Experimental backend for QtWebEngine (Blink) #615

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Emdek opened this Issue Dec 27, 2014 · 42 comments

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Emdek commented Dec 27, 2014

Qt 5.4 introduced initial version of QtWebEngine, which allows to use Blink rendering engine in Qt applications without additional effort.
While APIs are still very basic it is already possible to use it for web browsing (as long as you don't care about cookies, history, plugins, searching, caching, transfers, user agent, context menus and other stuff).
So we should start preparations to take advantage of that new Qt module by creating new, experimental backend (note that we will continue to support QtWebKit even when QtWebEngine will become mature), possibly adding some workarounds where possible (some stuff can be done using JavaScript, since it is possible to execute it from C++ even when it is disabled for webpage) and waiting for basic APIs to arrive in Qt 5.5 and 5.6 (note that there are no plans for QNetworkAccessManager integration, at least not for now - that integration would allow to reuse lots of code from QtWebKit, taking care of cookies, transfers, user agent, cache etc.).
Our APIs were designed for supporting multiple backends from beginning, the only missing part being configuration UI for selecting default one plus additional changes for loading backends as separate plugins (can be done later).
This backend would be build only when asked to by setting compile time option, it's important to note that it has higher requirements for compilers (it's an issue in case of 32 bit platforms, especially Windows).
It will be turned on when it will be become usable enough and later will become default one (QtWebKit may end up as being disabled by default), we could make it requirement for 2.0 milestone to have it fully functioning.
It would be nice to have initial version available for next milestone.

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Katarn Dec 27, 2014

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note that there are no plans for QNetworkAccessManager integration, at least not for now

I read somewhere in the press release that the functionality of this module is deployed to the other two. Now I can not find the details. Maybe it is? http://qt-project.org/wiki/QtWebEnginePortingFromQtWebKit#c8d4911a79ee66d17426afdd9b72c767

note that we will continue to support QtWebKit even when QtWebEngine will become mature

About it writes, that pretty soon it will put the deprecated status.

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Katarn commented Dec 27, 2014

note that there are no plans for QNetworkAccessManager integration, at least not for now

I read somewhere in the press release that the functionality of this module is deployed to the other two. Now I can not find the details. Maybe it is? http://qt-project.org/wiki/QtWebEnginePortingFromQtWebKit#c8d4911a79ee66d17426afdd9b72c767

note that we will continue to support QtWebKit even when QtWebEngine will become mature

About it writes, that pretty soon it will put the deprecated status.

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@Katarn, it seems that originally they wanted to have integration but decided against to cut maintenance costs (as it is not trivial task and probably would degrade network performance a bit) and get ready to use product earlier.
QtWebKit is already deprecated (I would go for marking it that way when it will be actually possible to replace it, but that is up to them to decide) as of Qt 5.4, but it will be still maintained during Qt5 time line (so just fixes and likely no new features).

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Emdek commented Dec 27, 2014

@Katarn, it seems that originally they wanted to have integration but decided against to cut maintenance costs (as it is not trivial task and probably would degrade network performance a bit) and get ready to use product earlier.
QtWebKit is already deprecated (I would go for marking it that way when it will be actually possible to replace it, but that is up to them to decide) as of Qt 5.4, but it will be still maintained during Qt5 time line (so just fixes and likely no new features).

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So it begins. ;-)

This backend is disabled by default and requires command line option to be built (and Qt 5.4):
cmake -DEnableQtwebengine=ON ../
To set it as default backend you will need to set Backends/Web to qtwebengine.

Please note that this backend doesn't do much right now, it just loads pages and respects few basic options.

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Emdek commented Jan 12, 2015

So it begins. ;-)

This backend is disabled by default and requires command line option to be built (and Qt 5.4):
cmake -DEnableQtwebengine=ON ../
To set it as default backend you will need to set Backends/Web to qtwebengine.

Please note that this backend doesn't do much right now, it just loads pages and respects few basic options.

