2 min read

Apple has released a list of tentative goals for WebKit in 2020 catering to WebKit users as well as Web, Native, and WebKit Developers. These features are tentative and there is no guarantee if these updates will ship at all.

Before releasing new features, Apple looks at a number of factors that are arranged according to a plan or system. They look at developer interests and harmful aspects associated with a feature. Sometimes they also take feedback/suggestions from high-value websites.

WebKit 2020 enhancements for WebKit users

Primarily, WebKit is focused on improving performance as well as privacy and security. Some performance ideas suggested include Media query change handling, No sync IPC for cookies, Fast for-of iteration, Turbo DFG, Async gestures, Fast scrolling on macOS, Global GC, and Service Worker declarative routing.

For privacy, Apple is focusing on improving Address ITP bypasses, logged in API, in-app browser privacy, and PCM with fraud prevention. They are also working on improving Authentication, Network Security, JavaScript Hardening, WebCore Hardening, and Sandbox Hardening.

Improvements in WebKit 2020 for Web Developers

For web platforms, the focus is on three qualities – Catchup, Innovation, and Quality. Apple is planning to bring improvements in Graphics and Animations (CSS overscroll-behavior, WebGL 2, Web Animations), Media (Media Session Standard

MediaStream Recording, Picture-in-Picture API) and DOM, JavaScript, and Text. They are also looking to improve CSS Shadow Parts, Stylable pieces, JS builtin modules, Undo Web API and also work on WPT (Web Platform Tests).

Changes suggested for Native Developers

For Native Developers in the obsolete legacy WebKit, the following changes are suggested:

  • WKWebView API needed for migration
  • Fix cookie flakiness due to multiple process pools
  • WKWebView APIs for Media

Enhancements for WebKit Developers

The focus is on improving Architecture health and service & tools. Changes suggested are:

  • Define “intent to implement” style process
  • Faster Builds (finish unified builds)
  • Next-gen layout for line layout
  • Regression Test Debt repayment
  • IOSurface in Simulator
  • EWS (Early Warning System) Improvements
  • Buildbot 2.0
  • WebKit on GitHub as a project (year 1 of a multi-year project)

On Hacker News, this topic was widely discussed with people pointing out what they want to see in WebKit.

Two WebKit goals I’d like to see for 2020: (1) Allow non-WebKit browsers on iOS (start outperforming your competition instead of merely banning your competition), and (2) Make iOS the best platform for powerful web apps instead of the worst, the leader instead of the spoiler.

Another pointed, “It would be great if SVG rendering, used for diagrams, was of equal quality to Firefox.

One said, “WebKit and the Safari browsers by extension should have full and proper support for Service Workers and PWAs on par with other browsers.

For a full list of updates, please see the WebKit Wiki page.

Read Next

Apple introduces Swift Numerics to support numerical computing in Swift

Apple announces ‘WebKit Tracking Prevention Policy’ that considers web tracking as a security vulnerability

Apple’s MacOS Catalina in major turmoil as it kills iTunes and drops support for 32 bit applications

Content Marketing Editor at Packt Hub. I blog about new and upcoming tech trends ranging from Data science, Web development, Programming, Cloud & Networking, IoT, Security and Game development.