> 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.