Emdek added a commit that referenced this issue Jan 19, 2015

@Emdek Emdek removed this from the Beta 6 milestone May 28, 2015

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@wblgrh, Qt 5.6 most likely will stop producing binaries for QtWebKit so in case of Windows it might happen quite soon (especially since QtWebKit is quite buggy under that platform...).
I'll make final decision between beta and RC of Qt 5.6.

@LimboSlam, Gecko is most likely dead end anyway, probably (although they don't admit it) Mozilla will switch to Servo sooner or later.
Killing off stuff like XUL might be additional hint of such possibility, as it will make it easier to move to different engine in future (more like long term, maybe even more than one year from now).
As noted by @The-Compiler, that engine was not designed to be reusable, there were many Gecko based browsers in the past but almost all of them were just more or less modified versions of Firefox or SeaMonkey anyway.

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Emdek commented Nov 12, 2015

@wblgrh, Qt 5.6 most likely will stop producing binaries for QtWebKit so in case of Windows it might happen quite soon (especially since QtWebKit is quite buggy under that platform...).
I'll make final decision between beta and RC of Qt 5.6.

@LimboSlam, Gecko is most likely dead end anyway, probably (although they don't admit it) Mozilla will switch to Servo sooner or later.
Killing off stuff like XUL might be additional hint of such possibility, as it will make it easier to move to different engine in future (more like long term, maybe even more than one year from now).
As noted by @The-Compiler, that engine was not designed to be reusable, there were many Gecko based browsers in the past but almost all of them were just more or less modified versions of Firefox or SeaMonkey anyway.

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wblgrh Nov 12, 2015

@The-Compiler, You're talking about security and yet, without hesitation you've accepted a web engine from a megacorp which is infamous for spying on it's users and ignoring their rights. If i have to choose between this and an unmaintained, but google free engine, then it's no contest.

@Emdek, Qt bindings for Gecko don't work under windows, QtWebKit is quite buggy under windows, windows, windows, windows...
It's not the only existing platform and yet, because of the issues of windows, every platform should get the same punishment? If windows has problems with other engines, then why drop those other engines on all platforms?

wblgrh commented Nov 12, 2015

@The-Compiler, You're talking about security and yet, without hesitation you've accepted a web engine from a megacorp which is infamous for spying on it's users and ignoring their rights. If i have to choose between this and an unmaintained, but google free engine, then it's no contest.

@Emdek, Qt bindings for Gecko don't work under windows, QtWebKit is quite buggy under windows, windows, windows, windows...
It's not the only existing platform and yet, because of the issues of windows, every platform should get the same punishment? If windows has problems with other engines, then why drop those other engines on all platforms?

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LimboSlam Nov 12, 2015

@Emdek and @The-Compiler: The Pale Moon browser is a fork of the old Gecko source code because they don't and will not go with Mozilla's directions of Firefox, so knowing this, "Pale Moon is not Firefox and never will be again," which is why for the fork.

I also don't understand why you can't base your browser off this engine and ride it's waves? I mean that's what the Pale Moon developers use to do with Firefox/Gecko before they decided to fork off and form their own direction? Can't you like ask for the full source code from the main developer. Or is the reason because you don't have the resources to do so and don't know enough of the Gecko source code?

Well either way, I like this browser too, so whatever your doing to keep it running smoothly, keep it up! 👍 :)

@Emdek and @The-Compiler: The Pale Moon browser is a fork of the old Gecko source code because they don't and will not go with Mozilla's directions of Firefox, so knowing this, "Pale Moon is not Firefox and never will be again," which is why for the fork.

I also don't understand why you can't base your browser off this engine and ride it's waves? I mean that's what the Pale Moon developers use to do with Firefox/Gecko before they decided to fork off and form their own direction? Can't you like ask for the full source code from the main developer. Or is the reason because you don't have the resources to do so and don't know enough of the Gecko source code?

Well either way, I like this browser too, so whatever your doing to keep it running smoothly, keep it up! 👍 :)

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GungnirInd Nov 12, 2015

@LimboSlam If I'm not horribly mistaken, Pale Moon isn't a browser, built from scratch, that happens to use Gecko (like Otter is to QtWebKit); it's a fork of Firefox in its entirety. As was noted previously, Gecko was not designed to be portable, so Otter would pretty much have to be remade from scratch (and probably changed to be a Firefox or SeaMonkey fork) to make using Gecko in any way feasible. Blink is basically the only option right now, unless Otter suddenly gets an enormous amount of developer power.

