kde4 browser roadmap

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Tue Sep 22 17:51:02 BST 2009

Aljosa Mohorovic posted on Tue, 22 Sep 2009 10:48:37 +0200 as excerpted:

> so, to answer my question - there is no roadmap for kde4 default browser
> and there doesn't seem to be any people doing any active development
> compared to other modern browsers.

Well, I'm not a kde dev (not a dev at all, actually, tho I hang around 
enough to speak/write a bit of the language, sysadmin level scripting is 
about the extent of it here), but from what I read on kdeplanet, etc, 
there's two trains of thought.  One is to continue to develop khtml 
separately.  The other is that given the limited developer resources kde 
has for that compared to others, and the resources it takes to do it 
right, that's not realistic.

>From my observation the latter seems to be gaining the upper hand, if 
only for practicality reasons.  But at this point qt/webkit, the logical 
alternative, is simply too new and not yet as mature or familiar as khtml 
is, so switching right now wouldn't be practical even if there wasn't any 
nostalgic or whatever resistance to the idea.  It does seem reasonably 
clear that's where things are headed, however, as kde is otherwise so 
dependent on qt that with it now providing a web rendering backend, it 
just doesn't make sense to require some other dependency for that 
functionality, or for kde to continue building its own.

What may happen is that it'll end up working much like phonon is, with 
kde and qt doing releases from slightly different branches of the same 
code, alternating releases or whatever.

Anyway, that would seem to the the future web rendering road map at this 
point, made even more so because it's so obvious, that the khtml project 
is likely to have trouble attracting devs for what looks so much like a 
project ultimately headed for "maintenance mode", thus reinforcing the 

Also, as I noted, plasma, amarok (which now uses plasma) and others are 
already using qt's webkit.  (Of course, it can be noted that asegio is a 
Qt-software or whatever they're calling it this week employee and 
evangalist, so perhaps it's little surprise he's using the qt version, 
eating his own dogfood as it were.  asegio being plasma's lead dev, of 
course.) The feel I get is that those are the first experimental steps in 
that direction.  Any problems they have with qt-webkit integration aren't 
going to matter as much at the non-critical level of a plasmoid, as they 
would if kde's main web browsing functionality was centered around it.  
But IMO it's pretty clearly just a matter of time, letting the technology 
mature, etc.

So I wouldn't say it's entirely directionless, even if the roadmap isn't 
formalized or officially committed to, yet.  There is one, it's simply 
maintain khtml for the next few releases, and expect that by qt 4.6 or 
4.7, qt-webkit will be mature enough to take over.

> also, please note that i've been devoted kde user for years now and i'm
> not trying to start a negative/disruptive discussion. i'm only trying to
> start an active, constructive discussion about possible browser options
> for kde since i think it's important.

Heh.  You're sounding like me now! =:^)

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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