Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Examining Chrome's Source Code

Soulskill posted about 6 years ago | from the work-in-progress dept.

Google 288

An anonymous reader writes "Chrome is open source, and there's clearly still some work to be done on it. In this article, Neil McAllister decided to take a peek under Chrome's hood and view it through the eyes of the developers who will improve and maintain it in the coming years. It seems Google's open source browser currently has much to offer prospective hackers — provided they use Windows. Quoting: 'The Chromium site explains how to download the source code for Linux, Mac OS X, or Windows. Unfortunately, if you're eagerly awaiting a Mac version of Chrome, you shouldn't hold your breath. As the Mac OS X area of the Chromium developer site explains, "Right now, the Mac build is a work in progress that is much closer to the start than the finish." In fact, according to the latest status report, the Chrome developers have yet to get even the browser core running under Mac OS X. Rendering actual Web pages is still a long way off, to say nothing of a usable Aqua GUI. Then again, the Linux version is in arguably even worse shape.'"

cancel ×

288 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

the core not even running under mac? (3, Insightful)

hansoloaf (668609) | about 6 years ago | (#24989393)

How can it be? After all it's based on Webkit.

Does it really matter? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24989455)

Macs already have one Webkit based browser, out of the box, and it simply rocks.

Re:Does it really matter? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24989567)

the point is that since webkit was written for and compiles on mac, what've they done to break it?

Re:Does it really matter? (4, Insightful)

Peganthyrus (713645) | about 6 years ago | (#24989711)

They've surrounded the tasty nugget of Mac-compatible Webkit code with a thick layer of Windows-only user-interface and thread-maintenance code.

Re:Does it really matter? (1)

scientus (1357317) | about 6 years ago | (#24989797)

The base part works 100% in tests but the many OS-parts (encryption, security zones, file types, etc, etc unlike firefox chrome uses the os features) have not been built. sme with the GUI (which is also of course OS-dependant)

Re:Does it really matter? (0, Redundant)

scientus (1357317) | about 6 years ago | (#24989817)

sorry, the core works 100% on linux not mac OSX :) JK

Re:Does it really matter? (2, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | about 6 years ago | (#24990057)

Yes it matters, because competition spurs progress. Just look at how IE stagnated until Firefox started to take market share.

Re:Does it really matter? (1)

tukang (1209392) | about 6 years ago | (#24990355)

Macs already have one Webkit based browser, out of the box, and it simply rocks.

Google's browser is interesting because it uses separate processes for each tab - not because it uses webkit.

Re:the core not even running under mac? (4, Informative)

pizzach (1011925) | about 6 years ago | (#24989545)

Likely because they added some personal customizations to Webkit like HTML 5 tweaks/additions to Webkit. Also, if JavaScript is considered part of the core, that is likely a reason also. Chrome's implementation of JavaScript is totally different than the one used in Safari.

Re:the core not even running under mac? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24989911)

I can tell you the Javascript core works fine on OS X and Linux. Only for 32-bit x86 platforms though.

I have been playing with it some. At first I was excited because it uses a JIT and is relatively small and fast for a Javascript engine. However, after extensive testing I'm kinda "meh" about it at this point. It's C++ so it's difficult to integrate with pure C applications. It doesn't run on very many platforms and it's slower than LuaJIT.

It's OK though. I doubt anyone can create a Javascript engine as fast as Lua, it's a limitation caused by the poor design of the Javascript language itself. Lua would have made a better Javascript.

Re:the core not even running under mac? (1)

Firehed (942385) | about 6 years ago | (#24990099)

Why the hell would the Mac version only work on 32-bit? With the exception of I think just the first Mac Mini (and maybe the first Macbooks), their entire Intel line has been x86-64. Seems like a silly move.

Re:the core not even running under mac? (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | about 6 years ago | (#24990189)

Because their incredible v8 engineers didn't target 64bit arches before release. Since javascript is a major portion of the WWW now and drives some of the UI, there is no 64bit build. Enjoy!

Re:the core not even running under mac? (1)

pizzach (1011925) | about 6 years ago | (#24990245)

Why the hell would the Mac version only work on 32-bit?

Most likely because it was programmed for Windows first and Windows was very late to the table including 64bit support in the OS. That's what Google gets for leaving porting as an after thought. Adobe Flash likely falls in this category too.

Re:the core not even running under mac? (3, Informative)

master5o1 (1068594) | about 6 years ago | (#24989645)

Same could be said for linux -- Konqueror is [one of] the first KHTML/WebKit browser[s] and WebKit runs on Linux. That should say that Linux and Mac versions should almost at the same stage and closer to the first quarter of completion.

Just because WebKit runs, doesn't mean that the browser won't.

It's not over for Mozilla after all (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24989411)

They still have a near monopoly on the entire Linux desktop market!

Re:It's not over for Mozilla after all (5, Insightful)

Simias (953970) | about 6 years ago | (#24989439)

And google is really happy with that. They don't need to target the linux market because Mozilla is already working for them here.

The target is obviously internet explorer.

Re:It's not over for Mozilla after all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24989513)

> They don't need to target the linux market because Mozilla is already working for them here.

