Gecko end-of-life

Announcements 21 Comments

Epiphany 2.26.3 has been released. It is the last version to support a Gecko back-end. This marks the end of an era.
Also, Xan Lopez has taken over Epiphany maintainership. We wish to thank Christian Persch for all his work through the years!

Epiphany 2.24: still clinging to the gecko’s sticky toes

Announcements 3 Comments

The Epiphany team proudly presents a brand new release of every Gnome lovers’ pet web browser!

Version 2.24 doesn’t differ much from 2.22 feature-wise. The Webkit
switch is still in progress, so although it can be built with a Webkit
back end, Gecko is still the recommended rendering engine.

In this release, the address entry has improved logic which should
result in faster autocompletion lookups.

Bug fixes:


Download information can be found here.


Contributors to this release:
Diego Escalante Urrelo, Sebastian Keller, Josselin Mouette, Mike Hommey,
Paul Drain, Cosimo Cecchi, Bruce Cowan, Lucas Lommer, Colin Walters,
Loïc Minier, Vincent Untz, Christian Persch, Reinout van Schouwen

Jorge Gonzalez (es), Kjartan Maraas (nb), Khaled Hosny (ar), Ivar Smolin
(et), Sweta Kothari, Reinout van Schouwen (nl), Daniel Nylander (sv),
Yair Hershkovitz (he), icq, Lucas Lommer (cz), Duarte Loreto (pt), Gil
Forcada (ca), Takeshi AIHANA (ja), sprasad, Theppitak Karoonboonyanan
(th), ituohela (fi), Robert-André Mauchin (fr), grakic (sr@latin), Inaki
Larranaga Murgoitio (eu), pgeyleg (dz), Hendrik Richter (de), Nguyễn
Thái Ngọc Duy (vi), Funda Wang (zh_CN), Philip Withnall (en_GB), Claude
Peroz (fr), mateju, rranjan (hi), apravi, Sankarshan Mukhopadhyay,
Gintautas Miliauskas (lt), Baris Ciçek (tr), Gabor Kelemen (hu), ifelix,
sandeeps, kelemeng, cwryu (kr), Alexander Shopov (bg), tvainika (fi),
Nickolay V. Shmyrev (ru), Mugurel Tudor (ro), Ask H. Larsen (dk)

The Future of Epiphany

Announcements 13 Comments

Attention! Ceci n’est pas un poisson d’avril!

Over the last few months, the Epiphany development team has been discussing the future of the Gnome web browser. We feel that we haven’t been living up to the full potential of a well-integrated Gnome application, due to both internal and external constraints.

The Epiphany user interface is built on top of an abstraction layer above the web rendering engine, enabling us to support multiple back-ends. Currently Epiphany supports the Mozilla browser engine (Gecko), and the WebKit engine.

The Epiphany dependency on Gecko creates a number of problems for us. The Gecko release cycle is very long (e.g. Gecko 1.8 was released with Firefox 1.5 in 2005; 1.8.1 with Firefox 2.0 in 2006 and 1.9 will be released sometime this year with Firefox 3.0), prone to delays and not synchronised with the unvarying 6-month Gnome release cycle. Furthermore, it and the feature work on Gecko are mostly driven by the Firefox browser, our main competitor on the Gnome desktop. Also the embedding API of Gecko (GtkMozEmbed) has been unmaintained and stagnant for a long time. Finally, the current plans for “Mozilla 2.0” bring much uncertainty to us, as well as much work to account for their proposed big API changes.

We are a small team, with only one maintainer and a hand-full of regular contributors. Maintaining the abstraction layer, and the Gecko back-end require lot of effort and time. Much time alone is spent on keeping up with Gecko API changes, and we have not had much contributions to the Gecko back-end in a long time.

Therefore we have decided to radically change the future of Epiphany in the upcoming 2.24 development cycle. We will drop the abstraction layer, making the code more maintainable, allowing faster development and enabling us to take advantage of the features of the back-end directly.