If there's a choice between QtWebEngine and CEF, I would cast my non-existent vote for CEF (as it would make it easier to use Servo later, AFAIK), but I'd imagine that QtWebEngine is easier to work with.

@LimboSlam If I'm not horribly mistaken, Pale Moon isn't a browser, built from scratch, that happens to use Gecko (like Otter is to QtWebKit); it's a fork of Firefox in its entirety. As was noted previously, Gecko was not designed to be portable, so Otter would pretty much have to be remade from scratch (and probably changed to be a Firefox or SeaMonkey fork) to make using Gecko in any way feasible. Blink is basically the only option right now, unless Otter suddenly gets an enormous amount of developer power.

If there's a choice between QtWebEngine and CEF, I would cast my non-existent vote for CEF (as it would make it easier to use Servo later, AFAIK), but I'd imagine that QtWebEngine is easier to work with.

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xploSEoF Nov 13, 2015

@wblgrh Otter's mantra is simple: "controlled by the user, not vice versa". It's way past the point of switching from QT, and the only engine supported enough to meet this mantra is Blink. Furthermore, Blink is NOT solely developed by Google - in fact, Google only contribute to Blink. Your google-phobia might be pushing you too far. I might add, I'm not a fan of what Google have become, neither am I a fan of Blink, but for very different reasons.

@Emdek Keep up the good work, I trust your judgement as stability is the foundation towards a good piece of software, and you're doing a fantastic job with that!

@wblgrh Otter's mantra is simple: "controlled by the user, not vice versa". It's way past the point of switching from QT, and the only engine supported enough to meet this mantra is Blink. Furthermore, Blink is NOT solely developed by Google - in fact, Google only contribute to Blink. Your google-phobia might be pushing you too far. I might add, I'm not a fan of what Google have become, neither am I a fan of Blink, but for very different reasons.

@Emdek Keep up the good work, I trust your judgement as stability is the foundation towards a good piece of software, and you're doing a fantastic job with that!

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wblgrh Nov 13, 2015

If Otter is a browser which is "controlled by the user, not vice versa", then why a webengine which is made by a megacorp who aims to control everything? I have google-phobia? Yes i have. Is it paranoid? Yes it is. Is it unfounded? Not it isn't, it's righteous.

As for your statement of "Google only contribute to Blink", i have to concur: Blink is a fork of WebKit, which was done by google. It's true, that anyone can contribute to Blink, but ultimately google controls that engine's development and behaviour. It's up to you, if you trust them, or not. I don't trust them, not even for a yottosecond.

You can call me a paranoid google-hater and you will be right, but as i already said earlier "being paranoid does not excluse the possibility of being persecuted".
I don't hate microsoft or google, because i don't like their faces...

wblgrh commented Nov 13, 2015

If Otter is a browser which is "controlled by the user, not vice versa", then why a webengine which is made by a megacorp who aims to control everything? I have google-phobia? Yes i have. Is it paranoid? Yes it is. Is it unfounded? Not it isn't, it's righteous.

As for your statement of "Google only contribute to Blink", i have to concur: Blink is a fork of WebKit, which was done by google. It's true, that anyone can contribute to Blink, but ultimately google controls that engine's development and behaviour. It's up to you, if you trust them, or not. I don't trust them, not even for a yottosecond.

You can call me a paranoid google-hater and you will be right, but as i already said earlier "being paranoid does not excluse the possibility of being persecuted".
I don't hate microsoft or google, because i don't like their faces...

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webengine which is made by a megacorp who aims to control everything
@wblgrh: Please show us QtWebEngine code fragment which controls you or
stop talking gibberish and get out of here.

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Chocimier commented Nov 13, 2015

webengine which is made by a megacorp who aims to control everything
@wblgrh: Please show us QtWebEngine code fragment which controls you or
stop talking gibberish and get out of here.

