The WebKit monopoly


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Once upon a time, there was Internet. Then came Internet Explorer and it was the best browser ever. For some time it was good. Then Internet Explorer became the majority and a monopoly and Netscape vanished. Internet Explorer was on Mac and Windows. Microsoft, satisfied with their monopoly, let Internet Explorer 6 stagnate. New features in JavaScript were invented, but Internet Explorer just didn't support it.

Then came Firefox. A new browser that is open, fast, stable and free. It supported all new things on the Internet. After a while, Firefox overtook the majority. Technically no, since Internet Explorer is and always will be a majority but Firefox became the majority for users who knew what a browser was.

Firefox grew and grew, and Mozilla just didn't innovate enough. Then came Chrome, a new browser that puts user experience first at the cost of web standards. Remember Google Gears? Chrome became fast with it's V8 engine, and soon Google wanted more. Google forked WebKit into Blink and started adding new features. Technically, Blink is web-standards-compatible, but if Google wants something, they'll do it. "Oh, you want to use Hangouts? Better switch to Chrome with it's superior Native Client!"

The dark ages are upon us. Opera, once a great browser with the innovative Opera Turbo feature and Presto which was the most stable browser rendering engine that could handle 50 tabs on 2GB of RAM without crashing for days, has switched to Chrome. And not a modified WebKit, no! It's Blink and V8 and it even uses chrome.exe process! The web has stagnated.

On the other side, Apple with Mobile Safari has started to exibit the Microsoft syndrome, with their insistance on using their own touch events and apple-touch-icon. It's so bad that Microsoft, once the monopoly, is modifying Mobile Internet Explorer so it's compatible with WebKit and Blink's prefixes and touch events and also the apple-touch-icon property.

Now with Chromebooks, Google is locking in everyone using their OS to Chrome, which is even worse than Microsoft (in Europe, when you install Windows it asks you if you want Internet Explorer to be your default browsers and can install Firefox, Opera or Chrome for you automatically). Google is soon going to put a huge banner on YouTube.com saying "We're sorry, you're using a non-Chrome compliant browser. Please switch to us so we can have all of your data. ". It's like US' situation with their cable providers only 20x times worse since ti affects EVERYONE!

So, for an open web: Switch to Internet Explorer or Firefox today, and force Google to once again start caring about web standards. Remember, that's what got them where they are now. Also, Firefox: Stop being Google's bitch and go back to what you were, a superior browser that's customizable and fast. Never again become this mutated Chrome knock-off.

This post was last updated on August 16th, 2014.



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