In contrast to Windows?

Re:It's not over for Mozilla after all (5, Insightful)

wisty (1335733) | about 6 years ago | (#24989553)

And they don't want to destroy the innovative, anti-Microsoft, pro-Google Firefox or Safari browsers. No sensible parasite kills its host. They only want to take down IE, which drives traffic to MS search.

Re:It's not over for Mozilla after all (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24989667)

Symbiotic relationship ---

Google has their Desktop applications for Windows.
Competes with Internet Explorer and other Microsoft products directly,
Co-operates with Firefox and Safari, etc.

I'm too tired to think straight really.

Re:It's not over for Mozilla after all (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | about 6 years ago | (#24990311)

Well, mozilla is cofounded by google. Mozilla made svg plugin for IE. So is it embrace, extend and now it will be extinguish?

Re:It's not over for Mozilla after all (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24989577)

Firefox sucks! I would be so happy with another browser like Chrome.

Re:It's not over for Mozilla after all (5, Insightful)

Firehed (942385) | about 6 years ago | (#24990195)

But of the eleventy billion IE users who still haven't switch to !IE, why would they switch to Chrome? I think the vast majority of them can be split into two groups: their bank/intranet/some stupid thing/fucking activex/etc doesn't work right elsewhere, and "the blue e takes me to the internet!". The first group can't switch and the second just doesn't care - why/how would Chrome change that?

Re:It's not over for Mozilla after all (2, Insightful)

Evenstone (957409) | about 6 years ago | (#24990227)

The target is to control the platform that they write all their software for.

Re:It's not over for Mozilla after all (4, Interesting)

kripkenstein (913150) | about 6 years ago | (#24990439)

And google is really happy with that. They don't need to target the linux market because Mozilla is already working for them here.

The target is obviously internet explorer.

I disagree for two reasons.

First, we can only presume Google wants Chrome to run on Android, Google's handset OS. Which is based on Linux. So clearly Google has a direct and powerful motivation to target Linux with Chrome. (In fact a much stronger motivation than to get Chrome running on OS X - I wouldn't be surprised to see the Android/Linux version out earlier.)

Second, one of the best ways to weaken IE is to weaken Windows - the less people running Windows, the less run IE. But if Chrome is Windows-only, that just strengthens Windows as the only platform able to run the 'best' browser ('best' at least in Google's eyes and those that like Chrome).

In other words, every IE convert to Chrome is still locked in to Windows. Whereas Google's long-term goal is to make the OS irrelevant so long as it can access Google's web services.

Re:It's not over for Mozilla after all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24990507)

the less people running Windows

It's fewer ffs.

Re:It's not over for Mozilla after all (5, Interesting)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 6 years ago | (#24989469)

They still have a near monopoly on the entire Linux desktop market!

Truth is, I don't really care if Chrome runs under Linux or not. What _is_ important is that there is a lot of buzz about a non-IE browser out there, and that will help Linux users no matter which browser they use. Chrome will get the attention of at least some PHBs and Frontpa^w webdevs who code IE-only websites. I have been complaining about this for years [dotancohen.com] but now there finally is a product that they will have a hard time ignoring. Firefox was close, but was only talked about by gearheads. Even my mother-in-law asked me about Chrome. Which is too bad, as she's on Ubuntu and feels left out...

Re:It's not over for Mozilla after all (3, Interesting)

sznupi (719324) | about 6 years ago | (#24989687)

Unfortunatelly, Firefox wasn't close at all; it simply shifted the mindset in most places from "we support only IE" to "we support only IE and Firefox".

It was noticeable when you use something else, like Opera... (luckily not on sites originating in my area of the world, since Opera here has from 5 to 25 percent, depending on the country; and since Firefox has over 40% in most of them, aiming sites for duopoly doesn't work)

Seems like three major browsers is a minimum needed for them to start noticing _true_ interoperability...

Re:It's not over for Mozilla after all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24989873)

Opera here has from 5 to 25 percent, depending on the country; and since Firefox has over 40% in most of them, aiming sites for duopoly doesn't work)

Bwahahaha. Where, in Opera's office?

Re:It's not over for Mozilla after all (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 6 years ago | (#24989957)

Unfortunatelly, Firefox wasn't close at all; it simply shifted the mindset in most places from "we support only IE" to "we support only IE and Firefox".

While I agree with you, I must say that IE+Fx is better than IE-only, even for Opera users, as it is a cross-platform solution. It now boils down (for the most part) to an issue of user preference, rather than locking out specific OS's. Of course, there are platforms that Opera runs on that do not have a Trident or Gecko based browser available, but none of those are used as common PC's.

Re:It's not over for Mozilla after all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24990007)

There's still a lot of sites that I notice offer compatability only with IE and Netscape. Quite rdiculous especially considering that their help pages (which come up when they advise me to turn scripting on coz I use noscript), they tell me how to turn it on - for IE and Netscape 7.

Netscape 7! Surely more people use Firefox for just about any site out there.

