Phonon and QtWebKit/WebKit

Alexis Ménard menard at
Fri May 27 18:27:21 BST 2011


I'm writing here to start a discussion about the status of Phonon and
WebKit/QtWebkit. As you probably know HTML5 spec includes support for
audio and video element. When first experiments were made in WebKit to
support it, the Qt port used Phonon, the only multimedia framework at
that time. Unfortunately the implementation never went further than a
proof of concept because at that time we had issues with it (mostly
API missing, poor support of QGV, hardware acceleration). Then a new
multimedia framework came into Qt with Qt Multimedia allowing us to do
what we needed (please do not start a flamewar, It's not my point
here). So far the implementation is complete but has still some
stability issues mainly due of Qt Multimedia and its low QA. So the
Phonon backend was left over in the trunk of WebKit and it compiles
but not more, if Qt Multimedia is installed it will use Qt Multimedia
by default.

Today I'm taking care of the multimedia support in WebKit and I don't
know what to do with the Phonon backend. It adds complexity to the
build, to the code and I don't see any interest of anyone to maintain
it. It doesn't even support fullscreen playback, it misses a lot of
features and it requires a lot of cleanup.

I'm wondering, what will be the obvious benefits of QtWebKit to use
Phonon on KDE or non KDE platforms? The settings?

If someone wants to maintain it, what is the roadmap of Phonon
regardless hardware acceleration for example, support of QGV...

To be frank with you guys I'm not even sure that Qt Multimedia is the
right tool either for QtWebKit. WebKit already contains native
backends used by other ports : Apple, GTK for example. They use
QuickTime and GStreamer, their backends are rock solid, they move
quick to get features and the code still is very tiny, we're talking
about 1700 lines of code. And using them for QtWebKit is beneficial in
a sense that we get improvements/bug fixes for free and the QtWebKit
team is really limited ressources wise. Even if we moved to the
existing native backends we would still support the Qt Multimedia path
on some platforms like Symbian, which Phonon does not support.

I'm in favor of removing the Phonon backend and use Qt Multimedia as a
default but I'm sure you guys won't be happy.

Please raise reasons for me to keep it.


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