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Why isnt Qtwebengine implemented yet in SFOS 2.1? and is there any better alternatives?

asked 2017-02-11 18:00:50 +0200

anasofoz gravatar image

It is known that the single most used app in any mobile device is the webbrowser.

Saillfish os's default browser is based on gecko(qtmozembed) and renders most webpages properly, but unfortunantly it is super slow, and not very smooth. for example, when I am browsing quora and start scrolling down, I can obviously see some frames skipping, and the browser often starts jittering. so the browser experience is very poor in my intex aqua fish compared to android devices with similar specs, even my relatives described it as headache causer. Other alternative available is qtwebkit, but I found out that it is actually worse than qtmozembed. It is way too old and doesnt render sites correctly. Obviously this issue should be resolved and I have been searching for a solution and I have found 2 solutions that might work for SFOS.

1- Qtwebengine: which is based on chromium rendering engine, probably far supperior than both qtwebkit and qtmozembed. shouldnt it be implemented in SFOS since the migration to qt5.6?

2- Oxide: and this is what ubuntu touch is using, basically a library that allows you to embed a Chromium-powered webview in QML applications. shouldnt it be easy to include since ubunutu touch also is based on qt?

both options in my opinion are much more valid than the current browser experience. and at least one of them should be implemented.

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I'm glad Jolla didn't go for yet another Blink-based browser. Even if the engine is open source, it is dominated by one company, and their (and not necessarily your) interests. The web shouldn't become a Blink mono culture - we've seen before what that does to the web, thanks to Microsoft's Internet Explorer. It wasn't pretty.

At least the SF browser lets you override a great deal of settings using about:config. Afaik, no equivalent exists for Blink based browsers. Many privacy-related settings, which don't have an explicit configuration option in the GUI yet, would remain out of reach. Still, due to the lack of add-ons I don't use the SF-browser. Instead I use Firefox. Unfortunately that isn't a native app.

But this is just for the actual web browser. For embedded use in apps, and for greater portability, I concur that having QtWebEngine available would be of value.

Fuzzillogic ( 2017-02-11 18:44:09 +0200 )edit

Yes I totally agree with you, but apparently the SF browser isnt up to date with the current gecko engine features. HTML5TEST results 398/550 for SF browser and 469/550 for firefox, so I dont think that addons are the major problem here. Gecko is great but SF browser is probably using an out dated version of it, so at least they have to stay up-to-date and update the browser more often.

anasofoz ( 2017-02-11 19:07:08 +0200 )edit

I agree with Fuzzillogic. My experience is also that the Sailfish Browser is the fastest mobile browser, all others pale in comparison. Blame slow loading times (with any browser) on awful websites like Quora loading multiple megabytes of useless JavaScript, ads, trackers, and so on. A good website loads instantly on any browser.

nthn ( 2017-02-11 19:08:43 +0200 )edit
  • to nthn: I am not sure how Sailfish browser is the fastest mobile browser. I have a Lumia 920(1 gb ram) with windows phone 10 on it, and with Edge browser, quora runs very smoothly, even other heavy websites would without a problem. while on my intex aqua fish (2 gb ram) I would expect at least the same experience, but that's unfortunantley not what I am getting :/ a very poor browsing experience.
anasofoz ( 2017-02-11 19:15:13 +0200 )edit

I think you're comparing apples and oranges here. The Lumia 920 is (was) a top of the range phone, the Aqua Fish is a very poorly made piece of plastic. RAM does not make a computer faster.

nthn ( 2017-02-11 19:29:16 +0200 )edit

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answered 2017-02-12 10:35:09 +0200

annulen gravatar image

You should consider revived QtWebKit as another option. It is fairly compatible with modern sites. Read for more details.

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Reading my own comment, that should be my conclusion :)

hoschi ( 2017-02-12 12:12:44 +0200 )edit

As far as I know it is only for qt5.7 right now, maybe in the future they might port it to qt5.6, but no guarantee .

anasofoz ( 2017-02-12 13:08:29 +0200 )edit

I thinks it will be easier to port further onto Qt5.7 or even Qt5.8 (which features Qt-Lite).

hoschi ( 2017-02-12 13:27:04 +0200 )edit

@anasofoz@hoschi It supports Qt >= 5.4, so 5.6 is absolutely fine

annulen ( 2017-02-12 17:30:49 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2017-02-11 18:00:50 +0200

Seen: 770 times

Last updated: Feb 12 '17