Opera Browser Switching to WebKit

Today it was announced that the Opera web browser will be switching to WebKit.  It still amazes me that WebKit has done so well.  It basically owns the modern mobile device browser market, via Android and iOS.  Ten years ago when WebKit was first announced as part of the initial Safari launch I would not have guessed that it would go on to be so popular.

Other posts about the Opera transition to WebKit worth reading are WebKit is the jQuery of Browser Engines by John Resig and Opera and WebKit: a personal perspective by Bruce Lawson ( who wrote the Opera announcement too ).

On top of that the report on the activity of companies in the WebKit project was really interesting.  There are fair number of different companies contributing to WebKit now, though not too surprising that Apple and Google are the two biggest groups currently.  I’d expect to see the Opera folks take up a strong third position on that list in the next year or two.


  1. This is indeed an interesting move. I have however seen a lot of negativity from the Mozilla folks, or even TBL himself (thru a RT).

    What I find the most fascinating is that it will be completely transparent for Opera to move to Webkit just because the web was built on open protocols, with a strong decoupling between the browsers and the web apps. This kind of change would not be possible if the websites we use and love were built custom for a specific type of browser, OS or device. I just hope it stays the same, despite the strong temptation my many web devs to just add Webkit specific features to their apps.

  2. It does make me wonder what the internal discussions for Firefox and IE look like after this announcement. I don’t see either of them wanting to switch to WebKit. I think Opera was able to justify this move in part because it frees up more of their people to make the parts of their browser surrounding the rendering engine better.

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