I'm certain there are web developers out there still stuck in a late 1990's mindset and cannot grasp the idea that the number 2 browser is Firefox. And that there are many alternatives. Or perhaps it's PHBs insisting that only commercial is quality...

Re:It's not over for Mozilla after all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24990077)

Reminds me of a government site I saw the other day, that was actively testing for user agent, and telling me to download firefox or ie.

The (not so) funny thing is, I AM using firefox. They were lame enough or stupid enough to test if I was using firefox ON WINDOWS...

In the end, I used Konqueror with a fake firefox/windows user agent, and it worked perfectly. So basically all that user-agent testing stuff was crap.

What I don't get... (4, Interesting)

Angstroem (692547) | about 6 years ago | (#24989427)

So they want to develop a cross-platform browser.

Why exactly is it then tied that tightly to a platform that porting it over to other platforms seems to basically mean starting all over again? After all, it's not like all 3 platforms would be completely alien in the backend -- they are POSIX compliant. Then the GUI: it's not like there aren't any cross-platform widget sets out there. But even if you want to go for individual approaches for each platform, then you still can separate functionality from the GUI.

So why again is the Mac port "closer to start than finish" (especially when reminding that Chrome is based on Webkit) and the Linux port "even worse"?

Re:What I don't get... (4, Insightful)

mikeplokta (223052) | about 6 years ago | (#24989527)

Cross-platform widget sets are always dreadful. An application developed using cross-platform widgets will, at best, work well on one platform, and more usually on no platforms. OS X and Windows have different UI philosophies, and an OS X application needs a different UI from a Windows application.

Re:What I don't get... (1, Informative)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about 6 years ago | (#24989551)

Cross-platform widget sets are always dreadful. An application developed using cross-platform widgets will, at best, work well on one platform, and more usually on no platforms. OS X and Windows have different UI philosophies, and an OS X application needs a different UI from a Windows application.

Yeah, I quite agree. Knocking out a Windows only GUI application is a hell of lot easier than a cross platform one.

Re:What I don't get... (3, Insightful)

HuguesT (84078) | about 6 years ago | (#24989821)

Not that different really. Qt does a very cross-platform good job, and several other toolkits do a more-than-passable job as well such wxWidget or FLTK.

To me cross-platform is the only way to go, if you don't want your code to obsolete itself in no time at all.

Re:What I don't get... (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 6 years ago | (#24990301)

Have you ever used a Qt application on OS X? They stick out like a sore thumb. I think they've possibly fixed it in later versions, but until recently even trivial things like the keyboard shortcuts for skipping forwards and backwards one word in a text field were different from every other OS X application. The menus usually have a different structure, the preferences panels are typically horrendous, the services menu doesn't work correctly - they're so frustrating to use that they're typically not worth the bother.

Re:What I don't get... (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 6 years ago | (#24990401)

Have you ever used a Qt application on OS X? They stick out like a sore thumb. I think they've possibly fixed it in later versions, but until recently even trivial things like the keyboard shortcuts for skipping forwards and backwards one word in a text field were different from every other OS X application. The menus usually have a different structure, the preferences panels are typically horrendous, the services menu doesn't work correctly - they're so frustrating to use that they're typically not worth the bother.

Do you mean to say that OS-X breaks convention by using non-standard keyboard shortcuts? The menu differences I could understand, there is no innovation without change and OS-X is a very innovative OS. However, I use Ubuntu with KDE at home, the mother-in-law is on Ubuntu with Gnome at her place, and I use Windows XP at the university. All these OSes have more or less the same keyboard shortcuts, as well as the applications that run on them. I am a heavy keyboard user so I would find it unwieldy to use a machine with shortcuts that differ from those in convention for the 20 years that I've been using computers. So much has changed in that time, but the muscle memory in my fingers can always find it's way around any new application that sticks to convention.

Re:What I don't get... (1)

Anpheus (908711) | about 6 years ago | (#24990307)

*hurk*

Wait, what? You think Qt does a very cross-platform good job? Is that different from a very good cross-platform job? I'm confused because I think you just said there's a cross platform UI kit that doesn't look like another OS just regurgitated its UI quirks into another OS. Please, do go on.

Re:What I don't get... (1)

nsrbrake (233425) | about 6 years ago | (#24990011)

Sad but true, "An application developed using cross-platform widgets will, at best, work well on one platform, and more usually on no platforms." QFT, but as you mention the underlying philosophies are a stumbling block. Worse when you drop the idiosyncrasies of a given application which the developer makes work on one platform and then trying to replicate that on other platforms/widget sets. I wonder if it would even be possible to dream up a grand unified HIG which could at least try to mitigate the platform differences during the design phase.

Re:What I don't get... (2, Interesting)

dgriff (1263092) | about 6 years ago | (#24990023)

Check out SWT [wikipedia.org] which is available for C++ as well as Java.

Re:What I don't get... (1)

bfremon (1128877) | about 6 years ago | (#24990259)

And what about VLC ? It's got a special UI for Mac OS X, and except it's shitty playlist, it works consistently in both Linux and Windows. -ben

Re:What I don't get... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24989539)

It's fairly simple.
The code is ill-designed from the start.

