Video: Lars Knoll and George Staikos on KHTML and WebKit

By YUI TeamDecember 11th, 2006

Lars Knoll and George Staikos, KDE/Konqueror DevelopersOn Friday, Lars Knoll and George Staikos from the KHTML project visited Yahoo! to give a talk on the history of KHTML and Konqueror and the connection between those projects and Apple’s open-source WebKit (which was built upon KHTML and announced in January of 2003 as the foundation of Apple’s Safari browser). We learned a great deal about this decade-long project, including remarkable tidbits such as:

  • KHTML was the first non-IE browser engine to support languages whose writing does not run left-to-right;
  • WebKit has been selected by Adobe to power the rendering engine in the Apollo project
  • Konqueror developers are considering implementing WebKit as the rendering engine for the next version of Konqueror, replacing KHTML (this would, as George points out, provide more of a bug-for-bug compatibility between Safari and Konqueror).

Lars took us through the early history of the project and George through the current landscape. The outlook for WebKit is bright, with Apple having done a great deal of work and the KDE, WebKit, and Konqueror communities strong and active.

YUI engineer Nate Koechley brought a camera along for the presentation, and although the video is rough we’re continuing our policy of making this kind of content available as broadly as we can. If you’re interested in the current state of KHTML/WebKit, we think you’ll find the presentation interesting. Thanks particularly to Lars and George for the visit and for letting us share the video publicly.

Video (26 min.):

This video can be viewed using the embedded player above or directly on Yahoo! Video.

Note to Yahoo! Video users: Thanks largely to user feedback, the Yahoo! Video team has reconfigured its player from a streaming mode to a progressive mode. That means that you can go to the clip’s Yahoo! Video page, pause the movie, and let the whole file download before beginning to watch — reducing the occurrence of buffering interruptions. The embedded player continues to use the streaming mode, so if you’re having trouble with any YUI videos using the embedded player try visiting the Yahoo Video site directly…and keep sending them feedback if you have any issues at all.

More videos about YUI and frontend engineering can be found in the YUI Theater.

18 Comments

  1. It’s great to see that the developers are open to ideas and suggestion, and in particular have IRC and other contact methods. Based on their demo, the browser performance appears to be coming along nicely.

  2. This platform has come a long way in 10 years. Its Webkit flavor in Safari is fast and stable, and (minus the plugin extenstion scheme) better than FF on the Mac. Would love to see Webkit go back into Konqueror.

  3. Victor V. Terber said:
    December 13, 2006 at 3:23 am

    You wrote:
    “KHTML was the first non-IE browser engine to support languages whose writing does not run right-to-left”

    Doesn’t make sense at all :-)

    To correct that, either delete the word “non” or replace “right-to-left” by “left-to-right”.

  4. [...] Longtime KDE/KHTML developers Lars Knoll and George Staikos recently gave a presentation on KHTML and WebKit at Yahoo. Here’s a video of their presentation. They cover the early history of KHTML, as well as some of the newer things going on with WebKit and KHTML. [...]

  5. Thomas Zander said:
    December 13, 2006 at 4:51 am

    right-to-left in your dotted list probably should be left-to-right.

  6. @Thomas, @Victor — Thanks for the catch. Corrected now. Regards, -Eric

  7. As you work for yahoo, it would be great if you could push them to recognize the konqueror user agent as a valid one for http://www.yahoo.com instead of blocking the whole KDE user base from viewing your website while allowing another khtml based browser to do so. That’s unfortunate and unfair to say the less.

  8. @Patcito: I agree with you entirely. We *are* pushing for that explicitly and proactively. We think Graded Browser Support is the right approach…for the Front Page and for any page. We don’t win every argument we take up on that front, but we’re making progress across the board. Thanks for the comment. -Eric

  9. George #rave misses you

  10. Hi George! *WAVE*! :)

  11. Maynard Handley said:
    December 26, 2006 at 9:05 am

    “Note to Yahoo! Video users: Thanks largely to user feedback, the Yahoo! Video team has reconfigured its player from a streaming mode to a progressive mode.”

    Wow. Gee that will really NOT help my playing this video on some portable device like an iPod or PSP.
    There is ONE sane one to deliver video or audio, and that is download. Not streaming, and not something that is effectively streaming in terms of the lack of control it gives you.

    Does a direct trip to Yahoo video allow me to download the file directly? Not a clue. The direct Yahoo video web page drew like crap in Safari, not a promising start, and then when I tried to download I was told I had to log in as a Yahoo user. WTF???

    Moral — you can host the video with Yahoo or some other moronic streaming service, like YouTube, or you can give it a wider circulation by making it downloadable, but you can’t do both. I’d recommend ditching the Yahoo part.

  12. @Maynard: Thanks for the thoughtful input. The lack of portability using Flash-based video hosting services like Yahoo! Video is, as you suggest, one of their real disadvantages. Regards, Eric

  13. Ondrej Michalek said:
    December 29, 2006 at 7:19 pm

    From the fragments I saw the video looks very interesting. However it does not play fluently (and not at all at video.yahoo.com) :( Could you possibly upload the video somewhere else too? To google video/youtube/anywhere else one could precache or download it?
    Thank you

  14. Will Konqueror develop faster if it starts to use Apple’s Webkit?

  15. @Soosi,
    I expect it to. Apple has a huge incentive to keep Safari compatible with as many sites and services as possible, which in turn means they put respectable development resources behind WebKit/Safari

  16. [...] Lars Knoll and George Staikos from the KHTML project visited Yahoo! to give a talk on the history of KHTML and Konqueror and the connection between those projects and Apple’s open-source WebKit (which was built upon KHTML and announced in January of 2003 as the foundation of Apple’s Safari browser). See the accompanying YUIBlog article for more details. [...]

  17. [...] user interface blog hosts an interview video with Lars Knoll and George Staikos on KHTML and WebKit. The video features the history of Konqueror (first 10 minutes) as well as the [...]