Furthermore, we will choose only one web engine back-end to support and concentrate our efforts on it instead of spreading our efforts to multiple back-ends and restricting us to the common features all back-ends support.

This single back-end will be WebKit.

We see several advantages in WebKit. These include:

  • The WebKit APIs. The API has been designed from the ground up, and feels like any other GObject based API. A two-way GObject bindings to the web page’s DOM, and to JavaScript is in development; this will allow us and our Extensions to access the DOM directly, which hasn’t been possible before in Epiphany in either C or Python.
  • WebKit uses Gnome technologies directly. Similarly to Gecko, it uses Cairo for graphics, and Pango for the rendering. On top of that, it uses libsoup for the network layer, and GStreamer for the <video> and <audio> tag support in HTML5.
  • Starting in time for Gnome 2.24, WebKit/GTK+ will implement a 6-month release cycle synchronised with the Gnome release schedule.
  • We feel that WebKit has the momentum, and can bring more developers to both Epiphany directly and the Gnome platform by extension. WebKit/GTK+ already has more people working on it than are working on either GtkMozEmbed or the Epiphany gecko back-end.
  • WebKit is a better match for other uses in Gnome, e.g. as a HTML widget in Yelp, in Devhelp, and as an editor in Evolution replacing GtkHTML.

We will propose WebKit as an approved external dependency for Gnome.

In case that we are unable to complete this development in time for 2.24.0, we will delay the new Epiphany to 2.26. For this end, we will maintain the gnome-2-22 branch in a state that allows us to potentially make the 2.24.0 release off of that branch.

Epiphany 2.22.0 “Minus 379” released

Announcements 3 Comments

This 2.22 release of Epiphany brings a few architectural changes as well as some user-visible ones. It blesses us with a migration from gnome-vfs to GIO. Also, thanks to a refactoring of Epiphany’s internals, cross engine support has improved a lot. If you’re feeling adventurous, feel free to try Epiphany with the WebKit backend– but be warned, several important features, such as cookies, are still missing.

Clearing privacy-sensitive data is now easier than ever. From a single dialog, you can clear your cookies, cache, history and saved passwords. Furthermore, the download manager will now show notification bubbles if the download window is hidden and a download completes. The address entry now filters history and bookmark duplicates, an image preview has been added to the filechooser, and finally, the history window can now display the date and time of the last visit.

Thanks to all contributors, and we wish to mention that, as a result of the hard labor of all translators, Epiphany has been localized into more than 70 languages!

The indispensible little companions to your web browsing experience, Epiphany-Extensions, have been updated to version 2.22 as well.

The list below covers all development releases from 2.21.90 up to and including 2.22.0.

Bug fixes

  • Fix compilation error with gcc4.3. Bug #512027.
  • HIG fixes for menu. Bug #483312
  • Fix keyboard focus remaining in the location entry after entering the address. Bug #513345.
  • Make middle clicking on Back/Forward toolbar buttons open again in a new tab, as it was in 2.20. Bug #513029.
  • Popup the completion dropdown menu when we’re focusing the location bar with the cursor at the end of entry and we press down. Bug #340572.
  • Fix back button looping through history. Bug #513803.
  • Fix prompt service for xulrunner 1.9 wrt. DOM notifications. Bug #504445.
  • Accept empty password to unlock a token; and allow empty new password if the requested password quality allows it. Bug #515096.


  • WebKit: Implement back and forward history. Bug #506566.
  • WebKit: Initial implementation of WebKit preferences.
  • GConf option to disable messagebox about unsubmitted form data. Bug #516170.
  • Add Undo/Redo commands to the location entry, both in the context menu and linked to the main window commands. Bug #171179.
  • Make Go Up recognize HTML anchors. Bug #335631.
  • Adapt to GIO API change

Contributors to this release:
Sebastien Bacher, Luca Ferretti, Cosimo Cecchi, Jan Alonzo, Xan Lopez, Thomas Wendt, Jens Granseuer, Carlos Garcia Campos, Christian Persch

