Google has decided that its WebKit days are over. After paying the proper respects to the rendering engine that made it all possible, Google has announced that it's forking WebKit into Blink.
Google Chrome has proven to be a very powerful contender and it's now one the most utilized Internet browsers. This achievement was possible because the Webkit rendering engine is a very flexible one, giving the developers a lot of leeway.
According to Google, Chromium (the open source project that is the base for Google Chrome) uses a different multi-process architecture than other WebKit-based browsers. This means that over the years, the complexity of the WebKit and Chromium projects has increased dramatically.
Blink is a new open source rendering engine, based on WebKit, that will provide a greater control for the development of the Chromium and Google Chrome projects.
“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,” reads the official announcement.
The Blink rendering engine will benefit from complete transparency. Developers will be able to use the Chromium Bug Tracker and Rietveld (Chromium's code review tool).
The most important aspect of Blink is that it won't make much of a difference for the average user and even the developers will find it rather familiar.
“The bulk of the initial work will focus on internal architectural improvements and a simplification of the codebase. For example, we anticipate that we’ll be able to remove 7 build systems and delete more than 7,000 files—comprising more than 4.5 million lines—right off the bat. Over the long term a healthier codebase leads to more stability and fewer bugs,” stated Adam Barth, software engineer, in the announcement.
It's unclear when the new versions of Google Chrome, based on Blink, reach the end-user, but most likely, we will not be able to tell the difference.