Servo & Blink

The world, back in late march, knew 3-4 popular browser engines: WebKit, the engine that once was created by Apple (based on KDEs1 KHTML&KJS) and picked up by Google for their own Chrome browser2, Mozillas’ Gecko3, and Microsofts engine for (mobile) IE104. The fourth one, for the curious ones, would be Opera Softwares ‘Presto’, which Opera is replacing by WebKit in order to achieve better rendering, especially of mobile Webpages, where Apples mobile Safari alone has a huge market share.
Now, as of April 6th, there are 2 more entries to the list.

One is Blink by Google, the other is Servo5. Servo has in fact been around for a while – the huge news is that it is now backed by Samsung6 and is still pretty much a research project. Blink, being a WebKit-fork, is expected rather soonishly – it will ship with Chrome 28 in about three months.

In the short term, Blink will bring little change for web developers. The bulk of the initial work will focus on internal architectural improvements and a simplification of the codebase.


But what is this all about? Mostly it is about better support for multicores and security improvements that become more and necessary as the web evolves into a real application platform.

  1. the Linux Desktop K Desktop Environment. []
  2. and Chrome OS plus the open source development projects dubbed Chromium & Chromium OS []
  3. developed based on open sourced Netscape Code, and used for Firefox and Mozillas new mobile OS Firefox OS []
  4. Microsoft Internet Explorer, often confused with ‘the internet’. []
  5. Read this Arstechnica article to find out more on Servo. []
  6. who are developing their own HTML5-based OS with Intel called Tizen. []