Open-sourcing is one of the keys to the development and success of Google’s Chrome web browser. The Chromium project began as a way for developers to contribute to the browsers features, enhancements and security. Being open-sourced means anyone with the desire and know-how can view, edit and submit code changes to the project.
Although initially intended to be the development side of Chrome, the Chromium project is now available for as a stand-alone browser as well as the platform for a number of third party systems.
Today, the Chromium developers have announced that the previously separate code for Chrome on iOS has now be merged with the open-source project.
Due to constraints of the iOS platform, all browsers must be built on top of the WebKit rendering engine. For Chromium, this means supporting both WebKit as well as Blink, Chrome’s rendering engine for other platforms. That created some extra complexities which we wanted to avoid placing in the Chromium code base.
Given Chrome’s commitment to open-source code, we’ve spent a lot of time over the past several years making the changes required to upstream the code for Chrome for iOS into Chromium. Today, that upstreaming is complete, and developers can compile the iOS version of Chromium like they can for other versions of Chromium. Development speed is also faster now that all of the tests for Chrome for iOS are available to the entire Chromium community and automatically run any time that code is checked in.
Not only does this mean developers can now create iOS browsers it will also result in the accelerated improvement and enhancement of Chrome for the platform. Once again, open-source for the win.