The open source WebKit HTML rendering engine is increasingly being used in Linux desktop applications to enable richer user interfaces that seamlessly integrate Web content. We first looked at this phenomenon a few years ago when WebKit variants for the GTK+ and Qt application development toolkits first began to emerge. These variants are much more mature today and are used in a growing number of applications. WebKit has also been adopted in some native Linux Web browsers, including GNOME's Epiphany.
Contributors to the WebKitGTK+ project recently participated in a hackfest in Spain. The event was sponsored by Igalia and Collabora, open source software companies that do GNOME engineering. WebKitGTK+ leverages several components from the GNOME platform ecosystem, including the Cairo rendering framework and the libsoup network library. One of the major goals for the hackfest was to improve the integration between these components and upstream Webkit. The developers also planned to implement or improve support for some key features that are used in Epiphany.