The web needs to win


This week Opera announced their intention to ditch Presto in favour of Webkit. Contentious. The debate it stirred - to me - underlined the importance of web standards. Pick of the crop came from Opera's Bruce Lawson at the tail end of a post on his personal blog.

For many users around the world, a browser is more than a tool to browse the web. Sometimes it's a school when you can afford none, sometimes it's the only line to an outside world shut off by an oppressive regime.

The web needs to win. Browsers are highly interoperable, because all vendors know that if they're not, they risk being overtaken by proprietary platforms. It used to be Flash and Silverlight that threatened the web. Today's threats are proprietary app platforms and locked-in "eco-systems". Tomorrow, new threats will rise.

Developers who care about the web will code to the standards, test across browsers and block none. We all want the same: we want the web platform to grow, to remain open, to become ubiquitous by being the no-brainer development platform of choice for all.

Bruce Lawson: Opera and WebKit: a personal perspective