What’s the latest headline to grab your eyeballs by the ears (to mix a metaphor or two)?
Macgasm asks, Is WebKit slowly turning into IE6?
IE 6 is Microsoft’s much hated Internet Explorer browser; perhaps the worst browser of all time. WebKit is the guts in Apple’s Safari, Google’s Chrome, and other browsers, and the dominant browser engine in mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, Android iDevices).
What’s the problem? WebKit is solid, dependable, free, and renders pages magically accurate. Again, what’s the problem?
Supposedly, some web sites are sniffing the browser user agent and filtering out non-WebKit browsers. In exchange, you get WebKit-on-mobile-device specific attributes not found on other browsers.
If nothing is done to stop this process we’ll end up with a situation similar to the days when IE6 was the dominant browser, only worse, because WebKit is also the most widely used layout engine on mobile devices.
Cry me a river.
The only commonalities in this situation are: 1) both WebKit and IE6 are browsers, 2) both browsers dominated the landscape in their heyday. After that, what? WebKit displays HTML5 and CSS wonderfully. IE6, not so much (even IE 9 is brain dead regarding web standards).
Overblown, simplistic fears notwithstanding, here’s the reality. Web sites look great on WebKit browsers. Web site developers don’t need to tweak (as much) their sites to match antiquated browser technology.
The litmus test here is simple. If WebKit were on every device, the world’s web pages would be better and viewers better off. If IE6 were on every device, web page viewing would suck.