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The Unforking of KDE's KHTML and Webkit Begins 104

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the sounds-dirty dept.
Jiilik Oiolosse writes to tell us Ars Technica is reporting that after years of existing seperately, KHTML and Webkit are finally coming back together. "In open source terms, this may be as big of a deal as the gcc and egcs merger of yonder days. KHTML and Webkit are definitely coming of age. The KDE developers, responsible for the original creation of KHTML, are dedicated to seeing this unforking happen and are taking a leading role in that effort."
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The Unforking of KDE's KHTML and Webkit Begins

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  • Impact on Apple (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jshriverWVU (810740)
    How will this impact Apple given that Safari uses it. Also after the unfork they decide to go the GPL3 route.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      KHTML/Webkit and derivatives are under the LGPLv2, and the rights were not assigned to a central organization. They would have to contact every author that ever touched that code before they'd be permitted to offer it solely under the LGPLv3...
    • by Spaseboy (185521)
      Apparently all the impact has been CAUSED by Apple.
  • by SpiffyMarc (590301) on Monday July 23, 2007 @04:31PM (#19961165)
    Finally, open-source has an answer to Voltron (or the Megazord, depending on which generation you are in.)
    • by Xybre (527810)
      I'm ubernerding here, but..

      "With your power combined" is from Captain Planet.
      I thinks this bridges the generation gap between Voltron and .. what is that, Power Rangers?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by wiredlogic (135348)
        Super Sentai [wikipedia.org] (AKA Power Rangers) predates Captain Planet [wikipedia.org].
        • by halivar (535827)
          That only means they were the first to rip-off the One True Multi-colored Team(tm), Voltron, Defender of the Universe (pbuh).
        • by Xybre (527810)
          I hate to continue this discussion, but Power Rangers didn't make it to english-speaking television until 1993, and Captain Planet was aired first in 1990.

          I somehow feel like less of a person for going through wikipedia for these tidbits. Maybe if I just change the date of Captain Planet's pilot episode to 1951 I can win this one.. hrm..
          • by rkanodia (211354)
            It's ok, you win anyway. After all, I just found out that Captain Planet was based on a novella by Jules Verne.
    • Well, Microsoft will just setup an Ambush of 5 monsters, For the newly combined Thunder KDE and then this will happen.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqdBBZweKuQ [youtube.com]

      Start watching at about 5:00
  • How is it I can live my whole life without ever hearing about something, and then two [slashdot.org] different [slashdot.org], unrelated, stories both reference this whole EGCS thing on the same day?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jshriverWVU (810740)
      egcs was a fork of the gcc tree, and had some nice pentium optimization back in the day. See link [wikipedia.org].
      • One thing that nothing I've read made clear is what happened to the copyright. Usually, GNU projects have to have the copyright assigned to the FSF. Did the EGCS people all assign their copyright to the FSF when they were un-forked?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The real beauty of EGCS history is when RedHat 6.0 shipped with a snapshot version of EGCS instead of tried and true GCC 2.98, and called it GCC 3.0. Of course, since it was just a daily snapshot and not even a release candidate, it was buggy as all hell. Couldn't even compile a kernel because some of the inline assembly and undocumented behavior changed. What a huge piece of shit, thanks RedHat.

      It got so bad, FSF had to disavow all knowledge of any GCC 3.0 compiler and jump to 3.1 immediately, since invari
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by 1729 (581437)

        The real beauty of EGCS history is when RedHat 6.0 shipped with a snapshot version of EGCS instead of tried and true GCC 2.98, and called it GCC 3.0. Of course, since it was just a daily snapshot and not even a release candidate, it was buggy as all hell. Couldn't even compile a kernel because some of the inline assembly and undocumented behavior changed. What a huge piece of shit, thanks RedHat.

        It got so bad, FSF had to disavow all knowledge of any GCC 3.0 compiler and jump to 3.1 immediately, since invari

    • Re:How is it? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ZachPruckowski (918562) <zachary.pruckowski@gmail.com> on Monday July 23, 2007 @04:50PM (#19961415)
      Well, it's a famous forking/unforking story regarding GCC, and today we've had a GCC forking story, and a forking->unforking story. Since stories about successful unforks and stories about GCC aren't all that common on Slashdot, it makes sense you haven't seen it here before.

      Fortunately, in this case the reference is actually relevant to the process and the discussion. In the GCC story, it was completely unrelated to a license-based fork of GCC.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by iluvcapra (782887)

      The phrase "GCC fork" is a well-known fnord.

