[openbeos] Re: WebKit port and Chrome

  • From: "Ryan Leavengood" <leavengood@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 7 Sep 2008 15:41:12 -0400

On Sun, Sep 7, 2008 at 4:56 AM, Gregor B. Rosenauer
<gregor.rosenauer@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> With the release of another open source browser based on WebKit (this time
> from Google), I wondered what the current status of the WebKit port on Haiku
> was and if it would help peeking at Chrome, or even (later) doing a full port
> since it brings along nice things such as a fast JavaScript engine, a decent
> threading model (fits well into Haiku...), uncluttered look and has been 
> tested
> on many web pages already... too bad SoC is already over,-)

I am the original Haiku WebKit port author and Chrome has certainly
been intriguing to me. Since I haven't yet started serious work on a
Haiku browser shell to put the WebKit port into, it definitely makes
sense to make use of Chrome. The only drawback I have seen so far is
that the Chromium code (which is the open source project behind
Chrome) is very Windows specific. I have been in contact with some of
the developers who are working on the Linux port of Chrome, and even
they have a lot of work to do, and that is with the help of some paid
Google developers.

So as much as I would love to think that I alone or a small team could
get a Haiku Chrome port going at the same time as Google has a Linux
or Mac port (in a few months), that isn't really realistic. BUT, I
think it is definitely something worth working on. I do think the
Chromium code may have a lot of things that would be useful to a Haiku
browser. Since the Google code is licensed under BSD I could
definitely pick and choose the useful parts until a fuller Chrome port
could be made. For example it would probably be possible to use the V8
JS engine inside a Haiku browser without using the other parts of

> http://www.haiku-os.org/documents/dev/how_to_work_on_the_haiku_webkit_port
> The page has not changed since June, does anyone know the current status?

The current status of the Haiku WebKit code is that it is very out of
date. Basically the port needs to be updated to use the latest WebKit
code and it also needs some more code to get the port in better shape.
This needs to be done whether we use Chrome or not. Once some of that
work is done I want to get the Haiku WebKit port into the official
WebKit tree, much as Google is integrating their changes in WebKit for
Chrome back into the WebKit tree.

Then I want to start looking at all the available open source BeOS
browsers (NetOptimist, Themis) to see what code might be useful. I
will also look deeper into Chrome to see if maybe a Haiku port might
be more realistic than I currently think. Luckily as time goes on the
Chromium code will get more platform independent (just as the WebKit
code has), so the possibility of a Haiku port just gets better over

If anyone is interested in helping out on this project, let me know.
Unfortunately there is probably some work I will need to do alone
first to get the WebKit port to a place where it is easier for others
to help. I will post something on the Haiku web-site when I reach this


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