WebKit Is Usable By End Users?

by Jon Davis 3. May 2008 18:20

I've been hearing a lot about WebKit being on the bleeding edge of staying up-to-date with performance and passing various tests like ACID 3. I was confused and concerned, though, because I had thought WebKit was only available to developers as a set of components (DLLs) and was not actually usable by end users.

I was sort of right, but mostly wrong. WebKit's nightly build, which is downloadable, runs on top of Safari (from a user perspective, that is .. technicaly, Safari sits on top of WebKit), replacing Safari's rendering engine with the latest "new and improved". After Safari 3.1 is fully installed, just download the latest nightly build of WebKit, run the batch file and go. (There were two batch files, I ran run-drosera.cmd and then I added a shortcut to run-nightly-webkit.cmd to my Quick Launch toolbar and changed the icon.)  WebKit does not kill off the official Safari renderer when Safari is launched in its normal fashion, it only overrides its renderer when launched from WebKit's .bat file.

Now I'm starting to think that Safari on the latest WebKit is the best browser. *gasp* Who'da thunk?

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Open Source | General Technology | Computers and Internet | Web Development

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About the author

Jon Davis (aka "stimpy77") has been a programmer, developer, and consultant for web and Windows software solutions professionally since 1997, with experience ranging from OS and hardware support to DHTML programming to IIS/ASP web apps to Java network programming to Visual Basic applications to C# desktop apps.
Software in all forms is also his sole hobby, whether playing PC games or tinkering with programming them. "I was playing Defender on the Commodore 64," he reminisces, "when I decided at the age of 12 or so that I want to be a computer programmer when I grow up."

Jon was previously employed as a senior .NET developer at a very well-known Internet services company whom you're more likely than not to have directly done business with. However, this blog and all of jondavis.net have no affiliation with, and are not representative of, his former employer in any way.

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