[webkit-dev] Proposal to update WebKitGTK dependency policy

Michael Catanzaro mcatanzaro at gnome.org
Tue Mar 8 08:22:54 PST 2022

On Tue, Mar 8 2022 at 03:01:04 PM +0100, Carlos Alberto Lopez Perez 
<clopez at igalia.com> wrote:
> It turns out this above opinion of mine doesn't reflect a consensus
> opinion inside Igalia.
> After sending the above e-mail, I talked with my colleagues at Igalia
> (my failure for not doing that before) and it seems that we are not
> happy with committing to support the libraries for such long amount 
> of time.

Ah, alas. Well it's ultimately Igalia's choice, of course.

>   - Which port(s) is RedHat interested in supporting? Only the GTK
>     port, or both GTK and WPE?

We ship WebKitGTK, libwpe, and wpebackend-fdo, but not WPE WebKit.

>   - Is RedHat willing to devote development time to work upstream on
>     the goal of keeping WebKit working with older libraries?

Um, yes, of course nobody except me is likely to spend time to keep 
WebKit building on RHEL. The difference is I would be able to commit my 
changes upstream in the future, instead of keeping them downstream and 
rebasing them when they break. E.g. it looks like 
https://bugs.webkit.org/show_bug.cgi?id=235367 will have to live 
downstream. If we had this policy, I would be able to land stuff like 
that upstream too.

The main impact on other developers would be an increased wait before 
you can remove preprocessor guards that support older library versions. 
That could be annoying, but I don't think it will require too much time 

>   - Will buildbots be provided for RHEL, in the same way Igalia
>     maintains Ubuntu LTS and Debian stable builders to catch issues?

I'm not personally very concerned about whether we have upstream 
builders for RHEL, since fixing problems when they reach tarball 
releases is good enough for me. But yes, since you requested it, we can 
probably add upstream bots. (They would probably actually run CentOS 
Stream, not RHEL.) That will take some time, though, because I'm not 
currently working on it. In my previous mail, I said I would defer this 
proposal until we are ready with the requested bots.

I do very much want to add more JSC cloop EWS, and I bet Red Hat 
infrastructure folks might find time to help with those. We can 
probably add some builders at the same time. But to keep timeline in 
perspective: I've been planning this for years, but have not yet 
started on it. :P

> In any case, we think that 3+2 of support is too much. We can maybe
> agree on 3+1 (support each RHEL version until one year after the next
> one, like we do with Debian/Ubuntu) or on just 3 (no extra year of
> support), depending on how much RH is willing to help upstream.

Hm, I guess I'd better gratefully accept whatever I can get. I'll 
attempt to keep it working downstream for the full 3+2 years regardless.

Regarding resources from Red Hat to help upstream: that's going to 
remain just me. Certainly I would handle any changes needed to keep 
WebKit working on RHEL. Beyond that, I'll continue to help out a bit 
here and there. I wouldn't expect to see major changes in my 
contribution habits.


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