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Apple, Google nearly tied as top contributors to WebKit as adoption expands

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
Apple still contributes the greatest number of 'reviewed commits' enhancing its open source WebKit browser engine, but Google is nearly tied in contributions while an active and expanding community assist.

According to a report by TechCrunch, based on numbers crunched by Bitergia, a firm that analyzes the active participants and their contributions to open source projects, Apple's contributions to WebKit come despite a much smaller number of dedicated, individual software authors.

Contributions to WebKit by Apple and Google
Historical contributions to WebKit by firm, Credit: Bitergia.com via TechCrunch


Apple's employees make up just 11 percent of the authors contributing to WebKit's development, but those authors contribute 37.96 percent of the community's reviewed commits, Bitergia states.

Apple's interest in WebKit pertains to the Mac and iOS editions of its Safari web browser, but the browser engine code is also extensively used behind the scenes for the iTunes Store, in features such as Dashboard and iTunes Extras, and is tightly integrated into a wide variety of other operating system functions and used throughout Apple's development tools.

WebKit contributors come and go as global platform expands



Google's share of individual WebKit authors is a whopping 42.6 percent, but its contributions in reviewed commits per company amount to a share just slightly under Apple's, at 37.63 percent. Google uses WebKit in its Chrome desktop and mobile browsers, as well as in Android and its aspiring Chrome OS, a strategy to replace Windows with a glorified web browser on lower end netbooks.

Google's efforts to build and maintain its WebKit-based Chrome browser for Windows in 2008 allowed Apple to drop its own efforts to maintain Safari for Windows last summer, enabling it to devote its efforts on Safari for iOS and Mac OS X where it earns its revenues.

In addition to Apple and Google, other significant contributors to WebKit include Nokia and RIM, both of which adopted WebKit in order to deliver fully functional web browsers for their own mobile platforms.

However, Nokia's initial, pioneering involvement in bringing WebKit to the mobile market peaked in 2011 and has collapsed since, as the company abandoned its own Symbian and MeeGo platforms to exclusively support Microsoft's Windows Phone. Microsoft's mobile platform supplies its own browser engine that does not use WebKit, making it the only significant mobile company on earth not to do so.

At the same time that Nokia abandoned WebKit, the company now known as BlackBerry picked up the torch and boldly centered its new BB OS 10 around an existing WebKit browser. After acquiring Torch Mobile in 2009, the company abandoned the smaller firm's WebKit-based Iris browser for Windows Mobile and set to work on a new browser for its own BlackBerry platform.

Steve Jobs' Safari discovers a mobile revolution



Ten years ago in January 2003, Steve Jobs unveiled plans for Apple's own new Safari web browser, based on the new WebCore layout engine, which was the result of a year and a half effort to improve upon KDE's existing, open KHTML project. At that time, Microsoft's Internet Explorer, based on its own proprietary "Trident" or "Tasman" web engines, accounted for around 95 percent of the web browsers in use.

A year and a half later in the middle 2005, Apple introduced WebKit, a fully functional browser engine that went far beyond the core HTML layout and JavaScript engine created by KDE. This enabled Nokia, Google and others to rapidly bring their own web browsers to market.
The number of different, active contributors to WebKit has been rapidly growing since, expanding from around five in 2007 when the iPhone debuted to the current number of more than 20 major contributors.

WebKit now claims the largest share of any web browser engine.WebKit now claims the largest share of any web browser engine, thanks in large part to the popularity of Google's Chrome browser on the desktop, which has surpassed both Internet Explorer and Mozilla's Firefox.

WebKit's share of mobile browsers is much higher, with Safari on iOS and Google's Android and Chrome mobile browsers contributing toward a total WebKit market share comparable to what Microsoft's proprietary Trident claimed a decade ago.

In addition to web browsers, WebKit also serves as the underlying technology behind a variety of other products, ranging from Valve's Steam (a sort of iTunes Store for games) to Adobe's AIR platform and HP's now defunct webOS, in addition to being used by a wide variety of apps to display and format content, including Apple's Mail and a vast array of third party iOS and Mac apps.
post #2 of 38
One of Apple's greatest contributions to computing is also one of the most important to Google! Meanwhile, how much credit does Apple get for it from open source fanatics who think Google is Santa Claus?
post #3 of 38
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Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

One of Apple's greatest contributions to computing is also one of the most important to Google! Meanwhile, how much credit does Apple get for it from open source fanatics who think Google is Santa Claus?

