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KDE GUI Handhelds Hardware

Nokia Engineers on KHTML 98

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the embedded-devices-strong-with-the-force dept.
Rich writes "KDE could soon be making its way into your mobile phone. At aKademy in August David Carson and Deepika Chauhan from Nokia presented the work they've done in integrating KDE components into the latest version of the company's mobile phone software. Philip Rodrigues discusses this work with them on dot.kde.org."
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Nokia Engineers on KHTML

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  • KHTML? (Score:2, Insightful)

    I don't know for sure, but isn't WebCore a different thing to KHTML? I think it's based on KHTML, but is it not a separate project?
    • WebCore is Apple's KHTML-derived HTML rendering component (used in Safari).
    • Re:KHTML? (Score:5, Informative)

      by biehl (580274) on Monday October 17, 2005 @06:27AM (#13808077)
      Yes, WebCore [apple.com] is Apples fork of KHTML. Read here [osviews.com] for an explanation on how the collaboration between the projects works.
    • Re:KHTML? (Score:2, Informative)

      by EntropyEngine (890880)
      As I understand it -- and have read elsewhere -- Nokia became interested through Apple's interest in kHTML [blogspot.com].

      After all, Apple have had some success with Quicktime on mobile devices and Nokia like that kind of stuff.

      There's been all kinds of talk of Apple and Nokia gettin' all cozy on some smart phone stuff, but nothing has been confirmed, yet...
    • Re: KHTML (Score:5, Informative)

      by g2devi (898503) on Monday October 17, 2005 @07:35AM (#13808219)
      There are two ports, one from Apple and one based off the work from Apple by Nokia. Here's the link I think you're referring to:
                  http://gtk-webcore.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

      From the page: "Gtk+ WebCore is a Linux/Gtk+ port of Apple Computer Inc.'s WebCore KHTML html rendering engine including a web component. A reference browser implementation is included in the project. Gtk+ WebCore is a standards compliant (X)HTML rendering engine, javascript interpreter and an embeddable web component. The purpose of the web component is to be a light-weight, easy-to-compile and embed, open source rendering component.

      The project work is done at Nokia Research Center (NRC) as part of ongoing internet browser-related research activities. By releasing the source we hope to support in open source communities interested in using KHTML rendering engine component."
       
  • by antivoid (751399) on Monday October 17, 2005 @06:15AM (#13808048) Homepage
    With any luck, there will be some innovation taking place rather than just shoving KDE onto a cellphone. A few things make me wonder:

    1. Is this an appropriate GUI system to be using in such memory-deficient devices? I believe we we find out soon...

    2. What bothers me about an X system is that it is targetted at client-server, and the resultant code bloat may prove hazardous to an embedded implementation. I do however that an open-source-based solution should be used (why re-invent the wheel).

    3. What sort of licensing and commercial rights do a company possess, given the fact that they are using open-source commercially?

    4. Can I still make phone calls of this phone? :)
    • FFS RTFA, this is about WebCore (a KHTML-derived HTML rendering engine) being used in the Nokia web browser. They aren't porting all of KDE.
    • Remember folks... You heard it here first!

      Knokia, Konqia, Kokia, KoNokia, Knoquerer...

      I really should get back to work.
    • 4. Can I still make phone calls of this phone? :)

      You'll make kphone kalls instead.
    • 2. What bothers me about an X system is that it is targetted at client-server, and the resultant code bloat may prove hazardous to an embedded implementation.

      Surely mobile phones are the definition of a client-server application? That aside, if the system is built according to a few simple OO principles the excess components will be easily removable.

      Some corporate engineering decisions are sometimes taken for non-technical reasons, but I suspect there's no non-technical factor here other than cost. Th

    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday October 17, 2005 @06:50AM (#13808124) Journal
      WebCore is not dependent on X. It uses a small Qt-like backend. On OS X, this translates drawing calls into Quatrz (PDF-like) drawing commands. On X11, they can be translated into X11 drawing calls. On a Series 60 phone they will be translated into the native GUI's API.

      WebCore is LGPL. They have to make their changes available to people who buy their 'phones (they also have to allow their customers to use a different version of WebCore, which could be interesting). They do not have to contribute their changes directly back to Apple, but they probably will since it is usually much easier to contribute patches than maintain a fork (note that this didn't apply to Apple when they forked KHTML, since they were throwing more developer time at the codebase than KHTML had in total, so it was easier to fork).

