I'm writing this entry to explain why I intend to go back to work on my long dormant web browser project Themis.
This is in direct response to Stephan Assmus's respose in the "Non-BFS file system support" thread on the Haiku mailing list on November 26, 2008. From his message:
This is such an insane amount of work you guys are talking about here, I would suggest you to really consider how your time is spent most effectively.
The challenge in writing a web browser is the huge amount of testing required to handle all the broken pages out there. And there is a magnitude of different content types with different associated behaviour. Personally, I don't understand why the Firefox port does not receive some love. If it has to be WebKit because that's leaner, then give some love to that instead if you really have to. But this is already a much more long term project with unclear outcome. Firefox on the other hand is "almost working perfectly well", as is.
Part of my reply to this is going to be a link to this blog entry, and basically a note saying that I don't want to argue or explain myself on list because it's getting way off topic. Below this is my reply.
Writing a browser is already an insane amount of work as is, but people still do it. I love and use Firefox on a daily basis for my job, and I often test with Chrome and Safari. I have nothing against any of those projects, and frankly Themis is no longer a necessary or important project. It long ago became a personal learning experience for myself as opposed to something necessary for BeOS/Haiku. That's why I still would like to do a rendering engine specifically for Themis, and why I really have no problem with working with someone to add web kit support or directly supporting it. For me, working on Themis is personal, I set some goals for myself with it nearly a decade ago, and I kept at it until I no longer had a machine capable of running BeOS. Now that Haiku is getting its legs under it, I want to pick up where I left off if I can, and make Themis better than I last left it.