Chrome to introduce new vendor prefix, for testing WebRTC

Apparently, Google Chrome team is going to introduce a new vendor prefix in Blink, which would be used for testing and improving WebRTC features. When Google announced Blink, the rendering engine powering Chrome and a fork of WebKit, they pledged to not introduce new vendor prefix.

Chrome team, along with Mozilla and Opera, had also agreed to deprecate and unprefix vendor-prefixed properties over the time. Now, this move of relying on prefixed properties is surprising and disappointing, but the Chrome devs have proper justification for this.

chrome vendor prefix

Thankfully, the Chrome team would expose new vendor-prefixed properties in <=50% of installs, which should be sufficient for their testing goals. Google’s Adam Barth describes the reason behind this strategy in a discussion, “Exposing non-standard properties lets us run experiments to improve WebRTC and limiting the exposure to <=50% of installs prevents web sites from assuming the properties exist.  Specifically, the web sites still need to work for the 50% of users who don’t have the non-standard features, which will give us the ability to remove these features when the experiment is over. […]
It is difficult to evaluate network protocols in a lab, and WebRTC is largely about the networking between the two endpoints.  For example, when we were developing SPDY, we also used live-traffic experiments”. This explanation makes sense.

(h/t David Storey)

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