Unless the enemy has studied his Agrippa, which I have

In a few days we’ll release Epiphany 2.29.90, so this is a good time as any to show a few of the new cool things it will bring.

The big one is, without doubt, good enough support for HTML5 video tag for the Youtube HTML5 beta to work. Pretty much all of the credit goes to the dynamic duo of Sebastian DrΓΆge and Philippe Normand, which have been working tirelessly to improve our media support all across the board. As you probably know we use GStreamer for all our media needs, so if you happen to have the right codecs installed stuff will just work out of the box, like it should. Here you can see it in action, playing one scene everybody should know and love:

Screenshot-YouTube - The Chatty Duel---The Princess Bride

Another recently fixed bug is support for windowless NPAPI plugins, contributed by Brian Tarricone. For those of you still enslaved to plugins it should fix a few annoyances, not to mention that it allows for the plugin content to be manipulated alongside the rest of the web content, since it’s rendered directly in the browser window.

The world-famous Diego Escalante, who is doing an internship in our company with the mission of fixing as many Epiphany bugs as he possibly can, reimplemented EphyEmbedPersist on top of WebKitDownload , which will have the visible effect of making those mysteriously broken save-related context menu items work again.

On the same “kill all regressions” mood I spent some time implementing acceptance policies for cookies in libsoup and hooking the new APIs here and there. The result? This pesky items in the preferences dialog should do something again:


When I was not doing that or losing my youth in the depths of WebKit chasing some nasty bugs I’ve also been spending some time on the GObject DOM bindings for WebKit. I’m happy to say that a couple of preliminary patches have been already committed, and the first big-step patch of the process is under active review and hopefully will be accepted shortly, so you should begin to get some exciting new APIs to manipulate web content in a not-so-distant release!

There are just a few of the latest things we have been working on. I’ll, as usual, keep you more or less up to date here, but if you want the gory details of the day to day business, or even get your hands dirty on the stuff yourself, don’t hesitate to join our IRC channels (#epiphany on GimpNet and -gtk on FreeNode) or mailing lists. Happy hacking!

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18 Responses to Unless the enemy has studied his Agrippa, which I have

  1. Anonymous says:

    What do you use for the video codecs?

    Does the “only from sites you visit” option also include other subdomains? For instance, if you visit example.org, can helperdomain.example.org set cookies?

  2. ethana2 says:

    One step closer to replacing OS X with Ubuntu on my eMac G4, many thanks. πŸ˜€

  3. ethana2 says:

    Any word on SquirrelFish Extreme, by the way?

  4. xan says:


    As I said in the blog post, we just use whatever GStreamer uses. In the case of Youtube’s H.264 I believe the support comes through gst-ffmpeg.

    And yes, subdomains are allowed to set cookies.


    We already support SquirrelFish Extreme. If you are asking when it will be supported upstream for PPC, I have no clue, I don’t believe anybody is working on that.

  5. Jonathon says:

    Thanks for all of your effort! I am really looking forward to the next stable release. Out of curiosity, are any of the Epiphany developers looking into the feasibility of making each tab and plug-in a separate process so that a crash doesn’t bring down every open page? Also, are there any plans for Epiphany to save sessions either automatically or via an option in the GUI (without having to do a killall epiphany-browser)? Thanks again for the fantastic work!

  6. Anonymous says:

    @xan: Argh, I read the blog post twice looking for “GStreamer” and didn’t find it. Thanks.

  7. Rowan Lewis says:

    I can’t wait for the next stable release, I don’t want to wait on Firefox, and I don’t want to look different with Chrome. I just want a native Gnome app that works, and works fast.

    So thank you, all of you Epiphany developers for all your work.

  8. strokinder says:

    I am really willig to switch over to epiphany from firefox for quite some time. But there are still issues for me which arent resolved.

    1. Turn off Javascript with comfort ( like NoScript for firefox). It has not to be that feature rich. I am usually browsing with JavaScript disabled, but someties there are websites which really require javascript. In that case i want to enable Javascript on demand. A simple button to unlock javascript for a site will do the trick for me.

    2. Adblocker that can handle regular expressions like this one http://adblock.maltekraus.de/adblock.txt

    3. Adjust Wheelspeed. Currently scrolling through mousewheel while using high zoomlevel is _slow_. It takes like forever to scroll through content rich websites.

    These three points hinder me switching over completely. Comments appreciated πŸ˜‰

  9. Torben says:

    Still no session cookies?! Shouldn’t be hard to implement, but I fear the “might confuse regular users” argument, which I respect.

  10. Mathias says:

    Another Epiphany fan says: Thank you!

  11. strokinder says:

    Why has my post been deleted? This is the comment section, right?

    IΒ΄m just a usual user, but actually i have found this blog and thought, that i could share my user-experience with the appropriate author of the software i use. If making suggestions is not welcome then just tell me that. Why you considered to remove my previous post is beyond me.

  12. strokinder says:

    Please ignore #8. I ve come back here again to check for responses, but my earlier post disappeared. Magically its back again πŸ™‚

  13. Torben says:


    Agreed, I would also love to see an AdBlock approach that allows me to play fair. Just blacklisting websites with annoying Ads (PopUps, Sounds, …) would be great, although AdBlock Plus and whitelisting isn’t too bad at all.

    I know this is no bug tracker for feature requests…

  14. xan says:


    Making each tab a different process would require a massive amount of work and it’s not in our plans at the moment. What we will probably do at some point is make plugins out-of-process, that should reduce the amount of crashes considerably.

    About session saving, that can very easily done with an extension.


    Seems to me you have a very clear idea of what things you should be hacking on πŸ˜‰

  15. paul says:


    I am not quite sure if I understand the cookie changes.

    Is it possible to configure it again the way that:
    I can maintain a list of sides whose cookies I accept and keep the others only for the running session?

    This worked in the gecko-epiphany (though there was no UI to do it, you had to alter the sqlite db)

    I would love to see that functionality again πŸ™‚

  16. Jeff Walden says:

    if you happen to have the right codecs installed stuff will just work out of the box

    Which free distros include legal “out of the box” support for codecs obliquely referred to in mentioning YouTube HTML5 support? If false, am I the Pope?

    (Disclaimer: I’m not a disinterested party.)

  17. xan says:


    That you could do this through various hacks on the internal gecko config files does not mean it was ever supported. It wasn’t. It should be relatively easy to do through an extension though.

    @Jeff Walden:

    I didn’t mean that the codecs would be available out of the box, I meant that if they were, Epiphany would work out of the box with them. Just like the Totem media player or any other GStreamer application, and just like a GNOME application should.

    About its availability out of th e box in distros, I guess the situation is a bad or as good as with MP3 support or the Adobe Flash plugin. People seem to be able to find them in overwhelming numbers when they have the need to, and most applications seem to find a way to support that, so I’m not too worried there.

    And FWIW, I think fighting to extend open and legally friendly to FLOSS people codecs in the web is without doubt the good fight here, but I’m not really going to go out of my way to remove support for what GStreamer does by default while alienating the few users I have.

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