Opera using Webkit

Opera announced today that they would be using Webkit as their rendering engine. Some people did not like that move and voiced concerns on their favorite social networks, bemoaning the lack of competition and diversity in the browser space.

Are you fucking kidding me!?

Competition and Diversity brought us the great browser wars. Competition is good if you want differentiation but if

  • The goal is to conform to standards as strictly as possible
  • Differentiation in rendering isn't driving sales (not that you were earning anything with the browser to begin with)

having four Teams (Webkit, Firefox, IE, Opera) working on different solutions to the same problems is a huge waste of effort that could much better be spent moving Webkit lightyears ahead.

Differentiation is good for selling cars, but not for implementing technical specifications.

One thought on “Opera using Webkit

  1. I think you misrepresented why web standards advocates and also browser engineers regret this move.

    Opera Software could never really compete with other browser vendors on the user market, but plays an important role in the standardization process at W3C and WHATWG, in innovation (mobile browsers, prototyping new UI concepts and web specifications) and regarding early implementation feedback. It was a huge win for the Web that Opera maintained its own engine that worked a bit differently – often more stricter and standards-compliant than other engines.

    Also, when people are talking about diversity, they aren’t talking about wrong rendering and not supporting standards. This is a misconception. Having several engines doesn’t mean differentiation in a negative sense.

    Why are four teams too much? With billions of people using the Web, three remaining engines isn’t quite much. Also, you might ask, why create more than one standards-compliant, open source implementation at all?

    I doubt that the Opera team can “move WebKit lightyears ahead”. WebKit is already supported by Apple, Google, Adobe, RIM, HP, Nokia… Opera will just make another WebKit-based browser, but won’t get much influence on WebKit.

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