Farewell, QtWebKit

Two years after the tracker was opened it is time to mask dev-qt/qtwebkit for good. No commits to upstream repository for >9 months, latest available tarball still “alpha” with warning about known unpatched vulnerabilities.

Andreas Sturmlechner

I woke up this morning, logged into my Gentoo box, and run an update, my usual routine. I was greeted with this message from portage. I’m sad to see QtWebKit go, but I’m also glad to see it go.

On the good side, it utilized the original WebKit API, which was not multi-process. That made it a bad choice for writing a web browser, but a much better choice for writing an app with an embedded web view. I just don’t need a multi-process architecture for a single page web view. It introduces too much unnecessary code and complexity.

On the other hand, having used it in a commercial product two jobs ago, it only made sense to take part in maintaining it. Upstream was super easy to talk to, about anything really, not just QtWebKit, but getting anything moving forward was nearly impossible. Eventually focus shifted to tooling surrounding development rather than development on the project itself. Things stagnated. It feel way behind WebKit. The end. Unlike in 2016 when its revival was announced, today it is, frankly, not usable anymore.

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