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It Just Got Easier to Try the Latest WebKit on Linux

GNOME Web IconIf you’ve been itching to toy with the latest development builds of WebKit on Linux you’ll be pleased to know it’s just gotten a bit easier.

It’s all thanks to the newly announced ‘Epiphany Technology Preview‘, a development version of the Epiphany web browser (also known as GNOME Web) running atop the latest WebKitGTK+ snapshot.

GNOME developer Michael Catanzaro announced the release in a blog post, adding that the preview is perfect for those “who want to assist with Epiphany development by testing the latest code and reporting bugs”.

—Wait, I thought we were meant to be calling this app ‘Web‘? ;)

The tech preview is being distributed as a Flatpak (naturally) so that there aren’t any difficult dependencies to manage. And as Catanzaro notes, the Flatpak security model means the technology preview will be more secure than the version available in the repos!

If you use macOS — and I know a fair few of you do — you’ll be likely know that you can test development snapshots of WebKit by installing the Safari Technology Preview. Epiphany has opted to ape Apple’s naming convention for it new testing builds, a move which does makes sense given that Epiphany/GNOME Web, like Apple’s Safari, relies heavily on WebKit (and as updates to WebKit on Linux don’t arrive nightly or daily, those monikers wouldn’t be accurate anyway).

I’m a big fan of Epiphany/GNOME Web, and regularly use it to create single-site web apps like Twitter Lite (mainly so that I can browse Twitter Lite on my desktop in data-saver mode when I’m tethered to 4G).

With many modern web apps (like Twitter Lite) relying on modern bits and pieces under the hood, it may be worth me checking this out!

But ulTIMATELY, this preview isn’t aimed at end-users wanting a sneak peek (like Google Chrome Unstable) but developers and testers.

Even so, I’ve no doubt that giving fans of the software the ability to check in on new developments will help improve features and find bugs before they land in stable builds.

Stable Versions Are Also Available, Yo

Want to try GNOME Web but don’t want to ride the development wave? You don’t need to as a stable versions is available in the Ubuntu repos, and available on Flathub, the Flatpak app store.

via WOGUE