Re: [dev] Using a different rendering engine for surf

From: Anselm R Garbe <>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2010 10:47:43 +0000

On Fri, Oct 22, 2010 at 10:02:00AM +0000, Bjartur Thorlacius wrote:
> On 10/20/10, Anselm R Garbe <> wrote:
> > On 20 October 2010 11:19, Nick <> wrote:
> >> On Wed, 20 Oct 2010 10:06 +0100, "Nick" <> wrote:
> >>> I wonder, has anyone looked at Hubbub/LibCSS, the HTML & CSS rendering
> >>> libraries of NetSurf? I gave them the briefest of glances today, and
> >>> they look pretty nice. They're certainly *a lot* smaller and simpler
> >>> than WebkitGTK.
> >>
> >> Sorry, forgot pertinent URLs:
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> And it's worth mentioning that we'd need some way of drawing widgets.
> >
> > What NetSurf lacked the last time I looked into it was JS support.
> > Anyways, it is too much work in the scope of suckless to really create
> > a NetSurf based surf version. The web is switching towards HTML5 and
> > incorporating more and more HTML5 features that NetSurf simply lacks
> > behind. I think we have to bite into the bullet and keep going with
> > WebKit. Nevertheless I think the choice of webkitgtk is questionable,
> > since it is quite a small project and a very immature WebKit port.
> > Instead of going the NetSurf route, I would suggest to re-use the
> > chromium source code, even if it's much more monstrous than webkitgtk.
> > surf could become a headless chromium where each surf window behaves
> > exactly like a chromium tab (+ some dashboard surf window on demand
> > like for downloads etc). What we care is the user interface. We can't
> > fix the web or browser implementation(s) anyways.
> >
> You can influence the direction of the Web on WHATWG. Not that many
> would listen to you, but you can raise the issue.

Well WHATWG led to HTML5, which requires JS. As pointed out in earlier posts on
this ml, there is no way to change the web into the better, particularly there
is no hope for HTML(5)/CSS/JS left. The only way to change the web into the
"better", is to replace the full web stack that we have with something sane,
that probably offers a full blown legacy layer additionally in the interim
until 2030 or so. To succeed the web stack replacement must provide better
features and be a lot faster -- which sounds like being delusional ;)

> I'd like a Surf interface to Dillo or NetSurf, without any JavaScript
> support. You only need to interpret JavaScript on web pages that suck.
> The suckless part of the web is quite usable without it.

The only value I see in this is the joy of excercise. But as said, I would
rather fight with chromium than with NetSurf, even if the NetSurf
implementation is a lot saner than WebKit.

Received on Fri Oct 22 2010 - 12:47:43 CEST

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