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S60 WebKit FAQ Sheet
What open source components are used in the new Nokia Web Browser?
In addition, Nokia is open sourcing S60 WebKit, Memory Manager, and a Reference UI implementation so that the open source community can now work with the browser.
For more information about the browser see http://www.s60.com/s60/html/index.html.
We have been developing a proprietary browser for S60. We found that we have been focusing a lot of resources on dealing with issues like rendering and script execution - issues that have already been solved by open-source components. Since browsing is a complex technology, Nokia decided we should not re-invent the wheel. We started investigating the available open-source solutions and decided to go with a KDE-based solution primarily for 3 reasons:
What technical challenges did you face in that work?
Mobile devices are constrained by ROM, RAM, network latency and bandwidth, display, difficulty of input on a phone keypad, and a less powerful CPU compared to the desktop world. We needed to make some changes to take into account these constraints. The code execution behaviors that are correct in the desktop world do not always work well on mobile device.
What is the open source licensing model applied to open source components?
The S60 WebKit source code released by Nokia comes under the terms of the open source BSD License, a highly permissive software license with few requirements that is one of the most popular licenses among free software developers worldwide. The source code will be made available to open source developers through the WebKit Open Source Project.
How is the relationship evolving between the open source community and Nokia's project?
We would like to find a model where we can collaborate with the open source community that is focused towards browsing related solutions. With the advent of faster networks and more capable mobile devices we expect to see a lot of development in the mobile software area. We hope that in the future the open source community will be interested to look beyond desktop software and considers taking on projects in the mobile software space. We see Nokia's new open source browser as a good project to spark the open source community's interest in mobile software applications.
We have now open sourced all the components that are required by the open source community to work with the S60 Browser engine. We hope to work with the community to work on the browser development.
Can I port the browser to other mobile devices?
Yes, one can port the same open source core to other mobile devices just as Nokia has done. You would need to port the KWQ layer in WebCore, write a new Web Kit and a new Browser UI to create a browser on a new platform.
What are the mobility enhancements and new compoents that Nokia is contributing to the open source?
Some of the mobility enhancements done by Nokia are:
Usability improvements: layout scaling that fits the text on a mobile page to the display width, rendering of frames as tables, text search capabilities as well as a mouse pointer to give users a desktop-like navigation experience.
Reference user interface: including a number of standard browser user interface features. This can get you easily started on the development of new browser core or user interface features.