technikal, on 14 February 2013 - 03:16, said:
Except I'm not talking about one browser vendor attempting to be the "defacto". I'm talking about an actual standard where multiple vendors and the W3C all contribute. Obviously requires cooperation and the W3C to get their act together so I hold little hope.
You are still talking about one rendering engine which is just an implementation of a standard. The fact that it is open source and used by 4 browsers as the core does not mean it will avoid the IE6 problems.
Go look up Media Player Classic (MPC), MPC BE, and MPC HC as a great example. MPC was the original open source project by guliverkli. He stopped working on it, so it was forked to MPC HC. Years later, there was a split where MPC HC continued down one path and MPC BE continued on another. They had fundamental disagreements about the future so they are not contributing to each other completely.
That is a very likely scenario with Webkit, and from my understanding probably already is. Safari, Chrome, now Opera are going to have diverging ideas on how to make Webkit faster, better, and some new cool feature we don't know of yet. Now you assume that those changes will make it to the main branch of Webkit for all to share. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Some of it will, yes, but not all. Why? Because there are major differences that will emerge in how to proceed. Just look at WebGL vs Direct2D. Microsoft has implemented a full hardware renderer using Direct2D that makes WebGL pointless. Google wants WebGL. How do you reconcile differences? That is the whole point of having multiple browsers, multiple rendering engines.