"For several years (2001-2005) we've already had the situation when the single browser engine (Trident, MSIE) had the dominant share of 90% and more. Indeed, this was bad for the Web as a platform, pretty much in ways the article describes.
So is there actually any reasons for having competitive open-source full browser stacks? I believe licensing reasons (the one behind FreeBSD and Linux) is not very important for browser world (Gecko and WebKit have very similar licensing terms). And I don't see much ideological reasons that can't be fixed by forking.
What else? Usually developers hate abandoning their work and switching to improve competitor's solutions — especially in the open source world. Developers like the feeling of doing important stuff and money. Market share of Firefox is still quite high (~25%) and Mozilla still receives money (company is non-profit, but developers are being paid I believe). Probably for this reasons the struggle will continue for some time.
However it is difficult to assume that there is something useful for web platform in this struggle. Every new web standard feature requires independent implementation from two different open-source projects and the whole platform adoption process goes as fast as the slowest team goes."
Competition in open source is not bad. It is actually needed. People can fork WebKit but they might not able to change it dramatically if it's not in favor of Google, Apple and Nokia.
I can't think about a case that WebKit "bosses" won't like a change from another party, but that might happen. We need competition for implementations. What we don't need is double standards for the web.
Microsoft proposed and standardized CSS grids which is awesome, but Google and Apple for some reason do not implement it in WebKit. Microsoft will not do that too. Both ends are enjoying the situation. Pulse.com works great in IE10 because of CSS grids. Microsoft can put their "work best in IE" logo on their website again. Webkit seems don't care much about CSS grids because they think flex-box is the solution.
This is the problem. We have companies making and implementing new standards for their use without caring for the rest of web.
> I can't think about a case that WebKit "bosses" won't like a change from another party, but that might happen.
Such things already happened, for example Google wanted to add changes to WebKit to support another VM in the browser (for Dart). Apple devs blocked the attempt for technical reasons, but some speculate political ones were relevant as well.
The name hellban is from Something Awful, but it's a much older idea. The basic problem with banning problem users is that they'll often just register a new account and keep making bad posts. Hellbanning tries to solve this problem by hiding from the user that they're banned; they can continue to post and everything appears to work from their end, but their posts are hidden from all other users. The hope is that eventually they'll get bored with getting ignored and just move on.
A lot of people find this distasteful for obvious reasons, but it's fairly effective. The occasional good posts from hellbanned users (which are the vast minority; most are terrible, spam, or at best noise) are simply a result of that moderators are not perfect.
While it would indeed be enormous, it wouldn't be infinite - after all, they are writing Servo (See https://github.com/mozilla/servo/wiki/Design for details) that's hopefully parallelizable. Of course, whatever that ends up being might not be Firefox.