  • Unforking? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 23, 2007 @04:34PM (#19961213)
    I believe you mean KHTML and WebKit will be *spooning* soon!
  • Webkit wins (Score:5, Informative)

    by dj_tla (1048764) <trbekolay.shaw@ca> on Monday July 23, 2007 @04:42PM (#19961311) Homepage Journal
    The summary is a bit vague as to what 'coming together' means. Basically, Webkit is going to be adopted in KDE as a Kpart, features in KHTML that aren't in Webkit are being added to Webkit, then KHTML will die out. Seems at least some KHTML developers will be working on Webkit in the future. The article also goes into the history behind the forking, and is actually a decent read.
    • It's a shame, in a way, since there was a big clean-up of the KHTML code just after the Apple fork. Mind you, the WebKit code is a lot cleaner than it used to be; if I had just a bit more time I'd start doing a GNUstep port.
    • Re:Webkit wins (Score:5, Insightful)

      by stilborne (85590) on Monday July 23, 2007 @04:48PM (#19961389) Homepage
      i think a more accurate term is "everybody wins". the code bases have evolved and it has come time to bring the best of all worlds together. the path chosen to get there is interesting, but not a matter of winners and losers.
      • by dj_tla (1048764)
        Thank you for correcting me, I agree wholeheartedly. Looking at the article, they focus a lot of Webkit's widespread adoption, but don't go into the development of either codebase other than Webkit abstracting out KDE and Qt specific code.
      • by Yvanhoe (564877)
        It could perhaps be a good idea to come up with a new name for the whole project to tone down the "we won, they lose" issue...
    • Re:Webkit wins (Score:5, Informative)

      by stilborne (85590) on Monday July 23, 2007 @04:52PM (#19961447) Homepage
      > what 'coming together' means

      i suppose i could be a bit more helpful and comment on this as well..

      > Webkit is going to be adopted in KDE as a Kpart,

      what's happened is that the Qt rendering layer has been added to the main webkit repository and several people at Trolltech and from the KDE community are working on webkit and the Qt based rendering in that repository.

      this opens the way for webkit to show up in kde, including the kpart.

      hopefully more of the khtml forks will follow suit and join mainline dev, but this certainly does start to bring together two of the bigger and more knowledgeable teams when it comes to khtml/webkit.

      > features in KHTML that
      > aren't in Webkit are being added to Webkit

      as many as possible, yes.
  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday July 23, 2007 @04:59PM (#19961545) Homepage Journal
    So we have the Webkit family.
    The Gekko family.
    Opera.
    and the IE family of browsers.
    All this would be great if they would all follow the standards!
    Okay it would be great if IE followed the standards instead of making them up as they go. IE7 is better but far from perfect.
    I wounder if there is any chance that Firefox will move to Webkit in the future? I know it is unlikely but one does wonder.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by wal9001 (1041058)
      Maybe the "Make sure everything works in IE" era will die off and grow in to the "Make sure everything works on iPhone." Then we could all let IE die or switch to Webkit/Gecko rendering. Since both of them aren't written by a bunch of faceless cubicle monkeys deep in a megacorporation we'd probably end up with a happy world of (correctly rendered) rainbows designed within the standards set forth by WC3!
    • by Spaseboy (185521)
      Just for shits, I'll throw out there that WebKit based browsers pass the Acid2 test. It would be the only open-sourced rendering engine to do so. If you are looking for a WebKit-based Firefox I already asked about this when chatting with a Gecko contributor. He said that all the "Firefoxy" things are intrinsically tied to Gecko. Camino is a perfect example of what he was talking about. It is based on Gecko but has none of the Firefox stuff because they did not want to be tied to the Gecko engine if th
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Aparently the debate was in a Glasgow pub. So was the final decision was made over a broken bottle and a cry of "Stich this Jimmy!"?
  • As big as GCC? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) on Monday July 23, 2007 @05:13PM (#19961741) Homepage Journal

    As big as GCC? I'll need Wikipedia's help just to know what Webkit is.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Webkit [wikipedia.org]

  • This is a more accurate subject line. If you read the article, it is clear that the original developers are moving to WebKit instead of KHTML.

    From TFA:

    While there are still a few reservations, the consensus is to develop a Webkit KPart for embedding into Konqueror at the earliest opportunity and to take a more active role in the development of Webkit itself. This was hinted at earlier in an Ars interview with Lars Knoll, but now it is more or less the official word.

    Now, KHTML won't be deleted right
    • You did quote an example here -- but yes, this is probably my favorite way to do a merge, or an "unfork". Given fork A and fork B, pick fork B, port the features you miss from fork A, then drop A and use B.

      But it is quite similar to gcc/egcs, in that the egcs fork got far enough ahead that the gcc people adopted it and "abandoned" their own new gcc version. I strongly suspect, however, that anything gcc had that egcs didn't was ported over before egcs was blessed as the new gcc.
  • Khtml developers will add features that Webkit is lacking and then they will all get in the same boat. Trolltech and KDE will work together for Webkit under qt, Nokia works on gtk, Apple with whatever OSX uses. While I don't agree with Apple secretly forking it, the momentum Apple created should be used by the open source community. Webkit will be very versatile when this is done, being able to use both gtk and qt.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Are you actually aware of what this means?

    Three very big development 'companies' are working together on *one* web engine with *one* code base.
    Apple. Trolltech. KDE/The Open Source community. Maybe Nokia too, sometimes in the future.

    Never thought that that would happen.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by stilborne (85590)
      add Adobe with Air to that picture, and there are Others(tm) lurking with webkit trees.
  • Apple's Safari is a closed and proprietary program that is why they removed the Qt dependency in the fist place and replaced it with a small subset of Qt functionality called KWQ. Since Qt's license only allows GPL and requires payment for other versions, I wonder what this means for companies wanting to release a product based on WebKit but decide not to publish the source code - such as Safari itself. They may or may not like the idea of shelling out $3000/developer just to include Webkit.

Murphy's Law, that brash proletarian restatement of Godel's Theorem. -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

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