Web browser on L4 (Re: errors getting python up-and-running)

lkcl luke.leighton at gmail.com
Sat Nov 27 18:16:43 CET 2010

Norman Feske-2 wrote:
> Hi,
>> L4 has great potential in the embedded arena, i hope to be able to
>> demonstrate that by porting an entire web browser to it: already
> I'm just wanting to let you know that we have done this already. You may
> have a look at the Live CD that we just released last week:
>   http://genode.org/download/live-cds
> The browser is based on Arora, which uses WebKit. For the Live CD, we
> decided for using the OKL4 kernel but the browser runs also on L4/Fiasco
> (albeit no Fiasco.OC yet), L4ka::Pistachio, and Linux (running directly
> on top of the kernel - w/o GNU userland or glibc).

 REALLY??  that's... fantastic news for me!  it's exactly what i need.
where's the source code - bugger the live cd, i want to try out something
radical straight away :)

 ok, to explain: i'm doing an embedded project, using python bindings to
 webkit: full DOM, not just "throw up a QtWebView" - actually have the
 entire set of DOM functions that you normally think "this is only available
 from javascript", and i'm finding that WebkitDFB with python bindings is
 vastly quicker than any other (qt4, gtk2 etc.)

 the startling speed of that sort-of got me thinking: what's the other
 large startup time that could be eliminated, where this embedded
 project could benefit?  i know: it's called "linux" - let's see if it can
 cut out :)  and what you're telling me is, yes, it most definitely can,
 but better than that you've already blazed most of the trail.

 so, what i want to do is very very weird, i know: run python and a
 whopping 25mb webkit-browser-based python module under L4RE.
 so, strictly speaking i don't need even a traditional filesystem (but
 some sort of file-based store is going to be painful to do without...)

 ahh... i found the source code:

 ah hell.  qt4.  that's a 170mb download, isn't it?  over svn, it's
 more than that.  yukkk!  i'm using 3G dialup (expensive).

 ... can i ask you a massive favour?  could you do a patch for me
 (a diff -Naur probably) against "vanilla" qtwebkit so i can see what
 you've done?  basically i'll need to port that to webkit-directfb,
 i _really_ don't like qt4webkit after discovering it ate 200mb on an ARM926
 system and took 30 seconds and above to start up...

 if you were using git, and had cloned the standard nokia qt4 git
 repository, i would simply be able to point the local copy i have of
 that at your one, and git would grab me _only_ the objects needed.
 but... you're not :)  that's a subtle hint, btw: svn is reallly serrriously
 conceptually out-of-date...

 also, could i ask you: were any modifications made to dependent
 libraries you used, in libports?  as part of the embedded work i've
 already downloaded tons of libraries, in particular the dependencies
 already for webkit-dfb: it would be neat just to be
 able to use those tarballs.

 lots of little gems on your site, btw... i particularly like this:

 all best,

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