Signals Blog

SVG Rendering on Konqueror with WebKit

Konqueror is a Web browser for Linux. Although the emergence of Chrome and Firefox has eclipsed it on Linux, Konqueror compatibility can factor into the development of thick clients through QTWebKit. This post describes an issue with SVG rendering that's been reported when running ChemWriter on Konqueror/WebKit.

Konquerer supports two rendering engines. The default is KHTML. Optionally, WebKit can be used. Instructions on how to enable WebKit rendering on Konquerer may vary by installation; I found the instructions for Kubuntu to work well for me.

Recently, we received a report that ChemWriter does not initialize properly when using Konqueror/WebKit, and have been able to confirm it. Although the editor is fully functional, Dock buttons (along the bottom row) don't display their icons:

ChemWriter's icons are rendered with SVG, not raster images. Using Firebug Lite, we were able to confirm that all of the necessary HTML and SVG elements are in place. Even more surprising is that the left-hand button panel (the Palette) shows all of its button icons.

Although it may seem unimportant to ensure compatibility on browser with such low usage as Konqueror, the fact that this problem arises with a WebKit engine is important. We've previously noted and described in some detail inconsistencies in Chrome SVG rendering on OS X compared to Linux/Windows, and it's possible that the issue we're seeing here reflects some deeper problem in either WebKit or the QTWebKit port.

Finally, I should point out that ChemWriter works flawlessly on Chrome/Linux, a WebKit-based browser. We're currently working on the problem to see if we can pinpoint its cause.