During the last two weeks, I spent most of my time working on the WebKit2 port. As I already mentioned, WebKit2 is where current WebKit development happens, and the most important change is the split of the WebKit system into two processes, one for showing the window, and one for doing the actual work of rendering the pages. But the more interesting thing is the more up to date and full-featured API that lets WebKit handle, for example, HTTPS certificates, so we don't have to do it ourselves - just show the dialog to the user when told to.
This week most of my time was spent working on getting WebKit2 compiling on Haiku. WebKit2 is the new multi-process model for WebKit. It replaces the old WebKit1 that our port uses currently. WebKit2 spawns a new process for each tab, and possibly more (for network access, etc.). The key features are:
- When a webpage crashes WebKit, only the tab showing this page is lost, not the whole browser
- The use of more processes makes the application feel more reactive. As you know, the threading model in WebKit is not a perfect fit with Haiku's one, but splitting things in a separate process allows us to have a standard Haiku application as the visible browser shell
- All the tricks of getting WebKit running (specific tweaks to BApplication and BWindows) are moved to the rendering process. This makes the BWebView API much simpler, as it will become just a plain subclass of BView, with no expectations on the BApplication or BWindow
- The WebKit2 API is where all current WebKit development happens. WebKit1 lacks support for some features
The quest to provide a better web browsing experience continues this week with some small fixes which result from hours of tracking down bugs.
As mentioned in the previous report, two weeks ago I attended the RMLL conference. As usual this was quite interesting, and an occasion to show Haiku to more people in the free software community. We got only about 10 persons attending our conference and 4 attending our workshop on making Haiku packages. However, the main event was the "Libre Village" where we got to meet people and try to get as much of them as possible to try Haiku. I played Critical Mass with some people there, and also helped porting PyTouhou to Haiku.
Things are rather quiet on the WebKit side this week. I'm reviewing and fixing the remaining bugs with the new drawing code, which is now working rather well. On the WebKit side, I have implemented a limited form of transform support for regions (only handling translation and scaling, not shear and rotations), which has very good results. As a consequence, we now have mostly correct drawing and quite good performance. Before I do a release (I know the version in current nightlies is quite outdated now), I want to fix one more bug, which is the lack of video display on youtube. This is probably a simple fix once I understand why the current code isn't working anymore.
Hello world, another update!
Work on WebKit continued this week. In the previous report, I mentioned several issues with the new tiled rendering. Most of them turned out to be either problems in app_server or misuse of the APIs in the WebKit code. The most important part was that WebKit used region clipping and expected the region to be transformed when using SetTransform; however, with the current design, region clipping isn't affected by the view transform.