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@wblgrh, I'm not going to drop QtWebKit as long as there is some kind of upstream support for it.
Note that even if it would be disabled by default or something like that then it can be always built from source or that backend could be even maintained by third party.
It's not punishment, it's pragmatism, since QtWebKit is broken and almost unmaintained then we need to focus on something else...
BTW, there will be disclaimer in docs of QtWebEngine stating that they won't ship any Chrome specific code.

@GungnirInd, CEF is also an option, but indeed harder one, although since Servo is supposed to be CEF compatible then it would make sense to at least research it a bit.

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Emdek commented Nov 13, 2015

@wblgrh, I'm not going to drop QtWebKit as long as there is some kind of upstream support for it.
Note that even if it would be disabled by default or something like that then it can be always built from source or that backend could be even maintained by third party.
It's not punishment, it's pragmatism, since QtWebKit is broken and almost unmaintained then we need to focus on something else...
BTW, there will be disclaimer in docs of QtWebEngine stating that they won't ship any Chrome specific code.

@GungnirInd, CEF is also an option, but indeed harder one, although since Servo is supposed to be CEF compatible then it would make sense to at least research it a bit.

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LimboSlam Nov 13, 2015

@wblgrh: What @Emdek is trying to say is that they need to move on to a more stable web engine because QtWebEngine is becoming unstable and is quite broken already due to lack of support for it. Which is how the Chromium source code/web engine fits in. Now this not a bad idea all the way, it's just more limited in what you can do with it. Now I seen great projects move to this and still manage to do more with Chromium than what they could do before. Look at Vivaldi for an example.

Also @GungnirInd: Not quite I understand you. Um, Yes Pale Moon is not totally built from it's own source code, it had help of Gecko/Firefox source code. But now they've jumped off the Firefox train of distinction and are doing pretty well with maintaining it as their own independent fork.

By the way, what is CEF? Sorry if it's obvious, but I've just barley been introduce to Otter and it's project.

@wblgrh: What @Emdek is trying to say is that they need to move on to a more stable web engine because QtWebEngine is becoming unstable and is quite broken already due to lack of support for it. Which is how the Chromium source code/web engine fits in. Now this not a bad idea all the way, it's just more limited in what you can do with it. Now I seen great projects move to this and still manage to do more with Chromium than what they could do before. Look at Vivaldi for an example.

Also @GungnirInd: Not quite I understand you. Um, Yes Pale Moon is not totally built from it's own source code, it had help of Gecko/Firefox source code. But now they've jumped off the Firefox train of distinction and are doing pretty well with maintaining it as their own independent fork.

By the way, what is CEF? Sorry if it's obvious, but I've just barley been introduce to Otter and it's project.

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GungnirInd Nov 14, 2015

Sorry @LimboSlam, I didn't phrase that very well. What I mean is: the reason Gecko isn't feasible is that Mozilla never really intended for it to be used in other browsers, so it would be a huge amount of work to adapt it to Otter (or adapt Otter to it). Blink has much better support for being used by browsers other than the one it was made for, so using it makes much more sense for a new project (which is why so many browsers are using it these days: Opera (Next), Vivaldi, Maelstrom, Iron, Steam's browser, etc., and even non-browser projects like GitHub's Electron Shell).

Pale Moon doesn't have to deal with this problem because it's based on Firefox, so the program's architecture is compatible and the implementation is already done. They diverged from the original source they forked, but they are still using the same basic architecture as Firefox. I agree that having support for Gecko, at least as an option, would be nice, but I don't think it'd be worth the effort.

CEF is the Chromium Embedded Framework; it's a framework for embedding browser functionality via Chromium/Blink. Wikipedia does a much better job of explaining than I could: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromium_Embedded_Framework

Sorry @LimboSlam, I didn't phrase that very well. What I mean is: the reason Gecko isn't feasible is that Mozilla never really intended for it to be used in other browsers, so it would be a huge amount of work to adapt it to Otter (or adapt Otter to it). Blink has much better support for being used by browsers other than the one it was made for, so using it makes much more sense for a new project (which is why so many browsers are using it these days: Opera (Next), Vivaldi, Maelstrom, Iron, Steam's browser, etc., and even non-browser projects like GitHub's Electron Shell).

