Happy birthday, WPE WebKit!

WebKit is the purring engine of Safari, it’s true, but it has numerous ports and many contributors. These ports are used for all sorts of things, from powering Sony PlayStations to driving millions of embedded devices all over the world. Embedded use cases like smart home appliances, digital signage, and automotive displays are largely possible thanks to WPE WebKit, the official port of WebKit specifically optimized for embedded devices. That port is maintained by Igalia, an open-source consultancy headquartered in Spain. Their work on WPE WebKit goes a long way toward explaining why Igalia is the most prolific external contributor to the WebKit codebase, accounting for almost 17% of all commits in 2021.

Igalia recently celebrated the fifth birthday of WPE WebKit with a blog post on their WPE web site, covering its evolution from a fork of WebKitGTK to a Wayland-based renderer to a framework compatible with almost any rendering backend before its public launch on 21 April 2017. They also promise a series of articles to come profiling the people who work on WPE WebKit and talking about some of the technical aspects of advancing such a project. You can read more about it in their post. Happy 5th birthday, WPE!