An obvious good programming practice is to never assume anything out of your platform and just stick to what the standards specify and what they don't.
They didn't follow it. They even did worse, they made it for MS Windows 32 bits from the start. Too bad for them.

Re:What I don't get... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24989675)

They even did worse, they made it for MS Windows 32 bits from the start. Too bad for them.

Yeah, now they're stuck with 90+% of the existing desktops on the planet. Whatever will they do?

Re:What I don't get... (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about 6 years ago | (#24990485)

A decreasing percentage, as people move to 64bit and mac/linux increase market share.

Re:What I don't get... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | about 6 years ago | (#24989591)

> So they want to develop a cross-platform browser.

I see no evidence of that.

Re:What I don't get... (1)

mrjb (547783) | about 6 years ago | (#24989719)

What about their development site [chromium.org] which explains how to build chromium on Windows, MacOS and Linux?

Re:What I don't get... (1)

HuguesT (84078) | about 6 years ago | (#24989831)

Chromium the rendering engine and associated libraries looks to be the backend of Chrome, the browser.

The latter is not available to any other platform than Windows.

Re:What I don't get... (4, Informative)

FooBarWidget (556006) | about 6 years ago | (#24989599)

"After all, it's not like all 3 platforms would be completely alien in the backend -- they are POSIX compliant."

Uh, sorry? Since when is Windows POSIX compliant? Windows seems to be the only major modern OS in existence that's not POSIX compliant.

I know that Windows provides some POSIX support, but it's broken and non-compliant in various ways. For example fork() is not supported.

Re:What I don't get... (3, Informative)

Haeleth (414428) | about 6 years ago | (#24989731)

Windows provides basic support for POSIX.1, but it's always been a second-class citizen and was only added to meet some US government requirement or other.

There is also SFU, or whatever they're calling it these days, but IIRC that's never been easy to integrate with the Windows GUI, and isn't available for major OSes like XP Home anyway.

To all intents and purposes, if you want to target Windows you either need to use a proprietary Microsoft API, or you need to use a compatibility layer or cross-platform library that translates to a proprietary Microsoft API; this last option is the one used by real cross-platform browsers like Firefox and Opera.

Re:What I don't get... (1)

HuguesT (84078) | about 6 years ago | (#24989861)

Enterprise-level [msdn.com] versions of Windows are fairly posix-compliant.

For all the others there's various libraries and environments like cygwin [cygwin.com] that support various degrees of Posix for Windows. It is easy to find a fork() for windows, or indeed posix threads, etc.

Re:What I don't get... (4, Informative)

pthisis (27352) | about 6 years ago | (#24989983)

I know that Windows provides some POSIX support, but it's broken and non-compliant in various ways. For example fork() is not supported.

Not true.

Microsoft Windows Internals, 4th. Ed (Russinovich & Solomon), p. 60:

Because POSIX.1 compliance was a mandatory goal for Windows, the operating system was designed to ensure that the required base system support was present to allow for the implementation of a POSIX.1 subsystem (such as the fork function, which is implemented in the Windows executive, and the support for hard file links in the Windows file system).

And to head off the next common incorrect belief, p.394:

The POSIX subsystem takes advantage of copy-on-write to implement the fork function. Typically, when a UNIX application calls the fork function to create another process, the first thing that the new process does is call the exec function to reinitialize the address space with an executable program. Instead of copying the entire address space on fork, the new process shares the pages in the parent process by marking them copy-on-write.

The POSIX subsystem blows for a host of reasons (you can't access most normal Win32 functionality, at least not easily), but it's got fork.

Re:What I don't get... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24990293)

Windows is the only major modern OS to design for. This will get modded troll I'm sure (hence the AC), but let's be honest. Spending money to develop a fully working system for Linux or Mac costs probably about as much as it costs to develop for Windows, but with a much much smaller install base.

Re:What I don't get... (1)

oglueck (235089) | about 6 years ago | (#24989613)

I totally agree. It's hard to believe that they even started without going cross-platform from the very beginning. Porting is so much harder! I haven't looked at the source but are they actually using at least something like a portable runtime? I know at least 2 to choose from: Apache (apr), Netscape (nspr). Did I mention Java? :-)

Re:What I don't get... (4, Insightful)

itsdapead (734413) | about 6 years ago | (#24989885)

So they want to develop a cross-platform browser.

Not really - they want a Windows browser to deliver their apps on which, largely thanks to the Google name, might stand a chance of making some inroads against IE.

Mac and Linux versions would be nice too - but those users already use either Firefox or Webkit/Safari which have a better reputation for standards compliance and aren't controlled by Microsoft. That last is particularly important if your name is Google and you produce webapps which compete with Microsofts office products.

So why again is the Mac port "closer to start than finish"

Because they obviously chose to develop for Windows and port later, rather than develop all 3 versions in parallel. So maybe they delayed the Mac and Linux versions at the expense of Windows, but the upshot is that they got the Windows beta out before IE8 launches. Kinda strategic.

