Safari and Firefox should switch to Chromium

Oh, the browsers war, an endless story. For decades, this never stopped. While the competition helped the web to move forward in the first decade, recently it seems more harmful for the ecosystem and for users.

I don't want to diminish the work every browser have put in. They are doing an amazing job and browsers are really complex. It's my opinion over the current situation.

In this article I'll refer to a single engine as a single set of engines. I know a browser has multiple engines.

Internet Explorer

I'm not gonna reiterate the entire history, we all know about the Internet Explorer. A perfect example of a software pushed to clients by the its parent company by leveraging the market share. Besides this, little innovation, slow development and not specs compliant.

After too many years, Microsoft finally killed the Internet Explorer by trying one more time with Edge (legacy). Once again, that didn't work and they switched to Chromium - one of the best decision made by Microsoft.

Even before Microsoft switched to Chromium, other browsers did the same, like Opera.

The present

Now, we have 3 major browsers (different engines) on paper - Chrome, Firefox and Safari. But in reality, looking at the market share, we only have Chrome and Safari. And Safari it's kinda here because of the Apple's closed ecosystem.


We can say a lot of things about Google, but they are the one who invested the most in their browser. The fight was hard, with many dirty tactics from all the companies - Google's products blocking other browsers, Apple forcing users to use Safari, Microsoft doing similar stuff in the past. Despite all of these things, Chrome it is the most used browser because it is the best. In every aspect, being performance, specs implemented or developer tools.

I know Chrome is a fork of WebKit (Safari), but today they don't have anything in common.


The king from the past. Firefox is the first browser that helped the web platform to evolve and save the users from Internet Explorer. It had its momentum, but Google came with Chrome using some strong marketing and a better distribution channel. Then, Mozilla took some questionable decisions on the business level, concentrating on many other products. Meanwhile, Chrome became better and better with any new version, gaining traction between users. They lost the market share and with considerable fewer resources comparing with the two giants, they barely have any chances to come back.


There are a lot of jokes about Safari being the new Internet Explorer. Well, it is kinda of true in many cases. In the last few years, Safari tried to catch up and implemented a lot of new APIs quite from the beginning. It is not enough. As a developer, statistically speaking from my experience, I have to fix many more Safari bugs then any other browser. Safari feels like Internet Explorer by being pushed by Apple in its closed ecosystem (iPhone) and missing features for years. They are in a catch up mode and for years they did too little, too late. Apple doesn't have a lot of interest in the web platform and that's where everybody has to suffer - users, developers and the platform.

Only one engine

Having multiple engines on the market created competition and saved us from bad actors. In the same time, multiple engines created a fragmented platform for two decades.

picture of an engine floating in the air

Things are different now. The standardization process is in a better place. Chromium proved that we can have many browsers focusing on different features, while using the same engine and not caring about implementing web APIs. Also, Chromium proved that multiple companies can contribute to the same engine.

It would be a dream, at least for me, to have only one engine to care about and have the option to use all the new stuff in a matter of months from standardization. Especially for features that can't be polyfilled, we would not have to wait for years to use them.

Even better it would be if the Chromium would be controlled by a community group, consisting of all interested companies, not only by Google.


One of the major risks is the lack of competition. Everyone could just use the same engine, but without contributions. Things could stagnate, but I think there are enough companies with major interests in the web platform and this could be avoided.

Another challenge would be the tech stack. The community group / companies should accept only one tech stack. All three major browsers use common programming languages like C or C++ for some parts, but also different ones like Python, Rust, Objective-C and others.


This might be a dream, but it's a dream I dream about, where I don't need to fix weird quircks, where I don't need to test my apps in countless versions, where I don't need to bundle polyfills for years, but where I can use new features in a matter of months.