Distros and QtWebEngine

Vadim Zhukov persgray at gmail.com
Mon Apr 20 20:56:48 BST 2015

2015-04-20 19:28 GMT+03:00 Lisandro Damián Nicanor Pérez <perezmeyer at gmail.com>:
> Hi everyone! I'm one of Debian's Qt maintainers and I'm writing here due to
> the problem that QtWebEngine poses for us distros (in this case, at least
> Debian and Fedora).
> I know that kdepim seems to depend on it now. Sadly QtWebEngine it's quite a
> hard (very hard) piece of software to package.
> It embeds quite a lot of 3rd party stuff which we distros don't accept (in
> different grades depending on the distro) as we require to build using the
> system versions. Fedora's Rex Dieter tells me that's actually why chromium is
> not available for them.
> Moreover we can't build debugging symbols on most archs due to the enormous
> amount of RAM+swap it involves in the linking process (more than 8GB last time
> I checked). This is at least the same as QtWebKit, but seems to be getting
> worse.
> Yes, we do understand that QtWebEngine is technically superior to any other
> thing out there but making that code an acceptable package is another thing.
> So basically what I'm trying to say is: don't expect us down streamers to
> easily package QtWebEngine soon, if we ever get to it.
> I'm really sorry if this comes as "bad news", but the reality is currently
> this :(

And if such large-community distros like Debian and Fedora have
issues, what to say about smaller ones? Also, QtWebEngine isn't ported
outside of Linux, Windows and MacOS X at all.

I'm an OpenBSD developer, maintaining almost all Qt and KDE ports for
now. And I can clearly say that I won't ever start working on
QtWebEngine: chromium port in OpenBSD (maintained by a different
person) already has 285 (sic!) local patches, so QtWebEngine will need
at least as much. That's, obviously, too much. So until something
changes, there will be no KF5-based PIM on OpenBSD.

I'm not in favor of using outdated QtWebkit module either: it's likely
full of security holes, so it's not the thing you want to throw
incoming email at.

Could some sa[fn]e, compact, non-JS engine be used for viewing mail
and other PIM activities? What options do KDE PIM people see?

  Vadim Zhukov

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