[dot] Interview: Qt Comes to Mozilla and Firefox
stories at kdenews.org
Tue Aug 12 14:21:44 CEST 2008
From: Jonathan Riddell <>
Date: Wednesday 06/Aug/2008, @21:47
Interview: Qt Comes to Mozilla and Firefox
Developers from Nokia and Mozilla have been working hard to port the
Mozilla Platform and Firefox to Qt
[http://browser.garage.maemo.org/news/10/] and there are now some solid
results available. An experimental build of Firefox Qt is available, and
you can download the sources from Mozilla's mercurial repository. The
plan is to merge the Qt branch into the central Mozilla branch to make
the port official. KDE Dot News spoke to developer Oleg Romaxa from
Nokia who came to Akademy 2008 from Finland.
Mozilla Qt Developer Oleg Romaxa
I. WHY DID YOU DO THIS PORT?
Because we were going to make Maemo use Qt in the future and we
were making a browser based on Mozilla for the N810, so now we are
making this new browser version based on Qt. Before, there was no Qt
port available for Mozilla. It only took us 5 days to port it. We asked
for help from Mozilla and they sent a team to Finland for a week.
II. WHAT'S THE CURRENT STATE OF THE PORT?
The Qt port is mostly ready now for our browser. For full Firefox
support, we need to implement XUL widgets, theming, and make some
implementation for Flash player (NPAPI) support: it works but doesn't
currently draw anything.
III. WILL THIS BE SUPPORTED IN FUTURE?
Yes, we will support it. We will cooperate with Trolltech to ensure
it continues to be supported.
IV. WHAT IS MOZILLA'S INTEREST IN THIS?
Mozilla are interested in mobile devices. Nokia make mobile
devices, and will be using Qt. If you look at the mobile Firefox
requirements, Qt support is in that.
V. WHY ARE NOKIA NOW DEVELOPING TWO BROWSERS? THIS ONE AND QTWEBKIT?
Nokia will use the best browser for the job. Currently, we cannot
make a full-featured and integrated browser with WebKit in mobile. But
with Mozilla, we do not need to do anything, we can take existing models
and API's which are available. Also, NPAPI support is already in the
Gecko web rendering engine. They are also concerned that WebKit is to
some extent controlled by Apple, who are in competition to Nokia with
VI. WHAT ARE YOU HOPING TO GET OUT OF AKADEMY?
I'm hoping to find people and ask them what they think about the Qt
port and having Mozilla integrated into KDE. So far people are just
talking about WebKit.
VII. WILL DISTRIBUTIONS PACKAGE IT?
That would be interesting to know. Maybe Kubuntu would like to have
Also, i've heard of Russian companies making KDE-based
distributions and they might be interested in having Firefox without
having GTK installed.
VIII. DO YOU THINK MOZILLA WILL GET RID OF GTK?
No, Mozilla will support officially only the ports they have a
particular interest in. If it helps to expand their market they will be
IX. WHERE CAN PEOPLE FIND MORE INFORMATION?
There is a branch available on Mozilla's Mercurial repository.
the latest branch, it should soon be merged when I fix a final
X. WHAT NEEDED DOING FOR THE PORT?
We ported Cairo to gain a QPainter backend. It's not full-featured,
but it's enough for a web browser. Qt's implementation of the Cairo
backend is much simpler than with GTK, because Qt is better able to
integrate graphics and widgets.
XI. CAN THE CAIRO BACKEND BE USED FOR OTHER CAIRO APPLICATIONS, LIKE
I'm sure it's already possible to do most of what's needed, images
and compositing are there. It's not fully implemented but it's mostly
complete. We are talking to Cairo developers to push the Qt backend into
the Cairo source tree.
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