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?
#7 What about choice?
Tuesday September 14th, 1999 8:09 PM
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Even if it's an open source monopoly, a monopoly is not a good thing for consumers. Right now, one of the main factors in causing browsers to get better, faster, etc. is competition: the "browsers wars".
As it is now, in my opinion, the IE rendering engine is superiour to Netscape's (i.e. the one used in NS 4.61). IE's engine is quicker, modular, and has better standards support. It has some disadvantages too, of course, the biggest one being lack of cross-platform compatiblity, but on Win32 I would have to say than it is currently better than Netscape. (Yes, this could be argued, but it's very difficult to say that IE's engine is markedly inferiour to NS's.) This wasn't always the case; up until IE3/NS4, Netscape's engine was better than IE's. It currently seems like Mozilla is set to overtake IE. This isn't a certainty; after all, Mozilla in its current state is buggy and slow, and while it shows huge amounts of promise it's impossible to say what the finished product will be. Also, because MS has a closed development process, we simply don't know what their latest engine is; after all, IE5 was released a long time ago.
Anyway, this is just to say that there still isn't a clear superiority and that, because of competetion, the browsers have been maturing, changing, and exchanging the crown. If there is no competition, then it's doubtful that browsers will continue to mature as quickly as they have done.
This is all irrelevant, though: there's not a chance that MS will actually use Mozilla. It just isn't going to happen. After all, AOL is probably MS' biggest competitor - they're not going to use a browser which is tied very tightly to AOL.