Today the KDE team announces a new project to re-synchronize our HTML engine,
KHTML, with the WebKit engine. Code named Unity, the project has so far focused on porting the WebKit engine to Qt 4 with minimal changes to the existing code-base. WebKit is a derivative of the KHTML engine developed by Apple Computer Inc.
The initial work for this project was done by four KDE core developers at the
KDE Four Core meeting last week in Trysil, Norway. The contributors were
At this stage Unity is a research project to determine the feasibility of
merging much of the KHTML work done over the past few years into WebKit. This
will provide us a means to synchronizing our engines. There are no concrete
plans to replace KDE's current KHTML component, which is also used by Konqueror to render HTML pages, with Unity. Any such decision will be left to the KHTML and KDE core
development teams in the upcoming months. It is dependent on many factors such
as our ability to keep the engines synchronized over time, our ability to
produce a high-performance, stable, and complete KPart, our level of comfort
with the new code-base, and our ability to come to a suitable working
arrangement with the other WebKit contributors.
With respect to the technical work, our efforts have resulted in a Qt 4 based WebKit library that is able to render a variety of web pages quite nicely. There is still a considerable amount of work to do before it can be considered a complete browser engine on our platform but the basic foundations are complete. The KDE build system, cmake, is integrated into the WebKit sources, rendering uses Qt's graphics facilities, and a simple test driver has been developed. A KDE layer will be added to integrate the engine with the desktop facilities provided by KDE as well as creating a KPart which can be loaded by any KDE application requesting a handler for HTML.
Anyone wishing to join the effort should contact the developers on the
kfm-devel mailing list. Source code is accessible in KDE's Subversion repository.
For press queries about this and other KDE announcements see the KDE press contacts page.