Chrome is based on Webkit

So what if they don't have to write WebKit for Mac? They didn't have to write WebKit for Windows, either! What Google are spending their time on will be the not insubstantial bits that wrap around Webkit to make it Chrome.

it's not like there aren't any cross-platform widget sets out there

Looks to me like they're using their own Widget set. Plus (as both MS and Mozilla have found in the past) Mac users tend to come down hard on apps that don't look as if they were born and bred on a Mac.

Re:What I don't get... (2, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 6 years ago | (#24989965)

I don't see how POSIX is even introduced as a reason it should work, at least for Windows. I've never heard of it being useful in Windows except for command line software, that it precluded even using a GUI. I recall it was put in to satisfy a checklist for government purchases, only rarely being useful for anything other than that.

Well done that man... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24989451)

It's going to have maintainability problems. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24989465)

Chrome is a combination of numerous libraries and source code, from sources as diverse as Google, Microsoft, the KDE project and Apple. While this allowed them to initially put together the browser relatively rapidly, there is a lack of cohesion. This will surely lead to maintenance issues later on down the road, due to the hacks necessary to get everything to mesh.

There are enough maintainability issues with, for example, the Mozilla codebase, where they wrote most of the code themselves. It'll be far worse for Chrome.

Re:It's going to have maintainability problems. (1)

zanfr (869393) | about 6 years ago | (#24989519)

the code is full of bad decisions for portability ...

Re:It's going to have maintainability problems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24989617)

That's not the problem, the libs are already cross platform. The Chrom(ium)e code itself uses winsock and has hardcoded registry access. While portability can be ifdef'ed in, the correct way to do it is to remove the windows specific stuff and abstract any platform specific code. Needless to say, cross platform apps should properly be designed like this from the ground up.

Elsewhere (Post limits be damned...), others are commenting on cross platform widget sets, chromium takes the mozilla approach and renders it's own widgets using the layout engine. IMO that was a sensible decision, to see why compare the work on glass for XUL with the Gtk-Quartz work.

Re:It's going to have maintainability problems. (4, Interesting)

skeeto (1138903) | about 6 years ago | (#24990175)

And, yuck, they checked in a whole bunch of binaries. If you so a checkout of the Subversion repository (weighing in at 1.5G for the single revision checkout, 8G or so to build!) it is a huge mess. I don't think Chrome is going anywhere for a long time due to these maintainability problems you mentioned, and you won't find hackers poking around Chromium with the mess that the codebase is in. Plus, it's all tied very closely to Windows, and who wants to hack in the hacker-unfriendly Windows?

Once I saw this, I sort-of forgot all about Chrome/Chromium. It's all hype for now.

pffff (2, Interesting)

zanfr (869393) | about 6 years ago | (#24989495)

i knew it from running chrome in wine there are just too many issues already, too many pure-windows dependencies, the code seems very windows centric. Which is real pity for google, they might as well go to kiss and make up with Ballmer so they can throw chairs together at Steve Jobs and the linux community. Also a real pity, i wonder if the so called improved javascript VM will actually ever make it in the real world... cause we REALLY REALLY need optimized javascript; not to mention optimized Flash but thats another problem... - zanfr http://www.kruhm.org/ [kruhm.org]

Good Business Sense? (5, Funny)

txoof (553270) | about 6 years ago | (#24989505)

I suppose it's good business sense to write software for the most popular platform. With around 75% [w3schools.com] of the OS hits being from Windows, it would be prudent to sink resources into a windows browser, rather than Mac or Linux.

On the other hand, Mac use is steadily climbing and climbing among young people. Young people are typically drawn to free and shiny (one might say, Chromed) things. They're also good at starting and perpetuating trends. In that light, it might make sense for Google to sink more resources into making an OS X version. It's important to not only have a good product, but to make it fashionable to use that product. Lord knows how many people are still using IE, not because they like it, but rather because they don't know there's anything faster or better out there out there.

They might as well forget about Linux though. Everybody knows that Linux users are crotchety and only really want to use wget and for really special pages, lynx. I for one can't remember the last time I used a window manager and LIKED that new fangled environment. Too many colors and flashing lights, it's like those arcades that them darn kids like to visit.

Re:Good Business Sense? (2, Informative)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about 6 years ago | (#24989593)

I suppose it's good business sense to write software for the most popular platform. With around 75% [w3schools.com] of the OS hits being from Windows

From your link
http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_os.asp [w3schools.com]

OS Platform Statistics

Windows XP is the most popular operating system. The windows family counts for over 90%:

2008.....WinXP...W2000...Win98...Vista...W2003...Linux..Mac
August...73.9%...2.4%....0.2%....12.5%...1.9%....3.9%...4.9%

Windows XP (73.9%) + Windows 2000 (2.4%) + Win98 (0.2%) + Windows 2003 (1.9%) + Vista (12.5%) = 90.9%

Re:Good Business Sense? (1)

BigBadBus (653823) | about 6 years ago | (#24989743)

If you're interested, my own browser/OS stats can be found on my webpage here [paullee.com]

Re:Good Business Sense? (0, Flamebait)

nietsch (112711) | about 6 years ago | (#24989595)

Young people are typically drawn to free and shiny (one might say, Chromed) things.
You mean things like 'bling', is that actually free then?
Kids are by definition less intelligent then adults, and fall for all the materialism traps marketeers throw at them. Free might generate some pickup, but they really want to spend their money on shiny _expensive_ things.

jabs about linux ignored.

