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back to article WebKit devs on Blink fork: 'Two can play that game'

Now that Google has announced that it will migrate its Chrome browser from the WebKit rendering engine to a homegrown fork called Blink, WebKit developers have already begun discussing how to remove Chrome-specific code from the project. Streamlining the code of its browser engine was one of the top reasons cited by Google for …

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Anonymous Coward

It sounds to me like a good thing

This sounds to me like it could lead to a very good thing, and that is making the code more modular. Why should the scripting interpreter be so tightly coupled in the code? Define the interface between the rendering system's DOM and the scripting engine's event interface, and let both sides work in terms of that interface - pick the Javascript engine (or indeed whatever other scripting language you want), plug the interfaces together, and go.

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Meh

Re: It sounds to me like a good thing

AFAIU the article said nothing about changing the coupling between Webkit and the JS engine, just that Apple wanted to take certain things out.

Google is likely to only support their own JS engine with Blink anyway.

If they go from 2 to 1 JS engines in Webkit, I'd think that only increases the likelihood of removing any proper arm's-length interfaces...

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FAIL

Chrome starting to fall behind

So the rendering engine Chrome will be using is changing - but what about their JS engine (V8)? I don't know if anyone's noticed recently, but Mozilla's latest JS efforts shown at http://www.arewefastyet.com/ are starting to get perilously close to the speed of V8 (and in some sub-tests, actually now beating it).

In fact, after a couple of years of having a lead in both speed and memory usage, Chrome is now starting to lose out to Firefox in both respects. Ironically, the most noticeable platform where this is happening is on Google's Android itself, where Firefox is now clearly superior to Chrome.

And I'll throw in a barb about Chrome 26+ dropping support for the world's #1 commercial Linux (RHEL - and by interfence its clones) as another reason to re-consider using Chrome.

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Unhappy

Re: Chrome starting to fall behind

"And I'll throw in a barb about Chrome 26+ dropping support for the world's #1 commercial Linux (RHEL - and by interfence its clones) as another reason to re-consider using Chrome."

Oh, wonderful...

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Re: Chrome starting to fall behind

What is that blazingly fast Firefox on Android that you speak of? Is it some special internal build, because even the public nightly's aren't up to much.

Opera older presto based browser was much more superior to both.

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Re: Chrome starting to fall behind

And as I read this, I am reminded again how Firefox on Android renders each individual post in a different font size, and even manages to mix 10 point text with 26 point text on the same line, so that the words end up on top of each other. Ok I'll admit that it's trying to re-render a page that some nazi set as fixed width, but the fact is that my screen has more horizontal pixels than the HTML asks for, so for the love of his noodlyness, WHY?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Chrome starting to fall behind

At least recently Chrome has used more memory than any other browser.

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Re: Chrome starting to fall behind

Might be the #1 commercial Linux distro but it's not the World's #1 distro.

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Re: Chrome starting to fall behind

I'm using Firefox (beta) on Android and it is remarkably good on one device and quite slow on another. However the same happens with Chrome. Browsers do a lot of IO for caching so if the device has poor read / write times it clobbers the performance.

Anyway Firefox is superior to Chrome on Android in most respects. It has better privacy controls, better content rendering and supports add ons including ad blockers. That said, the h264 support in Firefox is very hit and miss and that can refuse to play content that plays in Chrome. Whether it's the container format or the codecs I don't know but it's annoying when it happens.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Chrome starting to fall behind

That's the problem with tech heads and the press today. They become infatuated with the latest and greatest and fall out equally as fast. Chrome has had speed advantage over Firefox since its inception, but it never had a memory usage advantage. That was just a myth self perpetuated by tech heads and bloggers, who didn't do their homework as usual.

Chrome uses a sandbox model based on separate processes, as such is inherently incapable of more efficient memory usage than Firefox. Chrome is more secure than Firefox because of the separate processes, but it has never been "light" or had a memory advantage over Firefox.

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Vic
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Re: Chrome starting to fall behind

> Might be the #1 commercial Linux distro but it's not the World's #1 distro.

Data?

Vic.

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Anonymous Coward

This is how technology advances

Webkit gives way to Blink, and Gecko gives way to Servo.

Internet Explorer? Still on the same crappy Trident rendering engine.

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Thumb Up

When in Rome...'ish?

I don't support Google, I don't particularly like Google, and I don't use Google. With that being said, I can't blame them for going their own way. After all they have 1,000,000,000's of dollars, so why not try to fit what is best for them, similar to how WebKit will no fit to their needs. Looks like a win win to me.

Off topic: Btw, I'm still waiting on FireFox OS to hopefully save us all on mobile :-) (Starting to think this is naive though)

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Anonymous Coward

"Apple's Geoffrey Garen wrote"

I was really shocked to see who he worked for. But ultimately - why not. It's not like this is to spite Google - they will already have their forked code base so it'll make little difference to them. Streamlining the code makes sense.

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rho
WTF?

BLINK tag, writ large

Fine, fork WebKit. One corporation's needs clearly outweigh the needs of another corporation. I can't help but feel that it's 1997 again and "Best if Viewed in Netscape"-like labels feature prominently once more.

Luckily for every Web developer who are having IE6 compatibility flashbacks, Google is second-best known for abandoning projects that don't sell ads. It's not daft to assume Blink disappears in a year or two; even with the incredible momentum provided by Opera /s.

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iOS?

I thought Apple commanded that all browsers on iOS be WebKit-based. Does this fork to Blink mean iUsers will be left with Safari only. Again?

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Web browser not built with Google code?

No potential Google privacy backdoors? I'm sold already

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FAIL

Sensationalist journalism

Nice work on try make it look like some sort payback in and on going feud. Chrome isn't part of WebKit so any component developer would remove the unused code.

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