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Porting devhelp to WebKit2

When MiniBrowser was ported to the new WebKit2 GTK+ API, I said we had plans to create a webkit2 branch for epiphany. And we’ll do it as soon as we have enough API, but epiphany uses most of the WebKit API so this is going to take a bit. In the meantime, we have decided to focus on other applications that use a small part of the WebKit API like devhelp, yelp, liferea, etc. Yesterday I pushed a webkit2 branch into the devhelp git repository with some initial commits that allow to use devhelp with WebKit2. Even though WebKit2 is available in the latest WebKit unstable releases, there’s a bug and public headers are not installed, so you need to build WebKit from git to be able to build the devhelp webkit2 branch. The main functionality works, but there are still some features missing that we are currently working on:

  • Policy client: used by devhelp to decide what to do with unknown content and to open links in a new tab with middle click. Martin Robinson is working on Policy Client API for WebKit2, the patches are pretty good and will be pushed soon.
  • Search: We already agreed on the new API and Sergio Villar wrote the patch that will also land soon.
  • Printing: This is not only about adding API, it requires adding support for printing in the Web process too. The main problem is that we need to show the print dialog in the UI process and render pages for printing in the Web process, so we can’t use GtkPrintOperation. We have already patches to implement basic printing support and adding initial API. These patches only work for UNIX, so patches to make it work in win32 would be really appreciated.
  • Editing commands: There’s already a patch to add cut, copy and paste API, but we are discussing the possibility to move to a more generic approach for editing commands.

And here is the mandatory screenshot, although there’s nothing special since WebKit2 changes don’t affect the UI.

Devhelp using WebKit2

Devhelp using WebKit2

We will keep updating the webkit2 branch when new API lands in WebKit until there aren’t regressions. Then we’ll focus on yelp which requires two important challenges: DOM bindings and context menu API.

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