1.1.14 is definitely worth blogging about. While I was updating the gtk-doc stuff to update the documentation that is available in our website I was thinking that this is probably the release with the largest amount of API addition I have seen in my time as a contributor to the project! Before I start talking about the new APIs, though, let me talk of something that went under the hood: Xan has patched WebKitGTK+ to override libsoup’s connection limits, so that our limits match those of other modern browsers – we now allow up to 60 connections total, and 6 per host. People have been reporting load performance improvements for some sites!
We have an initial set of APIs to deal with the data that was loaded to render the page, represented by the new DataSource object. This allows you to peek at the source of the HTML that was rendered, for instance. In the near future we will have ways of getting the data and other information for each resource that is downloaded to compose the page. Jan Alonzo has spent quite some time studying, implementing and perfecting this API, with some help from me and Xan.
One initial piece of the larger API to control resource loading is already there, as well. The WebView will use the new resource-request-starting signal to let you know that a request is about to be sent, and allow you to modify headers, or even the URI that is going to be fetched. For some, the greatest news here is that this allows a basic implementation of AD blocking, which is now supported in Epiphany with the WebKit backend, as of version 2.27.92, released today! This is something I have been looking at in my Collabora time for some time now, and working along with Xan and Jan, we finally seem to have figure out the API interactions correctly. There’s more to come regarding resource loading tracking, in the near future.
That would already be a lot, from my point of view, but there’s a whole lot more. A new contributor, Martin Robinson, has arrived proposing new API pieces for an important HTML5 tool: web databases, which brings with it the concept of SecurityOrigin. Jan has exposed API to put the WebView in “view source” mode, Xan has given us undo/redo support for editable content, and Zan Dobersek has done some overall improvement of our HTML5 media player.
That’s a lot of change for a release, which also goes to show we still have quite a gap to fill, but we are being able to move forward and fill them quite quickly. If you want to help out, pick something in your area of interest, and send us patches!