bits from justmarkup

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💡 Maybe having only one browser engine will be the best after all.

For years, I keep saying that it's important to have different browser engines. Mainly because having a browser monopoly is terrible.

Thinking again about this a lot recently, I now believe, one browser engine for all browsers may be better for all.

How could this work? Every browser using the engine would have to invest amount X (based on the average of last year's daily users). The money would be used for two things.

First, an independent board of browser experts would be formed. They would make the decisions about what to work on next from the backlog, what should ship next… They can also let the average web developers vote on bugs, features, for example.

Secondly, the money would be used to pay people to develop and test. Browser could either assign their own engineers, or pay an external company like Igalia to do the work.

The browser engine also needs to work on every major OS (Windows, Apple, Linux, Android).

On top, browsers could also decide to work on their own features, but they would not automatically make it in the main browser engine, they would be like an extension. Every other browser company could add this extension for their own browser, but it will only be fully integrated in the main browser, once the board agreed on it.

This should avoid the monopoly issue, as there would most probably never be only on company controlling it all. It could still happen, but we currently have at least three billion/trillion companies (Apple, Microsoft, Google), and it's not very likely two of them give up on having their own browser.

In the end, this would mean that browsers would have to compete on user experience, privacy, developer experience. On the other hand, they would all work together to fix bugs, and implement new features.

For web developers, this would hopefully reduce the browser bugs they have to work around. They may be able to directly influence what bugs should be fixed, what browsers should be implemented next. They wouldn't need to buy devices to test a browser, every browser would be available on every device.

Pretty sure I miss a lot here, but I think this could work. A benefit for end users, developers, browser companies – the web.

Also posted on: Mastodon