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Chrome On the Way For Mac and Linux

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the oozing-brightly-into-all-corners dept.

Google 308

TornCityVenz writes "I've seen many complaints in the feedback on Slashdot every time an article on Google's Chrome browser hits; the calls for true cross platform availability have struck me as a valid complaint. So now it seems Google is answering your calls, promising in this article on CNET a deadline for Mac and Linux support." I'd really like to not care about the name of the browser I'm using, but the mental cost of switching could be high for someone used to particular Firefox extensions, unless or until they can all be expected to work seamlessly with Chrome.

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A firm date from Google? (5, Funny)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408805)

Is this a sign of the apocalypse?

Re:A firm date from Google? (5, Informative)

Savione (1080623) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408931)

Google "hopes to release versions for Mac OS X and Linux by the first half of the year". That's the closest thing TFA gives to a date, and Google hardly promises anything. The summary is somewhat misleading.

Re:A firm date from Google? (1)

LinuxInDallas (73952) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408939)

Well, let's not forget that Google rarely seems to advance a software "release" to anything beyond "Beta."

Re:A firm date from Google? (5, Interesting)

j-pimp (177072) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409265)

Well, let's not forget that Google rarely seems to advance a software "release" to anything beyond "Beta."

They did for Chrome, which is the particular piece of software we are talking about here.

Also, they are really pushing this browser, to end users. I don't think their plan is browser dominance. I think their plan is to prevent any browser from becoming too dominant.

If only... (2, Interesting)

samexner (1316083) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408839)

They've been promising Linux and Mac ports for Google Talk for several years. Still hasn't happened.

Re:If only... (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408981)

And only excluded those communities from two entire versions. I'm sure no one minded though.

Re:If only... (5, Insightful)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409415)

Who needs the Google Talk IM client when its an open API and you can use Pidgin or Adium?

Re:If only... (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409675)

Or Kopete or gaim or ... if, you're really adventurous, you could probably even use telnet. Of course, there are always people who will use butterflies [xkcd.com] .

Re:If only... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26409679)

The talk portion doesn't work yet in pidgin?

What's the rush? (4, Interesting)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408849)

but the mental cost of switching could be high for someone used to particular Firefox extensions, unless or until they can all be expected to work seamlessly with Chrome.

What's the big rush? I tried Linux several times before I finally dual booted, then went on later to make the switch. If Chrome offers some features you find compelling, there's no reason they can't share browsing duty.

A little competition is a good thing. Though I do have to say that opening up their platform for custom user extensions was a brilliant move by Mozilla.

Re:What's the rush? (0)

Anthony_Cargile (1336739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409071)

A little competition is a good thing. Though I do have to say that opening up their platform for custom user extensions was a brilliant move by Mozilla.

Yeah, nevermind that Google funds the Mozilla project. Thats like saying that Sun's StarOffice is good competition for OpenOffice, except the two browsers aren't made by the same company, just funded like it.

Re:What's the rush? (5, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409349)

Except that StarOffice is a paid version of OpenOffice, while Chrome doesn't use many (if any) code from Firefox, not even the rendering engine. Besides, Mozilla isn't "owned" by Google, they receive funds in exchange of providing Google as the default search engine.

Re:What's the rush? (1)

shellbeach (610559) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409499)

Though I do have to say that opening up their platform for custom user extensions was a brilliant move by Mozilla.

It was, wasn't it? It doesn't matter how bloated and buggy FF3 becomes, I'll still keep using it because of the overwhelming power of extensions.

Any new browser really has to support user-made extensions to survive amongst the geeky, one feels.

Why is it taking so long? (4, Interesting)

ClaraBow (212734) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408853)

I just don't understand why it is taking Google so long to release a Mac and Linux version. Can someone explain some of the technical issues that would cause such a delay? I"m just curious.

Market Share (0, Offtopic)

Solr_Flare (844465) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408905)

More or less a matter of market share I'd imagine. Google has wanted maximum exposure for its beta phase, which still means windows. For OS X, at least, the transition should be fairly simple(comparatively anyway) since Safari, like Google Chrome, is based around webkit. Which means its more about translating the shell of the browser.

Re:Market Share (5, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409185)

The browser shell is raw win32. No abstraction or other platform considerations.

Re:Market Share (2, Interesting)

FST777 (913657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409373)

Don't forget the brand-new JavaScript engine they had. The move to OS X will be just as hard (and for a big part exactly the same) as the move to Linux.

They made a win32 browser and they are now going to translate it to *nix. Seems like they are going to do that properly this time (unlike Picasa and, to some extend, Earth).