 

None, Apple "stole" it from KDE according to some.

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post #4 of 38

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Edited by MacRulez - 7/5/13 at 3:21pm
post #5 of 38
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Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

 

None, Apple "stole" it from KDE according to some.

 

These are the same people who don't think Android owes anything to the Java+Linux platform that was ubiquitous before Google acquired a Java+Linux platform, forked it to avoid paying licensing fees and/or respecting existing copyrights and licensing limitations, and redistributed it under is own name.

 

Also, all credit for the ongoing development of WebKit goes to anyone other than Apple, while all credit for Android automatically goes to Google, even for forks of Android that don't benefit Google in any way other than to expand the fragmentation of the "platforms" that are "Android."

post #6 of 38

Eff yeah, WebKit!

 

Apple saved the Internet. You're welcome, iHaters.

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post #7 of 38
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Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post


Citation needed.

 

The bad news here isn't for Apple, not at all.  It's for all those who think Google is evil and refuse to use anything the company makes - now they'll have to stop using Safari. ;)

 

Wikipedia has a pretty good history of WebKit.  Yes, it did start out life in KDE (as KHTML), but Apple has made significant contributions to it.  Doubtful that anyone can really claim "ownership" of it at this point (which is a good thing).

 
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post #8 of 38

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Edited by MacRulez - 7/5/13 at 3:21pm
post #9 of 38
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Originally Posted by auxio View Post

Wikipedia has a pretty good history of WebKit.  Yes, it did start out life in KDE (as KHTML), but Apple has made significant contributions to it.  Doubtful that anyone can really claim "ownership" of it at this point (which is a good thing).

Since Apple owns it I would think they would claim ownership of it.


edit: From webkit.org: "WebKit is open source software with portions licensed under the LGPL and BSD licenses. Complete license and copyright information can be found within the code. WebKit and the WebKit logo are trademarks of Apple Inc."

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post #10 of 38
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Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Since Apple owns it I would think they would claim ownership of it.


edit: From webkit.org: "WebKit is open source software with portions licensed under the LGPL and BSD licenses. Complete license and copyright information can be found within the code. WebKit and the WebKit logo are trademarks of Apple Inc."

Doesn't that just mean they own the right to the name Soli, having held on to it for Mac OSX? I don't believe they "own" the webkit project.

 

EDIT: Here ya go from Webkit.org, the link you mentioned:

 

WebKit is an open source web browser engine. WebKit is also the name of the Mac OS X system framework version of the engine that's used by Safari, Dashboard, Mail, and many other OS X applications. WebKit's HTML and JavaScript code began as a branch of the KHTML and KJS libraries from KDE.


Edited by Gatorguy - 2/11/13 at 1:57pm
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post #11 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


edit: From webkit.org: "WebKit is open source software with portions licensed under the LGPL and BSD licenses. Complete license and copyright information can be found within the code. WebKit and the WebKit logo are trademarks of Apple Inc."

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Doesn't that just mean they own the right to the name Soli, having held on to it for Mac OSX? I don't believe they "own" the webkit project.

 

Yes, just the WebKit name and logo are owned by Apple.  The source code is under different licenses and owned by whoever is credited in a given source file.

 

Edit: As someone who has collaborated on many such projects, it annoys me when people who aren't involved with a project make blanket statements about it.  


Edited by auxio - 2/11/13 at 2:07pm
 
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post #12 of 38
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Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Doesn't that just mean they own the right to the name Soli, having held on to it for Mac OSX? I don't believe they "own" the webkit project.

Now you're just trying to lessen Apple's involvement and achievement with WebKit. Apple spent years privately converting the KHTML fork over into the WebKit we finally saw released in Safari. To suggest this isn't Apple's creation and that they only get credit for the name and logo blows me away. Is Android's not Google's even though they bought Android from another company who used Linux for the kernel and whose codebase now consists of outside sources adding to it? I've never once heard you or MacRulez or DaHarder or anyone else say Android isn't Google's property so why is WebKit all of a sudden something Apple gets no credit for shaping? Seems disingenuous to me.

