Google recently announced that it was forking WebKit to create the Blink rendering browser engine in an effort to pare down the WebKit engine to the essentials for Chrome. Since WebKit is used on over seven different platforms, it had become very tedious for the Chrome team to make adjustments for their browser without having to worry about the rest of the WebKit baggage.

What they didn't announce was the rate at which they would be working on the project, and when we could expect to see some of these revisions. In true "browser war" fashion, the Blink team has removed all stops, and in just over a month, culled 8.8 million lines of code from Blink.

Alex Komoroske, a product manager on Chrome's Open Web Platform, told a group of Google I/O attendees that removing so much code has not only dramatically improved the engine, but also had a profound effect on the engineers. They are more productive and the team has been exploring new rendering techniques and code contribution requests from Adobe, Intel, and Microsoft, said Komoroske.

The Blink team is well on their way to producing a viable product, reports TechCrunch. They have already begun testing a number of experiments with the engine, including Oilpan, a JavaScript tool that tests putting DOM nodes in a garbage-collected heap, and Lazy Block Layout. The latter assists browsers in loading web apps faster by prioritizing elements that are currently displayed on-screen, while deferring loading of off-screen elements. In one demonstration, rendering time using Lazy Block Layout was reduced from 4 seconds to 32 milliseconds.