Re:Good Business Sense? (0)

Mincer Lightbringer (979840) | about 6 years ago | (#24989749)

it would be prudent to sink resources into a windows browser, rather than Mac or Linux.

Except coding a multiplatform application usually doesn't need much extra effort -- there are lots of libraries to help with that. Porting a windows-centric app to another platform, on the other hand, can be a lot of extra effort, from redesigning the GUI with a toolkit that works on the other platforms to replacing system-specific library calls with either #ifdef-ed versions for each platform or a library that translates the calls for each platform. There's an increasing demand for applications to work on non-windows platforms, especially in the case of a web browser that isn't IE. The majority of users who don't care what they use would stick with IE anyway. With a little foresight it's easy to realize that it isn't worth designing and implementing such an application in a windows-specific way.

Everybody knows that Linux users are crotchety and only really want to use wget and for really special pages, lynx.

Where did you get this particular piece of misinformation from?

I for one can't remember the last time I used a window manager and LIKED that new fangled environment.

And as apple knows and we all know, every user has the exact same preferences.

Too many colors and flashing lights, it's like those arcades that them darn kids like to visit.

Sounds like you're confusing those desktop environments with the bling-centric GUI of OS X.

Re:Good Business Sense? (1)

Miseph (979059) | about 6 years ago | (#24989859)

WHOOSH!!!

It was funny. Laugh.

Re:Good Business Sense? (1)

Mincer Lightbringer (979840) | about 6 years ago | (#24990193)

My apologies, but I still don't find it funny. :)

T1B0 (1, Flamebait)

T1B0 (1337061) | about 6 years ago | (#24989543)

Make you wonder where the hell that so-called google's dev's firepower is gone ? I mean, that where google use to be the scariest player on the web ! is the "I'm the biggest fish in that sea and trust me we can run everything altogether" attitude was a fake afterall ?

Sandbox (2, Informative)

lseltzer (311306) | about 6 years ago | (#24989561)

The implementation of the sandbox in Windows is based on Windows-specific features. I suspect when they finally get it running on other platforms it will behave differenty with different levels of protection.

Re:Sandbox (2, Informative)

lseltzer (311306) | about 6 years ago | (#24989575)

Sorry I didn't put this into the parent.

See this blog from Microsoft's Robert Hensing [technet.com] on how Chrome implements sandboxing on Windows and from whom at Microsoft they ripped off the idea.

Re:Sandbox (1)

hattig (47930) | about 6 years ago | (#24989995)

To be fair Chrome as an internal project is 39 months old.

You don't seriously think that Google somehow managed to write a web browser in under a year do you?

Re:Sandbox (2, Interesting)

prestomation (583502) | about 6 years ago | (#24990081)

That was a fun read.

I mean FireFox 3.0 was touted for its "security"....In reality that browser offers even less protection / mitigation against web exploits than IE7 on Vista...

and this

I for one don't run FireFox 3.0 . . . I don't consider it even a worthy challenger (though it sure is fast) to IE7 let alone IE8 (due to lack of protection / mitigation technologies, the vuln counts etc.),

Now, I'm no expert, I'm not saying he's wrong, but what I do know is that this goes against everything I've been hearing around here.

Re:Sandbox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24990215)

Now, I'm no expert, I'm not saying he's wrong, but what I do know is that this goes against everything I've been hearing around here.

That's because there's a lot of anti-MS FUD on Slashdot. On Vista, IE is in fact more secure than Firefox. For XP, it's the other way around.

Re:Sandbox (2, Insightful)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 6 years ago | (#24990121)

Dude, they freaking bought GreenBorder, one of the original companies that does sandboxing for normal Winblows executables.

What makes you think they have to rip off anyone?

Not open source! (5, Informative)

emiraga (1359297) | about 6 years ago | (#24989579)

There are parts of Google Chrome that are shipped closed source. For starters: GoogleUpdate and RLZ.DLL.

Re:Not open source! (1)

MK_CSGuy (953563) | about 6 years ago | (#24990279)

What rlz.dll do?

Re:Not open source! (1)

Anpheus (908711) | about 6 years ago | (#24990357)

So download and install Chromium.

Tracemonkey vs. V8 (5, Interesting)

Anik315 (585913) | about 6 years ago | (#24989657)

Chrome is currently faster than Firefox at most things even when Tracemonkey is enabled. I mostly work with browser based math/finance apps, and one of the most intensive things that can be done is a numerical integral. No other browser even comes close to Chrome in terms of speed. The only drawback is that it isn't cross platform yet. From what I hear, Tracemonkey is working really well on different processors so it will be an interesting match up. Try pasting this code into JavaScript Shell [squarefree.com] from Chrome and Firefox for a comparison.

