A Reader Calls On MS To Adopt Mozilla's Rendering Engine

Tuesday September 14th, 1999

Dave Usher of Tiny Communications, a new free-access Internet service in the UK, writes, "Inspired by the recent discussions on MozillaZine I've written an open letter advocating that Microsoft adopt the NGlayout (Gecko) code for their IE rendering engine."

An interesting idea, IMO, which would preserve standards compliance on all platforms while allowing browser makers to compete in the user-interface arena. Instead of putting out competing (and incompatible) rendering engines, why not rally around a single rendering engine which could help guarantee standards compliance by virtue of its Open Source nature and cross-platform architecture?

#22 Choice

by Anon

Wednesday September 15th, 1999 1:36 PM

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Say you are sitting in a room using a web browser that could use multiple rendering engines. You don't know who wrote them and you don't know if they were developed using open source or not. Does it really matter who developed them? Does it really matter if it is open source or not? I don't think it does. If the engine performs well and implements current web standards (and fills the gaps with "common practice" if the standards don't cover a specific area), it would be a "good" engine. Of course this is only the opinion of the USER of the engine, so depending on how much you value the user's (not the content developers', or browser developers') opinion this method of choosing an engine might not be a good one.

On the open source issue, one might ask "what if people want to extend it?" If you want to extend it and it's open source, go right ahead. If it is closed source and extending it is the most important factor in your decision, well I guess you should find another browser that implements the feature or is open source. Better yet help develop ANOTHER rendering engine. Implementations from the ground up might be seen by some as wasted effort, but I see it as a way to offer choice. There is no perfect implementation. There are different kinds of users.

I've seen people say that alternate engines are fine as long as they are open source. Or as long as they use the mozilla engine as a foundation. Or as long as they don't come from MS.

I'm willing to consider using an engine developed from the ground up using closed source techniques. I don't know if I'd go so far as to use a MS browser, but who knows <g>

I want choice. I'd be happier if there were 5 more Opera like browsers out there. I'm using Opera as an example because it is a big non-"big two" browser out there. I'd rather have the "wasted effort" of distinct (no common heritage) standards based rendering engines than be forced down the tunnel with only MS and mozilla.

"Best viewed using any browser" should not implicitly mean "best viewed using engine X, the master of the universe engine"