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#1 +Frank B.

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:24

Opera announces 'gradual transition' to WebKit for desktop and mobile browsers

Opera Software has announced that it will move away from its own Presto rendering engine in favor of WebKit, the software engine that powers the Chrome and Safari browsers. "It makes more sense to have our experts working with the open source communities to further improve WebKit and Chromium, rather than developing our own rendering engine further," says CTO Håkon Wium Lie. The company says there will be a "gradual transition" this year to WebKit and Chromium across desktop and mobile.

Details of a WebKit-powered mobile browser from Opera first leaked last month. Codenamed "Ice", CEO Lars Boilesen was quoted as saying that it was designed to take on Safari and Chrome in the mobile space; the browser will be formally revealed at this month's Mobile World Congress. But the revelation that Opera is planning to adopt WebKit on the desktop, too, marks the end of an era for the Norwegian company, which introduced Presto a decade ago with Opera 7. The announcement was made as the company celebrated reaching the milestone of 300 million monthly users across all its platforms.


Source: The Verge


#2 Boz

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:54

FANTASTIC NEWS... my dream of unified web where we don't have to write 15 CSS lines and use polyfills for a single thing and tons of libraries to make stuff look the same across browsers is coming true.

Hopefully Mozilla joins Webkit train and finally we will have Microsoft forced to switch as well..

If this happens then we can truly start phasing out Flash as building for web will be beautiful. Not to mention that the tools we will get will be as good as Flash professional as there won't be compatibility issues due to unified rendering engine and spaghetti code for 5 different browsers. This fragmentation has been destroying web for a while now. And companies can contribute with cool features like Adobe is doing with CSS3 Shaders, Blend modes and so on and it can be quickly implemented on all browsers.

THEN, we can truly say open web and browsers offer now truly unified rendering and all the cool features Flash has now and that we can't (or have hard time) doing in HTML5/JS/CSS will be implemented in Webkit.

The dream.. is just a bit closer.

#3 insanelyapple

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:32

It's a nightmare without choice, not a dream.

#4 The_Decryptor

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:36

*
POPULAR

...
Hopefully Mozilla joins Webkit train and finally we will have Microsoft forced to switch as well..
...


Nah, Mozilla wants an open, standards based web, and even Microsoft seems to want a standards based web now, which is seemingly more at odds with WebKit's "do whatever and get web authors to rely on it" attitude.

WebKit is the new IE6 now.

#5 Jub Fequois

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:42

WebKit is the new IE6 now.


That's for sure.

#6 Mike

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:44

FANTASTIC NEWS... my dream of unified web where we don't have to write 15 CSS lines and use polyfills for a single thing and tons of libraries to make stuff look the same across browsers is coming true.


If you're writing 15 lines of CSS to do one thing you're either:
  • Doing it wrong
  • Using vendor prefixed CSS which isn't actually finalised yet
  • Putting in CSS to override the different browser defaults which has nothing to do with the rending engine
So changing to webkit won't fix a lot except create another "Designed for X" period just like the IE6 days. The only way it can work with a single rendering engine is if it because a reference implementation of the spec - ie the rendering engine is the spec but that won't happen as different browsers will probably have different versions

#7 The_Decryptor

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:56

This "bug" has been in WebKit for years now, and they have no plans to fix it.

Posted Image

If WebKit becomes the "reference implementation" does that mean it should be part of the CSS spec?

#8 .stan

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:12

Nah, Mozilla wants an open, standards based web, and even Microsoft seems to want a standards based web now, which is seemingly more at odds with WebKit's "do whatever and get web authors to rely on it" attitude.

WebKit is the new IE6 now.


That is bull**** because WebKit is open source.

#9 Boz

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:16

Nah, Mozilla wants an open, standards based web, and even Microsoft seems to want a standards based web now, which is seemingly more at odds with WebKit's "do whatever and get web authors to rely on it" attitude.

WebKit is the new IE6 now.


Um.. that makes no sense really.. why? Because IE6 was a proprietary browser.. Webkit/Chromium are open source web standards based browsers that anyone can contribute to.. not sure how this is the same at all..

Yeah sure.. there might be some webkit extensions that are on top of standards stuff but that's really not that big of a deal.. you can still build standards based stuff and it will work great..

Actually Chrome is the most innovative and fast browser that works great with all the newest HTML5 stuff and even beyond like Adobe proposed CSS3 Shaders and Blend Modes and so on..

The rest are slow at innovation, their browsers suck and they are just whining (especially Microsoft) because everybody wants new hot features and nobody plans on waiting for them to catch up.. this includes Mozilla as well.

#10 Boz

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:27

This "bug" has been in WebKit for years now, and they have no plans to fix it.

Posted Image

If WebKit becomes the "reference implementation" does that mean it should be part of the CSS spec?


I don't think you understand what web would gain if everyone switched to webkit.. actually I think Chromium is better because it's using V8 for Javascript and it's using Chromium Webkit API to render Webkit content fine. And it's open source too.

When big guys join up (like Opera now) and hopefully Mozilla and Microsoft everyone would be contributing to the Webkit/Chromium code (whichever it is).

