Google forks WebKit browser engine. Say 'hello' to Blink.
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is parting company with the KHTML-based engine in Chrome—also used by Apple Safari and others. The reason given is that it's too difficult to manage all the special-cases and dependencies.
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers keep at least one eye open at all times.
Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.
As Rome burns, Martyn Williams reports, look-you:
There could be big changes coming to...fiddly and sometimes annoying Web browsing...on cellphones. ... Google introduced a new open-source engine. ... The browser engine lies at the core of a Web browser...so the choice of engine directly affects the user experience..
...Blink [is] a variant of the open-source WebKit engine [which] forms the basis for the current Chromium browser...but Google said it was getting harder to use. ... [It] will also form the base of the Opera Web browser. MORE
Neil McAllister adds colo[u]r:
Past versions of Chrome have rendered web content using WebKit, the same open source rendering engine that powers Apple's Safari. ... But Chrome never used WebKit in quite the same way that Safari did. ... The need to maintain a WebKit code base that worked with Chrome's approach as well as those of other browsers has made [the two] projects increasingly complex...which in turn has slowed down the pace of development.
So Google's Adam Barth says, "This was not an easy decision":
Chromium uses a different multi-process architecture [leading] to increasing complexity...so today, we are introducing Blink, a new open source rendering engine based on WebKit.
...In the short term, Blink will bring little change for web developers. ... Over the long term a healthier codebase leads to more stability and fewer bugs. ...we’ve set strong guidelines...which emphasize standards, interoperability, conformance testing and transparency. MORE
And Opera's Bruce Lawson weeps, angelicly:
It’s great to be able to talk publicly about Blink.
...My personal feeling (not representing my employer, wife, children or hamster) is that Blink has a lot of promise. ... When browsers are fast and interoperable, using the web as a platform becomes more competitive against native app development. ... It’s also great that there will be no more vendor prefixes in Blink [which] were like Morrissey’s solo career: on paper, a good idea – but in reality, a horrible mess. MORE
But Google's Alex Russell tells us what he did on his Christmas holidays:
May the deities we’ve invented forgive us for the tripe we’re about to sell each other as “news”.
......going faster matters. ... Directness of action matters, and when you’re swimming through build files for dozens of platforms you don’t work on, that’s a step away from directness. ... When landing a patch in both WebKit and Chromium stretches into a multi-day dance of flags, stub implementations, and dep-rolls, that’s many steps away.
...If there is wisdom in the Chrome team, it is that these projects are not only recognized as important, but the very best engineers volunteer to take them on. ... [Blink] will allow us to iterate faster, working through the annealing process that takes a good idea from drawing board...to refined feature. MORE
Meanwhile, Jeff Atwood is horrified... oh, wait:
I think Blink is a great idea. WebKit monoculture is bad for the web. MORE
Subscribe now to the Blogs Newsletter for a daily summary of the most recent and relevant blog posts at Computerworld.