Breaking News: Google Abandoning WebKit for Blink on Chrome

Related: Google, Chrome, Blink

Breaking News: Google Abandoning WebKit for Blink on Chrome

Google has just announced via their Chromium open source blog that they will be abandoning WebKit, the browser rendering engine that they've been using since 2001 that powers Chrome, Safari, Mobile Safari and other browsers. Instead, they're creating 'Blink', a new open source rendering engine that's still based on the standards of WebKit, but that will allow them to 'innovate faster'. What will that mean? We don't know yet. They say that it'll allow for more rapid development, better code and internal architecture as well as speeding innovation.

Should web developers be worried about having to worry (more) about cross browser compatibility? We don't know yet. Here's the full announce:

WebKit is a lightweight yet powerful rendering engine that emerged out of KHTML in 2001. Its flexibility, performance and thoughtful design made it the obvious choice for Chromium's rendering engine back when we started. Thanks to the hard work by all in the community, WebKit has thrived and kept pace with the web platform's growing capabilities since then.

However, Chromium uses a different multi-process architecture 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 - so today, we are introducing Blink, a new open source rendering engine based on WebKit.

This was not an easy decision. We know that the introduction of a new rendering engine can have significant implications for the web. Nevertheless, we believe that having multiple rendering engines-similar to having multiple browsers-will spur innovation and over time improve the health of the entire open web ecosystem.

In the short term, Blink will bring little change for web developers. The bulk of the initial work will focus on internal architectural improvements and a simplification of the codebase. For example, we anticipate that we'll be able to remove 7 build systems and delete more than 7,000 files-comprising more than 4.5 million lines-right off the bat. Over the long term a healthier codebase leads to more stability and fewer bugs.

Throughout this transition, we'll collaborate closely with other browser vendors to move the web forward and preserve the compatibility that made it a successful ecosystem. In that spirit, we've setstrong guidelines for new features that emphasize standards, interoperability, conformance testing and transparency.

To learn more about Blink visit our project page.




More On: Google, Chrome, Blink



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