[Development] Make WebKit an add-on

Simon Hausmann simon.hausmann at digia.com
Fri Jun 20 09:18:26 CEST 2014

On Friday 20. June 2014 06.53.22 Rutledge Shawn wrote:
> On 20 Jun 2014, at 08:32, Knoll Lars <Lars.Knoll at digia.com> wrote:
> > Hi,
> > 
> > Currently Qt WebKit and Qt WebKit Widgets are marked in our documentation
> > as Qt Essentials. I’d like to propose to move them to the add-on category
> > for 5.4.
> > 
> > There are several reasons for that, the main ones being:
> > 
> > * Qt WebKit is not supported on Android, iOS and WinRT
> > * We can’t develop it much further (esp we can't update with newer
> > versions of webkit), as the webkit project has moved into a different
> > direction
> > * Qt WebEngine is going to replace it over time
> > 
> > Unless someone has a very good reason against changing this, I’d like to
> > change the status of the 2 modules in time before the 5.4 branch is being
> > created.
> Will all of our own usage of WebKit (such as in Assistant and Creator) be
> replaced with WebEngine in time for 5.4?

I'm not sure that is the natural replacement.

Work has started on making it possible to re-use a web engine supplied by the 
system if possible. That would make particular sense for Qt Creator and 
Assistant. On platforms where there is no system supplied web engine (Linux), 
QtWebEngine would be a natural solution again (supplied by the same API).

However given the portability contraints of essential modules, it's going to 
be difficult to promote QtWebEngine to become an essential module. Therefore a 
dependency of Qt Creator and Assistant to an addon (whether it's QtWebKit or 
QWebEngine) would simply be a requirement on platforms without a system web 
engine (Linux/X11), as long as we use HTML as document format. I think it's 
unlikely that we're going to switch away from HTML and at the same time I 
think a dependency to an add-on module isn't a big deal in a situation like 
this, especially if it's solved through a plug-in mechanism and therefore a 
run-time/install dependency as opposed to a build dependency.

AFAIK Qt Creator's master branch already uses Apple's WebKit on Mac OS X.

Just my two cents :)


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