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Re: Web browser for GNUstep

From: Riccardo Mottola
Subject: Re: Web browser for GNUstep
Date: Sun, 14 Jun 2015 22:55:56 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; FreeBSD i386; rv:36.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/36.0 SeaMonkey/2.33.1


andrewkaz wrote:
Anyone have a status on a GNUstep web browser?
you hit a topic which has been discussed to death, which is quite complex and wide-reaching. However apart from discussion there has been only two real "code" attempts up to now: Berkelium by Greg and SWK/Vespucci by Nikolaus, me and Fred.

Was checking out Mantella, the wrapper around Firefox from like 2007. I may 
even be close to getting it to compile! My system has Ice weasel though, not 
firefox, and not sure what the associated gtkmozembed is called or how to get 
it installed and importing on my Debian distro.  — If anyone has pointers on 
any of these things Id be extremely grateful.

I think you can sum up 3 options:
1) port an open-source browser which exists on Mac to GNUstep: e.g. Firefox/Seamonkey, Camino, Dillo-2 or similars 2) port WebKit directly or a portable library of it like Berkelium or CEF. Then you still need to make a Browser for it, perhaps by porting one
3) fix, extend or contribute to SWK and then still write/port a browser

I think that best would be that ALL those options would be explored and present. Option 1) is interesting because it could give us Gecko, which I like/trust more than others, but sadly Gecko portable is no longer maintained. You would get a full browser, though.
Option 2) and 3) should be worked on together.
I don't think that SWK will ever provide a full-blown browser engine like real WebKit, however it already proves to be fast, portable and self-contained in AppKit (which is really good): thus something ideal to display documentaiton, quick brwosing and integrated display of documentation in any application
Both option 2) and 3) need a browser, the core could be even exchanged!

All of these options require work. Work on SWK has been fun and there is more potential in it than may appear: Nikolaus has a quite powerful parser, rendering is still a bit primitive, however on Mac it is better than GNUstep, showing that we have to catch up. SWK is precious in GUI testing! Greg worked on Berkelium but it itself is unmaintained now. You won't get a browser from it.

Option 1) has been discussed and is very intersting. Think that Firefox as been and is currently ported to 10.4: tenfourfox, Seamonkey to 10.5 for G5! Thus perhaps a GS port could work.
Or if you have pointers on another web browser that is even remotely usable. 
Tried SimpleWebKit too, got it building and running and it’s either out of date 
or a joke.
Where is the code to fix it? calling it a joke is a little bit offensive for those who worked on it for years with direct personal expense.

  I’ve been on the Apple scene for a long time, and feel I may be one of the 
rare few who can see the grand potential of GNUstep, who wants to move it 

Thanks. Those who work on it day in day out... probably see it too. Although I personally like some encouragement, the best thing are patches or, at least, proper bug reports.


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