Hello Blink

It’s great to be able to talk publicly about Blink, the new engine that will power Opera’s browsers (disclosure: my employer, but this is a personal post) and Chrome henceforth. I know a lot of people worried that there would be less diversity on the Web once Opera Presto was retired, and the forking of WebKit into Blink restores that balance. Opera will be contributing to Blink in future.

[added 22:46 UK time] My boss, Lars Erik Bolstad, said on Opera’s behalf: “Our ambition is to contribute Opera’s browser engine expertise to Blink, ranging from the implementation of new web standards to improvements in existing code.”

My personal feeling (not representing my employer, wife, children or hamster) is that Blink has a lot of promise for the Web. Its architecture allows for greater speed – something that Opera and Google have long focused on. When browsers are fast and interoperable, using the web as a platform becomes more competitive against native app development. I also hope that it’s easier for smaller players and even individuals to contribute to the new rendering engine, with a more transparent gatekeeping process: “Our goal is for anyone to be able to participate, regardless of organizational affiliation.”

It’s also great that there will be no more vendor prefixes in Blink (only legacy ones inherited from WebKit that will be removed or dropped where possible). Vendor prefixes were like Morrissey’s solo career: on paper, a good idea – but in reality, a horrible mess.

So, hello Blink. With Presto remaining in the wild until 2020, and Firefox’s co-incidental announcement today that it’s collaborating with Samsung on two early stage projects to build a new rendering engine called Servo, diversity on the Web has never looked healthier, and interoperability never (er) interoperabler.

177 Responses to “ Hello Blink ”

Comment by toyotabedzrock

“Allow generated content to be selectable and copy pasteable. “

Noticed that on their faq on the fork.

Comment by Jon

Opera’s decision makes a hell of a lot more sense now. As a Webkit contributor, they’d have just been one more cook in what was already very a crowded and rather acrimonious kitchen. I’m excited to see what Google and Opera devs can come up with collaborating on Blink.

All that aside, Morrissey’s solo career may have had its ups and downs, but without it we’d never have had Suedehead or Everyday is like Sunday, and the world would be a much worse place for that alone.

Comment by Greg Rewis

Gotta disagree with you on the vendor prefixes. With a vendor prefix, I could “opt in” on a per browser basis. In other words, if I didn’t like the way a particular browser was handling something – or, due to it lacking support for another property in that browser, the aesthetic of the design might suffer, I could choose not to serve that browser the specific feature.

But if the browser vendor now decides via a flag, it leaves me as the developer with no ability to single out a browser for an alternate presentation – without resorting to JS, of course.

Additionally, we could argue that it will take longer for things to make their way into browsers now, because, without prefixes, the syntax must be completely, utterly, irreversibly written in stone before it’s turned on. With prefixes, we “knew” it might change in the final version of the syntax, but that the prefixed version would continue to work.

Comment by Tiago Silva

With a vendor prefix, I could “opt in” on a per browser basis. In other words, if I didn’t like the way a particular browser was handling something – or, due to it lacking support for another property in that browser, the aesthetic of the design might suffer, I could choose not to serve that browser the specific feature.

But if the browser vendor now decides via a flag, it leaves me as the developer with no ability to single out a browser for an alternate presentation – without resorting to JS, of course.

Shouldn’t the point be to ask the browser what it supports and then adapt your layout to the answer and not the browser?

Comment by Google เปิดตัว Blink เอนจินแสดงผลหน้าเว็บที่จะนำมาใช้แทน WebKit

[...] ส่วน Opera ที่เพิ่งประกาศจะย้ายมาใช้ WebKit มาเมื่อไม่นานก็ออกมาแสดงความคิดเห็นว่า Opera จะร่วมพัฒนาและย้ายไปใช้ Blink ในอนาคต [...]

Comment by 2013/04/04 Blink, Servo…ブラウザ戦争は新たな局面へ – 本日のHTML5とか最新情報 | OpenWeb

[...] 今日はすごい日です。 まずは、GoogleがWebKitをフォークして新たなレンダリングエンジンBlinkを開発すると発表しました。 互換性には最大限の配慮を行いつつ、よりクリーンなコードベース、Chromeのマルチプロセスアーキテクチャに最適化されたエンジンを開発するのが目的のようです。 今後のChromiumはBlinkをベースとして開発が行われますし、Chromiumをベースとして開発されるOperaも、Blinkを採用するのは間違いなさそうです。 (OperaのBruce Lawsonさんの記事より Hello Blink) [...]

Comment by Alex

I do realize you are speaking here in a personal capacity, but are there any public statements from your hamster that you can quote? I would like an insight into what the rodent-geek community feels about this as well.

