After more than a week of working in earnest, simply trying to get a WinXP build of wxWebKit I can work with, early last Friday morning I finally met with the pasty, unfamiliar apparition of success. I think. Maybe.
I hadn't expected this preliminary stage to take nearly as long as it has (and the sample app still perplexes me). It took me a long time to convince myself that I wasn't making terribly obvious mistakes and seek out help from the wxWebKit maintainer. When I did, I was informed that the wx build is no longer included in the main WebKit buildbot, and recent changes to the trunk frequently break it. I was directed to a git repo for the wxWebKit project that was new as of last month (and therefore wasn't referenced on the wxWebKit site -_- ). The git repo doesn't seem any more smoothly buildable than the trunk though.
I'm now examining Dan Sugalski's OSX-only wxWebKit module on CPAN. It looks like Dan didn't get terribly far with his OSX implentation, and by now it's pretty old. I'm also reading the perlxs & perlguts pages, and looking at some wxPerl example apps with a view to getting a demo working.
I found an old blog entry of Dan's where he bemoans the inability of wxMozilla to keep up with the underlying Mozilla project. This was a problem for him in 2006, and seems to still be the case for wxWebKit today.
Also, I've come across people referencing the future possibilities of wxHTML2, which would provide a a unified API to drop in whatever browser engine one likes, be it WebKit, Mozilla or IE. From the sounds of that GSoC project suggestion, it would either render wxWebKit irrelevant, or of central importance (if it ends up being based off of it). Either way, as far as I know it's not likely to turn up soon, so my project should remain relevant for a while.
I took some solace from the concluding clause of their project spec: "part of the project will be to ensure that downloading and building the web browser code is made as easy as possible, given that resolving dependencies can be challenging." I feel it's something of a validation of the problems I've been having thusfar. Also indicates an important deliverable for me to think about for my project.
In other news, I'm moving home from uni next week, and the eejits at Be (or possibly a housemate's inaccurate specification of dates) have seen my internet cut off early, which makes things a bit more inconvenient. I've been on campus all day downloading everything I might possibly need to work on tonight (mostly wxPerl and updated WebKit sources). Must leave soon to forage.