It’s a sad day for the Web. Opera Software has announced the following:
this year Opera will make a gradual transition to the WebKit engine, as well as Chromium, for most of its upcoming versions of browsers for smartphones and computers.
This means that there will be less diversity with rendering engines. Why is this an issue? My colleague Robert O’Callahan explains why it’s bad for the Web.
We’re also losing an ally in the battle for Web standards: Opera’s voice in Web standards discussions has always been important. But they soon won’t have their own browser engine, and they have recently laid off quite a few people in their “developer relations” program.
From a business standpoint, it may make some sense for Opera to stop being the sole investor in their proprietary browser engine. The upside of this announcement is that Opera has finally understood the value of Open Source.
But while this may make sense for Opera’s shareholders, it’s not a good thing for the Open Web. More than ever today, the not-for-profit nature of Mozilla and its commitment to protect the Open nature of the Web matter.
Some more reading: