The browser engine WebKit can be compiled on Linux. There is also a simple Qt wrapper available to use the engine inside a simple browser.
WebKit is available at the svn repository hosted at WebKit.org. The svn checkout is simple, however, since there are many tests included the directory is quite big:
$ svn checkout http://svn.webkit.org/repository/webkit/trunk WebKit
$ du -sh WebKit
If you keep an eye on the dependencies and build instructions WebKit should compile without any problems. Make also sure that the build script will launch qt4’s qmake (for example with
PATH=/usr/lib/qt4/bin:$PATH), qt3’s qmake will not work. You will also get a simple Qt browser which uses WebKit as the browser engine. The Qt browser might be the most simple browser you’ve ever seen and doesn’t support much – but it is for demonstration purpose only, and fits to that task perfectly.
And, well, it works:
But as I said, the Qt browser is more a wrapper than a real program. Several things are missing: there is no tabbed browsing, no right click menu, the address line needs a
http:// in front of every address, text fields don’t understand the Pos1 or End keys or combinations like Ctrl+Del, and so on. Still, it is working basically – and looks good.
Also, if you have a closer look at the screenshot you see that the “status bar” at the bottom which shows the address behind a link is transparent (real transparency!). Also, the status bar is moving in and out, and its lengths depends on the address size – very slick. I would like to see more of such effects in KDE 4, btw.
Speaking about KDE 4, I would like to point out something: WebKit is not a browser – that is important if you want to understand what all the fuzz is about. It is an engine. Just like khtml, on which WebKit is based on.
And: quite some KDE developers are also WebKit developers, and it is likely that WebKit will be available for KDE 4 – but it is not said in which way. Maybe WebKit will be available as a third party kpart to replace khtml if the user wants that. Or maybe inside a new stand alone browser. But that is not decided yet. So don’t complain about anything which is not yet set! We will see how WebKit will be available for KDE 4 users.