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I recommend looking up the term 'software monoculture'. What you're talking about is, at least in my opinion, one of the worst things that could ever happen to the web, and already unfortunately, a serious risk with the prevalence of other browsers also being Chromium-based.

Competition in the software space is what encourages innovation to happen. Problems being tackled in different ways by different groups often leads to the best solution being found among them.




Which is why I applaud the Microsoft team open sourcing Chakra (their js engine for IE/edge), and their efforts to get it working as an alternate engine for Node.js

More competition is ALWAYS a good thing. It prevents vendor lockin, prevents bugs from becoming defacto standards, and prevents developers trying to "optimize" for the platform and instead has the platform try to optimize for developers (that was a weird way to say that, but I mean things like avoiding "performance bottlenecks in one engine" from becoming "performance bottlenecks in javascript")

A good example of that last one is try/catch blocks. In V8 they trigger a deopt for the whole function making it run slower, in most other engines it doesn't. Because of V8's large usage, many people avoid try/catch in performant code to avoid that penalty, even though it's just an issue with v8's implementation. And because of that you start seeing "avoid try/catch" as a general performance "tip" for javascript.


The corollary is that after a best/good-enough solution is found and the underlying platform unifies and stabilizes, most of the innovation moves up in the stack. Things that used to be important and hotly debated become mundane things that you can rely on simply being there, a new space then opens up for new types of software to compete in, and the pattern repeats.

See hardware architectures -> operating systems -> browser engines -> frameworks -> services etc. The first two are effectively fully commoditized, few people get excited about them anymore, even as Linux development is more active than ever. Similarly the browser engine is now entering the unification phase, with Chromium swallowing competitors. Meanwhile the battle to define how higher level components are created on top of the browser is in full swing with rapid innovation.


Lack of choice in hardware architecture and operating systems, particularly in mobile, is a huge issue, and I'd argue, a poor support for unification being a good thing. It's pretty hard to get a device that isn't running Android and a Qualcomm processor, other than an iPhone.

As Google becomes more of a looming threat on privacy, the idea that they win in the mobile space and the browser space, and we suggest that nobody should compete with them is a terrifying situation.


Having multiple implementations also means any problems in the various web interfaces and specifications are much more likely to be found.




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