Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Please click for more information, or scroll down to pass the ad, or Close Ad.
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Build Apps 5x Faster
For Half the Cost
Enterprise Cloud Computing

On Force.com
Linux/Open Source
24/7/365 Network Uptime
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
With a Blink, Google Forks Chrome
With a Blink, Google Forks Chrome's WebKit Engine

By Barry Levine
April 4, 2013 10:56AM

    Bookmark and Share
Apple released WebKit as open source in 2005, and its versions have grown to cover an estimated 40 percent of the market. Mozilla, maker of Firefox, uses Gecko, and Internet Explorer from Microsoft has Trident. Now, with Google forking WebKit to create Blink, there is concern that developers will have to support yet another rendering engine.
 

Related Topics

Chrome
WebKit
Google
HTML5



Apple and Google are the biggest competitors in mobile platforms. Now, Google has split off from the Apple-created, open-source WebKit rendering engine behind Apple's Safari browser and Google's Chrome browser, and has created its own open-source version, Blink.

A rendering engine generates a Web page's layout, based on the HTML, CSS and Javascript. Google software engineer Adam Barth, writing on a company blog, said Wednesday that the first step toward creating Blink would be to remove some of the code in WebKit that Blink doesn't need, some 4.5 million lines worth, which he said will improve stability. Google has also issued guidelines for new features in Blink, to foster standards and interoperability.

WebKit has been the most popular engine, powering not only Safari and Chrome but, in various forms, also the default Android browser and the ones for BlackBerry 10 and Symbian devices. Apple released WebKit as open source in 2005, and its versions have grown to cover an estimated 40 percent of the market. Mozilla, maker of Firefox, uses Gecko, and Internet Explorer from Microsoft has Trident.

Opera Is All In

The open-source Chromium project is the basis for both Google's Chrome browser and its Chrome OS. The technology giant has said that, since it employs a different multi-process architecture for Chromium than do other users of WebKit, the back-and-forth to maintain its version and the master underlying open-source engine was slowing innovation.

A few weeks ago, Opera announced that it was moving to WebKit, abandoning its own Presto engine as well as a new engine it had in development. On Thursday, following Google's announcement about Blink, Opera said it was now moving to Blink. The Norway-based browser maker has indicated the latest switch is driven by its interest in supporting Chromium and in getting out of the rendering engine business, so it could focus resources on making new products and features.

These developments are being watched closely in the developer community, although there have been conflicting reactions. When Opera initially said it was going WebKit and dropping its own rendering engine development, for instance, there were complaints that WebKit was becoming the dominant engine because of its wide use, not because of standards, and that this could stifle innovation, especially in the relatively new arena of mobile.

'Already Fragmented'

Now, with Google forking WebKit to create Blink, there is concern that developers will have to support yet another rendering engine, making sure their code renders as intended.

Jeffrey Hammond, an analyst with Forrester, noted that "the reality is that the browser market is already fragmented and is not getting better," with variations across devices and operating systems.

He pointed out that, even with the trend toward using HTML5 standards that should allow apps to play across HTML5-supporting browsers, there will be feature differences in the browsers. The good news, Hammond told us, is that "there's a tremendous amount of innovation." The bad: "there are more edge cases," or exceptions to the norm.

One solution, he said, could be "a good feature-detection library for browsers," so that features in a particular app could be automatically enabled or disabled on specific devices, "depending on what the browser supported."
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



APC has an established a reputation for solid products that virtually pay for themselves upon installation. Who has time to spend worrying about system downtime? APC makes it easy for you to focus on business growth instead of business downtime with reliable data center systems and IT solutions. Learn more here.


 Linux/Open Source
1.   Red Hat Unveils OpenShift Marketplace
2.   IBM Mainframes Celebrate 50 Years
3.   Eich Resignation Brings Controversy
4.   Teradata Intros QueryGrid Analytics
5.   Mozilla CEO Resigns Amid Furor


advertisement
Tech 101: What Is Open Source?
Foundation of countless applications.
Average Rating:
IBM Mainframes Celebrate 50 Years
Unveils new cloud services for business.
Average Rating:
Eich Resignation Brings Controversy
Political correctness in Silicon Valley.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Tips To Defeat the Heartbleed Bug
Heartbleed headlines continue as IT admins scramble for answers no one has. Early reports of stolen personal data, including 900 social insurance numbers in Canada, are starting to trickle in.
 
NSC Backs Disclosing Software Vulnerabilities
Disclosing vulnerabilities in commercial and open source software is in the national interest and shouldn't be withheld unless there is a clear need, says the National Security Council.
 
Heartbleed Flaw Affects Hardware, Too
It appears the Heartbleed security bug affects not just Web sites, but also the networking equipment that connects businesses and homes to the Net, including Cisco and Juniper's equipment.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Vaio Fit 11A Battery Danger Forces Recall by Sony
Using a Sony Vaio Fit 11A laptop? It's time to send it back to Sony. In fact, Sony is encouraging people to stop using the laptop after several reports of its Panasonic battery overheating.
 
Continued Drop in Global PC Shipments Slows
Worldwide shipments of PCs fell during the first three months of the year, but the global slump in PC demand may be easing, with a considerable slowdown from last year's drops.
 
Google Glass Finds a Home in Medical Education, Practice
Google Glass may find its first markets in verticals in which hands-free access to data is a boon. Medicine is among the most prominent of those, as seen in a number of Glass experiments under way.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Is Amazon Launching a 3D Smartphone?
Once known for selling books on an e-commerce platform, Amazon is now a bona fide hardware maker -- and it's reportedly rolling out an innovative smartphone with a 3D screen.
 
Review: S5 Features Useful, Less About Gimmicks
There's a lot to like about Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone -- among them, its relative lack of features. Samsung chose to focus on features people might actually want, not gimmicks.
 
Analyst: Samsung Galaxy S5 Won't Sway iPhone Lovers
The Samsung Galaxy S5 hits store shelves on Friday and the reviews are starting to pour in. The question is: Can the latest in the Galaxy line grab more market share from Appleā€™s iPhone?
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | Small Business | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters | XML/RSS Feed

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.