    • 1. Is this an appropriate GUI system to be using in such memory-deficient devices? I believe we we find out soon...

      Yes. If you think specifically of KDE/QT - check out what runs on zaurus, ipaq, and whatnot [handhelds.org], but you have to remember that this is Qtopia, not the same thing you have as a kde desktop, although resourcewise, KDE is becoming lighter and lighter...

      Also, they speak about a rendering engine, not a GUI/OS solution (and afaik Nokia did a browser using khtml but with GTK UI).

    • by RossyB (28685) <rossNO@SPAMburtonini.com> on Monday October 17, 2005 @07:01AM (#13808147) Homepage
      2. What bothers me about an X system is that it is targetted at client-server, and the resultant code bloat may prove hazardous to an embedded implementation. I do however that an open-source-based solution should be used (why re-invent the wheel).

      Sigh, this again. In X when the client and the server are on the same machine, communication is by local Unix sockets, which are the fastest form of IPC on Linux. Keith Packard wrote a new X server (kdrive) to demonstrate that X doesn't have to be slow, and he was right: the "overhead" of the client/server communication is nothing compared to the time it takes smaller systems to draw.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Sigh, this again. In X when the client and the server are on the same machine, communication is by local Unix sockets, which are the fastest form of IPC on Linux. 1. Why do you need IPC? Because the X drwaing code is in a diferent process. This is not the case in many embedded platforms, where the drawing code is in the OS kernel or the application itself. In such situations, the overhead of local Unix sockets is rather significat (and most of the time unacceptable). 2. Because you have to deal with the c
        • Are you seriously suggesting that we put drawing code into the kernel? Yes, it's in another process, and yes generally that's a good thing. There are plenty of Linux handheld devices out there which run X (our stand at LinuxWorld had 5 devices on, all running kdrive) and the IPC isn't a performance problem. Bad algorithms which result in register thrashing on ARM cores is a more serious problem, honestly!

          As for your other arguments, the transports in X are compile-time pluggable. As you'd expect a kdriv
        • 1. in most cases drawing still dominates, rather than IPC overhead

          2. This is why the standard MIT SHM extension exists. When the client and server are on the same machine, the bitmap memory can be shared between client and server
    • by Bogtha (906264) on Monday October 17, 2005 @07:10AM (#13808159)

      Is this an appropriate GUI system to be using in such memory-deficient devices?

      RTFA:

      We started investigating the available open-source solutions and decided to go with a KDE-based solution for primarily 3 reasons:

      1. Series 60 devices are constrained by ROM/RAM. WebCore/KHTML and JavaScriptCore/KJS provide rendering engines that use very small RAM/ROM footprint. That was really a clincher for us.

    • This ain't about X and qt and such (rather one small non-UI component of KDE), but qt, and gtk for that matter, can exist without X. Gtk and so forth have been ported to use DirectFB primitives rather than X ones, and the Qtopia system is a qt based palmtop environment. In some ways, that's the cool thing about layers.
    • 1. Is this an appropriate GUI system to be using in such memory-deficient devices? I believe we we find out soon...

      If you're talking about qt, it's where trolltech makes a lot of their money, so they must be doing something right. If you mean khtml, they say in TFA that the reason they chose it over (for example) gecko is its low memory requirements.

    • They're not "shoving KDE onto a cellphone", they'e using a single component, KHTML. They're not using X, they're using Qt/Embedded. And KHTML is under the LGPL license, so as long as they make their KHTML modifications available, they don't need to open their browsing application that uses it.

      Can I still make phone calls of this phone?

      A cell phone that let's you make phone calls. How quaint...
  • What of the 770? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 17, 2005 @06:54AM (#13808132)
    don't they already have their own GTK+ based gui and Webcore based browser? I seem to recall them releasing the sources some time ago.
    • Re:What of the 770? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      They did a port of KHTML, but never used it. The 770 runs a customized build of Opera.
  • Small RAM footprint (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Mostly a lurker (634878) on Monday October 17, 2005 @06:54AM (#13808136)
    Was anyone else surprised that the key reason for using KDE components was the small footprint of the rendering engine? I had not considered KDE terrible in this regard, but I am shocked that it is considered superior to the alternatives.
    • by Jessta (666101) on Monday October 17, 2005 @07:02AM (#13808148) Homepage
      it's not KDE. It's KHTML.
      KHTML has a far lower footprint than something like GECKO(mozilla firefox).
       
