Is Blink the new IE6?

Bruce Lawson

Is Blink the new IE6?

Bruce Lawson

bruce in front of 'HTML' sign


The Big Question

We all loved IE6 which gave us web monoculture. Are we repeating the same mistakes again with Blink?
great big disclaimer
graph showing Opera is 3rd largest committer to Blink after Google and Samsung


don't be a sock-puppet! We do a ton of stupid stuff all the time and need constructive criticism for Blink to be more awesome for everyone involved. Bring it on!
painting of roman debating chamber

Ancient history

tomsbtone 'Netscape RIP murdered by Internet Explorer'
roman bust of bearded man

Evil sysadmins

roman soldier with large wooden catapult machine

Enterprise software vendors

huge crowd at anti-war demo in London
IE6 no screenshot

But actually …

netscape 4.5 splash screen

Market leader

An open letter from WaSP

TWO YEARS AGO, when your market share was still high as a kite, you pledged to fully support five key standards in the next version of your browser

At last you are talking about shipping product by the end of the year. Sounds great – except that it’s the wrong year.

If you fail now, the web will essentially belong to a single company. And for once, nobody will be able to blame them for “competing unfairly.”

So please, for your own good, and the good of the web, deliver on your promises while Netscape 6 still has the chance to make a difference.
For the Good of the Web: An Open Letter to Netscape 20/7/2000
Betalemania screaming girls with IE6 poster
sailor giving IE6 a kiss

The critics loved it!

Internet Explorer 6 beta shows great promise
Tech Republic
IE6 kissing Rose on Titanic
Microsoft Internet Explorer offers few quirks and many superb features... After introducing IE-only layout features such as scrolling marquees and colored table borders in earlier versions, Microsoft is now committed to the standards set by the World Wide Web Consortium.
IE6 kissing Rose on Titanic

WaSP loved it!

IE6 for Windows delivers fine support for HTML 4, CSS-1, and other important W3C standards.
IE6 kissing Rose on Titanic

Everybody loved it!

I Love This Browser! I have loved browsing the web since I started way back in the mid 90s, and I really love browsing with IE.
Scott Stearns
Test Manager, IE
IE6 kissing Rose on Titanic

We loved

Hell is other browsers

renaissance picture of hell
painting on Berlin Wall of Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker kissing with Russian and German slogan 'My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love'
sistine chapel hand of god clicking iPhone

We were in danger of getting a webkit monopoly

PPK survey, Xmas 2011

Poll: Do you hope that webkit will become the only rendering engine and the others will disappear? yes: 32%
Presto Change-o

Vendor Prefixes

1950s horror film woman screaming

For the losers:

Keywords and property names beginning with -' or '_' are reserved for vendor-specific extensions. For example, if XYZ organization added a property to describe the color of the border on the East side of the display, they might call it -xyz-border-east-color.

We all read specs, right?

Authors should avoid vendor-specific extensions.
CSS 2.1 spec

WebKit's rationale

hober: if it's used on the web, it's hard to argue that we should remove it and make those pages render worse.
Deprecating (web-facing) features and vendor prefixing (2012 WebKit Contributors' Meeting)

I'm an English literature graduate

Vendor prefixes are like skidmarks on the underwear of web standards:

sometimes unavoidable, but best washed and rinsed out as soon as possible.

Bruce "Shakespeare" Lawson
We're all acutely aware of what happened with IE and don't want to see that happen again. All the work on de-prefixing for example came out discussions on that issue and the feedback from Opera in particular.
Ian Ellison-Taylor (@ianet), Google's Director of Web Platform
Vendor Prefixes can be harmful to compatibility because web content comes to rely upon these vendor-prefixed names. Going forward, instead of enabling a feature by default with a vendor prefix, we will instead keep the (unprefixed) feature behind the “enable experimental web platform features” flag in about:flags until the feature is ready to be enabled by default.
Blink's Mission
For legacy vendor-prefixed features, we will continue to use the -webkit- prefix because renaming all these prefixes to something else would cause developers unnecessary pain. We've started looking into real world usage of HTML5 and CSS3 features and hope to use data like this to better inform how we can responsibly deprecate prefixed properties and APIs.

Removed by @foolip

  • -webkit-transform-2d, -webkit-animation and -webkit-view-mode media
  • MessageEvent.webkitInitMessageEvent()
  • <iframe webkitallowfullscreen>
  • webkitConvertPointFromPageToNode()
  • webkitConvertPointFromNodeToPage()
  • WheelEvent.initWebKitWheelEvent()
  • Removal reverted: video-specific fullscreen API
  • The Mobile Web should just work for everyone

    In Windows Phone 8.1 Update, we added a mapping of popular webkit-prefixed APIs to the standards based support already part of IE11.
    IEBlog, 31 July 2014

    Google's Director of Web Platform

    I was the Engineering Manager for Client Platforms at Microsoft in the early 2000s and in large part responsible for most of the engineering resource being pulled from IE\Trident. Oops :/

    The issue for Microsoft back then was that a successful web actually went against their business goals, to the tune of many $B. That's definitely not the case for Google, indeed it's the opposite, as a company we benefit when more people use the web so there's absolutely no conflict of interest.

    it's clear Microsoft is now on a very different path than when I was there and investing heavily in web stuff. Indeed they've become more open in the last 6 months than they've been in more than a decade which is great to see!

    we [Google] know that the reason the web as a platform is successful (vs native alternatives) is *because* there is no one company in charge, it's a defining characteristic and something we're unequivocally committed to.

