Thursday, April 4, 2013

Bootstrap, WebKit, and Blink

How are frameworks like Bootstrap going to handle the changes from WebKit and Blink?

Google just announced that it is forking WebKit and launching this fork as Blink. As Google describes it, Blink is “an inclusive open source community” and ”a new rendering engine based on WebKit” that will, over time, “naturally evolve in different directions.” Blink, Google says, will be all about speed and simplicity. It will soon make its way from Chromium to the various Chrome release channels, so users will see the first Blink-powered version of Chrome appear on their desktops, phones and tablets in the near future.


Currently, the majority of WebKit reviewers are from Google (95), with Apple coming in second (59), followed by a number of other companies, including Blackberry, Intel, Nokia, Samsung, Adobe and Netflix.

From Chromium on Blink

WebKit is a lightweight yet powerful rendering engine that emerged out of KHTML in 2001. Its flexibility, performance and thoughtful design made it the obvious choice for Chromium's rendering engine back when we started. Thanks to the hard work by all in the community, WebKit has thrived and kept pace with the web platform’s growing capabilities since then.

However, Chromium uses a different multi-process architecture than other WebKit-based browsers, and supporting multiple architectures over the years has led to increasing complexity for both the WebKit and Chromium projects. This has slowed down the collective pace of innovation - so today, we are introducing Blink, a new open source rendering engine based on WebKit.

Blink's Mission:

To improve the open web through
technical innovation and good citizenship

What are your thoughts?

Update from Opera whom just switched to WebKit a few weeks ago

We are happy to see that the web is becoming ever more open and accessible for developers. It is a fast moving platform that needs continuous and rapid updating. After some discussions with our counterparts at Google, we are looking forward to contribute back to the open source project that is Blink, just as we would to any other open source project we feel could use our input.

So it appears as though Opera is behind this new movement.

So what does this mean for Bootstrap and other CSS Frameworks? It appears that they will need to revisit their roots and code up for blink. They already have specific pieces in there to reflect webkit so changing to blink shouldn't take more than an afternoon - assuming that find and replace is working sweetly.

I know I'll be interested in this new engine from the start - anything that improves performance is great - even if it means more IE hacks - err - gracefully degrading.

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