Thursday, November 02, 2006

Expressing myself

Simon and I went for a few days to Berlin. It was a lot of fun. Being able to hang out with Ellen, Scott, Espen and Matthias is always great.
Ellen is vegetarian, so thanks to her I've eaten better in Berlin than I think I did the whole last year (granted that my frame of reference is all messed up when it comes to food, but still).
On Tuesday Scott dragged us to a free jazz concert. Simon even contemplated joining and playing along. I was busy being generally freaked out. In the middle of the thing one of the guys playing, walked away from his keyboard, lied down in the middle, on his back, hiked his legs way up in the air and started wiggling his feet. Everyone was clapping and cheering. I've learned that he was not "messed up" as I, personally thought, but was "expressing himself" which is a good thing. I'm not 100% certain how to distinguish between the two but I'm sure I can use this "expressing myself" thing to my advantage. In fact Simon and I kept expressing ourselves throughout our stay in Berlin by getting lost all the time. It's not that we had no clue where we were going - we were simply trying to show that humans, as individuals, are sometimes getting lost in this great world, but no matter how lost one gets, how smelly the subway is that took one the wrong direction or how funny the word "wurst" is, there always is Ellen waiting with some food or maybe even Snapple's... Or something along those lines. I'm still trying to work out this pretentious art thing, but I think I almost got it.
Simon and I even had a few minutes to look at WebKit. I haven't looked at it since we have done the initial port. We fixed most of the serious issues. The rendered pages should all look fine.

I still have 3 patches in WebKit's bugzilla but hopefully they'll get in soon. It feels a little weird to be writing patches, for code that I wrote, fixing my bugs in a project I've been working on for so long and not being able to commit myself. Waiting for others to review and commit my patches to my code is a little, well, silly. But I understand, they changed some style rules and are trying to keep it consistent, while my motivation to read "style guide" documents is basically zero so it's ok to have people look over the patches to make sure they match the style guide.

Right now it mostly sucks for me because I'm forced to keep a few patchsets and since a few of them are not in the main repository, I have to be reverting them to work on fixing something else and wait for them to be committed to the main repository. I think it will take me two or three days of spare-time work to get it to a point where it's more/less usable and once it's there I can comfortably leave it to George and Niko who did amazing job up till now. Plus there seems to be great interest in it from others. Personally, with my todo, I couldn't be bothered to work like I am right now - maintaining local patchsets and reverting and applying them over again, that workflow is just too painful to keep it up. I have this strange perversion where I like to commit my patches to my code myself =) But as I found out in Germany, that's not weird, that's just me expressing myself.


liquidat said...

Hope you liked Berlin, and Germany at all - and if you really struggle to get vegetarian food in Norway (?), you should ask a friend in Germany to send you a package once in a while - that's not too expensive, I think.
And its better than starving :D

However, about the WebKit stuff: I'm really confused what's going on now: who is in charge for what, and who is developing with whom, and most important: what will we have for KDE 4? And where fits Apple in this picture?

I hoped to get some more information on the page, but that is dead for more than a week now...

Quintesse said...

Just a reaction to your patching-pain: have you tried a repository like Mercurial? (altough Git likely has the same functionality)

Especially the Patch Queue sounds like it could make your life a lot easier.

That way you could maintain a local repository (or several of them) and apply, re-apply, reorder and remove patches at your leisure.

Quintesse said...

Forgot the links:


Mercurial Patch Queues

Jason said...

I think trolls use Perforce, which is pretty freaking sweet.

Anonymous said...

As liquidat asked, I'd like to summarize a bit about WebKit (however I know very little about it).

WebKit ( has never seen a brightest light, with Apple, Nokia, and many other people, some of which happen to work on KDE too, working on the same repository. Unfortunately (or luckily!!), given the amount of work that Apple people put on that in recent times, they host the repository and have very strict rules. This is because code written by tens of hands is always a mess if everyone can do what he wants, but if you look at the shape of the Open Source Code you can download from the site, you'll be pleased !

The main difference from KHTML is in the structure of the code. WebKit is really portable, with a core html+js engine and a platform abstraction. On the same repository you find quartz, qt, win, gtk implementations using xcode, makefiles, cmake and other build systems. It really already has everything you'll need (and maybe more!).. Scary ;-)

No matter if it will be shipped by default with KDE4 or not, since it's already Qt4 (thanks to Zack, Simon, Dirk and George and their work that made the qt4 backend and, most of all, it's an open source project so every free person in this very planet has the right to make it a sand-alone app, a gui-engine, a teapot, or even konqueror plugin! ;-)

Anonymous said...

No way the previous comment is meant to be correct or not to be misleading. ;-) I also hacked in a copule of typ0s and wording errors that only the dumbest will notice ;-D

Marius Gedminas said...

Today I used bzr to merge my local changes with a new upstream version of FBReader. It was very painless and nice. Check out

I'm pretty sure git or Mercurial would have worked just as well.

Anonymous said...

The situation is simple: Apple is in total control of WebKit and declined to share this control when asked.

So the unification project (which was just euphemism for dropping our branch completely anyway) just ended there.

If things stay as they are, WebKitQt will be an independant project, while KDE4 ships with KHTML as a default (and very much competing) engine.

It doesn't look like a bad situation.

liquidat said...

Though to me it looks like a bad situation when there are not-shared efforts around improving the khtml code, I say thank you for clarifying the situation. :)

liquidat said...

Just saw this note about your acceptance as a WebKit contributor - congrats! :)