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Google going its own way, forking WebKit rendering engine

blink blink google webkit

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#1 BajiRav

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 21:11

Source: http://arstechnica.c...ndering-engine/

Google announced today that it is forking the WebKit rendering engine on which its Chrome browser is based. The company is naming its new engine "Blink."
The WebKit project was started by Apple in 2001, itself a fork of a rendering engine called KHTML. The project includes a core rendering engine for handling HTML and CSS (WebCore), a JavaScript engine (JavaScriptCore), and a high-level API for embedding it into browsers (WebKit).
Though known widely as "WebKit," Google Chrome has used only WebCore since its launch in late 2008. Apple's Safari originally used the WebKit wrapper and now uses its successor, WebKit2. Many other browsers use varying amounts of the WebKit project, including the Symbian S60 browser, the BlackBerry browser, the webOS browser, and the Android browser.
Until now, Google has rigorously tracked the WebKit project, both integrating patches made by other WebKit developers and pushing its own changes made during the course of Chrome's development back upstream.

I hope this is not a late April Fool's from Ars. :/ I can't find any source in that article.

Edit: Not April Fool's: http://blog.chromium...r-chromium.html


#2 siah1214

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 21:16

Second source:
http://news.cnet.com...launches-blink/


Cue the neckbeards clamoring to this thread claiming that this is good for the internet and that IE11 should switch to Blink, and Apple too.

#3 ViperAFK

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 21:28

google has already forked a million other things with chrome, as you can read here: http://ostatic.com/b...-isnt-in-fedora.

Google is forking existing FOSS code bits for Chromium like a rabbit makes babies: frequently, and usually, without much thought. Rather than leverage the existing APIs from upstream projects like icu, libjingle, and sqlite (just to name a few), they simply fork a point in time of that code and hack their API to shreds for chromium to use. This is akin to much of the Java methodology, which I can sum up as "I'd like to use this third-party code, but my application is too special to use it as is, so I covered it with Bedazzler Jewels and Neon Underlighting, then bury my blinged out copy in my application.". A fair amount of the upstream Chromium devs seem to have Java backgrounds, which may explain this behavior, but it does not excuse it. This behavior should be a last resort, not a first instinct.


I saw this coming lol.

#4 f0rk_b0mb

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 21:29

It would be interesting to see what improvements and features come out of this code cleanup.

#5 George P

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 21:29

Well this move doesn't surprise me at all. They'll just keep doing their own things until people wake up and start to ditch them. How much do you want to bet that this new engine will work best with their sites while they crap on other browsers in the future?

#6 ctrl_alt_delete

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 21:34

I saw this coming a mile away.

#7 guru

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 21:38

Well this move doesn't surprise me at all. They'll just keep doing their own things until people wake up and start to ditch them. How much do you want to bet that this new engine will work best with their sites while they crap on other browsers in the future?

considering how fast chrome renders and the fact google' s spdy protocol is now being being implemented even by MS. i think this move is going to make Chrome even better.

i wonder what limitations they saw in current webkit that forced them to fork

#8 Athernar

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 21:42

Oh great, if ChromIE6 didn't need enough proprietary cruft to begin with.

The added pain is worth it for how stupid the one-engine Google-shill people must be feeling right now, delicious.


considering how fast chrome renders and the fact google' s spdy protocol is now being being implemented even by MS. i think this move is going to make Chrome even better.

i wonder what limitations they saw in current webkit that forced them to fork


SPDY certainly isn't Google's tech, and Microsoft's implementation likely has more to do with future support for HTTP 2.0 which is based off SPDY.

#9 primexx

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 21:46

good for variety now that Opera ditched their own engine.

#10 George P

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 21:46

considering how fast chrome renders and the fact google' s spdy protocol is now being being implemented even by MS. i think this move is going to make Chrome even better.

i wonder what limitations they saw in current webkit that forced them to fork


If I remember right spdy isn't a Google protocol but a open spec that's been around for quite some time already. And someone hear already said that the version Google wants to use isn't even the full spec.

#11 ViperAFK

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 21:48

good for variety now that Opera ditched their own engine.

funnily enough opera decided to base upon chromium's webkit instead of webkit 2, wonder where that leaves them now that chrome is totally forking it.

#12 Jub Fequois

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 21:52

Jeez, I'm salivating over the changes they are planning for it...

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.


And the following:
  • Teach WebCore about multi-process history (currently it assumes same-process synchronous History access)
  • Delete the Widget tree (a Mac WebKit1 constraint)
  • Split WebCore into modules
  • Move code to directly using the sandbox Platform API directly instead of WebCore/platform where possible
  • Establish a simpler, stricter tree-gardening system that does not require 2 full time engineers per day
  • Experiment with moving the DOM into the JS heap
  • Increase multicore use (e.g., html parser, style engine, javascript parser)
  • Removing obscure parts of the DOM and make backwards incompatible changes to obscure parts of the DOM that benefit performance or remove complexity.
  • Use a modern, faster tcmalloc throughout all of Mac chrome
  • Experiment with incremental or parallel layout
  • Fix memory leaks by removing the ScriptValue/ScriptState abstractions now that there’s only one JavaScript engine.
  • Replace WebKitIDL with WebIDL and remove custom JavaScript bindings code
  • Bring WebCore up to speed with DOM3 Events / [DOM] UI Events.
Edit: And

Going forward, instead of enabling a feature by default with a vendor prefix, we will instead keep the (unprefixed) feature behind the “enable experimental web platform features” flag in about:flags until the feature is ready to be enabled by default.



#13 +Majesticmerc

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 21:56

While the fanboys will (and already have) jumped on this as "OMGZ GOOGLE TEH SUXXORS", it's worth noting that Microsoft, Mozilla, Opera already have their own rendering engines. This simply adds another to the mix. The importance of this fork isn't the fact that Google are doing their own thing (it's pretty proven that corporate entities can't push their own technolologies if they're not readily available to the rest of the web users). The importance here is twofold (IMO):
  • Removing the legacy WebKit code could be benefitial, but will the loss of compatibility affect existing sites adversely?
  • How will this effect the "IE6-ism" that is afflicting WebKit? Will this help or make it worse?
Oh, and BLINK? <blink>? Really?

#14 The_Decryptor

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 22:02

While the fanboys will (and already have) jumped on this as "OMGZ GOOGLE TEH SUXXORS", it's worth noting that Microsoft, Mozilla, Opera already have their own rendering engines. This simply adds another to the mix. The importance of this fork isn't the fact that Google are doing their own thing (it's pretty proven that corporate entities can't push their own technolologies if they're not readily available to the rest of the web users). The importance here is twofold (IMO):

  • Removing the legacy WebKit code could be benefitial, but will the loss of compatibility affect existing sites adversely?
  • How will this effect the "IE6-ism" that is afflicting WebKit? Will this help or make it worse?
Oh, and BLINK? <blink>? Really?

The "legacy code" is simply stuff like build system code or code Apple wrote for WebKit that Google never used. And it'll make it worse in the long run (Normally, when Google added something non-standard it had to "pass muster" with the other WebKit developers, that's gone now)

#15 HawkMan

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 22:04

It would be interesting to see what improvements and features come out of this code cleanup.


The only "improvements" you will see are webpages that only work in Chrome and more prefixes



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