Google forks WebKit, creates new Blink rendering engine

Chromium blog:

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.

I’m not sure whether this is good news or not. At it’s core, it’ll be WebKit, so it’s not like the disparity that existed between Microsoft’s Trident and Mozilla’s Gecko engines.

But does the world really need another rendering engine? As a web developer, it was bad enough dealing with Trident, Mozilla, WebKit and Presto. Now we’re going to have Trident, Mozilla, WebKit and Blink. I understand competition leads to innovation but I’ve never seen how different rendering engines does anything other than cause misery to those developing for it.

There’s one particular section of the Blink project page that worries me:

In extremely rare cases, we may enable a feature by default before the feature’s compatibility risk is as low as we’d like. In such cases, we will meet the following requirements:

We will propose an editor’s draft (or equivalent) to the relevant standards group.

We will discuss the feature publicly with implementers of other browser engines.

Further, we will take on an active commitment to shepherd the feature through the standards process, accepting the burden of possible API changes.

Roughly translated – “If we decide to create a new standard that benefits us, we’re going to add it to Blink. But don’t worry, we’ll tell you about it.