Google has announced that it will stop using the industry standard WebKit for its Chrome browser, and instead, opt for its own rendering engine called Blink.
"This was not an easy decision," Google said in a blog post. "We know that the introduction of a new rendering engine can have significant implications for the web. Nevertheless, we believe that having multiple rendering engines - similar to having multiple browsers - will spur innovation and over time improve the health of the entire open web ecosystem."
Google wants to have control over any underlying changes to its browser technology. Given that WebKit is open source and not directly controlled by Google, issues could arise some day down the line. Interestingly, WebKit was spurred by Apple development in 2005. Blink will be open source as well, but will allow qualified developers to submit only if chosen by Google.
Blink presumably won't bring any noticeable user interface changes to users on Chrome, it's mostly under the hood. Over time, Google will be moving Chrome and Chrome OS away from WebKit and evolve in "different directions", focusing on speed and stability. It's not clear how long the process will take.
As noted by The Verge, it is very possible Google will support "out of process iframes", as it was mentioned on the Blink website. This means that when one part of the web page dies (like a Flash frame), the whole web page won't die with it.
fork fork fork forking fork. Just say it a few times and it starts to sound .... dirty. ;) But then I blink and the world is good.— Frank X. Shaw (@fxshaw) April 3, 2013
UPDATE Opera has confirmed to The Next Web that it too will ditch WebKit for Blink.
Are you a web developer? What do you think of Google's changes?