Tag Archives: WebKit

The Pros And Cons Of A WebKit Monoculture

The Pros And Cons Of A WebKit Monoculture

More on WebKit Monoculture debate.

I’m glad to hear Mozilla won’t abandon Gecko anytime soon.

The most vocal opposition to this kind of monoculture has come from Mozilla, which is obviously heavily invested in its own Gecko engine and Servo, its forthcoming successor. Mozilla CTO Brendan Eich argues that monoculture is a problem Mozilla must fight because of its mission. Adding to this, Mozilla engineer Steve Fink argued that an all-WebKit web – both on mobile and desktop – would prevent innovation and lead to a small number of companies controlling the web as a platform and just lead to added complexity and confusion in the long run.

Also, Opera had no choice.

Even Opera, in its own announcement, argued that “monoculture is bad,” but then also added a somewhat defeatist note to this, saying that it “was never really in a position to prevent it in the first place,” because despite its considerable market share on mobile, “web developers still designed just for WebKit.”

WebKit, the new standard, is more troublesome than IE?

Opera decided to ditch its Presto engine and change its rendering engine to WebKit, so now the major web browsers except IE(use Trident) and Firefox(use Gecko) is using WebKit.

WebKit is a open source web rendering engine started by Apple based on KDE’s KHTML. (Wikipedia) Apple Safari and Google Chrome browsers use it, and now it has the most market share at over 40%.


However, Dave Methvin, the president of the jQuery foundation and a member of the core programming team, complains that WebKit is broken as older IE versions.

Tragedy of the WebKit Commons

Each release of Chrome or Safari generates excitement about new bleeding-edge features; nobody seems to worry about the stuff that’s already (still!) broken. jQuery Core has more lines of fixes and patches for WebKit than any other browser. In general these are not recent regressions, but long-standing problems that have yet to be addressed.

jQuery is a widely used JavaScript library to handle multiple browsers, and he claims that WebKit requires more patches than others.

On the other hand, Peter Kasting, a developer of Chromium, left a comment :

It’s not clear from your blog post: are the majority of the bugs you’re complaining about things that are still broken on the WebKit trunk? Or things that you have to hack around because of the number of out-of-date WebKit-based UAs? If the former, are there bugs on file at bugs.webkit.org?

I ask this because we spend a lot of time fixing bugs in each release, and if there are major problems we’re missing, then I’d like to ensure they get triaged and investigated properly. But the complaint you write here isn’t really actionable, because it’s short on details.

Yes. WebKit is a open source project, and anyone can report a bug and anyone can commit a bug fix. Also, the bug reports are available on the public. WebKit may have many problems, but what kind of SW wouldn’t? Still I think WebKit is better than a closed, proprietary software from MS.

Anyway, the competition between the three rendering engines will be better than a monopoly.