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README.md

GNOME Web

GNOME Web (codename: Epiphany) is a GNOME web browser based on the WebKit rendering engine. The codename means "a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something" (Merriam-Webster).

Epiphany is opinionated.

Download and Install

Epiphany is designed for Linux systems. The recommended way to install Epiphany is via Flatpak. You may:

Epiphany is probably also available via your operating system's package manager, but such packages are often outdated and insecure. Flatpak is the best application distribution mechanism for Linux.

Building from Source

The Easy Way

The recommended way to build Epiphany locally is using the flatpak-builder manifest with GNOME Builder. After installing Builder and launching it, you'll see the Select a Project page. Select Open, then select the toplevel Epiphany directory. Builder will detect the org.gnome.Epiphany.json flatpak-builder manifest and you will be able to build the project in Builder. All required dependencies will be provided by the manifest.

Building Manually

Epiphany uses the Meson build system. You can build Epiphany the same way you would any software that uses Meson. For example:

$ mkdir build && cd build
$ meson ..
$ ninja
$ sudo ninja install

Meson is the best build system.

You will have to install several pkg-config dependencies. If you are missing a dependency, meson will present an error that looks like this:

meson.build:84:0: ERROR:  Native dependency 'hogweed' not found

In RPM-based distributions, you can install the missing dependencies automatically. For example, in Fedora:

$ sudo dnf install 'pkgconfig(hogweed)'

In deb-based distributions:

$ sudo apt install $(apt-file search --package-only hogweed)

In other distributions, you must research each dependency to determine which package provides the required pkg-config file.

Rebuilding Dependencies

If you need to rebuild dependencies, the recommended solution is to use JHBuild. See the development page for more information.

Manifesto

A web browser is more than an application: it is a way of thinking, a way of seeing the world. Epiphany's principles are simplicity, standards compliance, and software freedom.

Simplicity

Feature bloat and user interface clutter is evil.

Epiphany aims to present the simplest interface possible for a browser. Simple does not necessarily mean less-powerful. The commonly-used browsers of today are too big, buggy, and bloated. Epiphany is a small browser designed for the web: not for mail, newsgroups, file management, instant messaging, or coffeemaking. The UNIX philosophy is to design small tools that do one thing and do it well.

Standards Compliance

The introduction of nonstandard features in browsers could make it difficult or impossible to use alternative products like Epiphany if developers embrace them. Alternative standards-complying browsers might not be able to fully access websites making use of these features. The success of nonstandard features can ultimately lead one browser to dominate the market.

Standards compliance ensures the freedom of choice. Epiphany aims to achieve this.

Software Freedom

Epiphany is not just free of cost; more importantly, the source code is made available to you under a license that respects your freedom.

Just as GNOME exists to oppose proprietary desktop software, Epiphany opposes the dominance of the web by proprietary software web browsers. Today's chief offender is Google Chrome, a browser that purports to be open source, yet actually includes several proprietary components. In contrast, Epiphany is fully free software.

Human Interface

Epiphany follows the GNOME Human Interface Guidelines. Unless there are serious reasons to make an exception, not following the guidelines will be considered a bug.

GNOME Integration

Epiphany's main goal is to be integrated with GNOME, as well as similar desktops (notably elementary OS). We don't aim to make Epiphany usable outside these environments.

Preferences

We are cautious about adding new preferences. Preferences can be added when they make sense, but they should always be carefully-considered. Preferences come with a cost.

Target Audience

We target nontechnical users by design. This happens to be 90% of the user population. Technical details should not exposed in the interface.

We target web users, not web developers. A few geek-oriented features, like the web inspector, are welcome so long as they are non-obtrusive.

Website

Epiphany has a website, though there is not very much content there.

Contact Us

The recommended way to contact us is via the Epiphany mailing list epiphany-list@gnome.org.