Pale Moon doesn't have to deal with this problem because it's based on Firefox, so the program's architecture is compatible and the implementation is already done. They diverged from the original source they forked, but they are still using the same basic architecture as Firefox. I agree that having support for Gecko, at least as an option, would be nice, but I don't think it'd be worth the effort.

CEF is the Chromium Embedded Framework; it's a framework for embedding browser functionality via Chromium/Blink. Wikipedia does a much better job of explaining than I could: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromium_Embedded_Framework

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wblgrh Nov 14, 2015

@Chocimier, Me talking gibberish? Read again what you quoted, please. I said, they aim to control everything, why they would make an exception with Blink?
Also i told earlier, that there is no evidence about Blink being harmful, but there is no evidence for the opposite either; it's about being careful.
So, it's you who talking gibberish, but it's not a surprise from someone who cannot read even an one-lined quote.

But since, it's your project, be as your wish, i'm leaving. Be happy. Google is watching you.

wblgrh commented Nov 14, 2015

@Chocimier, Me talking gibberish? Read again what you quoted, please. I said, they aim to control everything, why they would make an exception with Blink?
Also i told earlier, that there is no evidence about Blink being harmful, but there is no evidence for the opposite either; it's about being careful.
So, it's you who talking gibberish, but it's not a surprise from someone who cannot read even an one-lined quote.

But since, it's your project, be as your wish, i'm leaving. Be happy. Google is watching you.

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LimboSlam Nov 14, 2015

@GungnirInd: Thanks for clearing that up and the helpful link. So does Otter have plans for CEF3 since CEF1 and 2 is dead.

Also @wblgrh: Please calm down, I'm sure it was a misunderstanding on both of your parts. :)

@GungnirInd: Thanks for clearing that up and the helpful link. So does Otter have plans for CEF3 since CEF1 and 2 is dead.

Also @wblgrh: Please calm down, I'm sure it was a misunderstanding on both of your parts. :)

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xploSEoF Nov 14, 2015

@wblgrh please check your "facts" before posting statements such as "Blink is a fork of WebKit, which was done by google" - it wasn't, and if it were, you realise you're argueing for continued use of Webkit?! Webkit was (and still is) open source, built on KDE libraries. You're fighting a battle with direction, evidence or realism - take a step back and reassess what you're doing. Don't make more statements without sources that can't be verified with a quick search (oh the irony, most people will search via Google). Most importantly, please calm down.

If you feel what you're saying is falling on deaf ears, perhaps it's not the ears that are deaf, but the words are actually just white noise that blends into the background. Repeating oneself and expecting a different outcome is rather insane, so perhaps once QtWebKit is no longer supported, Otter will no longer be a browser for you.

@Emdek Perhaps it's time to lock out this "issue"?

@wblgrh please check your "facts" before posting statements such as "Blink is a fork of WebKit, which was done by google" - it wasn't, and if it were, you realise you're argueing for continued use of Webkit?! Webkit was (and still is) open source, built on KDE libraries. You're fighting a battle with direction, evidence or realism - take a step back and reassess what you're doing. Don't make more statements without sources that can't be verified with a quick search (oh the irony, most people will search via Google). Most importantly, please calm down.

If you feel what you're saying is falling on deaf ears, perhaps it's not the ears that are deaf, but the words are actually just white noise that blends into the background. Repeating oneself and expecting a different outcome is rather insane, so perhaps once QtWebKit is no longer supported, Otter will no longer be a browser for you.

@Emdek Perhaps it's time to lock out this "issue"?

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wblgrh Nov 14, 2015

"Blink is a fork of WebKit, which was done by google" - it wasn't

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blink_(web_engine)

It is a fork of the WebCore component of WebKit

It wasn't, you say?

you realise you're argueing for continued use of Webkit?!

No. I arguing aganist something which is now controlled by google.

Webkit was (and still is) open source, built on KDE libraries.

