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04 April 2013, 15:43

WebKit developers planning Chromium extraction

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In the wake of Google's announcement of the Blink fork of WebKit, the WebKit developers have started discussing what code can be removed from WebKit as it will no longer be needed to support Google's Chromium. The discussion was opened by Apple WebKit developer Geoffery Garen who offered a list of concepts and specific files that were up for removal.

Garen said that this was an "opportunity to streamline" and it would "make development easier and more coherent for everyone". Although two Google WebKit developers, Adam Barth and Eric Seidel, have offered to help clean the code, Garen is hoping that the developers who will be working on WebKit in the future can help with the cleanup.

This includes the removal of support for V8, various chromium directories in the core, tools and tests, and the deletion of .gyp files as used by Google's build system. Also up for removal was Google's Skia graphics API and the DOMFileSystem. Apple's Maciej Stachowiak noted later in the discussion that Garen's list was exploratory as they would like to know which of the code listed is being used by the various applications and ports that use WebKit.

Mario Prada at Samsung noted that Samsung uses WebKitGTK+ and V8 and would like to see that code kept in place. Other code such as Skia was more likely to be removed; Blackberry is said to be moving away from it and EFL's WebKit already uses Cairo.

What the result of the house cleaning procedure will be, is, at this time, unclear, though any developers who use WebKit should get involved if they use any code that is pencilled in for removal. At the end of the process, the WebKit developers should also benefit from being able to move development forward more efficiently. This will matter as Google had been dominating development recently, according to a Bitergia report from the start of March.


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