Opera, Google Chrome Browsers to Jump Off WebKit Onto "Blink" Branch
April 4, 2013 1:38 PM
(Source: Marvel Comics)
Apple will likely be left on its lonesome supporting WebKit
For a long while now WebKit (derived from KHTML) has been marching towards being the dominant rendering engine of the web. Competing against Microsoft Corp.'s (
) proprietary Trident engine and the
's open-source Gecko engine, WebKit powers a number of browsers.
Google, Inc.'s (
) Chrome, Apple, Inc.'s (
) Safari, and BlackBerry Ltd.'s (
) device browsers all use WebKit. And with Norwegian browser-maker Opera Software ASA's (
) decision to
ditch its proprietary Presto engine
and saddle up with WebKit, it seemed WebKit was headed towards hegemony.
I. Google -- Do Blink
But today Google shook up the browser tree, announcing that it would be branching Chromium's rendering engine off of WebKit. The new engine will be dubbed "Blink". What's more Opera has already announced that it will be joining the new effort.
Apple appears unlikely to make the switch. It's unclear whether BlackBerry will.
Google says its main reason for jumping to a new branch is because it uses a more complex multi-process model than Apple -- the other biggest WebKit contributor. Google's Adam Barth
Chromium uses a different
than other WebKit-based browsers, and supporting multiple architectures over the years has led to increasing complexity for both the WebKit and Chromium projects. This has slowed down the collective pace of innovation.
Chromium is a little complex multi-process-wise. [Image Source: Google]
The change won't happen overnight, but the jump means that the engine behind Chrome (Blink) and WebKit will gradually drift apart.
II. Practicality or a Competitive Maneuver?
Alex Russell, another Google Chrome engineer, reemphasizes this point, predicting that coverage on Blink will be full of "tripe we’re about to sell each other as 'news.'" He writes that the two major drivers of the switch were development time and processing speed. He
Why couldn’t those cycle-time-improving changes happen inside WebKit? After all, much work has happened in the past 4 years (often by Googlers) to improve the directness of WebKit work: EWS bots, better code review flow, improved scripts and tools for managing checkins, the commit queue itself. The results have been impressive and have enabled huge growth and adoption by porters. WebKit now supports multiple multi-process architecture designs, something like a half-dozen network stack plug-ins, and similar diversity at every point where the engine calls back to outside systems for low-level implementation (GPU, network, storage, databases, fonts…you name it). The community is now committed to enabling porters, and due to WebKit’s low-ish level of abstraction each new port raises the tax paid by every other port.
has observed, this diversity creates an ongoing drag when the dependencies are intertwined with core APIs in such a way that they can bite you every time you go to make a change. The
Content API boundary
is Blink’s higher-level “embedding” layer and encapsulates all of those concerns, enabling much cleaner lines of sight through the codebase and the removal of abstractions that seek only to triangulate between opaque constraints of other’s port.
In other words, aside from the process model, another place where Apple and Google's objectives differ is platform support. Google supports many platforms -- Apple supports only one. Google wants to go back to the drawing board and better encapsulate the platform implementations to prevent them from slowing the overall engine.
Google is leaving Apple on its lonesome to develop WebKit. [Image Source: Google]
But as much as Mr. Russell emphasizes practical necessities, there is one implication that's at least an interesting coincidence, to say the least: Google branching away from the core WebKit is a major blow to Apple.
For some time now Apple could rely on Google to make WebKit as fast and reliable as possible. Apple, thus, effectively gained a better Safari for Macs and i-devices thanks, in part, to Google's labors. Now it will have to go it alone.
Google may say the move is mere practicality -- and it certain does offer a strong justification in support of that claim. But the branch is yet one more instance of how Google and Apple --
once close allies
relationship becomes increasingly adversarial
Infrequently [Google Chrome Engineer]
"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
Opera Saddles up With Google, Apple by Moving to WebKit
February 13, 2013, 2:54 PM
Report: Google Pays $700M to Apple for Prominent Mobile Search Placement
February 11, 2013, 2:48 PM
Google CEO: We Have no Real "Competitors", Apple's Fixation is Self-Destructive
December 11, 2012, 4:45 PM
Apple Continues Its “Google Cleansing” by Removing YouTube App in iOS 6 Beta 4
August 6, 2012, 3:02 PM
Science & Environment
February 20, 2017, 6:37 AM
The USA’s newest weather satellite sends first photos.
January 24, 2017, 6:41 AM
Netflix took a decision to invest in original content
January 19, 2017, 7:00 AM
Amazon Airborne Fulfillment Center – Your Merchandise Drop-Shipped from the Clouds
December 29, 2016, 5:00 AM
Amazon is experimenting with a new kind of grocery stores, Amazon Go
December 8, 2016, 5:00 AM
Google has developed Deep Learning Algorithm to detect Diabetic Eye Disease
December 4, 2016, 5:00 AM
Most Popular Articles
Intel Optane SSd DC P4800X – Super Fast 3D Storage
March 20, 2017, 7:35 AM
Comparison – Samsung Galaxy TabPro S Vs Microsoft Surface Pro 4
March 21, 2017, 7:40 AM
Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming G1 – Intel Thunderbolt 3 Certified Motherboard
March 9, 2017, 6:25 AM
Samsung Galaxy S8, Rumored Launch Date!
March 18, 2017, 6:45 AM
Huawei P8 Lite 2017 – Android 7 Nougat Smartphone with Octa-Core Processor
March 8, 2017, 7:03 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Are you thinking of performance and speed? Intel claims:
Mar 25, 2017, 7:45 AM
Apple buys an automation app called Workflow. The deal was completed today and brings the app along with its developers.
Mar 23, 2017, 7:35 AM
Apple Announces new color for iPhones and iPads
Mar 22, 2017, 7:45 AM
Instagram: You Can Now Save Live Videos For Later
Mar 21, 2017, 7:49 AM
Samsung Galaxy S8 to Get New Color Scheme
Mar 20, 2017, 7:45 AM
What else to worry about?
Mar 17, 2017, 6:45 AM
Icon of the Day: Intel/ NVIDIA or Mobileye
Mar 16, 2017, 6:15 AM
JUST IN - Twitter Hijacked : High-Profile Account Accesses
Mar 15, 2017, 7:07 AM
Mar 14, 2017, 7:30 AM
News and Tips
Mar 13, 2017, 6:30 AM
iPhone 8 – May Not Get Curved Screen
Mar 11, 2017, 8:00 AM
California paves way to self-driving car tests without humans
Mar 11, 2017, 7:18 AM
Smart Machines V hackers
Mar 10, 2017, 7:00 AM
Uber Can Resume Autonomous Car Testing in California
Mar 9, 2017, 6:50 AM
Mar 8, 2017, 7:09 AM
Mar 7, 2017, 8:45 AM
World news 3-6
Mar 6, 2017, 5:40 AM
Mar 4, 2017, 7:40 AM
Mixed News of the Day
Mar 4, 2017, 6:32 AM
Jaguar Land Rover invests in ride-sharing
Mar 3, 2017, 7:00 AM
Mixed News of The World:
Mar 2, 2017, 7:02 AM
World New 3-1
Mar 1, 2017, 6:30 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2017 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information