Update: Apple Launches Browser Based on KHTML Engine
Jan 07, 2003, 19:00 (70 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brian Proffitt)
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Continuing his penchant for making major company announcements
during his Macworld keynote addresses, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has
announced the immediate beta release of Safari, an OS X browser
that is based on the KDE Project's KHTML code.
KHTML is the same HTML parser/renderer used in the popular Linux
Calling it the first major new browser release in the last five
years, Jobs introduced Safari as a "turbo browser for OS X." The
rationale behind the release was to improve the speed of browser
clients that are currently made for the OS X platform, Jobs
During the presentation made at Macworld Expo earlier this
morning, Jobs compared page download times and showed that Safari's
download times were markedly faster, according to Apple's iBench
"It's three times faster than Internet Explorer on the Mac," he
Jobs emphasized that Safari is based on standards, coming from
an open-source HTML rendering engine that he identified as
Anticipating negative reactions to using open source, Jobs
stated: "Some people have a problem with open source, we think it's
Internet Explorer for the Mac has been the default Web browser
on new Macs since 1997, as part of a five-year technology agreement
between Microsoft and Apple--an agreement that expired last
As of this afternoon, a new Safari page has been posted on
the Apple Web site which gives more details on the product and its
During his keynote, Jobs said that the company would release all
of the modifications Apple made to KHTML later today. This is
confirmed by a statement on the Safari Web page:
"For its Web page rendering engine, Safari draws on software
from the Konqueror open source project. Weighing in at less than
one tenth the size of another open source renderer, Konqueror helps
Safari stay lean and responsive. And of course, being a good open
source citizen, Apple shares its enhancements with the Konqueror
open source community."
The components in Safari that are being open sourced are known
WebCore, according the Apple's Web site, "takes the
cross-platform KHTML library (part of the KDE project) and combines
it with an adapter library specific to WebCore called KWQ that
makes it work with Mac OS X technologies. KHTML is written in C++
and KWQ is written in Objective C++, but WebCore presents an
Objective C programming interface."
According to Apple, the current version of WebCore is based on
the KHTML library from KDE 3.0.2.
cross-platform KJS library [also from KDE 3.0.2], combines it with
the PCRE regular expression library, and makes it work with Mac OS
X technologies," a statement on the Web site reads.
Both of these components are being released under the Apple
Public Source License. The source code for each of these components
will be released
on January 7 at 5:30 PM PST (0130 GMT).
The public beta for the browser, which will run on Mac OS X 10.2
(Jaguar), is available for download now on the Safari page.