Blink (browser engine)

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Developer(s)The Chromium Project and contributors
Initial release3 April 2013; 10 years ago (2013-04-03)[1]
Written inC++
TypeBrowser engine
LicenseBSD and LGPLv2.1

Blink is a browser engine developed as part of the Chromium project with contributions from Google, Meta, Microsoft, Opera Software, Adobe, Intel, IBM, Samsung, and others.[2][3] It was first announced in April 2013.[4]


Blink's naming was influenced by a combination of two major factors: the connotations of speed, and a reference to the non-standard presentational blink HTML element,[5][6] which was introduced by Netscape Navigator and supported by Presto- and Gecko-based browsers until August 2013.[7] Blink has, contrary to its name, never functionally supported the element.


Blink is a fork of the WebCore component of WebKit,[8] which was originally a fork of the KHTML and KJS libraries from KDE.[9][10] It is used in Chrome starting at version 28,[11][12] Microsoft Edge starting at version 79,[13] Opera (15+),[11] Vivaldi, Brave, Amazon Silk and other Chromium-based browsers and frameworks.[citation needed]

Much of WebCore's code was used for features that Google Chrome implemented differently such as sandboxing and the multi-process model. These parts were altered for the Blink fork, and although slightly bulkier, it allowed greater flexibility for adding new features. The fork also deprecates CSS vendor prefixes; existing prefixes will be phased out and new experimental functionality will instead be enabled on an opt-in basis.[14] Aside from these planned changes, Blink initially remained relatively similar to WebCore.[12]

By commit count, Google was the largest contributor to the WebKit code base from late 2009 until 2013 when they started work on their fork, Blink.[15]


Blink engine has the following components:[16]

Public API[edit]

Blink exposes a public API that allows browsers such as Chromium to interact with Blink while remaining insulated from internal changes to the browser engine.[17]


Several projects exist to turn Chromium's Blink into a reusable software framework for other developers:


Chromium Blink is implemented on seven platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, ChromeOS, Fuchsia, Android, and Android WebView.

Blink is also unofficially supported on FreeBSD[29] and OpenBSD.[30]

iOS versions of Chromium continue to use the WebKit WebCore renderer.[31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "[chrome] Log of /releases/28.0.1463.0/DEPS". Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  2. ^ "AUTHORS - chromium/src.git - Git at Google".
  3. ^ "Google, Opera Fork WebKit. Samsung Joins Firefox to Push Servo". April 2013.
  4. ^ "Blink: A rendering engine for the Chromium project". The Chromium Blog. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  5. ^ Lardinois, Frederic (3 April 2013). "Google Forks WebKit And Launches Blink, A New Rendering Engine That Will Soon Power Chrome And Chrome OS". TechCrunch. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  6. ^ Shankland, Stephen (3 April 2013). "Google parts ways with Apple over WebKit, launches Blink". CNet. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  7. ^ Kobie, Nicole (7 August 2013). "Firefox 23 finally kills "blink" tag". PC Pro. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  8. ^ "Which webkit revision is Blink forking from?". blink-dev mailing list. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  9. ^ "'(fwd) Greetings from the Safari team at Apple Computer' – MARC". 7 January 2003. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  10. ^ "The WebKit Open Source Project". Retrieved 7 April 2012.
  11. ^ a b "Blink". QuirksBlog. April 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  12. ^ "Download the new Microsoft Edge based on Chromium". Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  13. ^ "Blink Developer FAQ". The Chromium Projects. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  14. ^ Siracusa, John (12 April 2013). "Hypercritical: Code Hard or Go Home". Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  15. ^ "How Blink works". Google Docs. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  16. ^ "Blink Public API". Retrieved 15 August 2022.
  17. ^ "WebView for Android". Retrieved 22 April 2017.
  18. ^ Hallgrimur Bjornsson. "Introducing HTML5 extensions". Adobe Systems.
  19. ^ "Adobe Edge Animate Team Blog". Adobe Systems. Archived from the original on 29 October 2011. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  20. ^ "CEF integration in Dreamweaver". Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  21. ^ "Open Source". Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  22. ^ "Chromium Embedded Framework - Valve Developer Community". Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  23. ^ a b "Developer diary: Creating a desktop client for Conclave - 10×10 Room". 24 April 2014. Archived from the original on 18 January 2017.
  24. ^ "Qt WebEngine Overview". Qt Project. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  25. ^ a b "Introducing the Qt WebEngine". Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  26. ^ "Qt Switching From WebKit To Chromium Engine - Phoronix". Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  27. ^ "DotNetBrowser". Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  28. ^ "FreshPorts www/chromium". 13 October 2010. Retrieved 3 October 2021.
  29. ^ " www/chromium". 19 December 2009. Retrieved 3 October 2021.
  30. ^ EMIL PROTALINSKI (4 April 2013). "Google's Blink Q&A: New rendering engine will replace WebKit on all platforms in 10 weeks with Chrome 28". Retrieved 10 July 2018.

External links[edit]