Before we wrote a single line of what would become WebKit2 we directly asked Google folks if they would be willing to contribute their multiprocess support back to WebKit, so that we could build on it. They said no.
At that point, our choices were to do a hostile fork of Chromium into the WebKit tree, write our own process model, or live with being single-process forever. (At the time, there wasn't really an API-stable layer of the Chromium stack that packaged the process support.)
Writing our own seemed like the least bad approach.
If Google had upstreamed their multiprocess support, we almost surely would have built on it. And history might have turned out differently.
I'd also add that I disagree with Mike about the architectures being really different. In fact, they are quite similar in broad strokes, but with many differences in details (and with the significant difference that the Chromium model isn't in WebKit per se).
I don't know if the contents of these conversations were ever shared with the whole Chrome team as som Chrome people seemed super surprised at our announcement.
It is true that when we announced our effort, it came with a rough working prototype and not just an empty directory. Basically because we did not know if we could do it until we tried.
BTW I am not trying to pick a fight here. I think mikewest's comment gave the impression that Apple built a multiprocess architecture out of cussedness or NIH. But that's not how it was.
Google had the right to make their choices and we had the right to make ours.
Yes, I'm aware of that, but the work had been underway for a long time and was about to be dropped by the time there was a real heads up. So the core of the architecture was already being frozen from a larger perspective.
>BTW I am not trying to pick a fight here. I think mikewest's comment gave the impression that Apple built a multiprocess architecture out of cussedness or NIH. But that's not how it was.
I don't interpret Mike's comments that way. Chromium's architecture was public and available, but we assumed it wasn't used because it didn't fit the needs of WebKit2. There's no malice in that. We designed Chromium from the beginning for SFI (as Adam tried to convey), and that incurs quite a bit of complexity. I'm comfortable that the divergence was simply a result of different needs. I just don't see how it could be presented as something malicious or anti-collaborative.
Are you aware of the earlier conversation that occurred before we wrote any lines of code or even had a name? Where we talked about the possibility of just using Chromium's model if Google was willing to contribute it back? I have mentioned it twice - maybe you overlooked those parts of my remarks.
> Chromium's architecture was public and available, but we assumed it wasn't used because it didn't fit the needs of WebKit2. There's no malice in that. We designed Chromium from the beginning for SFI (as Adam tried to convey), and that incurs quite a bit of complexity.
It had nothing to do with SFI (which wasn't brought up at the time) or complexity. It was for the reasons I stated upthread.
The Chromium code is all in a public repository and was already integrated into WebKit via Chrome's platform layer. Members of the Chrome team were also interested in helping better incorporate Chrome's model into WebKit. So, I must be misunderstanding you, because it seems like you're suggesting that you expected Chrome engineers to simply do all the work.
>It had nothing to do with SFI (which wasn't brought up at the time) or complexity. It was for the reasons I stated upthread.
I still don't get what that reason is supposed to be. Regardless, the resulting WebKit2 design was clearly incompatible with the existing Chrome architecture. And the fact that they were continuing to diverge and place a burden on both projects was a clear problem. This was raised repeatedly, but never seemed to receive any serious consideration.
I regret that this thread has turned into such a back-and-forth. It's not my goal to detract from the Blink announcement. I feel like it would be rude to leave you hanging on mid-thread. However, I feel like:
(a) You are trying to argue with my version of specific events where I was present in person and you (as far as I recall) were not.
(b) You are trying to argue with my stated motivations for decisions that I was part of and you were not.
(c) You seem to want to assign blame.
Maybe my impressions are wrong. But given this, I find it hard to reply in a way that would be constructive and would not further escalate. I hope you will forgive me for not debating about it further.
In light of this, your initial "if Google had only upstreamed their multiprocess support...we almost surely" and reiterations on this point within the thread do seem a bit like PR sleight of hand, since out of context it implies willingness to do so was the only issue on their part.
2) My recollection is that we talked about it around a year after Chrome was released.
Chrome Beta release date: September 2, 2008
Date of WebKit2 announcement: Thu Apr 8, 2010 (after <1 year of development)
I don't have records of the meetings where we walked though.
3) Does the reason for saying no affect whether our choice to make our own thing was reasonable?
This is somewhat moot with 1) and 2) being the case (or at the very least strongly perceived to be the case on your side). At any rate neither side being able to settle on a single version of events signals a communication problem, which makes the whole value of this hypothetical joint undertaking fuzzy anyway.
Nah, you're not misunderstanding, Apple/WebKit has a track record of doing this.
To be clear, I do not consider Blink to be a hostile fork. I wish the Blink developers good luck & godspeed.
As long as the license allows it and the maintainer is not burdened in any way, no?
Compare to forking to solve a very specific or specialized problem that doesn't make sense to merge upstream, like a set of changes that only apply to a very narrow audience or esoteric use-case. In such a case, it's common that changes that do affect the main project are still merged upstream and special care is done to make sure the forks don't diverge too much.
I always believed (hoped) you guys would never be corrupted and do the right thing for the world and not be swayed by organizational affinities / commercial gains.
You have a greater responsibility than to your company or country to keep the web open.
Think on that before you have a further public 'kiddy debate' on she said / he said and throwing the rattle out of the pram.