In a very surprising move this week, Opera browser executives have announced a gradual transition away from their native engine to the WebKit rendering engine in their browsers.
WebKit, if you don’t know, is an open source browser engine that is used most famously in the Safari and Chrome / Chromium browsers. Because of the massive amounts of use and support, it is being actively developed at breakneck speeds.
Opera, while still attaining 300 million active users per month, has had problems with speed in comparison lately. Rather than work on their own in house browsing engine any further, they decided to contribute to a larger project instead in hopes that it will be mutually beneficial.
In addition, Opera has announced plans to contribute code to the Chromium project. Chromium is the open source component behind Google’s incredibly successful chrome browsers. Opera hopes that this contribution as well will be mutually beneficial to both chromium and opera. At the end of the day, Opera is still a competing browser option. A little competition is good though, and Opera still has features it could bring to the table that Chrome or Firefox might not have at it’s disposal.
Since Valentines Day is coming up, it’s nice to see a little love between great projects. I wish them the best.
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