    • Was anyone else surprised that the key reason for using KDE components was the small footprint of the rendering engine? I had not considered KDE terrible in this regard, but I am shocked that it is considered superior to the alternatives.

      The kde javascript engine is incredibly slow (straight rendering is faster than anything OSS, but once you hit heavy javascript it slows to a crawl), so I'm glad there's something it's good at in compensation.

    • This is KHTML, as I think a sibling post to this one pointed out. And is there really a lighter-weight alternative around, on an open source licence?

  • Back when I had my first phone, a Nokia 3210, it could go for almost a week without charging. Now, I have a phone with all the features it lasts little more than a day. Personally, if I want to use KHTML while I'm travelling around I'd rather take a laptop and have a phone that lasts a reasonable amount of time.
    • What the hell phone do you have that goes flat after 1 day?!

      I run a Microsoft / Orange SPV C500 and its loaded with features.. MSN Messenger, Internet Explorer, Media Player, etc - I use it heavily for SMS texting (250/month roughly) and make about 2 or 3 calls a week on average and it usually lasts me about 5 days between charging. Its small too!
    • I have Nokia 9300 Communicator. It has a GPRS-connection on all the time, so new emails are pushed to it instantly. I also make several phone-calls every day and use the PDA-functionality extensively. And the battery lasts for several days before needing a recharge.

      So I call bullshit on your comment.
  • The way the Qt/KDE relationship is structured, all this work porting KDE components to Troll Tech's platforms adds value primarily to the product from one company: Troll Tech.

    Assume Troll Tech's products are as good as people working with them say they are and that they should take over the world. What would we end up with? A single company monopolizing the commercial GUI development space, plus lots of people contributing free labor. How is that different from what we get with Microsoft? As far as I'm
    • by Bogtha (906264) on Monday October 17, 2005 @07:21AM (#13808182)

      The way the Qt/KDE relationship is structured, all this work porting KDE components to Troll Tech's platforms adds value primarily to the product from one company: Troll Tech.

      Um, what? Porting KDE components to TrollTech's platforms? KDE has always been based on TrollTech's Qt toolkit.

      Furthermore, it clearly adds value to KDE; the quality of the Qt toolkit really shows. Compare the quality of KHTML and Gecko sometime. KHTML's faster, uses less resources, and implements the W3C specifications better (it passes the Acid2 test, implements things like DOM2 mutation events, etc, some of which are a *long* way off in Gecko - Acid2 fixes aren't even planned yet). And yet the KHTML developers have accomplished this with a fraction of the resources available to Mozilla.org. Much the same comparisons can be made between KOffice and OpenOffice.

      Assume Troll Tech's products are as good as people working with them say they are and that they should take over the world. What would we end up with? A single company monopolizing the commercial GUI development space, plus lots of people contributing free labor. How is that different from what we get with Microsoft?

      The difference is that Qt is GPLed, so all the proprietary license fees would be paying for development of Free Software, and would directly benefit Free Software like KDE.

      As far as I'm concerned, dual licenses are bad because they inhibit competition.

      You can fork Qt whenever you want.

      All contributors to an open source project should work on equal footing.

      All contributors to Qt have all the freedoms granted by the GPL.

      • You can fork Qt whenever you want.

        Yes, just not under the same conditions as Troll Tech. So, if I try to build an (open source) business around my forked version of Qt and try to compete with Troll Tech, I'll be at a grave disadvantage compared to Troll Tech.

        All contributors to Qt have all the freedoms granted by the GPL.

        True. But Troll Tech has additional freedoms and additional rights, and that's a problem.

        One of the consequences of this is that Troll Tech has managed to take over the user interface of
        • Yes, just not under the same conditions as Troll Tech. So, if I try to build an (open source) business around my forked version of Qt and try to compete with Troll Tech, I'll be at a grave disadvantage compared to Troll Tech.