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post #13 of 38
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Originally Posted by auxio View Post

The source code is under different licenses and owned by whoever is credited in a given source file.

The source code that is own by whomever is credited for it but that is not the same as saying Apple doesn't own the WebKit project in created.

Q: Who has the right to decide how an open source project will be licensed?

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post #14 of 38
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Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Now you're just trying to lessen Apple's involvement and achievement with WebKit. Apple spent years privately converting the KHTML fork over into the WebKit we finally saw released in Safari. To suggest this isn't Apple's creation and that they only get credit for the name and logo blows me away. Is Android's not Google's even though they bought Android from another company who used Linux for the kernel and whose codebase now consists of outside sources adding to it? I've never once heard you or MacRulez or DaHarder or anyone else say Android isn't Google's property so why is WebKit all of a sudden something Apple gets no credit for shaping? Seems disingenuous to me.

 

The get credit/ownership for the parts of the source code they are credited in.  Take a look at the source code and see for yourself.

 

Have you read the original email from Don Melton to the KDE team?  Even he gave credit to the KDE developers for creating a "great open source project" which Apple was able to build off of.

 

I'm certainly not claiming that Apple's only contribution is a name and a logo, and I'd even be willing to say that Apple has played a far greater role in developing WebKit than Google has.  However, having experience with similar projects, it's frustrating when outsiders and media make blanket statements about ownership because they're looking for the simplest answer to package for people who don't know better.

 
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post #15 of 38
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Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


The source code that is own by whomever is credited for it but that is not the same as saying Apple doesn't own the WebKit project in created.

Q: Who has the right to decide how an open source project will be licensed?

 

In most open source projects I've worked on, there's a "blanket" license for the project to cover parts which no one has really claimed ownership of (like build scripts and whatnot).  However, the source code itself can have many different licenses depending on who created it (or where it came from -- sometimes it could be another project entirely).  You typically have to read the individual source files to find out -- though usually there's a text file somewhere which summarizes all of the licenses.

 

EDIT: Which is why incorporating open source code into a commercial project can be a legal minefield.

 
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post #16 of 38
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Originally Posted by Corrections View Post

Also, all credit for the ongoing development of WebKit goes to anyone other than Apple

 

If that's what you genuinely believe then you have a very warped view of reality. 

post #17 of 38
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Originally Posted by auxio View Post

I'm certainly not claiming that Apple's only contribution is a name and a logo, and I'd even be willing to say that Apple has played a far greater role in developing WebKit than Google has.  However, having experience with similar projects, it's frustrating when outsiders and media make blanket statements about ownership because they're looking for the simplest answer to package for people who don't know better.

No one is saying that only Apple gets credit for what makes up WebKit but it still their project. They forked it from KHTML as allowed by the licensing and made their own project.

WebOS was Palm's project and is now HP's project. It's a Linux and WebKit but Palm made it closed. WebOS became their project. Gram nee WebOS is now open sourced by HP and if I recall correctly the licensing will allow others to fork it and create their own projects.

These contributions are great and what we've seen from Linux and WebKit show just how powerful open source projects can be. I don't expect much from WebOS (but you never know, just look at WebKit from KHTML) but I do expect Android to grow in amazing ways.

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post #18 of 38

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Edited by MacRulez - 7/5/13 at 3:21pm
post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider 
WebKit now claims the largest share of any web browser engine. WebKit now claims the largest share of any web browser engine, thanks in large part to the popularity of Google's Chrome browser on the desktop, which has surpassed both Internet Explorer and Mozilla's Firefox.

WebKit's share of mobile browsers is much higher, with Safari on iOS and Google's Android and Chrome mobile browsers contributing toward a total WebKit market share comparable to what Microsoft's proprietary Trident claimed a decade ago

Different tools seem to differ wildly in their stats:

http://www.w3counter.com/globalstats.php?year=2012&month=12
http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser-ww-monthly-201212-201212-bar
http://www.netmarketshare.com/browser-market-share.aspx?qprid=0&qpcustomd=0#

I'm divided on Google's efforts. On the one hand, I like that they have promoted much better software in such a big way with their search engine monopoly but on the other hand, I don't like how they've turned armies of people against Apple while feeding off Apple's achievements.

