[Development] Deprecating modules with 5.5

Knoll Lars Lars.Knoll at theqtcompany.com
Fri Feb 6 09:14:07 CET 2015

On 06/02/15 08:42, "André Somers" <andre at familiesomers.nl> wrote:

>Knoll Lars schreef op 5-2-2015 om 16:28:
>> But we don’t have much of a choice, if we want to deliver an up to date
>> web engine.
>Perhaps it is time to ask the question then: do we want to do that? Do
>we really need to?

If you ask me as a Chief Maintainer of the Qt project, I’d say: Why not as
long as someone makes it happen. If you ask me as the CTO of TQtC, I’ll
answer: Hell yes, we need it in the product to be competitive, especially
on embedded.

>It seems to me, that it isn't really possible to do. Not in a way that
>doesn't require huge effort in support or pissing off everybody not on
>one of the large main stream platforms. And the question might be: why
>should Qt deliver an up-to-date web engine exactly? Do we really think
>that people are going to use Qt to build advanced browsers? Sure, some
>might (KDE comes to mind...), but you are right in your observation that
>the technology is moving too fast and is developed between giants like
>Google, Apple and Microsoft who could not care less about other uses or
>other platforms than their own.
>All the while Qt is spending effort to catch up, deprecating compilers
>and platforms because they can't take the latest Javascript engine to
>it, users are hapily using browers like Firefox and Chrome.

Well, with Qt WebEngine we can actually keep up. That was the whole point
of doing that change from WebKit. But yes, we can’t support it on a 10
year old compiler. But Qt is not about a least common denominator
solution. We can and have to offer up to date things on newer OSes.

>Perhaps it is time to conclude that Qt just can't compete in this race
>if it doesn't want to be crushed between the giants playing this field.
>Perhaps it is just time to settle for indeed a simpler goal: don't try
>to provide a fully integrated full-fledged web engine, but instead
>settle once again for a simpler alternative that we _can_ support and
>that can be used for things like showing embedded help or showing simple
>sites, and perhaps an API to wrap and embed the native web view provided
>by the platform but with limited integration.

We are currently developing that simpler solution as well. It’s called Qt
WebView and embeds the native web engine of the underlying platform.
Unfortunately most OSes have different limitations as to how you can
embed, making something that works well on all platforms very hard. Not to
even mention that there is no native component to embed available on
Linux. So far *we* have been that component.

We will continue to need a web engine, and there is a huge amount of
customer interest and need for it. Especially on the embedded side.

I understand the concern of the Linux distributions. But they are only one
part of the picture. Even though Qt has a very special position inside the
Linux stack, it is used much more broadly.

We can try to find solutions that work for the Linux distributions, but
we’ve always had this kind of problems (even though there probably weren’t
as extreme as with chromium).


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