Among the most exciting things to come out of aKademy, the recent KDE Community World Summit, is a Qt port of Mozilla's Gecko rendering engine. This will give Gecko the full native look and feel of KDE/Qt, and make it available as a KPart, where it can provide an alternative HTML renderer for Konqueror.
"This is the best of both worlds for KDE" said Lars Knoll of the KHTML
project. "Integrating Gecko side by side with our existing renderer
opens a lot of doors, without any compromise of the hard work and clean
design that make KHTML what it is."
On the night before the start of the hacking marathon, a conversation
including, among others, Ian Geiser, Lars Knoll, Dirk Mueller, and Zack
Rusin happened onto the topic of integrating Gecko into KDE. Lars and
Zack jumped into Mozilla's code, to see how feasible such a plan might
be. Within four days (and before the end of the marathon) the two had
a working port: Gecko running on Qt. They credited the speed of
implementation to the maturity of the respective technologies and KDE's
component architecture (though the caliber of the hackers certainly
didn't hamper the effort). In their implementation, Qt is just another
platform for Mozilla, parallel to the drawing and widget layer for
Mozilla's other platforms like GTK, Win32, or MacOS X. Though the work
is on-going, the team is close to integrating Gecko into Konqueror,
connecting Gecko to the higher level browser machinery in Konqueror
such as KWallet and KCookieJar.
The Mozilla organization was supportive: "We are delighted to work with
the KDE community, both to extend the reach of Gecko, and to be part of
an effort bringing even greater depth to the KDE desktop. Making Qt
another platform for Mozilla, and Gecko another option for KDE is a win
for both users and developers" commented Mitchell Baker, President of
the Mozilla Foundation.
There have been previous starts at this idea in the past. Trolltech's
QtScape, some initial Corel work, and a Mozilla-based XPart, foundered
from lack of maintenance and little advocacy within the Mozilla
community. The current team will be full-fledged contributors to the
Mozilla code-base, with KDE people and mozilla.org behind the effort.
The Qt port will live and develop in Mozilla's CVS repository. The
code to embed the corresponding QWidget will live, naturally, in KDE's