Given the choice between Google not offering Chrome and Android and offering it, I prefer that they do just from the results. I don't think Apple would be much further ahead otherwise because their pricing structures will always exclude a large amount of people and I like that it's complimentary technology rather than conflicting technology that fills the space.

I'd like to see Firefox and Opera adopt the webkit engine. It just makes it easier for deployment because there are fewer variants to test against. Chrome is different enough from Safari so they can easily put their own identity to it. There's little hope of Microsoft doing this sort of thing but there wouldn't be any harm in it to have everyone at least use the same core engine.

These browser races really contradict the whole point of the internet. Access to internet content shouldn't be a commercial competition. The competition should only be in the content that is delivered not how it's received.
post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


No one is saying that only Apple gets credit for what makes up WebKit but it still their project. They forked it from KHTML as allowed by the licensing and made their own project.

 

Really, the only thing which matters is the technologies/ideas which make up a project.  A name is just a name and can change many times during the lifespan of a project (and it's forks).  As can legal ownership as companies are bought, sold, go bankrupt, etc.

 

But yes, if it makes you happy, I'll also give Apple credit for providing the infrastructure to support the project.  Though I believe that's the contentious point for the original KDE developers if you read the Wikipedia article: they really had to push Apple to provide this type of information (what bugs were being fixed by which patches).  But I'm glad Apple finally set this up for the WebKit project in the end: many companies likely wouldn't bother unless they were legally forced to do so.


Edited by auxio - 2/11/13 at 2:46pm
 
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post #21 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I'm divided on Google's efforts. On the one hand, I like that they have promoted much better software in such a big way with their search engine monopoly but on the other hand, I don't like how they've turned armies of people against Apple while feeding off Apple's achievements.

 

Only in the beginning, but it looks as though Google is now "giving back" more to Apple than they "fed" off of. I don't see it as a negative for Apple at all- they took a step in an open direction (great) which they are now benefiting from.

 

Maybe I'm just misreading the charts/numbers but it looks like at the moment Google is contributing twice as much to WebKit as Apple is. That "nearly tied" claim seems to be for total number of commits (someone correct me if I'm wrong)- but Google's current rate of contribution is much higher. So the difference in the total number of commits between the two companies is likely to grow pretty quickly.

post #22 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwjvan View Post

 

Maybe I'm just misreading the charts/numbers but it looks like at the moment Google is contributing twice as much to WebKit as Apple is. That "nearly tied" claim seems to be for total number of commits (someone correct me if I'm wrong)- but Google's current rate of contribution is much higher. So the difference in the total number of commits between the two companies is likely to grow pretty quickly.

 

Overall, it's a pretty pointless statistic (number of commits).  Someone could break one set of changes to 100 files into 100 different commits if they wanted to manipulate the numbers in their favour.

 

Really, what would be most interesting is who is contributing most to the overall architecture of WebKit these days (not just working in their own little area for their own needs).  That's what everyone benefits from and what drives the project forward.

 
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post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Now you're just trying to lessen Apple's involvement and achievement with WebKit. Apple spent years privately converting the KHTML fork over into the WebKit we finally saw released in Safari. To suggest this isn't Apple's creation and that they only get credit for the name and logo blows me away. Is Android's not Google's even though they bought Android from another company who used Linux for the kernel and whose codebase now consists of outside sources adding to it? I've never once heard you or MacRulez or DaHarder or anyone else say Android isn't Google's property so why is WebKit all of a sudden something Apple gets no credit for shaping? Seems disingenuous to me.

Wha?? How did you get that from my post? I never even commented on Webkit development, whose history is available to anyone who's interested in looking it up. You made the comment that Apple owned Webkit, and as evidence you offered the notice of their trademark. I replied with my understanding and followed up with a quote from Webkit.org, just as you did.

 

Now you're just trying to lessen Google's involvement and contributions to Webkit.1wink.gif

 

By the way, Android source code is not Google's property. It's open source. But I think they own the trademark to the name, just like Apple does with Webkit.

