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Apple's WebKit2 Coming Soon, Will Offer 'Sandboxing' of Processes

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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple engineers Anders Carlsson and Sam Weinig yesterday announced the forthcoming release of a new web framework known as "WebKit2" that will build upon the existing engine that powers the company's Safari browser as well as a number of other browser applications including Google Chrome. Notably, WebKit2 will support running various browser elements in different processes, "sandboxing" them to prevent problems with a single element from crashing the entire browser.
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.
The team behind WebKit2 has also posted documentation outlining some of the changes coming in WebKit2 and how its split process model differs from that used in Chromium and Google Chrome, building the functionality directly into the framework rather than putting it in the application layer where considerable work would be required for porting or reusing the functionality.

CNET notes that Apple's announcement has ruffled some feathers in the WebKit community, as it is being seen as rolling out a major revamp of the engine without the input of the rest of the community. Apple's Maciej Stachowiak responded to the criticism, noting that existing ports will continue to work and that the new tools are in a very early stage that is appropriate for review and discussion by the community.
We picked the name "WebKit2" in the hopes of picking something really bland. Apparently that backfired, because it seems to make this project seem like a bigger deal than it is. Basically, you can think of this as a new port-specific API [application programming interface]. But we're trying to put some general mechanisms in this API, so other ports can use it if they choose. We are also welcoming input from the whole WebKit community on the design, architecture and direction of this work. It is at a very early stage, barely enough that you can build a trivial demo browser on top of it. We decided that our proof of concept was far enough along at that point that we should make the code public for community review and input.
Initial versions of WebKit2 have been developed for Mac and Windows, and the developers invite others to submit patches for additional ports.

Article Link: Apple's WebKit2 Coming Soon, Will Offer 'Sandboxing' of Processes
 

Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,566
5,481
Canada
Great - it should make Safari a lot more stable.

Nice to see Apple continue to progress , unlike microsoft who seemed to rest with IE 6 and fall to sleep for several years, and wake up to find the world had surpass them and then play the catch up game.
 
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guzhogi

macrumors 68040
Aug 31, 2003
3,211
1,176
Wherever my feet take me…
This should help with speed & not make Safari crash if one part of rendering a web site crashes.

However, how will this effect performance & resources? If each website has 3 processes (html, layout & javascript) instead of just the 1 combined, and each tab/window is its own process, that's a lot of processes, RAM used, etc if my understanding is correct. If it isn't, feel free to correct me.
 
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cmaier

macrumors Core
Jul 25, 2007
20,741
23,153
California
This should help with speed & not make Safari crash if one part of rendering a web site crashes.

However, how will this effect performance & resources? If each website has 3 processes (html, layout & javascript) instead of just the 1 combined, and each tab/window is its own process, that's a lot of processes, RAM used, etc if my understanding is correct. If it isn't, feel free to correct me.

Performance will increase since things can b done in parallel.
 
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sammich

macrumors 601
Sep 26, 2006
4,296
264
Sarcasmville.
Just wondering if the title should be: 'Sandboxing' of webpage elements? OS processes are already 'sandboxed'.
 
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Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,566
5,481
Canada
This should help with speed & not make Safari crash if one part of rendering a web site crashes.

However, how will this effect performance & resources? If each website has 3 processes (html, layout & javascript) instead of just the 1 combined, and each tab/window is its own process, that's a lot of processes, RAM used, etc if my understanding is correct. If it isn't, feel free to correct me.

The processes could be distributed between the available cores in your processor using Grand Central Dispatch.
 
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pubwvj

macrumors 68000
Oct 1, 2004
1,896
200
Mountains of Vermont
Bravo! I hate it when one page crashes the entire browser. There are so many badly behaved pages that try to, and sometimes succeed, in taking over the computer. Running with Java, plugins and Javascript turned off helps. PithHelmet helps. Sandboxing of pages will help a lot more. Apple should integrate PithHelmet into it as well so you can turn resources on and off for specific sites.
 
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dogzilla

macrumors newbie
Sep 9, 2008
21
0
What if people shun this like flash?

This shows an amazingly deep lack of understanding of what webkit is.