Comment by Kirk Beard

The removal of vendor prefixes is a great thing! It’s been getting to ridiculous levels of repetition for every new feature having up to 4 prefixes and the actual default value as well.

I really look forward to what comes from the Blink project. I’d also like to know your hamsters official stance on the subject. ;)

Comment by WP8

I hope this wil lead to something good, and not just mess things like Maeomo + intel’s linux (well bad example). Hope olso that opera will brilk browser for Windows Phone platform. It needs browser as speed as blink of an eye.. ;)

Comment by Jodokys

@Alex. @KirkBeard

I believe the hamster’s opinion is already vividly expressed at the bottom of this very page. :)

(IOW, scroll down)

Comment by Browser-Engines: Chrome zukünftig mit „Blink“ statt WebKit, Mozilla und Samsung entwickeln „Servo“

[...] In einem ersten Schritt werde man in Blink die WebKit-Codebasis bereinigen, um Komplexität herauszunehmen und die Anfälligkeit für Bugs zu vermindern. Zukünftig habe man aber auch vor, experimentellere Features auszuprobieren, was vorher nicht möglich war. Unter Umständen entwickle sich Blink mittelfristig in eine gänzlich andere Richtung als WebKit. Der norwegische Browser-Hersteller Opera, der sich erst kürzlich WebKit, genauer gesagt Chromium, für die meisten eigenen Browser-Projekte zugewandt hatten, kündigte an, Googles Bemühungen bei Blink zu unterstützen. [...]

Comment by Carles Andrés

As much as I agree on most of your opinions on web development and browsers, I cannot disagree more on Morrissey. His solo career is full of Smiths-quality songs!!

I am the last of the famooooooous…

Comment by Blink: Google hace un fork de WebKit para Chrome y Opera - FayerWayer

[...] Google anunció que dejará de usar WebKit como su motor de renderización en Chrome. Para reemplazarlo creará su propio motor, llamado “Blink”, que nace de un fork del propio WebKit. La medida busca acelerar el desarrollo de Chrome al reducir su complejidad, asegura Google. En el trabajo también estará involucrado Opera, que “contribuirá a Blink en el futuro” ya que éste será “el nuevo motor que impulse a los navegadores de Opera”, señaló Bruce Lawson, de la firma noruega. [...]

Comment by Blink: Google hace un fork de WebKit para Chrome y Opera

[...] Google anunció que dejará de usar WebKit como su motor de renderización en Chrome. Para reemplazarlo creará su propio motor, llamado “Blink”, que nace de un fork del propio WebKit. La medida busca acelerar el desarrollo de Chrome al reducir su complejidad, asegura Google. En el trabajo también estará involucrado Opera, que “contribuirá a Blink en el futuro” ya que éste será “el nuevo motor que impulse a los navegadores de Opera”, señaló Bruce Lawson, de la firma noruega. [...]

Comment by Blink: Google hace un fork de WebKit para Chrome y Opera | iColectiva – Inteligencia Colectiva

[...] Google anunció que dejará de usar WebKit como su motor de renderización en Chrome. Para reemplazarlo creará su propio motor, llamado “Blink”, que nace de un fork del propio WebKit. La medida busca acelerar el desarrollo de Chrome al reducir su complejidad, asegura Google. En el trabajo también estará involucrado Opera, que “contribuirá a Blink en el futuro” ya que éste será “el nuevo motor que impulse a los navegadores de Opera”, señaló Bruce Lawson, de la firma noruega. [...]

Comment by Blink: Google hace un fork de WebKit para Chrome y Opera | mundoTEKNO

[...] Google anunció que dejará de usar WebKit como su motor de renderización en Chrome. Para reemplazarlo creará su propio motor, llamado “Blink”, que nace de un fork del propio WebKit. La medida busca acelerar el desarrollo de Chrome al reducir su complejidad, asegura Google. En el trabajo también estará involucrado Opera, que “contribuirá a Blink en el futuro” ya que éste será “el nuevo motor que impulse a los navegadores de Opera”, señaló Bruce Lawson, de la firma noruega. [...]

Comment by Terry Phillips

Bruce wrote: “With Presto remaining in the wild until 2020 ….”

What exactly does that mean?

Comment by A good day for web | Blackfox's Burrow

[...] Selain itu beberapa waktu yang lalu ada kabar dari Opera bahwa mereka akan meninggalkan Presto dan beralih ke WebKit. Hari ini diumumkan bahwa Opera akan menggunakan Blink: “It’s great to be able to talk publicly about Blink, the new engine that will power Opera’s browsers (…) and Chrome henceforth. I know a lot of people worried that there would be less diversity on the Web once Opera Presto was retired, and the forking of WebKit into Blink restores that balance. Opera will be contributing to Blink in future.” [Bruce Lawson] [...]

