What are browsers? They are bit like a light switched on so one can read a book. They are rather useless without any pages they can display. And still, it seems that dominating the browser market is a very attractive goal. Of course, doing that leads to the ability to control what techniques can be used and which can't, a very powerful way to exclude competitors. 

Browsers are not important to me. As long as they display the pages I want in the way they were intended to be displayed, I'm satisfied. Nothing more, Browsers just don't impress me, they are simply a tool. And the best tool is easy to use, robust and supportive. Supportive also means that I expect a Browser to stay out of my way. I don't want toolbars or widgets stuffing the screen. Just the content.

This leads to a question. What to expect from a Browser. Honestly, nowadays every major Browser supports Tabbed Browsing, Ad Blocking and some kind of Anti-Phising. Most Browsers also support Web Standards and large parts of CSS2.1, Internet Explorer 6 and 7 don't. JavaScript or ECMAScript is another topic. Now all widely used, modern Browsers support XMLHttpRequest, Why is it even important to list those specs?

Well to show you that those differences in support for each standard, language or format do matter. Unfortunately, when doing something for the Web, live stops immediately being cool and easy. There is no guarantee whatsoever that your product will run or display correctly on every browser, even if you carefully follow the standards when implementing. That leads to a lot of workload just for testing, not the overall but browser-specific one. This could be totally avoidable. By browser manufacturers simply agreeing on a few standards, but unfortunately, still that fails as long as people are willing to use the well-known standards wrecking machine, Internet Explorer.

Designers and Programmers can't ignore the fact that the majority of folks is still using IE to browse. Forcing them to change won't work, it has never. And it stinks that every page expecting mainstream audience has to be customised accordingly. Just to workaround quirks. That's well-spent time, that could be used to built great products or do something really useful.

So a good browser should be one we don't talk about. One that just a good job. And everything else is, besides the fact that in our case "everything else" refers to "everything out there", a wrong way, keeping developers from working on useful stuff and users from having a consistent browsing experience. And it should be in the best interest of browser manufacturers to ensure both.