          The advantage TrollTech has is the ability to license Qt for closed-source applications. Don't try and spin this as some sort of disadvantage for open-source companies because if anything, the opposite is true.

        • Aha, finally you show your true colors!

          This is not about open source after all but about whining how you cannot make money on code other people wrote, though on you.

          Also your arguments about Trolltech excluding other toolkits show your lack of understanding how widget toolkits work and how they communicate with the underlaying hardware.

          Trolltech does not in any way prevent you from running another widget toolkit on linux based equipment, the only thing that prevent you from using Gtk+ or anything else is th
        • and the gtk based handhelds interface suffers from the same thing as gnome. It's slow, bloated and inefficient.
      • Firefox on Windows is good because it weans people off a proprietary solution (IE); that benefit outweighs the concern that the presence of Firefox contributes to the value of a proprietary solution (Windows).

        However, KDE additions to Troll Tech's platform don't wean people off any proprietary solution, they only strengthen it.

        • However, KDE additions to Troll Tech's platform don't wean people off any proprietary solution, they only strengthen it.


          Since Qt is licensed under the GPL, I would REALLY like to know what makes you think that it's a "proprietary solution"? Or is free software, licenced under the GPL as written by the Free Software Foundation really "proprietary software"? if GPL'ed software is in reality "proprietary", what, pray tell, is free software?
          • Don't hold your breath, because you won't get an answer.

            Its odd that we had a significant free project (XFree86) change the license on its product, and the whole community easily forked to X.org in response...... yet supposedly if Trolltech did the same with their licensing it would be a disaster and mass slavery would ensue.

            That Ximian or similar companies could try the same thing seems to be of no concern to the Gnome flamebaiters.
            • Its odd that we had a significant free project (XFree86) change the license on its product, and the whole community easily forked to X.org in response...... yet supposedly if Trolltech did the same with their licensing it would be a disaster and mass slavery would ensue.

              That analogy doesn't work. Forks and license changes aren't inherently bad. The X.org fork resulted in a better license. The adoption by Troll Tech of the GPL as part of their dual licensing scheme was an improvement on what they had befo
          • Since Qt is licensed under the GPL, I would REALLY like to know what makes you think that it's a "proprietary solution"? Or is free software, licenced under the GPL as written by the Free Software Foundation really "proprietary software"? if GPL'ed software is in reality "proprietary", what, pray tell, is free software?

            Qt is "free software" in the narrow sense of conforming to the free software license. It is also "proprietary software" in the sense that it is wholly owned and controlled by a single entity
            • Qt is "free software" in the narrow sense of conforming to the free software license.

              If it's licensed under the GPL, then it is free software, without quotes. It is 100% free software. as defined by the Free Software Foundation.

              It is also "proprietary software" in the sense that it is wholly owned and controlled by a single entity.

              GTK+ is controlled by the GTK+ team. GNOME is controlled by the GNOME-team. Mozilla and Firefox are controlled by the Mozilla Foundation. So why exactly are you singling out Troll

              • GTK+ is controlled by the GTK+ team. GNOME is controlled by the GNOME-team. Mozilla and Firefox are controlled by the Mozilla Foundation. So why exactly are you singling out TrollTech and Qt here?

                The Gtk+ team or Gnome foundation doesn't have any special rights over the Gtk+ code base--they can't make a commercial version. Troll Tech, however, has special rights over the Qt code base, they can make a commercial version, and they have. Troll Tech is using an open source license to promote their proprietary
                • The Gtk+ team or Gnome foundation doesn't have any special rights over the Gtk+ code base--they can't make a commercial version. Troll Tech, however, has special rights over the Qt code base, they can make a commercial version, and they have. Troll Tech is using an open source license to promote their proprietary software.

                  *sigh*^.... Again: Qt is licensed under the GPL. So how exactyly is it "proprietary software"? And all the money they receive from sales of Qt is funneled to the developement of Qt. And th

                  • Yeah, releasing kick-ass software under the GPL is a clear threat to Free Software. Seriously: are you a retard?

                    So, your claim rests on your assumption that it's self-evident that dual licensing is good for free software. But it isn't self-evident to me, nor is it to lots of other developers. In fact, I think Troll Tech's licensing scheme is harmful for free software, and I have given you some reasons for that.

