and then there were… Five!?

A couple of months ago, Opera announced they were dropping Presto in favor of WebKit to allow them to spend their time focusing on the browser rather than the HTML rendering engine within it.

This was seen by some people as a loss for web standards as Opera were the major company pushing standards and a spec compliant browser. The good news for those people is tonight both Mozilla and Google announced they were each developing a their own new rendering engine, Mozilla have partnered with Samsung to develop a new mobile rendering engine for Android called Servo, and Google announced it was forking WebKit and branding it Blink. Chromium will be updated to use Blink, which in turn means Opera will also be using Blink.

So, in less than two months we have gone from 4 rendering engines, down to 3, now back up to five. Those who protest all browsers should be using one rendering engine and that should be WebKit, will not be happy bunnies tonight!

My initial thoughts on Blink are that while it does mean another engine to test in, it’s no more than we did before with Presto, and as we are all building sites to W3C standards our sites will either work perfectly or degrade gracefully so there is nothing to worry about. I do like that they have decided not to implement vendor prefixes, and the legacy WebKit ones it will inherit will be phased out and removed.

Servo I don’t know that much about other than it’s a mobile specific rendering engine, there no plans to drop Gecko just yet, and its being developed for Android and ARM devices. I’m guessing its an attempt to keep away from WebKit on mobile but not have the headaches of Gecko running on Android. I need to investigate more and report back.

The announcement posts are below, any thoughts/opinions/etc please comment below.

Mozilla –

Google –

Opera – (technically an unofficial notification but Mr Lawson is official enough for me)

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Enough of me, let me know your thoughts below...