Kjartan Maraas, Artur Flinta, Sankarshan Mukhopadhyay, Chao-Hsiung Liao, Wadim Dziedzic, Djihed Afifi, Kenneth Nielsen, Priit Laes, Daniel Nylander, Hendrik Richter, Arangel Angov, Theppitak Karoonboonyanan,
Maxim Dziumanenko, Changwoo Ryu, Ankit Patel, Luca Ferretti, Leonardo Ferreira Fontenelle, Petr Kovar, Inaki Larranaga Murgoitio, Ignacio Casal Quinteiro, Takeshi AIHANA, Wouter Bolsterlee, Gabor Kelemen, Claude Paroz, Duarte Loreto, Gil Forcada, Nikos Charonitakis, Ihar Hrachyshka, Philip Withnall, Jorge Gonzalez, Åsmund Skjæveland, Amitakhya Phukan, Žygimantas Beručka, Yair Hershkovitz, Baris Cicek, Nguyễn Thái Ngọc Duy, Pawan Chitrakar, Ilkka Tuohela, Reinout van Schouwen, Rahul Bhalerao, Yannig Marchegay

How to get it:

Epiphany 2.21.4 “The case of Mr. Epifanio Navegared”

Announcements No Comments

The first Epiphany release in the unstable development series has hit the FTP servers!
A lot has happened on the WebKit front, get all the facts from Xan

A lot of changes and bugfixes have accumulated before this release. Check the release announcement for details. Unfortunately, Epiphany-extensions isn’t in releaseable state yet because of the refactoring that has taken place in Epiphany.

A few highlights from the NEWS to whet your appetite:

  • Enable printing to PDF file on gecko 1.9
  • Add a preview for the FileChooser
  • Adds a column in the history window showing the date and the time of the visit
  • Add a “Remove all” button to the Personal Data Manager for both the cookies and the passwords.

The translation teams have been working hard to localize Epiphany. We currently have 60 languages that are supported (80% or more strings translated). Still there is some work to be done, especially the documentation translations are lagging behind. If you’d like to contribute but don’t know how, this could be a way to get involved! Drop by in the #i18n or channel and we’ll get you started!

Last but not least, check out the totally wicked screenshot of Epiphany/WebKit with HTML 5 media support that Alp made:
Epiphany/WebKit with HTML5 media support

Epiphany 2.20.2 out

Announcements 3 Comments

It’s been way too long since an “official” Epiphany blog. Anyway, here are a few highlights to keep you up to date.

As Wouter noted already, Epiphany 2.20.2 is out. We even have a proper NEWS file this time! It includes a few notable bug fixes, for example in the areas of printing and session recovery.

On the GNOME 2.21 side of things it has been a bit quiet, but rest assured that work is continuing. A lot of refactoring work is taking place to bring the Gecko and Webkit back-ends on equal footing.

But even though Epiphany is “awesome“, please keep in mind there are still lots of open bugs in bugzilla, so anybody who wants to help out, come on, don’t be shy! 🙂

Epiphany 2.19.6 released; WebKit back-end

Announcements, New features 3 Comments

The most important change in this release is obviously that an experimental
WebKit back-end was added by Xan Lopez during the GNOME conference.
Xan, after the porting madness
Read all about it here. Fer also blogged about it and it was even mentioned in an article on Ars Technica. Imran posted additional build instructions.

The Epiphany team was represented on GUADEC by Xan, Diego, Wouter, and Reinout. Don’t forget to check out Diego’s photo album!

Empathic Epiphany
Another notable GUADEC event: Senko caught the Epiphany virus and wrote an extension that makes sending links to Empathy contacts from Epiphany dead easy. It’s not yet (?) in Epiphany extensions…

Epiphany 2.19.6

Regular development has to continue as well, so we’re happy that Cosimo Cecchi has contributed a lot of small but not less important gnome-love bugfixes!


