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WebKit and XULRunner (Mozilla) side by side on the XO

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Yesterday I tasked Dan Winship, who recently joined Red Hat on the OLPC project, with porting WebKit as a Sugar activity when he had free time. Today I came into the office to find an e-mail with a link to the activity. Here are some screen shots.

My initial reaction is it shows promise but needs some work to become really usable. On the plus side it uses on average 10 megs less in resident memory according to Dan’s testing. It also starts up five seconds faster. In my qualitative tests WebKit feels a bit more responsive when scrolling. The biggest problem with WebKit is the gtk port is just not finished yet and as such it is not a usable browser, but it is close.

Why are we looking at WebKit? In my mind it is another Open Source project that is just more aligned to our needs as a small and fast browser.

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