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post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

 

Really, the only thing which matters is the technologies/ideas which make up a project.  A name is just a name and can change many times during the lifespan of a project (and it's forks).  As can legal ownership as companies are bought, sold, go bankrupt, etc.

 

But yes, if it makes you happy, I'll also give Apple credit for providing the infrastructure to support the project.  Though I believe that's the contentious point for the original KDE developers if you read the Wikipedia article: they really had to push Apple to provide this type of information (what bugs were being fixed by which patches).  But I'm glad Apple finally set this up for the WebKit project in the end: many companies likely wouldn't bother unless they were legally forced to do so.

 

The only things which matters is whether corporate interests are aligned with open source.  If they are then resources flow.  When it does not you have a gimped dev team of two and a half men.

 

Webkit was an Apple fork refactored to meet Apple's needs and Apple goals and what could be released under BSD was done so rather than LGPL to make it corporate friendly for reuse (everything but webcore and javascriptcore).   Back in the day I remember one of the original KDE devs that had moved to Webkit comment that calling Webkit a fork of KHTML was like calling a chicken a fork of an egg...ah open source pissing contests.  If Theo had been involved it would have made it even more classic.

 

KHTML is about as significant as when it started...not very.  I think Twitter rendering was nearly completely borked in KHTML/KJS last year sometime and no one noticed.  Nobody tests against KHTML except maybe the KDE webmaster.

post #25 of 38
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Originally Posted by nht View Post

 

The only things which matters is whether corporate interests are aligned with open source.  If they are then resources flow.  When it does not you have a gimped dev team of two and a half men.

 

Webkit was an Apple fork refactored to meet Apple's needs and Apple goals and what could be released under BSD was done so rather than LGPL to make it corporate friendly for reuse (everything but webcore and javascriptcore).   Back in the day I remember one of the original KDE devs that had moved to Webkit comment that calling Webkit a fork of KHTML was like calling a chicken a fork of an egg...ah open source pissing contests.  If Theo had been involved it would have made it even more classic.

 

KHTML is about as significant as when it started...not very.  I think Twitter rendering was nearly completely borked in KHTML/KJS last year sometime and no one noticed.  Nobody tests against KHTML except maybe the KDE webmaster.

 

Indeed, this is the way of all things: something is only relevant if enough people pay attention to/care about it.

 

However, I still see a project and all of it's forks as a continuum of the same core technology.  In this regard, you cannot say that Apple is solely responsible for WebKit.  One day, Apple's influence on the industry could change (or it could morph into a different type of company which has no interest in WebKit).  At which point, another Apple-like entity could devote resources to a new fork of the technology now known as WebKit, and the name "WebKit" would become as irrelevant as KHTML is today.  A name is just a name.

 
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post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwjvan View Post

Maybe I'm just misreading the charts/numbers but it looks like at the moment Google is contributing twice as much to WebKit as Apple is. That "nearly tied" claim seems to be for total number of commits (someone correct me if I'm wrong)- but Google's current rate of contribution is much higher. So the difference in the total number of commits between the two companies is likely to grow pretty quickly.

 

Hard to say it's a complicated question.

What's a Typical Commit? A Characterization of Open Source ...

It's safe to say that a simple look at the number of commits isn't a very informative measure.

 

I would say Apple is in the driver's seat because it's their project. Other big contributors see the value of the central idea of the project (smart, sensible, fast, organized, predictable, standardized, open, un-borked, rendering engine and browser) and it fits the bill for them. The big dogs and a lot of small dogs agree — it makes sense for them, they like it, and they contribute, make fixes, and add things they want. As soon as it doesn't meet their needs, they can fork it and maybe others will follow. But no point in reinventing the wheel if it keeps getting better and better and keeps rolling so nicely.

post #27 of 38
Can everyone please stop quoting Wikipedia as a vetted source of information in these arguments?
post #28 of 38

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Edited by MacRulez - 7/5/13 at 3:24pm
post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by iSteelers View Post

Can everyone please stop quoting Wikipedia as a vetted source of information in these arguments?

There's nothing wrong with quoting Wikipedia (and it *is* "vetted.")

