[kde-linux] State of Konqueror ?

Kevin Krammer kevin.krammer at gmx.at
Fri Jan 18 00:10:09 UTC 2008

On Friday 18 January 2008, Jonathan Wilson wrote:
> I think some of you said these things already but I'll say them again . . .
> On Thursday 17 January 2008 14:18:34 Anne Wilson wrote:

> > There have been many complaints that konqueror is too big, too
> > complicated, too configurable,
> Ridiculous. If you don't want to set any configurable options, then simply
> DON'T go browsing through the settings menu - use the defaults. If people
> can't find what they consider to be "basic" options because there's "too
> many" to browse through (I'll maybe agree with that), perhaps these "Basic"
> options could be left "out in the open" and the rest hidden under
> an "Advanced" button.

Most complaints I have heard of are not actually options or configurability 
(even if those are the words used to describe the actual problem), but more a 
difficulty to work with the "multiple personality" feature, a.k.a. profiles, 
e.g. parts of the GUI (menus, toolbars) changing when "clicking the wrong 
link/button", stuff like this.

> > For those of us that like its configurability, we get to keep
> > konqueror.
> Forks are good for who? Can't we give these users a program that's a shell
> with fewer options that is still really running the Konqeror engine ++ in
> the background? Otherwise, what third parties are ever going to develop
> plugins for /two/ KDE file managers?

It's not a fork. Actually the developers are doing exactly what you are 
suggesting, sharing the actual functionality and just presenting it 

Think about it as some kind of re-use like in Kontact, where the mail 
component is basically KMail not running in its usual stand-alone shell but 
in the integration shell.

> I'm probably way out of touch but I thought Apple was contributing
> improvements to KTHML or whatever back to Konqueror/KDE? Or is that way old
> news and Safari is based on something proprietary now?

Apple never directly contributed to KHTML as far as I know, In the beginning 
they confirmed to the LGPL licence by basically having their version 
accessible as a whole, thus putting the effort of figuring out the actual 
differences to the KHTML developers.

I think at a later point this somewhat improved, i.e. they created a 
collection of differences (patches), but still a lot of them in one go 
without any comments.

They then began hosting WebKit as a kind of project they created, i.e. making 
most of it (still continued using internal variation) read-only accessible 
from outside in real-time.

Then they allowed write-access to those parts that WebKit uses to adopt to 
platforms (sometimes referred to as backend), basically allowing platform 
adapter providers (Nokia, Trolltech) to develop their code in a central 
location, but they would still not allow access to the engine code.

I think around summer of last year (2007) they solved this as well, publishing 
policies when a contributor would allowed to do what, including contributing 
to the core and their developers have the same policies applied as well, i.e. 
just being an Apple employee no longer guarantees instant read/write access 
to everything.

Since this change WebKit is pratically a new free software project on its own, 
which is a really good thing and probably currently the best achievable 
solution, but, again, not the same thing as actively contributing to KHTML, 
more the opposite.


Kevin Krammer, KDE developer, xdg-utils developer
KDE user support, developer mentoring
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