Changing The Browser

The browser update finally launched and it’s brought Sailfish up to a version of Gecko that’s “only” been out of support for over 2 years. What’s the justification for staying with Gecko when Jolla clearly (and unfortunately) can’t keep up with updates? Not that Qt is always on the latest version, but at least qtweb(kit,engine) will get incidental updates whenever a new Qt is pushed out, and that’s probably less active development work than having to create all of their patches and upgrades for their bespoke, unsupported Gecko embedding framework.

Not only does having an out of date browser hurt the ability to use web apps but it creates a massive security hole in the system unless Jolla is basically forking each version of Gecko and providing security patches themselves. It seems far safer and like less of a maintenance burden to just rewrite the Browser app against one of the Qt-provided web engines at this point or just rewrite the browser entirely if that’s too much work.

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If you missed it; there are significant license hurdles to doing a Qt uplift.
Also, if nobody uses Firefox, well… nobody uses Firefox, nobody will care about Firefox and the web becomes a Google-controlled monoculture.


I actually did miss it. What’s the blocker on Qt? My understanding was that through the agreement with the KDE Foundation it should always be available; everything relevant to Jolla seems to be available under the LGPL.

Current licensing is either full GPL or commercial.
Full GPL means that all Jolla apps need to be GPL too, which is a business decision to be made by Jolla.
Commercial means spending a few 100.000 Euro’s a year for access to Qt, while the financial situation for Jolla is tight, to say the least :slight_smile:

What I think is happening is that it gets postponed for a while to save money, untill it can no longer be postponed again.

Both the decision for Webkit and Gecko have pro’s and cons. Personally I think the mission of Mozilla is more in line with that of Jolla.


There are probably better sources, but i’m clearly bad at looking… but at least it is recent:

I must admit i’m curious as to why they didn’t choose to adapt the GeckoView bindings for Android to Sailfish OS, but i am confident that it was given a fair evaluation.