  • Add support for the WebKit engine, compile with –with-engine=webkit to activate
  • #162489: Added a checkbox for smooth scrolling.
  • String changes based on user feedback:

– “Local sites” -> “Nearby sites” (because it is a better description)

– Drop the “Quick” prefix from Topic/Bookmark items in toolbar editor, because it has no function besides confusing users.

  • We now use g_get_user_special_dir to get the Desktop and Downloads directory location
  • Use the new gtk functions to persist and load the print settings and page setup. Migrate our old settings, if present.
  • All tooltips are now creatd using the new GTK tooltips API.

Bug fixes:

  • #459552: Improve the restricted ports message
  • #448610: Make the status icon clickable so it shows/hides the download window, works across workspaces
  • #318947: Update tab title when the statusbar text is updated, so we don’t have out of sync messages (like “Loading “)
  • Misc: #461689, #433173, #313636, #410223, #385872, #452707, #347637, #450904

Contributors to this release:
Diego Escalante Urrelo, René Stadler, Xan Lopez, Carlos Garcia Campos,
Reinout van Schouwen, Cosimo Cecchi, Kraai, Wouter Bolsterlee,
Christian Persch, Nguyễn Thái Ngọc Duy, Luca Ferretti

Priit Laes, Reinout van Schouwen, Inaki Larranaga Murgoitio, Jorge Gonzalez,
Daniel Nylander, Theppitak Karoonboonyanan, Gabor Kelemen, Wouter Bolsterlee,
Ilkka Tuohela, Takeshi AIHANA, Žygimantas Beručka, I. Felix

Epiphany 2.19.5 released

Announcements 1 Comment

In case you were wondering: Epiphany 2.19.3 and 2.19.4 were never released.

Changes since 2.19.2:

  • Copy the lock icons from g-i-t 2.16 into epiphany, since the new ones
    in g-i-t are broken (see bug #348350 comment 93 ff).
  • Sync with latest libegg toolbareditor
  • use “document-page-setup” named icon for STOCK_PRINT_SETUP (now
    available on gnome-icon-theme trunk)

Bug fixes:

  • #452769: Use GTK_STOCK_ABOUT icon instead of GNOME_STOCK_ABOUT
  • #450590: Add a workaround to take into account that Gtk{Radio,Toggle}Actions
    only set either the stock-id or the icon-name property depending on
    the image type. This makes it possible to display the icon of such
    actions in the toolbar editor.
  • #450146: Use g_option_group_set_translation_domain to
    translate commandline options.
  • #346243 Modified first-time dialog when visiting a secure page, to mention
    the color and padlock icon in the address entry.
  • #351100 Assign control+T as default delete shortcut in Bookmarks editor.
    Also move the Delete item to Edit menu.
  • #383698 Finished download should not open target directory if that directory is Desktop
  • #300826 javascript files of a document are saved with no extension
  • #324166 add a print progress window
  • #336739 Right click on textarea should provide “Select all”
  • #422114 URL-completion of ftp-URL only works when specifying ftp:// protocol identifier
  • #437798 Show password in PDM should be plural
  • #441419 Go button’s behaviour: act on button-release-event
  • #444500 Epiphany misses some SelectAll icons

Contributors to this release:
Jaap Haitsma, Luca Ferretti, Felix Riemann, Gabor Kelemen, Diego Escalante Urrelo, Jared Moore, Christian Persch, Sebastiaan Samyn, Bastien Nocera, John Millikin, Jan de Groot, Benjamin Berg, Jean-François Rameau, Jens Granseuer, Björn Lindqvist, Vitali Ischenko, Chris Wilson

