The problem with standards
Ian Glass and I had a conversation today about browsers and standards and I've come to the conclusion that standards will not deliver what it is we truely want and that being that what you code is what you get. The three Major browsers, IE, Mozilla/NS and Opera are the reason behind this. All three browsers suffer from quirks, 5pm friday codeing and misinterpreted W3c specs. Most of this has to do with Human error and as much as we would like for the code to render the same results in all browsers its not going to happen anytime soon because of the human error factor.
My thought was why do we need several browsers? Innovation, competition and freedom of choice are all good reasons to have 3 very unique browsers, but why do we need several browser developers each trying to create a rendering engine when a simpler solution to standards would be to have the same rendering engine used in each browser, sure its a dream. Microsoft would never throw away IE's rendering engine to adopt Mozilla's nor would Opera and Mozzilla adopt IE's. But in reality it would benefit developers, consumers, and Designers who still even with the relatively advanced state of standards have to deal with bowsers and there quirks.
Ian raised a point to counteract what I said, and that was that he still wanted atleast 1 browser pushing the boundaries, and i completely agree. However the boundaries that are being pushed are no longer the renderings, its is the added frills (mouse gestures, tabed browsing, scrollbars ect ect) If a truely open source rendering engine were adopted (nb: As close as Mozilla is, it is still not completely open source) it would with hope give us 1 set of rules that would apply to all browsers, A quirk in the engine would effect all the browsers, meaning designers would be well aware of it and have the ability to work with the 1 quirk in mind, unlike the current state where we have quirks for Opera, IE and Mozilla. That is something not even standards will eliminate.
so what are your thoughts? Would the world be better with 1 engine or am I just hoping for to much?