This would do several things;

1. Rapidly bring innovation and ubiquity among browsers.. new features would be matter of months to simply add and they would be immediately available on all other browsers.
2. Instead of writing 15 lines of CSS code and use polyfills and other garbage to work across browsers standards based stuff would just work the same on all browsers (including CSS)
3. Tools for animations, development would get into a second renaissance since Flash. Adobe and others could build awesome tools without worrying and generating kilobytes of code just to make simplest thing work on all browsers which in return makes it very hard to make good tools.


Right now, it's a mess and it's really killing the web as long as we have "Works exclusively with IE10" or "Works with Chrome" or whatever.. you wouldn't see that problem if they all agreed on one standards based, open source, browser engine.


Listen, the bottom line is this, web browser makers need to concentrate on bringing BROWSING features to their browsers and make them better, not to make everyone's lives a nightmare because they have their politics and are trying to dominate the browser market as that equals power on the web. So we get 5 different VMs, even Javascript incompatibilities ECMAScript 6 has been in development for a long time now and it's still like 5-10 years from actually replacing ECMAScript 5, we get prefixes, we get polyfills nonsense, we get specific IE extensions for Windows and everybody is trying to say how they are going to follow standards but they really don't.

I have no plan on waiting for next HTML improvements for another decade because of their own greed and desire for power. It's time they wake up and follow Opera.

#11 The_Decryptor

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:31

I'm going to borrow a quite from a user called "kibwen" on Hacker News because I think it's a pretty good response.

You're committing an error here. Say you find a bug in Webkit. You patch it, but Apple declines to accept it upstream. You fork the project. Now how do you get your fork into the hands of your users? Unless you're secretly Google in disguise, you're SOL.


There's a bunch of non-standard stuff WebKit does on purpose (including the bug I showed earlier), if you write a patch to fix it it won't be accepted. So you fork WebKit to have a version focused on standards compliance (or whatever), how are you going to get people to use your variant? Google won't use it, Apple won't use it, etc. You changes never trickle down to people using Chrome or Safari or Android/iOS.

It seems kinda counter-intuitive to say "Everybody should use WebKit" and then say "Well you can just make your own version", which is it?

#12 Boz

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:46

It seems kinda counter-intuitive to say "Everybody should use WebKit" and then say "Well you can just make your own version", which is it?


When they all use the same thing they will have to contribute together and work together on it.. that's the whole point.. for everyone to contribute and make webkit better because it's in everybody's interest. If Chrome has that bug but other browser doesn't what browser do you think I'll be using.. the core compliance to standards is very unlikely to change..

Saying that browser makers shouldn't use one open source rendering engine amazes me considering in what fragmented mess we live today. How can this be even remotely worse than what we have now.. it can only be better not worse.

And btw.. we can already see that it works MUCH MUCH better on mobile.. we only have webkit browsers on 95% of mobile devices.. Safari and Chrome/Android default browser.. and when you build something for the mobile web the damn thing just works beautifully and is actually a joy to design and build (with the exception on some minor custom webkit stuff that Apple introduces on top of webkit core which is really not a big deal as your web app or site can work without it).

Not sure how this is worse than running 5 different JS VMs and HTML engines.

Having web standards drafted (they are not even final) and expecting that all these different browsers built differently will somehow magically work better than having everything on open source webkit is truly puzzling.. It's such a pipe dream it's not even funny.

#13 The_Decryptor

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:54

It's not a pipe dream at all, that's the whole point of standards. How do you think Windows, OS X, Linux and *BSD all communicate while having different networking stacks? by using a common standard.

And the main browser causing fragmentation today is WebKit, even Microsoft is having issues with websites using non-standard WebKit stuff.

#14 Boz

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:02

It's not a pipe dream at all, that's the whole point of standards. How do you think Windows, OS X, Linux and *BSD all communicate while having different networking stacks? by using a common standard.


That's why performance (for example canvas or audio/video) capabilities of HTML5 stuff today including CSS3 stuff works so great across browsers.. it really doesn't.

I don't see how they have so many issues when all the stuff MS is complaining works just fine on Firefox for example (mostly they complain about Google's own services).

I'm not saying Microsoft doesn't have a point.. but I'm telling you that everyone doing their own browsers will never make that web standards utopia you believe in. I'm far more skeptical because I know how these guys think.

V8 and Webkit based Chromium are simply the most advanced browser/VM today.. and instead of everyone peddling their own things they should all work on the same thing.

The situation is not any better since WHATWG split with W3C.. now they'll be pushing new features that are not really a part of the standards until W3C takes another decade to evaluate and try to make them standard if that happens, in the meantime you will see the same things happening as they have in the last 5 years with HTML5 (wild wild west). Promise of ubiquity that just works that is clearly pure BS and is still nowhere near ready for prime time.

#15 LegendaryRamzi

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:05

When they all use the same thing they will have to contribute together and work together on it.. that's the whole point.. for everyone to contribute and make webkit better because it's in everybody's interest.


No this is absolutely the wrong approach, specs are the only thing developers should ever share, and that is even pushing it.



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