As with any writing, a quote is only as good as the person quoting it. People still have to evaluate sources, arguments, logic, truth, reliability, etc.

post #30 of 38
Funny too that webkit.org has safari's patented logo on there website as well:)


As an edit to this I have been looking back at some articles by arstechnica about the webkit fork of the khtml engine and found that the creator of khtml and others back in 2007 helped reincorporate khtml back into webkit and reverse some of the changes apple made to make developement easier and to get webkit's/khtml engine adopted back by kde. In an interview with Lars Knoll the creator of khtml he talks about apples involvement and how webkits fork is now coming back into a merger with khtml and eventually will be adopted as part of kde.

Also that the khtml community got apples webkit set up with full code disclosure by apple back to the community which was the reason for the big uproar with apples involvement to begin with.

There good reads if your interested circa 2007 on ars.

Here are the links:

http://arstechnica.com/apple/2007/06/ars-at-wwdc-interview-with-lars-knoll-creator-of-khtml/

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2007/07/the-unforking-of-kdes-khtml-and-webkit/
Edited by Mechanic - 2/11/13 at 7:02pm
post #31 of 38
Apple.mail is a webkit product? Why does Apple.mail suck so much. It doesn't attach emails separately, it doesn't update very well (I'll get my iphone emails minutes before Apple.mail), and it does a poor job of handling wifi interruptions. It also creates stupid, meaningless attachments.
post #32 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ash471 View Post

Apple.mail is a webkit product? Why does Apple.mail suck so much. It doesn't attach emails separately, it doesn't update very well (I'll get my iphone emails minutes before Apple.mail), and it does a poor job of handling wifi interruptions. It also creates stupid, meaningless attachments.

What blather. iPhone Mail is Apple Mail. The rest of this post can be read in the same context.

post #33 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by iSteelers View Post

Can everyone please stop quoting Wikipedia as a vetted source of information in these arguments?

 

That particular Wikipedia article has links to mailing list archives which support what is written.  I also happened to live through and follow the whole KHTML->WebKit fork (I was working on both Linux and Mac OS X at the time).  And though I wasn't actually involved with the project, the Wikipedia article is accurate based on what I remember of it.

 
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post #34 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

That particular Wikipedia article has links to mailing list archives which support what is written.  I also happened to live through and follow the whole KHTML->WebKit fork (I was working on both Linux and Mac OS X at the time).  And though I wasn't actually involved with the project, the Wikipedia article is accurate based on what I remember of it.

It's quite remarkable how many Wikipages are well cited. I find it an absolutely great jumping off point.

I don't think I've gone a day without Wikipedia as a resource in years. Sometimes the journey it takes as you click on links to other Wikipages will lead you to information that you had no idea existed.

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post #35 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin 
I'd like to see Firefox and Opera adopt the webkit engine. It just makes it easier for deployment because there are fewer variants to test against.

One down:

http://www.engadget.com/2013/02/13/opera-300-million-webkit-switch/

C'mon Firefox/Mozilla, make the switch.

There are even considerations for DRM now:

http://www.engadget.com/2013/02/12/w3c-to-explore-a-proposal-bringing-drm-hooks-to-html/

That could mean no Flash or Silverlight needed for video streaming from larger providers. HTTP Live Streaming would work fine though. Apple's implementation doesn't support DRM but it says they can encrypt streams and restrict access to encryption keys. People will always be able to rip video from a stream anyway just like people can record TV shows.
post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

One down:

http://www.engadget.com/2013/02/13/opera-300-million-webkit-switch/

C'mon Firefox/Mozilla, make the switch.

There are even considerations for DRM now:

http://www.engadget.com/2013/02/12/w3c-to-explore-a-proposal-bringing-drm-hooks-to-html/

That could mean no Flash or Silverlight needed for video streaming from larger providers. HTTP Live Streaming would work fine though. Apple's implementation doesn't support DRM but it says they can encrypt streams and restrict access to encryption keys. People will always be able to rip video from a stream anyway just like people can record TV shows.

1) I'm glad to see more uniformity on the internet but I would ideally like to see it happen with multiple browser engines.

2) I am more shocked Opera has 300 million users. I bet a good many of them are pissed by this. Hard to be elitist when you're using the same engine as everyone else.

