Opera flips to WebKit as it focuses on smartphones
By Nicole Kobie
Posted on 13 Feb 2013 at 09:49
Opera has confirmed it will stop developing its own rendering engine in favour of WebKit.
At the moment, the Norwegian browser develops its own rendering engine, rather than use the WebKit engine used by many other browsers, including Safari and Chrome.
Opera said the changes were "primarily an under the hood change", but said users should see better site compatibility.
One change developers may notice is Chromium supports the WebM, Ogg Theora and Ogg Vorbis media codecs, but does not support H.254 or MP3 codecs.
The WebKit engine is already very good, and we aim to take part in making it even better
Opera said it originally made its own rendering engine in an effort to drive standards, but said that's now best done via WebKit.
"The WebKit engine is already very good, and we aim to take part in making it even better," said the chief technology officer of Opera Software, Håkon Wium Lie. "It supports the standards we care about, and it has the performance we need."
"It makes more sense to have our experts working with the open source communities to further improve WebKit and Chromium, rather than developing our own rendering engine further," he said, adding Opera will start contributing to the WebKit and Chromium open source communities, and has already submitted a patch to improve multi-column layout.
"The shift to WebKit means more of our resources can be dedicated to developing new features and the user-friendly solutions that can be expected from a company that invented so many of the features that are today being used by everyone in the browser industry," he added.
The transition will be gradual, Opera said. The first browser to switch will be the smartphone browsers, but others will start to move over with their next updates.
The move was expected after Opera showed off an experimental browser running WebKit called ICE last month. "As a leading innovator in browsers, we are very excited that ICE received such great buzz," Wium Lie said.
Wium Lie said Opera will share more about the ICE project in the future, and will reveal its Android browser at Mobile World Congress at the end of the month.
Opera also revealed it has hit the 300 million milestone, including all monthly users across its phone, tablet, TV and PC browsers.
Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera Software, said the browsers saw the "fastest acceleration in user growth" in the last little while. "Now, we are shifting into the next gear to claim a bigger piece of the pie in the smartphone market."
- Google Glass: mugger bait, pub problem and other lessons learned from two dangerous weeks
- Twitter, please don't fiddle with my feed
- How Satya Nadella can get some pay-raise karma
- Windows 10: a step back to go forward
- Michael Dell: Cloud infrastructure is the roads, bridges and highways of the 21st century
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office