What comes after Webkit?

It seemed like we had come to a point where Webkit was the default browser engine for all popular browsers and platforms. Having “standardised” on Webkit of course has a lot of advantages. Because of that, I was very surprised to read that Mozilla and Samsung have announced working on their next web browser engine as well as the Chromium team.

Mozilla and Samsung regarding Servo:

Servo is an attempt to rebuild the Web browser from the ground up on modern hardware, rethinking old assumptions along the way. This means addressing the causes of security vulnerabilities while designing a platform that can fully utilize the performance of tomorrow’s massively parallel hardware to enable new and richer experiences on the Web. To those ends, Servo is written in Rust, a new, safe systems language developed by Mozilla along with a growing community of enthusiasts.

Chromium team regarding Blink:

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 guess the time has come to start re-thinking browser engines in a multi-process architecture. In this context, I find it particularly interesting to see how Samsung – an important partner of Google when it comes to Android – has teamed up with Mozilla. I guess it is one more indication that Samsung is taking steps to be less dependent upon Google.


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