Re:Market Share (2, Insightful)

FST777 (913657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409477)

Ah, I forgot about something. Not just the JavaScript engine is probably win32 specific, but Chrome also relies heavily on inter-process communication (since each tab in each window has its own process).
I'm betting good money that this is very hard to do properly cross-platform.

Re:Why is it taking so long? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26408947)

They wrote a Windows wrapper around cross platform libraries. Then they had the nerve to deny it, even when anybody who looked at the source code immediately after initial release could see the truth of the matter.

Re:Why is it taking so long? (1)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408995)

Someone find me the technical term for inbreeding please as this is the only known cause for the Linux/Mac versions not being released already.

Re:Why is it taking so long? (3, Interesting)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408999)

I just don't understand why it is taking Google so long to release a Mac and Linux version. Can someone explain some of the technical issues that would cause such a delay? I"m just curious.

Chrome codebase is not "cross platform", in that you can't just go ahead and compile it for Linux. They are still implementing a Gtk ui - see

http://dev.chromium.org/developers/faq

Re:Why is it taking so long? (1)

Anthony_Cargile (1336739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409093)

Gtk? Ugh. Why not write the whole damn thing in Python with tkinter and just write a webkit interface for the python app? Then, when webkit changes, just update a DLL/shared library, and use Py2Exe or something similar for Win deployment.

Re:Why is it taking so long? (1)

cheftw (996831) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409245)

I have to ask; have you ever SEEN tk? But really, all flaming aside this really is a good suggestion if you replace tk with Qt. Tight WebKit integration, cross platform, easy enough, AFAIK they already use it for some projects etc.

Re:Why is it taking so long? (2, Informative)

he-sk (103163) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409645)

Bad idea. Qt apps just don't feel right on the Mac. Case in point: Google Earth.

Re:Why is it taking so long? (4, Insightful)

FST777 (913657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409427)

Because they want Chrome to be fast. While python is fast for a scripting language, it is not up to the task of delivering the fastest browser known to man.

If I were Google (that is a great sentence) I would base it on QT 4. Fast, customizable, cross-platform, modern and integrated with WebKit.

Re:Why is it taking so long? (4, Informative)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409705)

If I were Google (that is a great sentence) I would base it on QT 4. Fast, customizable, cross-platform, modern and integrated with WebKit.

Qt is nice, but its licensing prevents Google from using it in this way. To use Qt, Google would need to either pay for a license, but it wouldn't be transferable to others, or Chrome would need to be GPLed. Google goes to great effort to license it's code under the Apache/BSD/etc. licenses whenever possible, as it considers this better for it's business (and that's a reasonable position to take).

Until Nokia relicenses Qt to something like the LGPL - many of us would welcome that! - GTK will remain the library of choice in situations like this.

Re:Why is it taking so long? (1)

zlogic (892404) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409603)

Chrome's V8 javascript language compiles Javascript into native code, that's one of the main reasons it's so fast. Also, it uses a lot of platform-specific hacks to do this, especially for memory managemen, support for multitasking etc.

Re:Why is it taking so long? (5, Informative)

cryptoluddite (658517) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409527)

Chrome codebase is not "cross platform", in that you can't just go ahead and compile it for Linux. They are still implementing a Gtk ui - see

Or, to put it another way, Google's entire contribution to the Chrome browser was a non-crossplatform, non-portable UI. V8 and WebKit were done by others and are cross-platform. Google knows their browser is just polish on other people's success with WebKit and V8 which is why they stole the name "chrome" from Mozilla.

There's basically one thing that makes Chrome special and that's running tabs in a separate process (for plugins, nspluginwrapper already does this).

Google gets a lot more credit for Chrome than they deserve. If it wasn't done by Google it would be hardly even notable.

Re:Why is it taking so long? (2, Informative)

pohl (872) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409771)

...which is why they stole the name "chrome" from Mozilla.

Sorry to ruin this with fact, but "chrome" is jargon that has been around for a very long time [catb.org] . I encountered it long before Netscape even had a product.

Re:Why is it taking so long? (2, Informative)

chill (34294) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409035)

A lot of the core components were basically Windows-specific. They had to either wrap them, or rewrite the UI, which is what is taking the time.

Re:Why is it taking so long? (2, Interesting)

patro (104336) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409367)

The question is: why were the core components windows-specific?

Why couldn't they choose cross-platform components in the first place? I doubt it would complicate things much (note I'm only talking about choosing cross-platform components, not about making sure the whole thing compiles on other OSs), and they could have spared much of the later hassle of porting the core components.

