back to article Google goes on the Blink in WebKit fork FURORE

When Opera Software killed its web browser's rendering engine Presto, and announced it will instead use WebKit, the company did so with the best intentions. WebKit was a surefire bet: by mainlining the brain juice of Google's Chrome and Apple's Safari - the top dogs on the web and on smartphones - Opera hoped to break out of …


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  1. Mage Silver badge
    Big Brother


    I'm looking at doing my own / finding existing alternative to Google docs for real time collaborative editing.

    Google is too creepy and anti-privacy. I want it on my own rented hosting with only my authorised users, not Chocolate factory Wonkas..

    1. Skoorb

      Re: Simple

      It's actually an older product than Google Docs, but has no real marketing.

      1. Cipher

        Re: Simple


        The Zoho mail product, while lacking *every* bell an whistle is a pleasant change from GMail...

  2. Rich Harding


    "Blink, though, is unlikely to see Apple transfer. It is even less likely Microsoft, the web’s other browser maker heavyweight, would join. Rather, Microsoft will use the weakness of WebKit and uncertainty of Blink to stress the common sense and stability of sticking with its own browser roadmap rather than trusting somebody else’s."

    That paragraph rather destroys the argument of the rest of the article, don't you think?

    1. Oninoshiko

      Re: Er...

      The argument that somehow someone will come and add a bunch of stuff that gets in the way of what google wants is really quite silly. Google has an easy solution for this, refuse the patch. Every major OSS project does this. Those submitting the refused patch can then fork, but that doesn't affect Google's work.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Chromium WB

    Any one know how this will affect the open-source Chromium Browser ? If it remains fully open then I don't see a big problem with Google doing this.

    1. Test Man

      Re: Chromium WB

      It's the Chromium project that is moving to fork Webkit to create Blink, hence Chrome also follows. Therefore, any Chromium browser built from the Chromium source will be using Blink as the engine.

  4. petef

    Opera is not going to use WebKit

    As you said in the earlier Register article, Opera will use Blink not WebKit.

    1. Ralph B

      Re: Opera is not going to use WebKit

      And as they also said in this article, actually.

  5. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Opera too

    Elsewhere I'm reading that the Opera people have now decided to use the Blink fork of Webkit, so it's open that much at least. And apparently Blink hasn't changed anything to speak of yet.

    1. Anonymous Dutch Coward

      Re: Opera too

      Well, as Webkit is LGPL licensed according to WP, Blink must be too. So it's open: Google have to publish their changes.

      As for the article author's argument that diversity suffers because of a fork which he thinks/hopes will become the dominant platform (instead of errm, now, let's see.... Webkit!?)... what pills has he been popping?

    2. jai

      Re: Opera too


      the whole point of forking it is so that they can make changes to speak of. if they didn't need to do it, they wouldn't have a problem with using WebKit, would they.

  6. Don Jefe


    I'm surprised Opera hasn't sued someone or filed a complaint with the EU. That's usually how they innovate. Or at least that's how they get people to remember them.

    1. Ralph B

      Re: Opera

      Tabbed browsing began in Opera I believe. As did mouse gestures. I still miss Opera's right-mouse-button-hold plus repeated left-button-clicks to go whizzing back through the browser history, since I had to move to Chrome to escape Opera's other innovation: the never-fixed memory leak.

      1. Al Jones

        Re: Opera

        Tabbed browsing was available in a browser called InternetWorks, part of suite from O'Reilly's Global Network Navigator. This was a year or two before Opera was released to the public.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Opera

      Utter tripe. Opera have been behind pretty much everything you know and love about whatever browser you use.

      HTML5, CSS, yep, both originated at Opera.

      Tabbed Browsing, MDI, yep, Opera too.

      BrowseJS (Greasemonkey to Firefox users), yep, Opera..

      Mouse Gestures, yep Opera.....

      I could carry on...

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Not That Andrew

        Re: Opera

        Actually Opera wasn't the first tabbed browser. Netcaptor was. And Mozilla had tabbed mode (in 0.9.5) 2 months before Opera (in 6).

        1. Don Jefe

          Re: Opera

          Not That Andrew is correct.

          Opera isn't the great innovator some people think they are. They're just one of the loudest, always complaining.

        2. El Zorro

          Re: Opera


          Netcaptor introduced tabbed browsing in 1997. I was still using my amiga back then and I remember being blown away by the tabbed browsing in iBrowse in 99.

          Opera was late to the party in 2001

          1. El Zorro

            Re: Opera

            Correction: Opera had tabs in 2000 depending on which propaganda machine you reference

          2. ScissorHands

            Re: Opera

            Opera 3.x already had "buttons" that partly showed the title of the page, like a Taskbar for webpages. They were tabs in all but name and widget design.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Opera

            Opera had MDI since version 1. Stop trusting Wikipedia.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Opera

            There's an old thread on the Opera forums that points out that there was a Tabbed browser available even before Netcaptor:


        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Opera

          "Actually Opera wasn't the first tabbed browser. Netcaptor was..." Nope. InternetWorks was. It was around in the mid 90's - 94 or 95 - certainly a couple of years before Netcaptor anyhow.

    3. spencer

      Re: Opera


      Pretty much every mention of browser and there's a smug Opera user who'll (correctly) point out that it was in their browser first.

  7. jai

    the obvious reason

    it's obvious why they've done this - they want to make their own <blink><marquee>blinking marquee</marquee></blink> element

  8. Ryan 7

    Would be nice if IE adopted Gecko.

    Vive La Netscape!