One thing I've noticed, that seems to happen with almost every MacRumors article posted: "Rating (20 Positives; 4 Negatives)" as of 10:18 am EST. Who the hell has a negative reaction to there being an update to webkit?
 
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*LTD*

macrumors G4
Feb 5, 2009
10,703
1
Canada
What if people shun this like flash?

If it works like it's supposed to, they won't.

Plus, it's got Apple's branding and development behind it. Which usually causes the exact opposite of "shunned."

These days I'd be more worried about the competition's efforts rather than Apple's. We're living in very different times.
 
Comment

itickings

macrumors 6502a
Apr 14, 2007
931
121
Still a long way to go before this is usable, but much needed. Good to know that something is actively done other than just polishing the existing stuff.
 
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kainjow

Moderator emeritus
Jun 15, 2000
7,958
6
This is good news. Safari beach balls way too much. I've switched to Chrome but will consider switching back for WebKit2.

Might want to take "coming soon" out of the headline...

Sounds like it may not make it to release until 10.7, but who knows, maybe they'll push out a Safari 5 beta next year if development goes quickly.
 
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psingh01

macrumors 68000
Apr 19, 2004
1,521
545
These open source communities are really annoying sometimes. I remember they were upset at Apple for making WebKit in the first place without asking for their input. Sometimes less talk and more action is needed.
 
Comment

*LTD*

macrumors G4
Feb 5, 2009
10,703
1
Canada
These open source communities are really annoying sometimes. I remember they were upset at Apple for making WebKit in the first place without asking for their input. Sometimes less talk and more action is needed.

Open Source is great to draw on for resources and ideas. The community isn't known for leadership, however. For example, it eventually took Apple to save FreeBSD. Code was percolated back and forth from Apple to FreeBSD, but Apple contributed a helluva lot more.
 
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Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,566
5,481
Canada
These open source communities are really annoying sometimes. I remember they were upset at Apple for making WebKit in the first place without asking for their input. Sometimes less talk and more action is needed.

They got upset in part because when Apple did contribute code changes back to KTHML ( pre-webkit) , the code changes were in the form of patches, which is very time consuming to merge back into the main code. IRC. Then, after, there was the fork... that created Webkit.

Anyway, Apple have done great things with Webkit and benefited Apple users and non Apple users alike.
 
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NebulaClash

macrumors 68000
Feb 4, 2010
1,810
0
by "people" i'm assuming you mean apple zealots who are incapable of any real actionscript development while looking toward steve jobs to sooth their daddy issues.

Feel better now?

Speaking of issues . . .
 
Comment

*LTD*

macrumors G4
Feb 5, 2009
10,703
1
Canada
by "people" i'm assuming you mean apple zealots who are incapable of any real actionscript development while looking toward steve jobs to sooth their daddy issues.

Yeah. Just keep developing for a company you slag on regularly. Makes you look totally credible. :rolleyes:
 
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RMo

macrumors 65816
Aug 7, 2007
1,223
224
Iowa, USA
Who would rate this "negative"? (Well, probably the same eight people who rate every post negative, but why? Do you not like sandboxing?)
 
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mikethebigo

macrumors 68020
May 25, 2009
2,136
594
This should help muffle all the cries that Apple gives noting back to the open source community.
 
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jpyc7

macrumors 6502
Mar 8, 2009
276
0
Denver, CO
They got upset in part because when Apple did contribute code changes back to KTHML ( pre-webkit) , the code changes were in the form of patches, which is very time consuming to merge back into the main code. IRC. Then, after, there was the fork... that created Webkit.

Anyway, Apple have done great things with Webkit and benefited Apple users and non Apple users alike.

Aren't all code changes patches? No matter what, if you've been branched for a while and have multiple changes to multiple files, merging is time consuming when the branch and trunk are both changing.

On the main topic, I'm glad Apple is developing this multiple process webkit2 engine. When I use Google Chrome, I can still hang all browser windows if I use a certain javascript library (Simile Timeline software from MIT) and resize the browser. I don't know if the new engine will handle this better as I think it is more of an infinite loop bug.
 
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