Web developers and designers get ready for even more browser fragmentation, because you’re in for a ride! Google announced today they are breaking ties with Apple’s open source Webkit rendering engine to retrofit the web with their rendering engine called Blink.
There are many contributors to the Webkit engine other than Apple and Google which include Samsung, BlackBerry, Opera, Amazon to name a few who will most likely need to make a decision which bed their going to want to sleep in moving forward as well.
Microsoft isn’t one of those contributors, because they operate with their own rendering engine MSHTML meanwhile Mozilla’s C++ rendering engine Gecko originates from Netscape Navigator days. So, they won’t need to make any changes clearly.
An example the new Blink engine would contribute to the web community includes improving iframe support for various computing processes.
“It would be great for security and stability and performance if we could have iframes embedded in pages be a separate process,” Alex Komoroske – Product Manager, Chrome said. “But it would require a lot of change that would really disrupt the rest of the WebKit community.”
Change usually comes with resistance especially from a community that struggles to build one website for dozens of different browsers only to pray their audiences use either webkit or gecko or at the very least IE9 instead of IE7/IE8 and don’t even touch my site with IE6!
“It’s our belief that having multiple rendering engines will spur innovation,” Komoroske said. “In the long term, we’re increasing our commitment to standards.”
We were so close to have practically a standard rending engine with many of the big players even Opera, which only recently announced they planned to drop its Presto engine for WebKit, but just now said they will back Google’s initiative.
There won’t be much of a difference with Blink for web developers in the mean time as Google plans to work on “internal architectural improvements and a simplification of the codebase”, which the company said it will initially remove 7 build systems and cull of over 7,000 files to yield a “healthier codebase” with less bugs.
CNET has a great article on the matter, which you should read up if you’re interested to learn more.