Surfin' Safari

WebKit Shutting Down

Posted by Maciej Stachowiak on Sunday, April 1st, 2007 at 12:04 am

WebKit has always focused on performance, web standards compliance, security, and relatively understandable code. But, as recently pointed out by Camino developer Mike Pinkerton, this doesn’t mean much when users can’t browse to all the sites they care about.

Many have suggested over the years that WebKit should be abandoned in favor of Gecko, the browser engine with second-place market share according to studies like the Net Applications Survey. But why go with number two when you can go straight to the top? That’s why I am pleased to announce that WebKit will be discontinued in favor of Trident, the engine inside Windows Internet Explorer. Like OpenDarwin before us, we will be shutting down.

You may wonder how we can use Trident in Mac OS X browsers like Safari. Fortunately, on Intel-based Macs, there is a solution: running IE under Parallels, and using Mozilla’s XPCOM to bridge the gap. This means we will discontinue the WebKit Objective-C API in favor of a COM API.

IE has often been criticized for its lack of standards compliance and long gaps in development. But Microsoft says they will do way better in the future, and we see no reason not to trust them with the future of the web.

It’s been a great ride these past five years. Please join me in giving a fond farewell to WebKit, and a hearty welcome to our new Microsoft overlords.

Yes, this was written on April 1st 2007.

33 Responses to “WebKit Shutting Down”

  1. shaners Says:

    zing!

    pssst. look at your calendar.

  2. Mark Rowe Says:

    Rest in peace WebKit. I will be sad to see you go.

  3. scotty321 Says:

    Wow. Haha. You really got me on that one. I totally & completely bought it hook, line, and sinker… up until the comments on Microsoft in the last 2 paragraphs. GREAT APRIL FOOL’S JOKE!

  4. smearp Says:

    I, for one, welcome our new Microsoft overlords ;)

  5. hms Says:

    Hehe good one :)

  6. mediter Says:

    Is this some kind of joke? Today is April Fool’s Day. It can only be devastating if this were true. “Microsoft says they will do way better in the future, and we see no reason not to trust them with the future of the web” ? Seriously, I mean since when we have begun to trust what Microsoft says. They have always been trying hard to fool people around with bad designs(such as IE, Zune, PlayForSure)… “WebKit Shutting Down” couldn’t possibly be happening, right?

  7. jcverdie Says:

    This is great news!
    As a new company, we had planned to release a rethought version of webkit to fit multiple ports to embedded systems issues, but since we switch to IE engine, we will have no more problem.

    We are going to change our business plan to propose a bundle vista ultimate + IE on every single embedded device from now one.

    Thanks webkit guys for showing common sense in this decision !

  8. pauld Says:

    This can’t be true, because my top-secret source at Microsoft said they’re switching to Webkit for IE 8!

  9. Sanji Says:

    Yeah ! Right !
    That’s for the same reason I’m gonna trash my Mac, and buy a PC with Windows.

    Nice try ;-)

  10. Geoff Says:

    Fantastic, we can now join with the “ninety percent of the market share”

  11. Dimitri Bouniol Says:

    Please tell me this is an April fools joke, right? WebKit is to awesome to go. It’s so much better than Gecko and Trident will ever be.

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  13. eric Says:

    LOL :)

  14. Mitz Pettel Says:

    What took you so long?

  15. rk Says:

    This means we’ll have a Windows port of “Safari” too, right?
    I can’t wait for Private Browsing on Windows!
    Hopefully the Web Inspector can be ported too.

  16. manyoso Says:

    almost, but not quite, entirely not funny

  17. Pingback from Robert Accettura’s Fun With Wordage » Blog Archive » April Fools 2007:

    [...] ome of my favorites for this year: heise.de -Mozilla sues Microsoft over tabbed browsing. WebKit – Switching to Trident (IE) NASA – Americans Defeat Russians in First Space Quidditch Ma [...]

  18. Pingback from demp.se/y - Adam Dempseys Blog » Blog Archive » April Fools Day:

    [...] onclick=”javascript:urchinTracker (‘/outgoing/webkit.org/blog/100/webkit-shutting-down/’);” href=”http://webkit.org/blog/100/webkit-shutting-down/” title=”WebKit Shutting Down”>WebKit Shutting Down   -  Safari on OS X is now going to be powe [...]

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  20. Trackback from mactobias:

    webkit wird durch trident ersetzt

    Surfin’ Safari – Blog Archive » WebKit Shutting Down netter versuch, hätte fast gekllappt, ich wäre fast draufreingefallen… die meldung zum ende von webkit ist ganz nett gestrickt, als ich den anreisser zur meldung gelesen habe ich es fast …

  21. met Says:

    Shouldn’t be the title rather be ‘WebKit acquired by Mozilla?’ Because they will use it in next Firefox version http://burntelectrons.org/index.php?itemid=219 8-)

  22. Thinine Says:

    I hate April fools day.

  23. Pingback from Macenstein » Macenstein Archive » Webkit.org Says they are discontinuing Webkit:

    [...] /profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=4″> Posted by iGor A post by maciej titled “Webkit Shutting Down” over at Surfin’ Safari caused us a brief moment of panic this [...]

  24. Pingback from Macenstein » Macenstein Archive » Webkit.org Says they are discontinuing Webkit:

    [...] /profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=4″> Posted by iGor A post by maciej titled “Webkit Shutting Down” over at Surfin’ Safari caused us a brief moment of panic this [...]

  25. richcon Says:

    So…

    I see it’s April 1.

    You had me going for the first few paragraphs, made my heart sink for a moment!

    Cruel, cruel Maciej. Shame on you!

    :)

  26. Levi Says:

    Alright! I can get back on the team! Although, WebKit was already “dead to me” anyways :)

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  28. dutchcelt Says:

    Just reading my Google reader today (April 2nd) and almost had a stroke. Clicked on the link to check this site, to be sure I wasn’t seeing things, then I saw how old the article was. April first. pffft.

    I’m sure a few folks at Adobe blew out a pupil as well!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerebral_hemorrhage#Symptoms_of_cerebral_hemorrhage

  29. Pingback from Best of April Fools | Design Reverb - Blog About Web Design, Development and Reviews:

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  30. sdfisher Says:

    I think it’s about time that as a society we got rid of this useless tradition. It’s fun for a couple hours, but the fun gets quoted as authorative for the rest of time. In the end, it’s just noise, and it isn’t truth.

  31. Charles Gaudette Says:

    I feel I have to rebut sdfisher.

    If a single day of untruth can get people to cultivate a questioning mind, then I think we are really onto something.

  32. rotocamel Says:

    Can you take this post down? It’s still up on May 17 and it made me very confused for a few moments. Not a good idea.

  33. CW Says:

    No, leave it up. It’s still catchin’ people as of yesterday. I suggested Webkit as a solution to Yahoo! Answers lousy code crashing Safari, and got a “gotcha” back from a Windows user based on this April Fool’s joke. It’s a “life lesson” in always checking the date of “shocking news”