and Web-Apps are often touted by Apple Legal in antitrust/monopoly
investigations as the alternative to the AppStore.  How can they be the
alternative with the current feature set.  This threat alone should push
Apple to fund the Safari team and make web-apps a viable competitor with

Please take a read of the linked posts above and please respond if you have
any opinions or you don't agree with any of the assumptions/perceptions

We implore you, talk to your colleagues, directors, senior directors, svps,
vps, *advocate* for the open-web / web-apps and try to push Safari in a
direction where it at least has the core basic features that native apps
have.  This change has to come from within the organization, all we can do
as outsiders is appeal for your help.

Thank-you for your hard work and time, please help us make this change.
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