I Don’t Support a WebKit Monoculture Deux

Things in the internet space are weird.

First you have a guy telling that he would support a monopoly in the browser market (which I fully raged against). And then, out of nowhere, one of the jQuery guys come out and tell everyone that they are tired of doing hacks to avoid WebKit bugs — which finally sparked the Chrome/WebKit team to fix said bugs, which was even celebrated by John Resig himself.

But the thing is: Ok, the WebKit team fixes the bugs. Does that mean that they can simply remove said hacks?

The answer is a loud “no”. Because WebKit is not a single browser; it’s four, with a fifth coming around. Chrome, Chromium, Safari for OS X, Safari for iOS and, soon enough, Opera (and we still need to see how many versions of it will appear — although I believe that there will be at least a desktop version and a mobile version).

If tomorrow the Chromium team releases a WebKit version with all the fixes, will my Safaris (iOS and OS X) finally be updated? I don’t think I need to answer this, right? This just proves how “not smart” (to play nicely) the “WebKit monoculture guy” is: The fact that it’s being support by two different companies, with two different release timelines, is actually creating a fragmentation of the WebKit market (something that you should be used to if you use any Google tool, apparently).

I’m not a full time hater of everything WebKit. Firefox got a lot better since Chrome showed up, but the fact that some many people are brown-nosing it is simply sad. Chrome had some good ideas, but it’s far from being the “awesome browser to rule them all” like everybody is claiming.

I Don’t Support a WebKit Monoculture

So there is this post by Jeremy Khan about his support for a WebKit monoculture. The whole thing is so retarded and moronic it’s not even worth reading, but I did and now I’m in full rage.

Let me explain why this is stupid:

Strong Corporate Leadership

This is cited twice in the post and, honestly, it may actually be a bad thing instead of good. Say, one of the things that annoy me is the number of people who claims they wrote a “pure CSS counter in HTML5” but the thing only works on Chrome ’cause the moron added a bunch of non-standard “-webkit-” tags. Now, testing tags before they are fully approved and documented by W3C isn’t a bad thing per se, but the browser shouldn’t expose these things to the user unless they are actually developers trying new things. So I go and write a patch to force non-standard tags to be enabled only when the user selects so, and the default is Off (in other words, this would break every single site that wrongly relies on “-webkit-” tags). I’m pretty sure Apple and Google won’t approve it because, well, they are really interested in showing their sites in most snazziest way possible (Apple more than Google, but you get the idea).

Second, he cites “strong corporate support” for the rapid release cycles. Well, Java have a strong support from Oracle and it doesn’t have a rapid release cycle, even when it strongly needs due the amount of security holes being found every day.

So we can scratch the idea that “strong corporate support” does anything good.

The Chrome Updater

I find it absolutely retarded that he cites Chrome updater as a good thing. It’s one of the most atrocious, retarded things I ever had to deal with as a user, because it simply runs. You’re in the middle of your WoW raid, WoW is the only thing running and BLAM! download goes without you asking for it (and there goes you latency too, depending on were you leave).

Personal anecdote, one time my ISP crapped itself and I had to quickly check my emails to write down the address were I had an interview. So I did some tethering and off I went to Gmail. And it took way too long to answer. WAY too long. To the point that I was getting in the “fuck, I’ll be late” zone. That’s when I realize Chrome Updater was running and downloading a new version of Chrome. Did I ask for it? No. Was I informed about it? No. Now, the real kicker is this: Was I using Chrome? NO! Why was that thing updating something I wasn’t even using at the time? It’s ok to download in the background while it’s running, like Firefox does, but when it’s not even in memory is completely retarded and the guy who came with that idea should be taken outside and shot, to serve as an example for the others.

It IS IE6 All Over Again

This argument is going around for a while and, again, it’s true: Chrome/WebKit is the IE6 of this generation. Why? Because it exposes a bunch of non-standard (or, better yet, non-standardized) tags without telling anyone about it.

Don’t you remember the number of “Chrome Only” sites that appeared a few years ago? Why do you think there were “Chrome Only”?

That’s the whole fight we had when IE6 was king, not about “ActiveX” or anything (we can compare the ActiveX problems with what the Java holes are today, if you want). It was the fact that IE6 had some ideas about rendering stuff that were not defined as standard that broke everything and made life as a web designer a hell.

(And, for the record, so should Firefox and their “-gecko-” tags — or whatever they are these days.)

Chrome Does Not Have the Best Tools

He cites that Chrome have an awesome developer tools. I disagree. Firebug have a cleaner interface and more direct access to things, compared to Chrome. Firefox is slowly backporting those things directly into the browser itself, with a better looking tools.

Also, if Chrome had such amazing tools, Google wouldn’t feel the need to hire the guy who was writing Firebug.

Let’s Kill One and Keep One

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is where we need to get this guy and put a ban on his use of anything electronic: Kill Gecko and put them in the WebKit dev team because Gecko is “old”.

Kids these days, I tell you: If something is old, it means it found a lot more problems that your new, shiny thingy. It has covered all the corner cases your project doesn’t. So I tell you: Let’s actually kill WebKit and move everyone to Gecko! Since it’s older, it has a lot less corner cases to fix! </sarcasm>

On a serious note, I won’t even get into the “mystical man month” argument ’cause that would probably be a too strong point for this fellow.

Are posts like this that make me feel bad that web has such strong presence everywhere. ‘Cause this guy works for YouTube and should know better how those things work. Except he doesn’t.

PS: Yes, it’s all personal opinion. Yes, it’s my personal opinion against his personal opinion. Yes, I still think he’s a moron.