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WebKitGTK+ 2.4.0: the multiprocess made easy

Yes, we did it again, we have just released WebKitGTK+ 2.4.0, another major stable release with a lot of bug fixes, some new features and more complete API.

Multiple Web Processes

This is the most important new feature included in this release, and the one we have spent most of the release cycle with. All started during the WebKitGTK+ hackfest when a team of around 10 people worked together to implement the base of the multi-process support. And at the very end of the release cycle we have been able to turn it on by default in Epiphany.

DOM touch events support

WebKitWebView now processes the touch events happening in the widget to notify the DOM, making modern websites using DOM touch API properly work. Carlos Garnacho has taken a screencast to show it in action

Plugins cache

When the first page containing plugins was loaded, the UI process got blocked for some time, while the plugins were scanned. This was one of the most annoying bugs of WebKitGTK+ introduced in 2.0. Plugins are synchronously scanned on demand during the page load, and it’s something that can’t be avoided. WebKitGTK+ 2.4 uses a persistent cache to store information about all plugins, so that plugins are only scanned the first time or when they change.

New API

As always a huge thanks to all the contributors that make this possible, and very specially in this release to the sponsors of the WebKitGTK+ hackfest 2013 (Igalia and the GNOME Foundation).

WebKit1 deprecation

There’s one last thing I would like to mention. Even when WebKit1 API has been deprecated since we released WebKitGTK+ 2.0, we have kept shipping both APIs in our tarball releases. A decision hasn’t been made yet, but this is probably the last release including the WebKit1 API, we have plans to remove the WebKit1 code from trunk and move all the build bots to run only WebKit2 tests. We encourage everybody to port their applications to WebKit2, submitting bug reports if there’s anything preventing the switch, and of course we are happy to help on IRC, mailing list, etc.

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