Maybe because anyone who has used Safari knows that WebKit2's multiprocess architecture is worse in practice. As a full-time Safari user I can tell you that things have gotten markedly worse since it went multiprocess. Pages go white momentarily (not crash) all the time, and on top of that they also crash all the time. Additionally, I believe that unlike Chrome, Safari has ONE separate process for all the tabs, and the render process (whereas Chrome tries one-process per tab -- way better in my opinion).
Just out of curiosity, why do you think WebKit2 is the "standard"? Just because they named it "WebKit2"? Had Google named their multi-process version "WebKitB" would it be equally standard? It certainly came FIRST (I think it took WebKit2 years before it had an answer).
I think this is a success of open source. Was the creation of WebKit a failure of Mozilla open source? Of course not. Sometimes you need to just actually test two ideas instead of discussing them.
EDIT: Upon further inspection, I think current Safari isn't even using WebKit2. The wiki still says it should be considered a "technology demo", and exists largely in parallel to WebKit. So whatever multi-process thing its doing now I guess is separate? It's not clear to me.
EDIT 2: I guess it is using WebKit2, so my criticisms stand.
Wikipedia says WebKit2 has been part of Safari since Safari 5.1 which I believe was released with Lion, or so. So it absolutely is in production. The major difference here being that WebKit2 is part of the webkit project, so as the rendering engine (which sits atop both webkit1 and webkit2) is improved by all the various parties involved in WebKit's development, it gets better for everyone. Google's fork now means that changes to the rendering engine they make to Blink will no longer have any effect on the WebKit project, which does seem to be a major difference.
I don't know all the history here, but my understanding is that Chrome's engine was never offered in that same sort of way. It was just part of the chromium project, apparently a part that increased the difficulty of integrating with WebKit, not an api intended to be taken by others and integrated into their browser.
> The major difference here being that WebKit2 is part of the webkit project, so as the rendering engine (which sits atop both webkit1 and webkit2) is improved by all the various parties involved in WebKit's development, it gets better for everyone. Google's fork now means that changes to the rendering engine they make to Blink will no longer have any effect on the WebKit project, which does seem to be a major difference.
It also means that the work they do on the rendering engine for Blink won't be constrained by the constraints imposed by support the various WebKit implementations.
Well that's ultimately kind of sad, right? It's certainly not the argument that was made in this blog post, but it certainly is a believable one. WebKit is a giant open source project that is relied upon by many many different companies and Google contributed a lot to that. Now they are gone and all those companies are left continuing to build WebKit with a goal of interoperability between the myriad different clients while Google takes their ball and goes home and only works on their own platforms.
Why is it sad for Chrome development not to be held back by WebKit when each project prefers a different approach?
Personally, I think its win-win: Chrome and WebKit, which have conflicting approaches to a variety of different issues, are free to take their own approaches and prove them. This is a good thing for progress.
> It's certainly not the argument that was made in this blog post, but it certainly is a believable one.
Its actually exactly what the post says when it says "However, Chromium uses a different multi-process architecture than other WebKit-based browsers, and supporting multiple architectures over the years has led to increasing complexity for both the WebKit and Chromium projects. This has slowed down the collective pace of innovation - so today, we are introducing Blink, a new open source rendering engine based on WebKit."
Forking happens all the time and is natural: good since you can go your own way, bad since you no longer contribute to the mainline. Its like speciation in that way, where some group of animals splits off and stops mating with (and hence evolving with) another group of animals.
>The major difference here being that WebKit2 is part of the webkit project, so as the rendering engine (which sits atop both webkit1 and webkit2) is improved by all the various parties involved in WebKit's development, it gets better for everyone.
That's in theory. In practice nobody bothered besides Apple.
You're right that Chrome's multiprocess architecture is more mature than the WebKit2 design. I wish we hadn't ended up in a position where we felt we had to make our own. But stay tuned - we have some great stuff coming up.
Like most things, habit probably. Also, I used to work a lot on Safari/WebKit, so I guess sentimental value?
That being said, I do like the way Safari "feels" a lot more than Chrome. I think Chrome is actually quite ugly, and bad from a UI perspective. For example, Safari's overflow tab menu is a much nicer solution than Chrome's insistence on shrinking tabs ever smaller until you can't tell them apart at all.
Additionally Chrome is missing a killer feature I use all the time: zoom, and more specifically, double tap to zoom. I find it hard to read a lot of text on websites, and double tap, centered, zoom, is amazing. Its too bad everything else feels like its gotten way worse in the last 5 or so years.
I also use Safari pretty much exclusively because I like the UI over Chrome, but the one feature I love about Chrome is its tab closing/resizing. When a tab is closed, the remaining tabs resize and shift appropriately so that your mouse is over the next tab's close button. (See http://www.theinvisibl.com/2009/12/08/chrometabs for a nice explanation.)
I actually prefer Firefox's approach to multiple tabs: the tab bar scrolls (you can use the scroll wheel). That's about the only thing I like in Firefox anymore though… Been using Chrome because of its multi-user support (tied in with Google accounts) but Safari is soooo much better than Chrome in terms of UI and UX… Latest Chrome betas, with the full integration of the address bar as a full-blown "Google box" (e.g. you start typing, it loads Google Instant Search without the page's classic search box)…
I meant "smooth zoom" I guess? I can pinch in from anywhere on the page and center in on any particular item at any particular zoom level. Unless I've missed something, Chrome seems to have "integral" stepwise zooming, which also always zooms from the center of the page (vs where my mouse cursor is). It ends up feeling like Safari's old zoom which would just make the individual items bigger (as opposed to actually scaling the page), but I'm pretty sure Chrome is indeed scaling the page, just doing it in a way that I find frustrating and less useful.
Another example, I'm watching an embedded YouTube video which thus annoyingly doesn't allow fullscreen, so I double tap it, and it fills the browser window, and it seems to be smart enough to render at correct resolution at that scale (since it still allows you to choose a higher resolution even though it won't full screen).
To do similar feats with Chrome I have to manually jigger things around.
Safari is the only browser that has decent scrolling performance on a Retina MacBook. All the other browsers stutter really badly as soon as the page has any complexity with fixed elements (Facebook is a big one)
That's a case where Apple has to optimize the heck out of Safari until it is workable on that particular new machine, otherwise it would get terrible reviews and hurt the overall brand.
Chrome doesn't have the same incentives to get that particular machine working well, especially since the next revision of the Retina Macbook probably won't even need special handling since it will surely have a more powerful GPU. They can just wait it out, similar to what happened with the iPad 3 vs iPad 4, where people had to optimize for the iPad 3 and then those optimizations were unneeded on the iPad 4.
I can confirm what tolmasky said about WebKit2, yet I'm also a Safari user. The interface just feels better for me, and Chrome has actually been getting worse in this respect. When I stopped using it, a few versions ago, it had started feeling more and more like a Chrome OS VM than like a browser on my Mac. I doubt they've changed course since then.