Building WebKit on Panther

I mentioned the other day the release of Apple’s WebKit, WebCore, and JavascriptCore (the latter two of which were already publicly available). Naturally, the first thing I wanted to do was download it and give it a try. This post will outline the steps I took to get as far as possible in the build process at this point. First, I would like to mentioned that this project has the cleanest build steps I have ever seen. It is well documented all the way through, and for Tiger users on Xcode 2.0, the build process went off without a hitch, the first time through. (Xcode 2.1 problems have since been fixed.) The members of the supporting IRC channel are helpful and intelligent, and the mailing list has already taken multiple patches from non-employees into the source tree. This is, quite simply, the best opening for an open source project that I have ever been aware of.

However, the build process currently favors those with Tiger, and the current CVS does not support those who are using Panther. Apple developers have expressed an interest in correcting this once the WWDC, being held this week in San Francisco, is over. So, I took it upon myself to report bugs in bugzilla where they are applicable, to help out developers when they get a chance to breathe.

First problem: Building returned a problem with “CarbonSound.h not available”. This was as a result of not yet installing the QuickTime 7 SDK. (It has been in software update, I just hadn’t touched it yet.) Updating fixed that.

Second Problem: 10.3.9 Build Failure: NSString may not respond to `+stringWithCString:encoding:’. This is a method which was not available in Panther. Maciej has said he is working on a patch to have this use CFString instead, where it is available. (I am tossing about some terms I don’t know here, so please excuse any incorrect terminology.) Workaround for the time being – copy the last two build commands before the crash (a cd line and a gcc-3.3 line) and past them, altering the gcc-3.3 line slightly to remove the -Werror. This means that it may cause problems later on, but will compile for the time being.

Third Problem: isnan failure in kjs_window.cpp: This one boggles me a bit, especially since (as I mention in the bug) there seems to be explicit knowledge in the code of the problem. However, a workaround is now offered in the bug in comment 1: replace using std::isnan; with extern “C” int isnan(double); This fixed the problem for me.

Fourth Problem: XSLT Headers not installed – This one is more systematic of the way that Apple releases updates, and is something that dajobe has brought up with building Redland in the past: “Headers don’t match libraries”. This is true here as well, but I now (thanks to toby from #webkit) know that the reason for this is that Apple does *not* ship updated headers with libraries updated through Software Update. Since libxslt is new in 10.3.9, there are no development headers. Dave Hyatt, of the WebKit team, mentioned that the whole team, when building on Panther, had to install libxslt and libxml from the source. Once I did this, it made this problem go away.

Fifth Problem: libxml headers are wrong – this was before I installed libxml, which also fixed this problem. It is, again, related to the fact that Apple does not update headers with System Update.

Once you get through these, you will have built both JavascriptCore and WebCore. Congratulations! You now have two completely useless frameworks which the new Webkit will depend on when you can build it! 🙂

WebKit is the previously unreleased Apple-specific Framework which is the “pretty” part of WebCore – it’s what ties everything together. It has a few more issues building on Panther, but most of them can be worked around by simply copy pasting build lines without the -Werror flag. (Note that this will produce possibly unstable results! These builds are not designed for production, and I do not advise doing this and filing bug reports on Safari crashing.)

npapi headers not available – for some reason, building on Panther does not find the appropriate headers from the in-process WebKit build. I really have no clue why this is, and neither did anyone else when I was building. My workaround was to copy the headers out of the framework and into ~/build/include (a directory I had to make), which was already on the path. cp ~/build/WebKit.Framework/Versions/A/Headers/* ~/build/include, cp ~/build/WebKit.Framework/Versions/A/PrivateHeaders/* ~/build/include, then continuing the build. I am not sure why this is neccesary, but it does seem to work.

Missing 10.4 Method -setCompositingOperation for WebImageRenderer – Two parts of the code require: (void)setCompositingOperation:(NSCompositingOperation)operation;
(NSCompositingOperation)compositingOperation; — this function was added in 10.4. This can be resolved by following the above -Werror removal steps. You will have to do this several times.

Missing 10.4 Method CFMakeCollectible – CFMakeColelctible is new in 10.4. Building with no -Werror allows the build to continue.

And, the current showstopper: Missing SecurityNssAsn1 headers — This comes from the libWebKitSystemInterface.a file, which is currently Tiger-specific. Once WWDC is over, a Panther binary file will be released. Until then, this is where the ride stops: you can build WebCore and JavascriptCore, but WebKit is out of your reach until you get your hands on Tiger.

Luckily for me, I’m going to be in Cupertino this weekend, so I’ll pick up a copy and get it installed soon 😉

2 Responses to “Building WebKit on Panther”

  1. Koen Says:

    Thanks for compiling this list. I have libxslt and libxml2 installed through fink, but unfortunately the compiler cannot find these. Is it possible WebCore will only build if the headers are installed in /usr/include ? The latter does contain a /libxml2/libxml/ directory, BTW. Oh, and the 2nd problem has been fixed in the code.

  2. Koen Says:

    Well, I got past the missing headers problem by using the script that was posted in bugzilla #3515. The next problem is getting past the setCompositingOperation method. Your suggestion of removing -Werror unfortunately does not work on my system (10.3.9). Regarding the missing SecurityNssAsn1 headers, now WWDC is over, is the Panther binairy file you mention above available?