Theppitak Karoonboonyanan, I. Felix, Ankit Patel, Ilkka Tuohela, Josep Puigdemont i Casamajó, Artur Flinta, Nguyễn Thái Ngọc Duy, Takeshi AIHANA, Pema Geyleg, Daniel Nylander, Clytie Siddall, Kjartan Maraas, Priit Laes, Jorge Gonzalez, Priit Laes, I Felix, Christophe Merlet, Luca Ferretti, Leonardo Ferreira Fontenelle, Stéphane Raimbault, Hendrik Richter, Takeshi AIHANA, Peter Bach, Ignacio Casal Quinteiro, Inaki Larranaga Murgoitio, Jovan Naumovski, Baris Cicek, Goran Rakić, Nikos Charonitakis, Gintautas Miliauskas, Artur Flinta, Ankit Patel, Changwoo Ryu, Matic Zgur, Abel Cheung, Jakub Friedl, Josep Puigdemont i Casamajó, Gabor Kelemen, Nguyễn Thái Ngọc Duy, Maxim Dziumanenko, Roberto Majadas, Reinout van Schouwen, Alexander Shopov, Nickolay V. Shmyrev, Duarte Loreto, David Lodge, Djihed Afifi, Evandro Fernandes Giovanini, Žygimantas Beručka, Yair Hershkovitz, David Planella

Attention Novell hackers!
If anyone from Novell is reading this: Please fix your XULrunner library! It causes Epiphany and Yelp to crash when printing is attempted. We’ve been getting a steady stream of bug-buddy reports from people running OpenSUSE 10.2 about this, and now with 10.3 Alpha it still doesn’t stop. The fix has been available for 10 months already, and all this time you’re making us all look bad. 🙁

Epiphany & Epiphany-Extensions 2.19.2

Announcements 6 Comments

It’s been awhile since the last blog, but Epiphany hasn’t been standing still!

Since the 2.18.0 release, there have been quite some improvements:

  • Support using named icons in the toolbareditor and attach them to the mouse pointer while dragging them to the toolbar. Fixes bug #436684.
  • Make Shift+Return find previous when searching. Fixes bug #412033
  • Copy the items on the completion list as the user moves through them. The original input can be restored pressing Esc. The tentative
    completion can be made definitive pressing Left or Right. Fixes #409291, #102528

  • Use xdg-user-dirs to get a better default Downloads. Fixes #415342
  • Middle clicking the Go button should open the location bar address
    content in a new tab. Fixes #362591.

  • Fix printing of frames.
  • Allow the user to select a different bookmark topic on the toolbar by just moving the mouse. Old behaviour forced the user to click each
    topic button to activate the menu, now only the first click is required. Fixes #363848.

  • In Epiphany-Extensions, a localization problem and a configuration dialog problem with Epilicious have been fixed.

Contributors to this release:
Felix Riemann, Diego Escalante Urrelo, Robin Stocker, Xan Lopez, Bastien Nocera, John Millikin, Christian Persch, Magnus Therning

Updated translations:
Josep Puigdemont i Casamajó, Luca Ferretti, Ignacio Casal Quinteiro, Jakub Friedl, Ignacio Casal Quinteiro, Jorge Gonzalez, Reinout van Schouwen, Stéphane Raimbault, Leonardo Ferreira Fontenelle, Gabor Kelemen, Pema Geyleg, Takeshi AIHANA, Daniel Nylander, Christophe Merlet, Nickolay V. Shmyrev, Kjartan Maraas, Mişu Moldovan, Hendrik Richter, Goran Rakić, I Felix, Djihed Afifi

We should not forget to mention here that one Google Summer of Code project was accepted, called: Integrating Epiphany Bookmarks and Browsing History For GNOME-wide Access! Imran Patel is the student who will be working on this. Good luck Imran!

Foresight and Epilicious

Announcements, New features Comments Off on Foresight and Epilicious

Yesterday, Thilo Pfennig told us some great news: The upcoming release of Foresight Linux will have Epiphany as default browser! And it’s not the only distro doing so: Arch Linux also prefers Epiphany over other Gecko-based browsers. 🙂

Furthermore, at long last, Magnus Therning’s Epilicious extension has been included in Epiphany-extensions 2.17.92. This means that keeping your bookmarks in sync with Epiphany is now easier than ever!

Since the last blog entry, some new Epiphany development releases have made it to the FTP mirrors. The bug fixes have been mostly cosmetic, but at least one crasher with D-BUS 1.0.2 has been fixed thanks to Jan de Groot.

« Previous Entries