I know what is KHTML, but i don't know how this related here.

If you feel what you're saying is falling on deaf ears, perhaps it's not the ears that are deaf, but the > words are actually just white noise that blends into the background.

Or maybe it's not white noise, you just cannot interpret the meaning.

perhaps once QtWebKit is no longer supported, Otter will no longer be a browser for you.

Yes. This is what i was afraid of.

But this was my last message, for i got only false statements or hate messages/personal attacks in response, (and they say, i should calm down; do you think that "gibberish talk" or "get out of here" is a polite and calm way of communicating?); i've bet, that there will be a response like "why did you came back"...

I just wanted to bring the attention to a possible danger, but if nobody care, then neither i won't.

wblgrh commented Nov 14, 2015

"Blink is a fork of WebKit, which was done by google" - it wasn't

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blink_(web_engine)

It is a fork of the WebCore component of WebKit

It wasn't, you say?

you realise you're argueing for continued use of Webkit?!

No. I arguing aganist something which is now controlled by google.

Webkit was (and still is) open source, built on KDE libraries.

I know what is KHTML, but i don't know how this related here.

If you feel what you're saying is falling on deaf ears, perhaps it's not the ears that are deaf, but the > words are actually just white noise that blends into the background.

Or maybe it's not white noise, you just cannot interpret the meaning.

perhaps once QtWebKit is no longer supported, Otter will no longer be a browser for you.

Yes. This is what i was afraid of.

But this was my last message, for i got only false statements or hate messages/personal attacks in response, (and they say, i should calm down; do you think that "gibberish talk" or "get out of here" is a polite and calm way of communicating?); i've bet, that there will be a response like "why did you came back"...

I just wanted to bring the attention to a possible danger, but if nobody care, then neither i won't.

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francoism90 Feb 12, 2016

The adblocker doesn't work when using qtwebengine as backend.
Hope you guys can port it. :)

The adblocker doesn't work when using qtwebengine as backend.
Hope you guys can port it. :)

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Emdek Feb 16, 2016

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@francoism90, that will be possible (at least partially) after updating to Qt 5.6 (should be release soon).

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Emdek commented Feb 16, 2016

@francoism90, that will be possible (at least partially) after updating to Qt 5.6 (should be release soon).

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francoism90 Feb 17, 2016

@Emdek OK, thanks for the info. (Y)
Keep up the good work. :)

@Emdek OK, thanks for the info. (Y)
Keep up the good work. :)

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VSHY Mar 3, 2016

Qt 5.6 should be realised today :)

Added:
32-bit 113-build with Qt 5.6 RC on Win64 contains some "features")):

  • There is "SSL: undefined" on the About Otter window.
  • Text typing in any field sometimes leads to crash browser. Possible reason - I use Punto Switcher, but builds with QtWebKit does not lead to this result.
  • Right click and so on...

But we do not lose hope! :-)

Updated:
Qt 5.6 release was postponed to March 16 :(
On the other hand, there is the opportunity to experiment at RC :)

VSHY commented Mar 3, 2016

Qt 5.6 should be realised today :)

Added:
32-bit 113-build with Qt 5.6 RC on Win64 contains some "features")):

  • There is "SSL: undefined" on the About Otter window.
  • Text typing in any field sometimes leads to crash browser. Possible reason - I use Punto Switcher, but builds with QtWebKit does not lead to this result.
  • Right click and so on...

But we do not lose hope! :-)

Updated:
Qt 5.6 release was postponed to March 16 :(
On the other hand, there is the opportunity to experiment at RC :)

Emdek added a commit that referenced this issue Mar 19, 2016

[QtWebEngine] Change state when rendering process crashes using worka…
…round for borked signal declaration in QtWebEngine, references #615

bajasoft added a commit to bajasoft/otter that referenced this issue Mar 24, 2016

@Emdek Emdek closed this Sep 19, 2016

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We already exposed almost everything that could be exposed with current APIs provided by QtWebEngine.

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Emdek commented Sep 19, 2016

We already exposed almost everything that could be exposed with current APIs provided by QtWebEngine.

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