Math.precision=function (x, eps) { var dec = Math.pow(10, Math.floor(Math.log(1 / eps) * Math.LOG10E)); return Math.round(dec * x) / dec; };function asr(f, a, b, eps) { var c = (a + b) / 2; var h = (b - a) / 6; var fa = f(a); var fb = f(b); var fc = f(c); return Math.precision(recursive_asr(f, a, b, c, eps, h * (fa + fb + 4 * fc), fa, fb, fc), eps); };function recursive_asr(f, a, b, c, eps, sum, fa, fb, fc) { var cl = (a + c) / 2; var cr = (c + b) / 2; var h = (c - a) / 6; var fcr = f(cr); var fcl = f(cl); var left = (fa + 4 * fcl + fc) * h; var right = (fc + 4 * fcr + fb) * h; if (Math.abs(left + right - sum) <= 15 * eps) { return left + right + (left + right - sum) / 15; } return recursive_asr(f, a, c, cl, eps / 2, left, fa, fc, fcl) + recursive_asr(f, c, b, cr, eps / 2, right, fc, fb, fcr); };asr(Math.sin,0,100,1e-15);

Re:Tracemonkey vs. V8 (1)

Anik315 (585913) | about 6 years ago | (#24989851)

Mods on crack... this is not Flamebait... it's a fucking browser benchmark.

Re:Tracemonkey vs. V8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24990073)

SquirrelFish (in WebKit or Safari 4 DP) vs. V8 is much more favorable.

Re:Tracemonkey vs. V8 (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | about 6 years ago | (#24990447)

Interestingly, this is a recursive benchmark, a place where v8 is noted to perform well. If v8 generates floating point instructions, that might also explain some of the performance. While this benchmark is likely suitable for floating point, it's not clear to me that your apps use heavy recursion.

Ideally we could just compare generated code and see which should be faster, but the speed of JIT is also a factor that must be accounted for.

Travesty (3, Insightful)

markdavis (642305) | about 6 years ago | (#24989693)

Google had the chance to show openness, platform independence, support for Open Systems principles and designs, and true independence from Microsoft control with Chrome, but lost it. If ever there were an important time to make sure of a simultaneous, multiplatform release, this would have been it. Instead, we have a typical "release for the largest platform" with weak promises of eventual support for everyone else. That isn't a good message for 2008; it doesn't match the "visionary" of what they are trying to do with Chrome.

Google irritated a large number of users that would have been most likely to try and promote Chrome and to give contributions to the code- those NOT using MS-Windows. I think it was a huge mistake they didn't hold the release until there was a reasonable set of code for all the three major platforms. Given Google's resources, I doubt it would have been all that difficult.

I have talked to many Linux and MacOS users about Chrome- most are disappointed, some extremely disappointed, and many are quite bitter, too. You can't blame them for being unhappy... and this article indicates that seeing Chrome on Linux and MacOS is nowhere near "right around the corner".

Re:Travesty (1)

BigBadBus (653823) | about 6 years ago | (#24989753)

But Chrome is still at a beta (?) stage isn't it... give it (well, the Windows version anyway) a chance!

Okay, explaining Beta (5, Funny)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 6 years ago | (#24989951)

When MS uses the word Beta, they really mean pre-alpha. Release is Beta. If you want a release quality MS product you need to look for the discontinued tag.

Google is simpler, they got beta, beta and beta. One works, one doesn't, the other works for everyone except you and just when you became totally dependent on it, they kill the project.

Linux has Beta and RC. RC is solid but out of date so nvidia doesn't have drivers for it anymore, beta is solid but nvidia doesn't have drivers for it yet.

Solaris has only one version, more solid and sensible then a rock, it is labelled "Giving your accountant a heart attack".

Re:Travesty (0)

markdavis (642305) | about 6 years ago | (#24990117)

>But Chrome is still at a beta (?) stage isn't it...

What difference does it make if it is beta or not? There is almost no work done on Linux or MacOS versions, so what are those? Pre-alpha? Pre-concept? Is beta + preconcept * 2 = beta? Chrome is a hell of a long way from being multiplatform.

> give it (well, the Windows version anyway) a chance!

Many of us *can't* give it a chance, because we can't run Chrome on our platforms. Google had their chance- a chance to set an example of how software can be released for more than just one OS. Now it is just history.

Where is my Google Talk for MACOSX (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24989799)

seeing Chrome on Linux and MacOS is nowhere near "right around the corner".

Still waiting on the Google Talk client for either platform, not as if other multi-protocol clients can't handle it instead, but with it existing since 2005 for Windows, one would have thought they could have at least pulled a MacOSX port out of the depths of their laboratories by now.

Re:Where is my Google Talk for MACOS (1)

markdavis (642305) | about 6 years ago | (#24990209)

That is what is "scary" about the whole business of someone like Google releasing something supposedly so innovative and important like Chrome... Although Google does support Linux coding, and does use Linux and MacOS internally, and has even released SOME multiplatform stuff (like Google Earth) they have repeatedly released software that is single-platform, MS-Windows-only. The Linux and MacOS crowds certainly have reason for concern and scepticism about Chrome.

