Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Project Unity and eye-candy

I'm very happy that we got to do the WebKit integration during the KDE Four Core meeting and release it in the form of the Unity project. I think it's an interesting situation. We need an actively maintained web engine for KDE4, there's no question about that. In the past, due to the problematic situation we were in with Apple, I was leaning towards bringing Gecko into KDE. The reasoning was that if we're supposed to depend on an externally developed web engine it makes way more sense to depend on one that has been developed in the open. But Apple did tremendous amount of work to improve the situation and we now have an open WebKit (although the name could use a lot more work ;) ). I think it makes sense for us to join that effort, especially since most KDE developers understands that codebase a lot better than they do Gecko. Apple is using WebKit in a more desktop-aware fashion (e.g. dashboard) and it would be real nice if we could share those parts between OS X and KDE as well. There is tremendous amount of things that can be done with a well developed web engine on the desktop. Bridging in network connectivity/internet services and the desktop is one of the most visible trends in computing right now and KDE has to make sure it's ready for it. SVG, XSLT, XPath and CSS create one hell of framework with which a lot can be accomplished and we have a lot of ideas about some of the new things we could do with it. I guess we'll see what happens next.

Lubos writes that KDE needs someone to work on composition manager for KDE 4 because I don't have time. Which is only partially true. It reminds me of a conversation I had with George and Dirk during the KDE Four Meeting right before we started working on project Unity.
Dirk: What rendering framework is WebKit using on Windows?
George: Cairo.
Dirk: And on OS X?
George: CoreGraphics.
Dirk: What are we going to use?
George: Zack...
And to tell the truth, before we even had working CMake files to compile Unity, the graphics layer has been already ported (the only thing I haven't done was support for shadows, but that's not really crucial.. yet). And as to my lack of time to work on KWin, it's really not that simple. Almost everyone wants me to work on something for them and with Lubos using the goofiest indention ever (KWin's workspace.cpp :) ) KWin is not even close to being near the top of my todo (not to say that I'd suddenly start working 24/7 on it if it used Qt indention, but with long todo's and lack of sleep things like being comfortable while working on a codebase are hugely important).

I'm back in the US because today I've started my week long vacations. I don't have a laptop (and haven't had a working one for almost a year since I broke the last one while working on Exa, which is btw, a great testament for those who think that people working on Open Source make a lot of money) so this is going to be the first week in about 8 years when I won't do any programming. I'll spend the week compensating for my European starvation diet. By the way of my diet, for the KDE Four Meeting Aaron brought a whole box of vegan food that Tracy and him assembled for me in Calgary. It was really cool and it meant a lot to me, so yeah, thank you guys :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

About the whole WebKit thing... cool. I'm relieved to hear that Gecko isn't being officially blessed by the KDE project.

While Gecko is a good engine in many respects, I've always found KHTML to be superior. The rendering performance and standards compliance is totally outstanding, and I feel like adopting Gecko over KHTML would be a huge step backwards - a regression not only in performance but in functionality as well. (Not to mention, the Firefox project doesn't exactly have a stellar security record...)

So I guess all I'm posting to say is "Rock On!"