Google’s Search for Speed Means Dumping WebKit

The big G has announced that it’s dropping WebKit in favour of a new fork of the current code called Blink. Google hopes to enhance the code base to create a more concise and elegant solution that should lead to a faster and more secure browser.

WebKit has become increasingly complex over the last few years, meaning it’s harder to maintain; squeezing extra speed out of the code has become more and more challenging. Google feels it’s no longer possible to sustain WebKit.

Incredibly, Google estimates that it can remove about 4.5 million lines of code in 7,000 files from WebKit by cleaning out old and unused features that have accumulated due to its wide adoption. Blink should then be easier to maintain, using Google’s rolling update formula.

Having another browser engine can only be a good thing – driving competition and forcing higher standards among developers. Everyone loves more speed. [chromiumblog]

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