Opera, Firefox And Internet Explorer To Implement WebKit Prefixes

By | April 26, 2012 | 12 Comments


Developers to blame.

In an interesting turn of events, which we view as positive news for its users, Opera Software will soon be releasing an experimental build of Opera Mobile Emulator, which will use WebKit prefixes to combat ignorant web developers. In addition to that, since it will be integrated into Opera’s core, you can expect to see same prefixes across all Opera web browsers in the near future.

Why do it? According to .net, such decision was made because Opera is “terrified of being outdone in the mobile marketplace” and the “large number of mobile websites designed exclusively for WebKit”. “Opera’s decision sets an incredibly poor precedent, allowing any vendor to implement any vendor prefix any way that vendor wants. That’s incredible fragmentation of the web.”

Furthermore, according to the source, “Mozilla and Microsoft will be joining Opera and will support some of the WebKit prefixes, “This is because too many authors of mobile sites only use the WebKit-prefixed version, and not even the standard, unprefixed one, when it is available. This leads to a reduced user experience on Opera, Mobile Firefox and Mobile IE, which don’t receive the same shiny effects, such as transitions, gradients and the like, even if the browser supports those effects.”

What do you think?

[Thanks, Ruaman]


About (Author Profile)


Vygantas is a former web designer whose projects are used by companies such as AMD, NVIDIA and departed Westood Studios. Being passionate about software, Vygantas began his journalism career back in 2007 when he founded FavBrowser.com. Having said that, he is also an adrenaline junkie who enjoys good books, fitness activities and Forex trading.

  • Oz

    That’s a shame when authors do not bother adding at least the standard in their tutorials and developers (developers, developers…) only use what they need for their own mobile.
    The most frightening bit here is will such news give Webkit some leader position, as Microsoft had in the late 90s, leading the evolution of the web?

  • Shane Bundy

    Has the W3C finally made it a recommendation or have the vendors taken it upon themselves to do this?

    I think -webkit- prefixes are used mainly because web devs believe only WebKit supports these features and yet they’re unaware that other browsers support them as well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Grane/100002393996156 David Grane

    Nice interesting article.Thank you for sharing.

  • Paulo

    Opera really needs do that. We got a lot of *popular* sites around there not following W3C recommendations.

  • http://twitter.com/webade Adrian Westlake

    This is an awful decision. What will the point be of supporting -moz, -o etc in future if -webkit will suffice. We might as well do away with vendor prefixes altogether…

  • http://twitter.com/AlexanderTrefz Alexander Trefz

    This move is about the most stupid thing that has *ever* happened. It will take a decade to turn this thing back. The Developers that did not support all other prefixes(reasons for this in a sec) will now *never* support any other prefix. Why should they, browsers are fixing this for them, they will say. This is just not the correct way to deal with this problem and, this is a very important point, developers are not to blame. Who makes the decision to support only iOS? Developers? Oh no no! Do not give me this crap! I make mobile stuff with quite a big regularity, and the managers above my head that make the decisions always cut of all other devices/OSes/Browsers for money and time reasons. I can not do anything about that. And i am not the only one in this position. Developers are *NOT* to blame for this. Device and OS-makers are. There is no way in hell a small-mid sized project is getting tested in a bagillion android devices on a bagillion browsers. Then there is the absoluty awful differences between webViews and Browsers on *all* mobile devices(i can not speak for PhoneSeven because we do not test on those, so i have no experience with it). Additionally there is no decent way of getting debugging done. Mobile Chrome is the first to finally support RemoteDebugging but this is merely a drop of water in the burning hell that is MobileDebugging. What Opera is doing is unresponsible and so incredibly false – i can not even my deep anger for Opera. They are not able to make a decent browser and wont fix extremely urgent bugs that kill behaviour so that sites support IE6/7+ but not Opera, and now they do the most hurtful thing to the web since the MS Development stop? Wow Opera, way do get hatred. I will stop supporting Opera if this hits a Stable browser. Users will get a message that will tell them how much this browser hurts the open web, and hopefully, many people will deny Opera users to watch their site so that Opera finally goes out of the business of making the web worse.. 

    • WOFall

      > “Opera, Firefox And Internet Explorer To Implement WebKit Prefixes”
      So why again, are you bashing Opera? It’s incredibly arrogant for you to own up to making such webkit only sites, and then blame other browsers for picking their way around it.

      And I disagree. Vendor prefixes were intended for testing and showing off implementations of experimental, sub-spec behaviour. If you are using any prefixes in production, you are the one making irresponsible decisions so far as the future of the web is concerned. (and yes, perhaps the “you” in this case is management, but the point stands.) Maybe it would be better to blame “html5″ for being developed too slowly, because really, it is, and humans are impatient by nature, but that’s another matter.

      To a large extent, webkit should take much of the blame for implementing so many features as vendor prefixes to start with. That is not to say that other browsers don’t also do this ( http://peter.sh/experiments/vendor-prefixed-css-property-overview/ ) but it happens that webkit has such a big mobile presence that it gets stuck with the blame.
      Personally I would much prefer that prefixes are only enabled in testing builds, or hidden behind a preference, but it’s far too late for that. Alternately you could have a -dev- or -experimental- prefix to share amongst all browsers. That has its own problems, but the situation we’re in now wouldn’t exist.

    • Asknobody

      No, developers are to blame. They started getting ahead of web standards and Opera have NO CHOICE in this situation. Alexander, start raging in mobile developers forums not here. Start raging in Safari and Chrome forums, because its their fault too to support  specific WebKit implementations which resulted such mess. Opera got screwed in IE6 era, so they really won’t make the same mistake again. They need to make money and to do that they need users and if users will notice that most mobile websites are broken in Opera, guess what will they do? Og yes, they will say, I will keep using Opera because it supports standards. No. Mobile users will leave Opera and Opera will go bankrupt. Mozilla and IE also don’t have any choice in this situation because they got very little share in mobile browsers market, and to implement WebKit specific features is the only way to gain some traction. Of course, maybe after 2 or 3 years, when web technologies will become very messy, developers again will start pointing fingers to MS, App, Google or Opera. But, they are to blame this time.

  • Jim

    Shame on Opera, FF, and IE.  This is a product of having all these vendor specific prefixes.  And now we are basically saying -webkit- is a standard prefix for all?  C’mon man.  That’s right there with browser user-agent strings reporting as Mozilla (save for you Opera).  Why not just drop the freakin prefixes all together and get back to 1 for; it either works or it doesn’t.  When will the Web ever learn!

  • http://my.opera.com/greench greench

    OMG !!! 

  • http://daPhyre.tumblr.com/ daPhyre

    Ok, they are vendor prefix to propose experimental features. The problem is that these prefix doesn’t become their unprefixed versions for too long! Last time I checked, i still needed to use -moz-border-radius, while Webkit implemented the unprefixed version too long ago.

    Yes, developers should always use the non-prefixed version at the end to support it for all once it is an standard. But experimental features should use unprefixed versions when they are (mostly) standardized, because as developers, is terrible to have to repeat 5 times the same text prefixed with the 4 possible options plus the future standard, and, if used too much, they also make our CSS much larger than they should :S

  • http://hector-macias.blogspot.com Hector Macias Ayala

    “combat ignorant web developers”

    Killed me!!