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On Presto

These thoughts aren’t especially well-formed, and/as I haven’t had my coffee yet.

So with that disclaimer out of the way, I have to say I’m a bit disappointed to hear Opera’s news: namely, that they’re abandoning their browser’s Presto engine, and adopting WebKit/Chromium instead.

Other folks far, far smarter than I have already weighed in. And don’t get me wrong: I’ve had my fair share of gripes with various bugs in Chromium (especially recently), but it’s a fantastic piece of software; as a friend said recently, ten-years-ago-me would’ve killed to have browsers as fine as we do now.

But right now, what I’m most worried about is the lack of diversity: four rendering engines is not exactly a large number, and going to three is a significant shift, if not an outright loss. Additionally, I worry we’re already facing a rather “well, it works with -webkit, so why worry about anything else?” mentality, which is something we’ll have to work harder to combat. Especially with an engine as fragmented as Webkit.

Of course, since the news is all of, like, minutes old, this is all speculation. Hell, it’s not even that: this is all just a pre-caffeine ramble, and not an especially well-formed one at that. I will say that Bruce’s take leaves me feeling hopeful. And I hope he’s right, and I’m wrong to be a bit disappointed. But right now, I know there’s one less (fantastic) rendering engine in active development, and that makes me a little sad.

This is a blog entry posted on day 13035 in the Journal.

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