April 04, 2013

Chrome Team Addresses Concerns Over Shift to Blink

Google’s (News Alert) Chrome team this week announced a significant change for future versions of the Web browser in the form of a new browser engine, called Blink, abandoning the current WebKit engine. Indeed, it doesn’t get more drastic than a brand new engine, but with the direction the browser market is taking currently, it isn’t too surprising.

For instance, Mozilla this week also announced that it has partnered with Samsung (NewsAlert) to create a new browser engine called Servo, while Opera has also chosen Blink to power future browser versions, despite its decision to base Opera Mobile on WebKit.

However, Google’s share in the browser market is sizeable and so its announcement has had the biggest effect on the developer world, which is concerned that such a change may affect interoperability or a shift toward a more closed-source approach. Fortunately, Chrome Developer Relations team members Paul Irish and Paul Lewis have been hard at work trying to assuage these concerns. In fact, the two will be hosting a Q&A today at 1:00 p.m. PST, joined by some of Blink’s lead engineers to squash any uncertainty for good.

For those not able to watch the full Q&A, though, Irish and Lewis have already addressed some of the primary concerns expressed thus far.

First, Chrome is shifting to Blink partially because Chromium uses a different multiprocess architecture than other WebKit-based browsers, which has stifled innovation as a lot of focus has been placed on supporting all other WebKit architectures. The shift will also offer greater freedom in investigating performance improvement strategies.

As for compatibility, Irish and Lewis wrote in a post, "We’re keenly aware of the compatibility challenges faced by developers today, and will be collaborating closely with other browser vendors to move the web forward and preserve the interoperability that have made it a successful ecosystem."

They added that more browsers running on WebKit doesn’t necessarily equal greater compatibility, citing interoperability issues among existing WebKit architectures.

Finally, Blink will provide Chrome with a number of behind-the-scenes enhancements, such as the ability to deliver a faster DOM and JavaScript engine, as well as better security through sandboxing and out-of-process iframes, to name a few. That said, the day when Chrome makes the change to Blink is still up in the air for now, but enhancements will continue to be rolled out in upcoming WebKit versions.

Edited by Brooke Neuman


HTML 5 Demos and Examples

HTML 5 experimentation and demos I've hacked together. Click on the browser support icon or the technology tag to filter the demos.... Learn More

HTML5 GAMES is the largest and most comprehensive directory of HTML5 games on the internet... Learn More

The HTML5 test

How well does your browser support HTML5?... Learn More

Working Draft (WHATWG)

This is the Editor’s Draft from WHATWG. You can use it online or print the available PDF version... Learn More

HTML5 Flip Book

Free jQuery and HTML5 flip book maker for PDF to online page turning book conversion... Learn More