Realistically speaking, the job of replacing WebKit with WebEngine
everywhere it is used is impossible. It would take man years of effort
with no reward -- other than causing regressions for end users and bug
reports for maintainers. WebEngine is only a direct replacement for
WebKit in the most superficial of use cases.
As for the use of WebKit in calibre, in the short-to-medium term it will
remain as is, and I will probably have to end up maintaining Qt WebKit
for myself. I will make this work public, as I did for the Visual Studio
2015 compatible fork of python that I maintain. So other users of Qt
WebKit can benefit from it and hopefully help with maintaining it.
In the longer term I plan to gradually phase out use of Qt WebKit in
calibre. However, this is likely to be a very long drawn out affair.
Some things can be replaced by WebEngine *relatively* painlessly, such
as the use of WebKit in the viewer and editor. Others, such as the use
of WebKit for a headless, JS enabled automated browser in the calibre
recipe system and for the rendering of HTML to PDF will be much harder,
requiring the aforementioned man-years of effort.
I have no idea how Linux distributions are going to tackle this mess. I
am just glad I dont maintain any.
On Mon, Jan 25, 2016 at 08:12:02AM +0100, Florian Bruhin wrote:
> (Cc'ing Kovid/Detlev because I think they'll be impacted by this
> as well as the upstreams of Eric/Calibre, Cc'ing Axel Beckert because
> I'm working with him for the package mentioned later in this mail)
> I'd like to discuss the future of Qt5's QtWebKit (and PyQt's bindings
> for it) in Debian. Looking at the Qt 5.6 beta, it seems like Qt
> upstream will definitely remove QtWebKit - not only from the binary
> releases, but from source releases as well.
> As it's likely many packages will still need a Qt5 QtWebKit, and based
> on  ("Qt5's WebKit is expected to stay supported until Qt6") it
> looks like Debian will still continue to support it, if necessary
> building from upstream's git?
> As for the PyQt5 wrappers for QtWebKit, upstream says:
> > AIUI, they are still providing source releases. You're going to
> > continue to support that, right?
> Yes, if they are part of the official release. If not then I won't
> do anything to break things, but they won't be officially
> I'm planning to open an ITP for my project using PyQt and
> (currently) QtWebKit soon, and I'm guessing for at least Eric and
> Calibre this is a problem as well.
> Will Debian also support PyQt's QtWebKit until Qt 6 if possible?
> If not, what will happen with the packages which depend on it?
>  https://wiki.debian.org/Qt4WebKitRemoval
>  http://code.qt.io/cgit/qt/qtwebkit.git/
>  https://www.riverbankcomputing.com/pipermail/pyqt/2016-January/036841.html
>  http://www.qutebrowser.org/
>  https://packages.debian.org/stretch/eric
>  https://packages.debian.org/stretch/calibre
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Dr. Kovid Goyal