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WebKit vs Chrome

Screen shot 2009-10-21 at 6.55.34 PM

Recently It seems the browser wars have been completely moving to the next stage. Previously, as you know, Internet Explore and Firefox ware trying to get the share of users. In 2003, Apple announced Safari to entry into the war. Apple also started the WebKit project to develop the rendering and the JavaScript engine for Safari as Open Source. I just realized there are many WebKit based browser today.

I think WebKit will not settle the browser wars. It passed the wars to next stage. And the point is shifting from the HTML and the JavaScript interpretation to the more dramatical optimization of performance and the functionality of HTML5.

Apple and Google have been doing the most heated battle so far. Both of Apple and Google are also building their browsers everyday. They are rapidly progressing every night. Recently I'm tying to use WebKit and Chrome/Chromium nightly build instead of official release of Safari. These applications are introduced very useful self update facility. So, You can easily try to use these as well. 

Screen shot 2009-09-19 at 2.57.52 PM

WebKit nightly is latest development version of Safari. 

  • You can download it from here.

Once you installed it. You can update latest version of WebKit from Check for WebKit Updates... under Safari menu.


In the Mac platform, Google Chrome is still beta. So Google and that Open Source community are developing two type of Chrome.

  • Google Chrome beta for mac can download from here.

This is more stable and actual version of Chrome. (I recommend)

Picture 1.png

You can find the Update Now button at About Google Chrome dialog from About Google Chrome. The update term of period is longer then nightly.

Chromium is more cutting edge of browser. Chrome is based on Chromium. I don't find a way to update from itself so far. but someone create very useful application for getting latest Chromium.

  • You can download Chrominum updater from here.

You just run this program. It will get the latest version of Chromium each time.

Today's conclusion

Finally, I just mentioned about my feeling of each applications so far. Please note that these applications functionality and the performance are changing at each build. This conclusion may be doubt in the final release.

WebKit nightly

I mostly favorite it so far. The performance is the best. Apple has been actively improving the performance to connect to their OS X framework directly. Some of CSS3 effects and transitions are connected CoreAnimation. Very latest version of WebKit engaged WebGL as well. 

Snow Stack is one of good example to show the effort.
Please try demo with latest version of WebKit from here.

Most badly thing is memory usage. It can easily uses tons of hundred memory while you are browsing websites for a while. In my case, It is usually spending around 700MB-800MB real memory constantly.

Google Chrome for mac

Chrome is also one of fastest browser. The performance is sufficient for almost sites. but there is no GPU optimization like WebKit. Please try to compare same Snow Stack demo between WebKit and Chrome.

But there is one strong advantage than WebKit. The memory usage is obviously smaller than WebKit. This issue is sometime very useful for me. Actually I'm using Chrome as default in my MacBook Air recently.


Chromium is introducing more advanced functionality than Chrome. but It will become unstable sometimes. And the performance and stability is depend on the build. Only if you want to use the most recent functionality of Chrome, I recommend you to use this.


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Disclaimer: このブログは筆者の個人的なものです。ここで述べられていることは全て私の個人的な意見・感想に基づくものであり、私の雇用者には一切の関係はありません。