[Sugar-devel] Browse and the move to WebKit

Lucian Branescu lucian.branescu at gmail.com
Tue Jun 14 17:35:09 EDT 2011

On 14 June 2011 20:58, Daniel Drake <dsd at laptop.org> wrote:
> 2. What is the state of Surf?
> This is the existing webkit-based browser for Sugar. Does it work
> well? Is it reliable? What are the gaping holes?

It works reasonably well. I couldn't implement cookies for example,
because that requires libsoup bindings. libsoup folks recommended I
use pygi. There are a few other gaps in functionality.

Surf is forked from Browse a few versions back (I think 119). Some new
features could be backported from newer Browse, but overall I consider
the Surf codebase in a reasonable state, just incomplete.

> 3. What is the safe of pywebkitgtk in F14, F15, F16?
> This is the backend library used by Surf, right? Is this still the
> right answer for creating a webkit-based app using Python + GTK?
> Does it work well on Fedora 14, or do we need a newer distro?
> I remember at one point there being some pretty key problems with
> pywebkitgtk causing Surf development to halt. What were these issues
> and have they been overcome?

pywebkitgtk is unmaintained, and its author has moved to pygi.
Switching to pygi shouldn't be hard at all from what I've seen, it's
an almost entirely automated process.

> IIRC those pywebkitgtk-related problems were going to be solved with a
> move to GObject introspection, which wasn't mature back in that
> timeframe. But it is mature and usable now. But does this require us
> to move to GTK+-3?

pygi itself is much more mature, indeed. However, last year there were
significant problems with using sugar-toolkit together with pygi,
since sugar-toolkit uses (used?) static bindings. I don't know what
the status is now, the issues may no longer exist. iirc, part of the
reason pygi was merged in pygobject was to better support static
bindings based on pygobject.

It doesn't require moving to GTK3, which is entirely orthogonal to pygi afaik.

> Does WebKit/webkitgtk work for both GTK+-2 and GTK+-3? Any pros/cons
> of one over the other?

I don't know about the state of their GTK3 port, but I believe they're
working on it.

On 14 June 2011 22:05, C. Scott Ananian <cscott at laptop.org> wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 4:42 PM, Daniel Drake <dsd at laptop.org> wrote:
>> On 14 June 2011 21:35, Peter Robinson <pbrobinson at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Would a skinned version of Firefox Mobile work for what is needed?
>> No, as we need collaboration, journal access, etc. But (I didn't
>> include this argument as I lost the link) this response matches what I
>> read from mozilla developers: if you want to build a mozilla-based
>> product, fork the mozilla codebase and write your application inside
>> there.
> I did work on that; you can certainly make a firefox extension that
> supports collaboration, journal access, etc.  My firefox activity did
> some of what's necessary.  Firefox can speak dbus, etc.

Yes, if mozilla is desired, the way to go is to extend xulrunner, not
embed it. An alternative chrome and a couple of extensions for sugar
integration would provide that.

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