Google has announced that it is working on a new WebKit rendering engine that it calls Blink. The company's developers believe that they can speed up the pace of innovation if they have their own rendering engine. “It has gotten to a point now where we think everybody could move faster if we didn't have to share the same code base for these different architectures,” explained Google's Linus Upson. “There is some advantage to sharing the same code base and you get efficiency of scale from doing that but there is also the cost of supporting different browsers, different ports, different architectures.”
The announcement is noteworthy in light of Opera's recent move to embrace WebKit and Chromium. Some believe Google's decision will lead to healthy competition and strengthen the role of standards bodies like the W3C. However, others are concerned about fragmentation.
Blink will be part of Google's Chromium project, and the company has promised to continue releasing the code under an open source license.