Positively Critical: WebPositive and Haiku | Haiku Project

Few components of Haiku are as important to the operating system and its functionality as the preferred web browser and internal project: WebPositive.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.haiku-os.org/blog/animortis/2021-08-10_positively_critical_webpositive_and_haiku/

Developing a web browser is an overwhelming task.
Is there any reason why WebPositive is not replaced with Firefox or Chromium so that development time would be better spent elsewhere on the Haiku.

replace with webpositive or chromium is meaning porting them to haiku and this is even bigger task… maybe you can ask firefox team dev and chromium to port their software to haiku… but seem they not interesting (yet)

I don’t like chrome, but if i had Firefox, the current one on Haiku, i would be delighted.
In terms of visual impact and user experience, they seem made for each other, but maybe I’m conditioned by my ideas. hehe

I ported the QuteBrowser web browser (based on Chromium/WebEngine) to Haiku. It’s a good alternative if anyone likes Vim-based keybindings integrated.
Hopefully it is still in the repos; I haven’t been using Haiku for a while now…

Maybe the way forward would be indeed to port an existing browser, instead of writing one.

Porting chromium or firefox would likely be a similarly big task to porting webkit. Both of these browsers integrate badly with the OS, so the end experience would likely be worse, and we would throw away all our work on webkit. The webkit port also helps expose bugs in Haiku, or provoke new apis all native apps can use too, so the dev time is partly improving haiku directly aswell.


Somebody forgot to port them. Feel free to do it.

No, it is based on QtWebKit. QtWebEngine/Chromium is not yet ported to Haiku.

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No, it is based on QtWebKit. QtWebEngine/Chromium is not yet ported to Haiku.

Oh, ok, I didn’t remember the limitations.

If you think you can do that faster than I can make WebPositive work, I accept the challenge :smiley:

WebPositive is based on the WebKit engine from Safari. So 99% of the work is already done. For chromium and firefox, currently about 0% of the work is done. I can guess it will not be easier to get their respective engines to work than it was for WebKit. It took 10 years of work for WebKit. Should we give up these 10 years of work and start over and work 10 years on porting Firefox or Chromium? Maybe, but it won’t be me doing it.


Thank you guys for your reply.
I didn’t know porting firefox or chromium to Haiku will take equivalent or greater effort than developing WebPositive web browser.
I’m a new user.
I just registered today.


Do WebPositive web browser work on any other OS apart from Haiku?

Welcome :smiley:

Sorry for beign a bit rude with the replies. It is a common question and I am a bit annoyed that all my hard work on WebKit and WebPositive only results in “why don’t you use this or that other browser?”

No, it is specific to Haiku and uses APIs and libraries that are only available on Haiku.

This is the reason we decided to use the WebKit engine and not one of the others: it allows us to provide a browser that integrates very well with the system, for example, it uses the exact same font rendering as native applications.

In the future it will be possible to write parts of an application in C++ and parts in HTML/CSS and have the different part of the user interface seamlessly blend together. However we are not quite there yet :slight_smile:


As far as I understand, you get stuck in a sort of difficult and uncomfortable road with the development of webpositive that is more integrated with the os, but doing so, since there are few resources you are left behind with the innovations (beter to say maintain compatibility with recent technologies)…
while if there had been a complete port of chromium or firefox, the situation today would be very different today.
I’m right?
if so, I assume that you devs are sorry to abandon webpositive because you have invested so much time in it, it is a bitter pill to ingest a hypothetical abandonment to devote energies to porting one of the mainstream browsers where once ported it would be much easier to maintain. I’m right?

It isn’t the responsibility of the Haiku project to provide ports, but they are responsible to provide a reusable native HTML rendering engine. Google and Mozilla or even users can do the FF/Chrome port.

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Seeing as there already was a port of firefox I’d say you are incorrect.

What makes you think firefox or chromium are easier to maintain? chromium doesn’t even accept trivial patches from BSD oses

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Positively Critical: WebPositive and Haiku | Haiku Project

Bit to complicated for my taste!

Why not only: “WebPositive explained”?

@pulkomandy don’t worry - we respect and appreciate the work put into Web+ and want to see it grow and flourish.


Because this title is a smart play on words and a sassy response to a hot topic about which there is much passionate dialogue

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I would always prefer a native browser to haiku over a ported browser, because browser meant internet, internet means security.

what can be done more easily and safely?

your own browser that you know well or a ported browser with its problems, security gaps, lack of source understanding, etc?


Maybe nice for native English speaking people, not for me!
Not for Non-English speaker.

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