A single standard rendering engine

Recently I read an interesting article about the features not present in CSS. These features could probably be added easily enough, but the main problem is when browsers would update their engines to support these features.

I understand that companies and organizations that develop web browsers (Mac, Microsoft, Mozilla, Opera, etc) want to add their own features to make their browser unique. I’m not saying they shouldn’t, I am saying I think a standard standards compliant rendering engine should be developed (maybe by a new branch of the W3C). This engine should support all official specifications and only those specifications. No modifications to the way that the rendering engine renders websites would be allowed. This rendering engine should be cross platform, flexible, and obviously open source. It should be as separate from the browser chrome as possible.

Web browsers should use this rendering engine, and when updates are released they should have to update their browser within 3-4 months maximum. This would solve SO many problems for web developers. To save on development costs, I still think the JavaScript engine should remain separate and part of the browser. This way, updates could be introduced more quickly, no need to test across a variety of browsers, and browser makers can still release their unique web browsers. I don’t see why any browser maker could possibly have a problem with this if the engine was developed properly. It would be easy enough to integrate into their existing code.

As for the development team, I propose members from Mozilla, Microsoft, Mac, Opera, Google and of course W3C itself. There shouldn’t be much arguing since the rendering engine merely has to conform to existing standards. The area where problems may occur is compatibility for existing websites. Perhaps a compatibility feature using the browser’s previous engine could be allowed.

Am I missing anything other than the cost of initial development?

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