Comment by Bruce

Terry Phillips – Opera is inside lots of Smart TVs. The TV industry estimates a churn of around 7 years, so TVs shipped now will be still used in 2020. Therefore, Presto will still be in the wild until then.

Comment by Blink: Google hace un fork de WebKit para Chrome y Opera | NexoblogNexoblog

[...] Google anunció que dejará de usar WebKit como su motor de renderización en Chrome. Para reemplazarlo creará su propio motor, llamado “Blink“, que nace de un fork del propio WebKit. La medida busca acelerar el desarrollo de Chrome al reducir su complejidad, asegura Google. En el trabajo también estará involucrado Opera, que “contribuirá a Blink en el futuro” ya que éste será “el nuevo motor que impulse a los navegadores de Opera”, señaló Bruce Lawson, de la firma noruega. [...]

Comment by Blink es el nuevo motor de renderización para Chrome y Opera | TecnoGaming - Hardware

[...] Google anunció que dejará de usar WebKit como su motor de renderización en Chrome. Para reemplazarlo creará su propio motor, llamado “Blink“, que nace de un fork del propio WebKit. La medida busca acelerar el desarrollo de Chrome al reducir su complejidad, asegura Google. En el trabajo también estará involucrado Opera, que “contribuirá a Blink en el futuro” ya que éste será “el nuevo motor que impulse a los navegadores de Opera”, señaló Bruce Lawson, de la firma noruega. [...]

Comment by sergiol

Opera — Thank you for the browser

Browser:
I made Speed Dial, in fact I’m a bit of a lord
If ‘u tell a subject, I’ve probably did it before
Look, I have a talent, a wonderful thing
’cause everyone follows when I’m inventing
I’m so grateful and proud
All I want is to sing it out loud

User:
So I say
Thank you for the browser, features I’m using
Thanks for all the joy they’re bringing
Who can dive without it, I ask in all honesty
What would net be?
Without Presto Engine where are we?
So I say thank you for the browser
For giving it to me

Browser:
Older days, I was a runner, others only could walk
Now they’ve I began to bring long before, I could rock!

User:
And I’ve often wondered, how did it all start?
Who found out that nothing can capture a heart
Like an Opera can?
Well, whoever it was, I’m a fan

So I say
Thank you for the browser, features I’m using
Thanks for all the joy they’re bringing
Who can dive without it, I ask in all honesty
What would net be?
Without good Page Zooming where are we?
So I say thank you for the browser
For giving it to me

I’ve been so lucky, I am the user with golden net
I wanna sing it out to everybody
What a joy, what a pride, what a chance!

So I say
Thank you for the browser, features I’m using
Thanks for all the joy they’re bringing
Who can dive without it, I ask in all honesty
What would net be?
Without decent Text Selection where are we?
So I say thank you for the browser
For giving it to me

Based on ABBA — Thank you for the music

Comment by sergiol

two simple questions:
Will new Opera support NTLM?
Will new Opera support text field Auto-Complete?

Comment by Steve Fenton

It makes more sense now than it did when Presto went to sit in the departure lounge. In respect of the “restores the balance” bit, I guess it kind of does – except it depends on how well the two companies get along. If one wants to add something and the other has an objection it could get sticky.

p.s. I predicted the WebKit fork on the day of the Presto announcement. Do I win a prize?

Comment by Sorb

Really, collaborating with Google, the most privacy invasive, copycatting, lame company on the Internet with the worst web browser in the history of the world wide web?

We are just lucky Apple is staying away from this fiasco…

Comment by Google Chrome será Blink

[...] Google Abandonarán el engine WebKit para mostrar las páginas en Google Chrome, reemplazándolo por una versión propia denominada Blink. Según los desarrolladores de Google, de esta manera lograrán acelerar el desarrollo de Chrome y reducir su complejidad.Opera, un browser que recientemente acaba de adoptar a WebKit, también se pasará a Blink. Según lo publicado por su directivo Bruce Lawson, “Opera contribuirá con el desarrollo de Blink en el futuro”. [...]

Comment by W minionym tygodniu (56) « Wiadomości z sieci

[...] Google podjęło decyzję o sforkowaniu silnika HTML WebKit. Blink, jak nazwano nowy projekt, tworzony będzie z myślą o wieloprocesowej architekturze. Deweloperzy WebKita już zaczęli usuwać fragmenty kodu stworzone specjalnie dla przeglądarki Google. Z kolei deweloperzy Opery ogłosili, że ich przeglądarka również będzie korzystać z Blinka. [...]