Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Blink, there's a new HTML rendering engine

The Web is all abuzz about Blink, Google's fork of WebKit, for use in Chromium and Google Chrome (and, apparently, Opera as well, since it will track Chromium).

I've already said my piece on WebKit, but Blink significantly changes that dynamic. In fact, Blink is likely to completely fragment what would have been a cold WebKit-only future because it is almost certain to evolve and implement new features faster than WebKit will, and exported to everywhere that Google code runs (Android, too). And, well, that's good news in a sense because it avoids one kind of perilous future, but it's bad in another because there won't be much of a brake on Google implementing features in Blink to make Google properties run better or even exclusively in it. Remember, that's the whole reason they made Chrome in the first place, and Microsoft isn't the only one that "embraces and extends."

Maybe it'll be Blink that eats the Web, not WebKit after all.

4 comments:

  1. Well, it's still forked WebKit, isn't it? Nothing will stop interchange of features between these two and it will take an amount of time for Blink to be something more than WebKit.
    And more important - it's still a web browser rendering engine developed by a company, whose primary interest is not in developing web browser. It's advertising.

    So I still do not see light on the other side of the tunnel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I don't see light at the end of the tunnel either; I just think the tool that will be used to "win" will be Blink. Google has already made a lot of noise about how Blink is a fork of WebKit, but not WebKit, based on all the plumbing used to hook it in. I fully expect it to diverge further.

      Although written primarily for snickers, there are some concerning and quite truthy bits: http://prng.net/blink-faq.html

      Delete
    2. Needs some Apple bashing in addition to Google bashing for fairness.

      Delete
  2. I wasn't on the internet for the first or second browser wars, but this seems like more of a positive than a negative.

    Webkit is already fragmented and this will make it even more so: it will effectively split the mobile browser market into Android Blink and iOS Webkit. Perhaps it will make it so much so that we can avoid a single rendering engine hegemony and keep standards compliance at the forefront. Who wins when we do that? The Mozilla boys do.

    ReplyDelete

Due to an increased frequency of spam, comments are now subject to moderation.