Google's Blink engine (gently) hints at a more streamlined future for Chrome

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Google's Blink engine gently hints at a more streamlined future for Chrome

Word that Google had decided to fork WebKit and build its own rendering engine is still echoing through the spidery halls of the internet. The true ramifications aren’t entirely clear yet, but Opera has pledged to embrace Blink and WebKit is already talking about removing Chrome-specific code from its repositories. This doesn’t necessarily indicate a seismic shift in the industry, but it certainly suggests that we won’t be looking at a world so thoroughly dominated by the direct descendant of KHTML. At least at first, the new entrant won’t actually deviate much from WebKit. Primarily the focus will be on stripping away unnecessary code and files to streamline the rendering engine specifically for Chrome. Obviously, this won’t prevent other developers from using Blink, since the project is open source. But Google has been pretty up front about the rationale behind the fork — the multi-process architecture favored by Chromium-based projects is quite different than that used in other WebKit browsers. This has, to put it in the plainest terms possible, kinda gummed up the works.

Blink is about 10 weeks away from landing in the stable version of Chrome (it’s expected to be turned on by default in version 28), but it’s already available as part of the Canary build. We downloaded the experimental browser and spent some time with it in an effort to identify what, if anything, was different. Keep reading after the break to find out just what Google has bought by shedding some of WebKit’s baggage.

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