updated 06:27 pm EDT, Wed April 3, 2013
Move aims to streamline innovation
Google has introduced its own browser rendering engine, Blink, that will serve as Chrome's alternative to the WebKit2 engine used by competing browsers such as Safari. The search giant suggests its WebKit-based engine will enable developers to streamline innovation, eliminating approximately 4.5 million lines of code and thousands of files that only serve to support WebKit2's features, according to an Ars Technica report.
"Over the years, supporting multiple architectures has led to increasing complexity for both the WebKit and Chromium communities, slowing down the collective pace of innovation," Google said in a developer FAQ. "In addition, this gives us an opportunity to do open-ended investigations into other performance improvement strategies."
The company also suggests the move will help increase diversity in web standards, helping to avoid "stagnation" in a WebKit monoculture. WebKit has already become implemented in different ways between various browsers, with varying levels of compatibility.
"It is our firm belief that more options in rendering engines will lead to more innovation and a healthier web ecosystem," the developer FAQ adds.
Addressing concerns over even more fragmentation in the mobile browser market, Google claims it will be focusing on maintaining the same release schedule and high performance that its users have come to expect from the desktop Chrome edition. Stronger policies surrounding new features and the use of vendor prefixes are also designed to ensure compatibility with other browsers without stifling innovation from developers.
The company has yet to announce a specific release schedule for the Blink engine.