Epiphany/WebKit advancing

Since late 2008 WebKit/GTK+ has been advancing in a better pace than earlier that year. Patches are being reviewed and committed actively, mostly by Holger Freyther (zecke). This last month, among other goodies such as better keyword searching for the WooHoo bar in Epiphany and enabling WebKit’s Soup backend to upload files, I have been working on getting download support into WebKit/GTK+ so that we can use that API in Epiphany.

Most of the heavy work was done by Marco Barisione and Pierre-Luc Beaudoin for Collabora early last year. I brought the patch up-to-date and modified it with input from various people into something simpler and handling some more use cases. Tonight I finally reached a milestone, being able to download a Debian ISO with Epiphany/WebKit:


Epiphany WebKit downloading

This is work in progress. There are many rough edges to sharpen, still, but this work should be ready for merging very soon. If you want to help take a look at the WebKit bug report we are using to track this work, and the corresponding Epiphany bug report.

Anyway, I’ve been using both Epiphany and WebKit/GTK+ from trunk for about a month now, and the number of things I am missing is going down quickly. Come help us test and get a regressionless Epiphany with WebKit/GTK+ for GNOME 2.28!

8 thoughts on “Epiphany/WebKit advancing”

  1. @Jelmer: maybe; or maybe the extensions will need a rework, I haven’t yet looked at this – I will probably be looking into this after I have good enough packages for Epiphany/WebKit uploaded.

  2. Hi, what’s the impact on performance and memory usage? It’s sad that even on new computers, the web browser always feels like a brick. How can something that only should show documents be so heavy? WebKit will help in this regard right?

  3. @ulrik: WebKit was designed from scratch so that it would be able to run on embedded devices; the GTK+ port has been used in some small devices, such as the iRex Digital Readers (see http://blog.barisione.org/2009-02/webkit-gtk-on-irex-digital-readers/), though I am pretty sure its memory usage has not been investigated/profiled/optimized.

    Notice that the web is not made of “simple” documents. HTML+Javascript+CSS do know how to be tricky and complex, so final memory usage will always depend on the web page design. I am happy with Ephy/WebKit’s memory usage.

  4. Just as an aside, I think porting the extensions would be much less trouble than it seems, since with epiphany-gecko and epiphany-webkit of the same version I was able to just symlink the extensions from the gecko version to the webkit version and almost all of them worked perfectly fine, including adblock, greasemonkey, favicon, tab-states, actions, gwget, and the actual extension manager itself :) I’m contemplating just making a fix myself and submitting it.

  5. Scott, could you let the rest of know, in plain English, what it means to “symlink the extensions” so that we too can get adblock working!

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