Thanks for the responses guys. It makes a lot of sense that you don't have a definitive answer (although your expectations seem to go off in opposite directions :D) given that this highly depends on the availability of external projects.
I would love to see servo working with qutebrowser (once it is stable, which I think is far from) or even gecko but I agree that maintaining an abstraction layer just in case that ever happens is wasted effort. > It would probably be easier to just update QtWebKit to use a newer version of > WebKit. Agreed, but as Florian says, it is still a monumental task. I do think that is still easier than coming up with a whole new qt integration with another engine from scratch. Also thanks for the links to related projects. I've been toying with the idea of writing something like that but failed to find enough documentation to even get started. On Wed, Mar 6, 2019, 09:25 Florian Bruhin <m...@the-compiler.org> wrote: > Hi, > > On Tue, Mar 05, 2019 at 10:58:46PM -0300, Javier Ayres wrote: > > With the ongoing work happening as part of the research project and > > the idea of dropping support for QtWebKit, I'm wondering what is the > > plan for the future of qutebrowser regarding the support of multiple > > web engines. Are you planning to make qutebrowser a > > QtWebEngine-exclusive browser or are you going to maintain/improve the > > existing abstraction layer that exists between qutebrowser and the > > engine? Any thoughts on adding support for another specific web > > engine? > > I don't really have a definitive answer on this. I do want to simplify > things where possible - in places where such a change would increase > maintainability and reduce complexity, I will (over time) merge > "abstract" code with QtWebEngine-specific code, or be less strict about > introducing QtWebEngine-specific things. > > As long as there isn't another possible backend on the horizon, I think > that's the right thing to do - if there's ever another backend > introduced, the abstractions used for QtWebKit/QtWebEngine might need > some larger adjustments anyways. > > In short, there's no point in things being more complex than they have > to be, and I do think complexity/maintainability is a rather big issue > at the moment. I'd rather have things a bit simpler, and removing > QtWebKit support will be a big step in that direction (moving things > from the core to extensions is another big one). > > As for specific web engines: There are only three active engines I can > think of: > > - WebKitGTK - obviously not integrated with Qt. QtWebKit tries to do > so, but I don't see that going anywhere in the future. Some company > with enough resources would need to pick it up, and seeing that hasn't > happened since Qt removed it three years ago, I doubt it ever will. > > - Chromium embedded framework (CEF)  - has Python bindings with > Qt integration, so the only one which would be reasonably possible > to integrate with qutebrowser. However, I don't see much benefit over > QtWebEngine, seeing that both are based on Chromium, and I'm not aware > of any killer features (like Chromium extension support) which would > be a good reason to look into it. > > - Servo - support for it would be amazing (and it'd be a real > alternative to QtWebEngine), but the whole ecosystem isn't there yet. > Embedding it into an existing project isn't really supported well > (though there's some community effort like  and ). Also, > someone would need to write Rust <-> Python bindings for it, and find > out how to integrate those into Qt. That someone hasn't appeared so > far, and it likely won't be me. ;-) > >  https://bitbucket.org/chromiumembedded/cef >  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromium_Embedded_Framework >  https://github.com/cztomczak/cefpython >  https://github.com/cztomczak/cefpython/blob/master/examples/qt.py >  https://github.com/servo/servo >  https://github.com/paulrouget/servo-embedding-example >  https://github.com/paulrouget/servo-embedding-api > > On Tue, Mar 05, 2019 at 06:41:41PM -0800, Jay Kamat wrote: > > > > Javier Ayres writes: > > > > > With the ongoing work happening as part of the research project and > > > the idea of dropping support for QtWebKit, I'm wondering what is the > > > plan for the future of qutebrowser regarding the support of multiple > > > web engines. > > > > Most likely, the abstract base classes will continue to exist even if one > > engine's support is dropped, but there will be less incentive to maintain > > them. It would probably be more effort to merge everything back together > (with > > little gain). I also think that the maintenance burden of QtWebKit is > not that > > high. > > I agree it's not a high burden, but there are a lot of smaller things: > > - It *is* additional work for major features or refactorings. The last > things I remember were Greasemonkey support (though some of that was > also needed for QtWebEngine with Qt 5.7, but support for that is going > away as well), and my PDF.js rewrite. > > - It does introduce a lot of additional complexity. Both in code which > is lying around but rarely used/tested (like file listing support for > QtWebKit, or mthml downloads, or many other things QtWebEngine does > natively), and in complexity. I do like some of those abstractions > (the tab API proved to be a great idea, for example), but in other > places, I really don't like how complex and entangled things have > gotten. > > - It does introduce an additional burden for any changes, because you'll > need to test on QtWebKit as well (and/or maintain the CI > infrastructure to do so), and it is often additional work for > contributors. > > > In many cases, I found bugs in patches I submitted by running them > > against QtWebKit (that affected QtWebEngine in subtler ways) and vice > versa, > > so to me, even if no one uses QtWebKit it remains useful. > > Do you have examples for that? > > > > Are you planning to make qutebrowser a QtWebEngine-exclusive browser > or are > > > you going to maintain/improve the existing abstraction layer that > exists > > > between qutebrowser and the engine? Any thoughts on adding support for > > > another specific web engine? > > > > The multiple backend approach works because there are multiple backends > > supported through similar (and in some cases, the same) PyQt5/Qt apis. > Adding > > support for another engine would be pretty difficult as you would need to > > integrate it into both qt (and PyQt5). > > > > I think it would be extremely difficult to add support for a renderer not > > integrated into qt, as qutebrowser is heavily dependent on qt for many > things. > > If you check the CEF example it's actually not that bad - in brief: > > - Integrate the renderer's main loop with Qt (or configure it to run it > its own thread, like I think done there). > > - Get the renderer to render into your window, by giving it a low-level > window handle like in that example, or by providing it with an OpenGL > thingy (surface?) to render on (which is what QtWebEngine does with > Chromium, I think). > > - Dispatch some events like the window being moved/resized to the > renderer. > > - Depending how things are implemented, dispatch input events as well, > if Qt is getting them instead of the renderer (doesn't seem to be > necessary in the CEF example). > > > It would probably be easier to just update QtWebKit to use a newer > version of > > WebKit. > > I doubt it. Doing that is not something a single developer is able to > do, as we saw with QtWebKit. Annulen isn't the only one who seems to > have given up either: https://github.com/annulen/webkit/issues/775 > Like said above, I don't have any hopes of it happening without a > company picking it up (which doesn't seem to be happening either). > > Phew, that was a long mail, without a clear answer. :-) > > Florian > > -- > https://www.qutebrowser.org | m...@the-compiler.org (Mail/XMPP) > GPG: 916E B0C8 FD55 A072 | https://the-compiler.org/pubkey.asc > I love long mails! | https://email.is-not-s.ms/ >