    1. HMB

      Re: Would be nice if IE adopted Gecko.

      Why, does it want a slower less compliant rendering engine?

      Don't just tell me that IE10 sucks, show me something that Firefox does better in terms of page rendering. If you find that job difficult, what do you think that means?

      IE6 used to be the bane of my web development. I used to hate it so much, but I'm not in an entrenched fanboy-fact-denial position. I use Chrome because of the way it looks and the UI, but IE 10 has one of the best rendering engines out there right now, shame the element inspector is a bit poor.

      I also love Chrome syncing to mobile.

  9. cotsweb

    No vendor prefixes in Blink

    I found this interesting; from

    "Historically, browsers have relied on vendor prefixes (e.g., -webkit-feature) to ship experimental features to web developers. This approach can be harmful to compatibility because web content comes to rely upon these vendor-prefixed names. 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. Mozilla has already embarked on a similar policy and the W3C CSS WG formed a rough consensus around a complementary policy."

    So no more vendor prefixes! (at least in Blink) That will make the CSS tidier but it does mean we can't use shiny new features as soon as they become available in one browser.

  10. Simon Ward


    As someone who is at the sharp end, so to speak, developing frameworks and the like to test my employer's web-based, and other, products, the phrase that's currently presenting itself for inspection is "Just because you can, doesn't mean that you should."

    Or, if you prefer the Dilbert version: "If it ain't broke, fix it until it is."

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I find this name worrisome, seeing that "Don't blink" is pretty well drilled into my psyche.

  12. kain preacher Silver badge

    Anti trust

    Is just me , or does any one else see this coming. You are using google products and a it says best viewed with chrome. You are using google products and it's not quit working right with your browser and you get a pop that says best viewed with chrome as it's code for some non standards HTML that chrome does.

    1. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      Re: Anti trust

      No, you're not the only one -- While reading the article, I was hearing the Ghost of Microsofts Past whispering "Embrace, extend, and extinguisah..."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Anti trust

      "Is just me , or does any one else see this coming. You are using google products and a it says best viewed with chrome. You are using google products and it's not quit working right with your browser and you get a pop that says best viewed with chrome as it's code for some non standards HTML that chrome does.

      House Rules"

      The problem there is Google would lose users and thus eyeballs viewing ads. Google makes no money from Chrome, it, like all Google "products" are there to get people online viewing adverts. Google have for the most part been very standards friendly.

      1. kain preacher Silver badge

        Re: Anti trust

        I'm thinking they want to get people on chrome to track you. IF enough people are on chrome, google can make it hard not to see ads. Banning ad block and no script.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Anti trust

          Chromium will always be available as an alternative, they are effectively the same browser and if Google did choose to take that path - I doubt they would - people would simply switch to Chromium.

          If you look at the time/money Google has piled into Android, is it really that hard to believe they just want to improve the browser/experience?

          1. kain preacher Silver badge

            Re: Anti trust

            Well they removed ad block from the play store.

  13. El Andy

    I for one welcome the new Evil Empire of Google

    I think Google should be congratulated for finally demonstrating how to bring "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish" to the Open Source world. Meanwhile any third-party developer who integrated webkit into their product in the belief it would make HTML rendering easy has my sympathy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I for one welcome the new Evil Empire of Google

      Except that as far as web standards go, there has been no extending or extinguishing. They are merely forking WebKit to try to improve it on their own - namely speed/rendering. There has been no mention of moving away from W3C web standards.

  14. SJB Music


    "Google, as a collection of websites, now supports just two versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox – the current release and the one previous."

    GMail has already lost my business, because I, like 38% of the world, still use XP. Not a smart move to deliberately exclude 38% of your potential customers, Google. I'm not installing Chrome, either.

    1. Boothy

      Re: Exclusionists

      hmm, and how many of that 38% of the world are still using an out of date version of IE?

      It's not Google that is excluding you, you're doing that to yourself by consciously choosing to use an old out of date web browser rather than installing something newer.

      Expect to get blocked by more than just Google in the future. For example my bank has a similar policy for logging into their online banking service. "Using an old out of date web browser! Nope, you're not coming in."

      If you want to blame anyone, blame Microsoft for choosing not to release their newer browsers on XP.

      1. McBread

        Re: Exclusionists

        To be fair, XP is a dead man walking, with just days over a year left until MS stop fixing security holes. It only makes sense for so long to hold off on new features because people are using an outdated browser. Besides, Ignore the prompts and the fundamentals of gmail still work in IE8.

        Is Chromium a less objectionable option than Chrome?

    2. Boothy

      Re: Exclusionists

      Additionally you need to check your stats, me thinks they are out of date.

      XP usage hasn't been at 38% since back in 2011, and currently stands around 23% (with Win 7 around 53%).

  15. revdjenk


    Thanks for playing...

  16. tempemeaty

    And Google says

    All your base are belong to us.

    So the moment Google sees the last bastion of independence in browsers which is Opera has given it up to use the same one as all the rest Google forks away from it to pull a Microsoft and make their own version. It may not be long with Opera giving itself unto the Beast before Google writes the standards.

  17. MattEvansC3

    Sorry but a little bit ignorant of LGPL Licensing. If Google added optimisations to their products APIs for Blink would those need to be made open to everyone because of the LGPL license for Blink or could they be kept behind closed doors?

    For example Microsoft cannot have a true YouTube app on Windows Phone or Windows 8 because Google is blocking access to the APIs, if Google built in YouTube optimisations into Blink would anyone be able to see them and implement them?

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