                    Your insults and flames don't substantiate your arguments. And given that the KDE project was r
                    • So, your claim rests on your assumption that it's self-evident that dual licensing is good for free software.

                      I claim that releasing software under the GPL is a good thing for free software. I guess you would quit your whining if Qt was NOT released as free software? I guess things would be a lot better then, huh? Because free software movement would be a lot better off if we didn't have kick-ass toolkit in our disposal?

                      But it isn't self-evident to me, nor is it to lots of other developers. In fact, I think

    • Oh no, not again!

      This horse has been beaten to death several times before, either you are trolling or simply very ignorant.

      QT is GPL'd you are free to fork at any time, if you dont believe me go read the f***ng license yourself.
      • QT is GPL'd you are free to fork at any time,

        Yes, but not under the same conditions as Troll Tech; Troll Tech still retains the right to sell it under non-GPL'ed licenses.

        This horse has been beaten to death several times before, either you are trolling or simply very ignorant.

        All the more sad that people like you still don't get it.
        • >Yes, but not under the same conditions as Troll Tech; Troll Tech still retains the right to sell it under non-GPL'ed licenses.

          And exactly _how_ is this is negative for open source? Care to give some examples?

          BTW: This limitation is no different than all other GPL software, if you fork you have to stay GPL.

          You do realise that the dual license means you can have both GPL *AND* commercial software running on QT. This would not be possible if QT was licensed as GPL only.

          The only loss is for other commercial
        • Yes, but not under the same conditions as Troll Tech; Troll Tech still retains the right to sell it under non-GPL'ed licenses.

          Yes and they created it from scratch, nearly every line of code in Qt are paid for by Troll Tech. Usually they don't accept larger patches from the outside, they usually develop their own versions. So it's their property, they even give it all away under the GPL. And since you are talking about Free software, it does not really matter if they can sell it or not under a non-GPL lic
    • by 10Ghz (453478) on Monday October 17, 2005 @10:49AM (#13809136)
      I don't get it. I really don't. A company releases their prodcut (a very good product in fact!) under the GPL. And when they do that, some people start to whine that "Don't do that! You are hurting the free software movement!". So releasing software as free sofware is a bad thing?

      What is the problem here? TrollTech offers their product under the GPL. They also offer it under a proprietary license. They don't force anyone to use their toolkit, and you are free to fork the toolkit anytime you want to. So what is the problem here? Why is it bad to offer software under the GPL?

      Assume Troll Tech's products are as good as people working with them say they are and that they should take over the world. What would we end up with? A single company monopolizing the commercial GUI development space, plus lots of people contributing free labor.


      Qt is licensed under the GPL. I really fail to see how they could "monopolize" anything. or are you worried what would happen if Linux "monopolized" the OS-market? or if Red Hat "monopolized" Linux-market? Since the product (Qt, Linux or Red Hat) are GPL'ed, there will be no "monopolization" in the sense as would happen with Microsoft for example.

      But people who do contribute free labor to Troll Tech should reflect on what they are doing and why they are doing it.


      So I shouldn't offer any bug-reports to the kernel-folks, because that might make the product a bit better, and some company might earn some money through it?

      Seriously, am I in the Twilight Zone or something? People are complaining when some company offerws kick-ass software under the GPL?
      • What is the problem here? TrollTech offers their product under the GPL. They also offer it under a proprietary license. They don't force anyone to use their toolkit,

        It's good that you recognize that you aren't forced to use it. So, I'm suggesting to you: don't use it.

        Qt is licensed under the GPL. I really fail to see how they could "monopolize" anything. or are you worried what would happen if Linux "monopolized" the OS-market?

        Software built on Linux doesn't need to fall under the GPL, but software built o
        • So, I'm suggesting to you: don't use it.

          I'm not a developer. But I do use several apps built on Qt. And what are you going to do about it? Beat me up, untill I use some crappy GTK+-apps instead?

          Software built on Linux doesn't need to fall under the GPL, but software built on Qt does.

          and that's a problem because....? Because it makes things too difficult for creators of proprietary software? Funny, here [slashdot.org] you whined that it's too easy to write proprietary apps with Qt. And now you whine that it's too HARD to w

  • It's such a pleasure developing for KDE.. I hope this gives the developers a boost in visibility and confidence if nothing else.

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