Mozilla yesterday announced that it entered a partnership with Samsung to develop a new rendering engine called Servo and if that was not enough excitement already for the technical inclined, Google and Opera too announced that they would be replacing WebKit in their browsers with the new rendering engine Blink.
Before we look at that closer, we should take a look at some of the terminology so that everyone can understand the implications. A rendering engine determines among other things how a website is rendered in the browser. Mozilla is using Gecko as a rendering engine, while Opera up until now used Presto, and Google with its Chrome browser WebKit.
Another likely reason though is that the fork is the result of a power struggle between Google and Apple. It is not clear who is to blame, and if there is anyone to blame for it, as there are reports that Google refused to contribute their multiprocess support to WebKit while others state that Apple pushed out WebKit2 with no prior notice or collaboration. So, control may have played a role in the decision making process as well.
The rendering engine Blink is a WebKit fork which means that it will use the same code base initially. The Blink team plans to optimize it though making it leaner and slimmer in the process which may have an effect on overall stability and bugs experienced. Blink will be Open Source and welcome outside contributors as much as Chromium or WebKit do.
Developers and users won't notice much of a difference for now, even though it is likely that Google will begin to ship Blink in the Canary and Dev builds of the browser soon before the new rendering engine lands in the Beta and Stable versions of the browser eventually.
Google's and Opera's move to Blink increases the number of rendering engines back to four when you look at the top five browsers for the Windows operating system.
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