Google Has Already Removed 8.8M Lines Of WebKit Code From Blink

Posted: May 16, 2013 in Google, GT
Tags: , , , ,

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Google’s decision to fork WebKit and launch its own
Blink rendering engine came as a surprise when the
company made the announcement just over a month
ago. Yesterday at the Google I/O developer
conference, the Blink team provided an update about
the state of the engine. As Alex Komoroske, a product manager on Chrome’s Open Web Platform
told the audience, the team has already removed 8.8
million lines of code from the original WebKit
repository. When Google first announced this move, the
company argued that it was doing so because WebKit
had become somewhat unwieldy to maintain because
of the wide range of platforms it needs to support. In
the process, WebKit development slowed down for all
of the partners involved. The fork, the Blink team told me at the time, would allow them to “remove 7 build
systems and delete more than 7,000 files—
comprising more than 4.5 million lines—right off the
bat.” Clearly, Google has been moving quickly to
identify even more code in the WebKit source. This not just about removing the crud from WebKit for
the sake of it, however. The team argues that just
over the last month, this move to Blink has already
made all of the developers who are working on Blink
far more productive than ever. Indeed, they argued
that they don’t really need to hire more people now that they are going it alone because the individual
developers are so much more productive. The Blink team is already doing more than just
removing code, too. Google also talked about a
number of Blink experiments it is working on,
including Oilpan, which tests putting DOM nodes in a
garbage-collected heap, and Lazy Block Layout,
which examines how the engine can speed up the rendering process for large web applications by just
focusing on the parts of a site that are actually
currently on the screen. In one demo, this system
helped the team to bring down the rendering time of a
very large page from 4 seconds to 32ms. The team also noted that it’s already getting support
from other companies that want to contribute,
including Adobe, Intel and Microsoft, which just
yesterday submitted a formal Intent to Implement to the Blink team to bring its Pointer Events API for
interoperable mouse, touch, and pen interactions in
the browser.

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