Opera + WebKit: good or bad?

Opera plans to abandon development of their own HTML rendering engine and JavaScript virtual machine and switch to Chromium which effectively means WebKit for HTML rendering and V8 for JavaScript execution.

Good or bad? It depends, I think.

Given all the standartization efforts put in Web technologies it would be natural to expect some kind of baseline reference implementation to emerge, WebKit isn’t a bad choice for that.

To rephrase that — I don’t think that implementation of Web standards is the only field for browser vendors to compete in — so sharing common codebase for HTML rendering is a good idea.

Some people think that browser monopoly can hurt the Web ecosystem and provide “IE6 domination” case as an example. But… there is no browser monopoly on a horizon — that’s only about browser engines — and, as I’ve said already, browsers should not compete in a “best Web standards implementation” but rather in providing best user experience.

Luckily for browser vendors — there’s still a huge gap between Web and so-called “native” applications (and vice-versa of course) — so there’s a lot of work to be done on that side.