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.