    Google: conflict of interest?

    The Google Play Store mobile app revenue will catch up to Apple’s App Store in 2018 July 2014

    Projected $9bn/ pa (2013: total Google revenue $55.5bn)

    Ian again:

    Play revenue has never come up with us and the guidance we've always gotten from Larry, from Sundar and every senior exec here is to just go make the web better.

    Opera's perspective

    We have an App business but ultimately we want the web to win.

    We're the only browser maker that isn't trying to sell you a mobile OS or a locked-down device.

    Blink's 2014 goals

    Web usage continues to shift from desktop to mobile. Yet the mobile web remains far from reaching its potential -- in part because web engines (e.g. Blink) are not nearly as good on performance-constrained devices as they need to be. To be successful on mobile, Blink must exit 2014 much more mobile-awesome.
    Eric Seidel- Blink engineering lead
    celebration cake

    The webkit vs Blink analysis

    the Blink project has been more focused on next-gen webapps with a heavy focus on the compositor, scheduling, and style subsystems. The WebKit project has been more focused on documents and improving existing pages with faster line layout and style selection
    A high-profile fork: one year of Blink and Webkit

    My initial hopes for Blink

    I also hope that it’s easier for smaller players and even individuals to contribute to the new rendering engine, with a more transparent gatekeeping process.
    Hello Blink- moi, 3 April 2013

    8 Dec 2011: my strawman

    <picture alt="angry pirate">
    <source src=hires.png media="min-width:800px">
    <source src=midres.png media="network-speed:3g">
    <source src=lores.png>
       <!-- fallback for browsers without support -->
       <img src=midres.png alt="angry pirate">
    responsive images community group logo

    <picture> element

    the RICG’s main contribution to the web platform wasn’t picture, srcset, or sizes… To get them done we had to punch a hole through the thick technical, cultural, and institutional walls that separate the people who make browsers from the people who make websites.

    Is Blink the new IE6?

    Is monopoly bad?

    only 12.2% of the Fortune 500 companies in 1955 were still on the list …in 2014…Most of the companies on the list in 1955 are unrecognizable, forgotten companies today.
    American Enterprise Institute

    Is Google a monopoly?

    Google is bent on establishing platform domination unlike anything we've ever seen, even from late-1990s Microsoft. Google controls Android, which is winning; Chrome, which is winning; and key Web properties in Search, Youtube, Gmail and Docs, which are all winning.
    Choose Firefox Now, Or Later You Won't Get A Choice - Robert O'Callahan (Mozilla hacker)

    Is Blink a monopoly?

    The existential threat

    For HTML5, it was Rich Internet Applications:

    A lot of the work started because we were really scared of Silverlight.
    Ian Hickson, 25 Sept 2008

    Today, it's native apps.

    It's an App World.
    The Web Just Lives in It

    Today, the U.S. consumer spends an average of 2 hours and 38 minutes per day on smartphones and tablets. 80% of that time (2 hours and 7 minutes) is spent inside apps and 20% (31 minutes) is spent on the mobile web. April, 2013
    breakdown of time spent: 80% apps, 20% browser (Safari 12%, Android 4%, Opera Mini 2%)
    2013: 80% to 20% split between apps and web; 2014: 86% to 14%
    mind the gap
    Page not found error message page
    Service Workers

    Service Workers CheatSheet

    cutaway diagram of Apollo lunar module
    cartoon walrus in front of lunar module
    cartoon leg with lampshade on top, next to walrus and lunar module
      ("/*", "/assets/v1/wrkr.js").then(
        function(serviceWorker) {
    		  // call window.location.reload()
    	  function(why) {
    	    console.error("failed!:", why);
    browser shows nothing when not connected to web
    browser shows site when connected to web worker, even though not connected to web
    mind the gap

    User Experience

    User Experience Stack Exchange: Any Research on User Experience Perceptions of Native Apps vs Web or Hybrid Apps?

    screeshot of in Chrome for Android with Chrome for Android's menu exposed
    ... scroll down the menu and see 'Add to homescreen' option
    Android home screen with icon on it
    Choosing icon starts with no browser chrome
    Opera: '+' button in URL bar opens dialog with 'add to homescreen' option
    Chrome's new Add to homescreen banner

    Web Manifest - Mozilla's Marvellous Mr Marcos' magical manifest

    W3C Widgets

    a packaging format and metadata for … full-fledged client-side applications that are authored using technologies such as HTML and then packaged for distribution. Examples range from simple clocks … to complex applications that pull data from multiple sources
    W3C Widgets spec
    old woodcut of woman throwing baby out with bathwater

    Stop emulating failure

    advert: photo of phone with QR code and text 'scan to download timetables in PDF format

    What the web needs

    TL;DL (Zzz)


    Image acknowledgments