webkit originally comes from the KDE project and was known as KHTML (with its KJS companion).. they basically showed the world that a decent HTML renderer can be written in nice-API-C++-code (Qt-style-nice-API) and with limited resources.
how long did Mozilla take to make Netscapes ancient codebase usable? it took forever!
and chrome+safari+android+iOS >= 40% of the browser market. wow.
anyway, lets also thank the KDE project that booted it. :)