In any case, my point with the thread is: Although I do believe that EVENTUALLY Chrome will be ported to Linux and MacOS, a lot of the "damage" is done by not releasing multiplatform right from the get-go. If they want to promote choice in browsers, they should have started with choice in OS.

Re:Where is my Google Talk for MACOSX (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 6 years ago | (#24990371)

Google Talk is XMPP (an IETF standard) with a number of extensions. The extensions are all documented and submitted to via the XMPP extensions process. They don't need to write a client for your pet platform, whether it's OS X, Linux, *BSD, Haiku, or AROS, because they provide enough documentation to allow anyone to (I've done it - it's really not that hard). If the platform you use doesn't have a significant market share then it's not worth them devoting resources to support it. The difference between Google and AOL or Skype (for example) is that they actively encourage third-party tools to interoperate with their service.

Re:Travesty (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 6 years ago | (#24990139)

"we're not fight to take away firefox's market share, we're fighting to take away IE's market share"

Look at it in that light, and it makes sense not to make it for osx and linux.

The decision to include ActiveX plugin was still *DAMN* *FUCKING* *STUPID*

the great irony (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24989759)

The great irony of all of this is that Chrome (also Safari) directly owe the KDE and Qt projectÅ credit for constructing the base on which this is built. And now they are primarily targeting windows. When discussing either Safari or Chrome, I never ever even see mention of the F/OSS projectÅ to which they owe their existence. More than a pity, itÅ a crying shame. Do no evil my ass.

Portability between architectures (4, Informative)

chrysalis (50680) | about 6 years ago | (#24989777)

Worse : Chrome (especially V8) is only designed to work on ARM and i386 (32 bits) architectures. Yes, no AMD64 support, and don't even think of other architectures yet.

However, there is a lot of manpower behind the project and the developpers are very skilled. So this is not hopeless.

Re:Portability between architectures (5, Informative)

evilNomad (807119) | about 6 years ago | (#24989959)

It isn't designed just to work on those, they just haven't done others yet. When building a VM it is bad to start out having to support 10 different architectures as it requires you to test them all for every little change you do. It also requires that all developers know these architectures very well if they are to do proper changes.

Besides V8 is probably the most portable thing there is in Chrome, it already works on Linux, OS X and Windows, and they provided two different architectures, making it much easier to do a 3rd and a 4th for anyone who should wish to do so.

How do i know this? Because Lars Bak who leads the V8 team happens to be teaching my VM course, and a guy asked that specific question.

Firefox + Chrome Interface on Linux Netbooks (1)

hattig (47930) | about 6 years ago | (#24989971)

Has anyone created a Firefox skin that looks like the Chrome interface?

I actually think that Chrome's interface is the real innovation (I use the word lightly, stick tabs at the top of the browser so a full screen browser obey's Fitt's Law isn't really that clever, but it's still very useful). Webkit is nice and all that, but the default home page is annoying for work computers (hey everyone! look at where I spend my time surfing!). It's also a very beta product, and in a year or two it will be pretty awesome. Also V8 is nice for a Javascript library you can incorporate in your own apps.

Firefox + Chrome interface + that Javascript Monkey thing + netbook/UMPC/etc on Linux is where the real win is. Chrome on Linux is a year away at least if this report is correct, so not worth bothering with.

Re:Firefox + Chrome Interface on Linux Netbooks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24990101)

It'a not that much of an innovation. Opera has had a very similar layout for YEARS.

Re:Firefox + Chrome Interface on Linux Netbooks (1)

miscz (888242) | about 6 years ago | (#24990433)

You miss the point. Chrome makes titlebar and tabs essentialy the same thing, especially when maximized. This saves a bit of vertical space which is very useful on netbooks with 1024x600 resolution.

Hacks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24989977)

*NM*

Not really interesting... (1)

jamyskis (958091) | about 6 years ago | (#24990291)

I think the problem with Chrome is not that it is a good or bad browser, but that it is not really filling any market gaps.

When Firefox came out, IE6 was a dinosaur, a monopoly, feature-poor browser written by a company with an absolutely atrocious security record. Suddenly, Firefox came along and it answered everyone's prayers. The plugin system allowed numerous features to be added as needed without the risk of bloat, the tabs made navigation easier.

Of course, IE7 then came out, with every new "innovation" basically being a copy of whatever made Firefox unique, but otherwise still being atrociously bad (at the school where I teach, we're bound to IE7, and I just cannot get my head around the absolutely appalling UI)

The problem is that Chrome doesn't really bring anything new, except perhaps the integration of Google Apps into the desktop. Maybe I'm missing something, and maybe I'll have to wait until Chrome gets ported over to Linux, but honestly the impetus to switch to Chrome from Firefox just isn't there as it was with the switch from IE to Firefox.

Truly, wtf? (4, Insightful)

fabs64 (657132) | about 6 years ago | (#24990441)

What is it with google and their inability to write cross-platform GUI's? If nearly every OSS app can do it, why can't google?

It's a really confusing situation that in my eyes loses them serious geek points. Hell, use .NET if you must, but this seemingly raw win32 nonsense is just silly.

As for the old argument that nothing cross-platform can look good: eclipse.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?