Opera, which only recently decided to replace its own Presto rendering engine for WebKit, has confirmed that it will be following google and shift to a new rendering engine called Blink. This was after Google made an announcement to fork WebKit and build the new rendering engine
“When we announced the move away from Presto, we announced that we are going with the Chromium package, and the forking and name change have little practical influence on the Opera browsers. So yes, your understanding is correct,” an Opera spokesperson said.
Opera talked about how it would commit to Chromium in Febuary. By adopting it, Opera was making the decision to stop development of its own rendering engine in order to free up resources to develop new features and build new products.
“Now that we are using off-the-shelf components [like Webkit], it makes sense for our engineers to focus on what’s valuable rather than building something in parallel, We feel that we can swap the engines behind our browsers quite easily, which will enable us to build even better products for our 300 million users.” Opera CTO Hakon Wium Lie Said
While Opera is the smallest of the five major players in the desktop browser space, it is a big player in mobile. The upcoming switch to Blink means developers of mobile sites won’t have much of a choice but to ensure they work with multiple rendering engines. Many sites mainly target WebKit exclusively, but given that Blink will be a fork of WebKit, supporting it shouldn’t be too much of a hassle.
We know very little about Blink right now, but it is clear the new rendering engine is open source. With both Chrome and Opera using it, we wouldn’t be surprised if other browser vendors choose to adopt it one day as well, much like the trend has been with WebKit, until today.