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Why I hate Webkit.


Webkit is one of the greatest achievements of the open-source software movement. Without it, HTML5 would be a year away instead of a year old. Because of it, connected devices (TVs, Cars, Games consoles) have moved beyond the proprietary non-standard browsers that limited them in the past.

Google and Apple dominate Webkit. I'm not saying that they abuse their position, but I'm worried that they might start.

More and more web developers write webkit-optimised or webkit-only web pages that don't work properly in excellent standards-compliant browsers. Google increasingly use browser-sniffing to disable features in Internet Explorer just because you dare to use a standards-compliant browser.

This behaviour is not good HTML5! The –webkit prefixed CSS3 properties that are required in Chrome and Safari were acceptable when HTML5 was a young standard but if Firefox can make peace with standard CSS3 then there’s no excuse for Google and Apple to drag their feet. Unless they want to emulate Microsoft's tactics with IE6?

I don’t have to write –moz anymore. I don’t have to write –ms anymore. I don’t have to write –o anymore. I shouldn’t have to write –webkit any more!

Thanks for reading this page with a standards-compliant browser. If you can read this, you should try a better browser. Try IE11 or Firefox.

Click here to see a reference rendering of this page.