So I rebuild the WebKit-gtk rpms quite regularly when new release of WebKit snapshot happens. If anyone is interested, I can upload it to my fedora people page... Also from time to time I rebuild a local copy of epiphany - it does not have so fast development like WebKit, but I also want to keep my epiphany with gecko backend working...
And why I decided to blog about it? There are several reasons:
- To draw attention to WebKit and epiphany development
- It's cool
- Recently there were some radical improvements
So, what are the improvements I talk about? Mozilla plugins work now in WebKit as well which is cool. I can browse youtube videos without the need for gecko based browser with swfdec. It has one drawback though. Seems like epiphany keeps crashing when trying to load gcj web plugin, so I temporarily removed it, since I really don't need it ATM.
Another radical improvment (from user point of view) is fixed focus behaviour. Not so long ago, filling an entry on webpage, switching focus from web content to adress bar, creating new tabs or switching between tabs was sort of pain in the ass. Not any longer. Now it works just as expected.
Under the hood, they improved java script. People say it's about 4x faster than the older code and tests show that its also faster then Firefox's java script code. Kudos for that!
Last, but not least, I noticed that zoom function has been implemented. Finally, I can zoom text on pages (although, I don't use that function)...
And what are the currently most painful bugs/shortcomings of WebKit? For me it's those
- Broken font fallback (when font is supposed to be from sans-serif family, CJK glyphs are not displayed)
- Missing/Not working open in new window/tab actions
- Missing mimetype handling (i.e. unable to directly download anything)
- Missing features for ftp browsing (only some sort of unformated ls is showed)
- Does not remember passwords/unable to login when page uses pop-up window for authentication
With that said, I think WebKit is really powerful backend and when the gtk port, together with new epiphany version, is finished it will be great competitor for firefox, which does not seem to fit well into linux (from every POV I try to look at it, it always seem like windows oriented app), in the *nix field... Aaah, cannot wait for the time when I would be finally able remove gecko from my Fedora :-D
I hope to post more or less regularly about the improvements in Ephy-WebKit, so stay in touch :-)
BTW: this post was written from epiphany using webkit backend ;-)
Oh, and I just noticed that I can manage my blog when using webkit while gecko always thinks I am signed out. Hillarious. :-D