Apple reworking WebKit for multicore chips
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Apple reworking WebKit for multicore chips


Google's Chrome browser draws heavily on the WebKit browser engine project led chiefly by Apple, but now WebKit is adopting one Chrome idea: separation between some computing processes, according to "CNET" (http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20002103-264.html).

WebKit is the system framework used on Mac OS X by Safari, Dashboard, Mail.app, and many other OS X applications. It’s based on the KHTML engine from KDE.

Apple programmer Anders Carlsson announced the latest move, an interface called WebKit2, in a that reads:

"This is a heads-up that we will shortly start landing patches for a new WebKit framework that we at Apple have been working on for a while. We currently call this new framework "WebKit2".

"WebKit2 is designed from the ground up to support a split process model, where the web content (JavaScript, HTML, layout, etc) lives in a separate process. This model is similar to what Google Chrome offers, with the major difference being that we have built the process split model directly into the framework, allowing other clients to use it.

"Some high-level documentation is available at http://trac.webkit.org/wiki/WebKit2

"Currently WebKit2 is available for Mac and Windows, and we would gladly accept patches to add more ports. We're more than happy to answer any questions you might have, and we hope that this will be a topic of discussion at the WebKit Contributors Meeting.

"Thanks,
"Anders Carlsson and Sam Weinig"

Process separation in general can increase memory requirements, but it offers major advantages: a problem in one area doesn't necessarily crash the whole program, and it's easier to spread work across multiple cores of modern processors, according to "CNET."

WebKit2 is a new API (application programming interface) layer for WebKit designed from the ground up to support a split process model, where the web content (JavaScript, HTML, layout, etc) lives in a separate process from the application UI. This model is very similar to what Google Chrome offers, with the major difference being that we have built the process split model directly into the framework, allowing other clients of WebKit to use it. You can find details at http://trac.webkit.org/wiki/WebKit2.

 
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