3 The encryption seems to work well. I'v tried to find the source files for some sites and unable to find them. They usually pop up in under the Other folder in Web Inspector. For instance, if you change your UA to iPad, open up Web Inspector, then open up a clip on Comedy Central's The Daily Show the ad will be in MP4 but the video won't be there, at least not as a standard file. I haven't been able to figure out how they do it. I assume that don't think it's secure enough that they only allow clips and not full episodes to be watched unless you have Flash installed.

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

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post #37 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX 
I'm glad to see more uniformity on the internet but I would ideally like to see it happen with multiple browser engines.

That was how it was supposed to work orginally but it's too slow trying to get everyone on the same path (yes Microsoft, everyone's looking at you). You can see from the article, they suggest the Opera developers were tired of having to modify things to keep up with sites being designed for Chrome and Safari - likely on the mobile side. For the same reasons that Android makes it easier for phone manufacturers to put out a solid OS, webkit makes it easier for browser developers to have a solid, compatible engine without the constant struggle to add compatibility.

While competition can help push new features and standards, given the scale and richness the web has reached, compatibility is more important.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX 
I am more shocked Opera has 300 million users. I bet a good many of them are pissed by this. Hard to be elitist when you're using the same engine as everyone else.

There's still room to be unique while using the same engine just like video games can be different with the same core engine. Chrome is different from Safari for example. Here is a preview of Opera's Ice web browser:


Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX 
IThe encryption seems to work well. I'v tried to find the source files for some sites and unable to find them. They usually pop up in under the Other folder in Web Inspector. For instance, if you change your UA to iPad, open up Web Inspector, then open up a clip on Comedy Central's The Daily Show the ad will be in MP4 but the video won't be there, at least not as a standard file. I haven't been able to figure out how they do it. I assume that don't think it's secure enough that they only allow clips and not full episodes to be watched unless you have Flash installed.

Streaming video tends to not be contained in a single file when it downloads. Adverts are so short, they can just put them in a small standalone document. To download streams, there are programs where you can direct the stream into a file and it will fill it up but it's not the same as a media file playing in a browser. It's like listening to internet radio where it doesn't download a file that just gets bigger and bigger, it just buffers a portion of the live packets being sent out and then flushes the buffer when you don't need it any more. That's why streaming has to buffer content again when you skip around far enough.

You never have to get a full copy of a streaming movie, just a buffer of a few MB and it can flush it regularly. That alone gives them some protection but when it has no DRM (more than encryption), someone would be able to develop a program that can point to the stream and never flush the buffer so eventually it gives you a full copy of the content, which you can then put somewhere else or stream yourself.

There's a lot of work goes into a full DRM service:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc838192(v=vs.95).aspx

and as you say, it can be difficult enough with streaming that you won't bother anyway. For one thing, streams tend to be bandwidth capped too because you only need enough bandwidth to watch it in real-time so a 90 minute movie would take ~90 minutes to save the stream.

It does have implications for bigger scale operations though. Netflix for example. They have exlcusive licenses to some content so someone with a Netflix account could try downloading multiple streams to setup a rival service. I think they could get round it to some extent by embedding user credentials into the image content such as a license code. That way even if they downloaded it and re-encoded it, it would have their code in it and it could be made largely invisible right in the middle of the image. Poeple who rip streams could adjust the color of the image to obfuscate it but when it's multiplied with the image, they couldn't guarantee adjustments would eliminate the watermark.

If the stream is found to have been shared, they look at the embedded key and cancel the user's account and possibly prosecute for copyright infringement.
post #38 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


1) I'm glad to see more uniformity on the internet but I would ideally like to see it happen with multiple browser engines.

https://hacks.mozilla.org/2013/02/hello-chrome-its-firefox-calling/

 

 

Mozilla is excited to announce that we’ve achieved a major milestone in WebRTC development: WebRTC RTCPeerConnection interoperability between Firefox and Chrome. This effort was made possible because of the close collaboration between the open Web community and engineers from both Mozilla and Google.

RTCPeerConnection (also known simply as PeerConnection or PC) interoperability means that developers can now create Firefox WebRTC applications that make direct audio/video calls to Chrome WebRTC applications without having to install a third-party plugin. Because the functionality is now baked into the browser, users can avoid problems with first-time installs and buggy plugins, and developers can deploy their apps much more easily and universally.

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