Re:Why is it taking so long? (3, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409417)

Because Google projects are usually side-projects that the developers work on with part of their time as a 'fun' project.

The developer that chose to do this was probably just having fun and didn't really expect it to be picked as one of the ideas that gets launched to users. So he did it however he wanted.

Now that it's a big project, it's being fixed.

Re:Why is it taking so long? (5, Insightful)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409107)

I just don't understand why it is taking Google so long to release a Mac and Linux version.

Well, according to this [theregister.co.uk] they used Windows' own HTTP protocol implementation for the first version - they've now written their own.

I suspect that Google are less concerned about taking marketshare from Safari (Mac) and Firefox (linux) than they are about getting established on Windows. Methinks their priority is to ensure that there is a Google-branded alternative to IE they can use as a web app platform just in case Microsoft does something to break Google Docs on IE (inadvertantly of course - no company with Microsoft's reputation would stoop to telling their developers that "IE9 ain't done until Gmail won't run"...)

Re:Why is it taking so long? (2, Insightful)

Sentry21 (8183) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409111)

GUI programming and inter-process communication are vastly different on Windows than Linux/Mac; a lot of their code for Chrome was to make the existing code (WebKit) work with this design, but a lot of the rest was code that has to be completely rewritten - and chances are, a lot of the code that they wrote that they can keep needs to be updated to work on more than just Windows as well.

Re:Why is it taking so long? (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409501)

What's the big difference in IPC? I mean... shared memory is shared memory. Network sockets are network sockets. Any clever Windows thing should be wrappable in shared memory and semaphores and work fine on POSIX with only a thin compatibility layer.

Re:Why is it taking so long? (2, Insightful)

drfireman (101623) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409119)

No two operating systems are exactly the same, from the programmer's perspective. The available operating system interfaces for everything from file access to network interface control can be very different. Not just the names of library functions, but how the needed functionality is divided into operations. It turns out that the major division in widely used desktop OSes right now is between Windows (does everything its own way) and everyone else (does everything the UNIX way). It's not to say there aren't many consequential and subtle differences between UNIX variants (among which are Linux, OSX, and the many BSDs), but if you make it your first priority to support the most widely used OS, Windows, then it could be a while before you get around to Linux and OSX. Whereas if you made one of the UNIX-like OSes your first priority, the rest of those would probably follow more quickly than the Windows version.

I don't have any firsthand knowledge of how Google develops software, but in general terms this is why you might not get the Windows version and the OSX/Linux versions all at the same time.

Re:Why is it taking so long? (1)

BorgCopyeditor (590345) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409165)

Yeah, I don't get this. They did Google Earth in Qt, IIRC. Why did they decide to switch away from that?

Re:Why is it taking so long? (1)

hobbit (5915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409485)

Because a web browser is an order of magnitude harder? (They control everything Google Earth connects to, whereas they don't control much of what Google Chrome connects to.)

Re:Why is it taking so long? (0, Troll)

Goaway (82658) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409725)

Because it's utterly horrid?

Re:Why is it taking so long? (5, Funny)

BorgCopyeditor (590345) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409757)

True. But it's horrid across many platforms!

Re:Why is it taking so long? (5, Interesting)

IceFox (18179) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409181)

At least for Linux I wrote up a bunch it two months ago here: http://benjamin-meyer.blogspot.com/2008/11/status-of-chromium-on-linux.html [blogspot.com] Summary: It didn't even compile on anything but a very specific windows compiler when it was launched in September. Chrome was done by a Visual Studio team entirely on Windows. Now they are discovering all the fun of not planing ahead for cross platform.

Re:Why is it taking so long? (5, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409369)

I think Google is a better strategist than you are giving them credit to. Google doesn't give a shit whether there is Chrome on Mac or Linux, because those platforms are covered by Firefox and other non-Explorer browsers, and Google is fine with that. Google even sponsors Firefox, by the tune of millions of dollars.

Google has one goal in mind: increase the non-IE marketshare. IE only exists on Windows, hence Chrome only needs to be able to fight on that platform.

Now, if you don't even understand why Google needs to increase the non-IE marketshare, I can't help you.

Re:Why is it taking so long? (4, Interesting)

Sancho (17056) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409635)

Every single person I know that uses Chrome switched away from Firefox.

I know that's only a few data points in the pool, but you can't deny that people who don't "get" alternate browsers will probably never change away from IE.

Re:Why is it taking so long? (5, Insightful)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409713)

Until their machine comes with Chrome bundled as the default browser - that's the end game Google are aiming for here.

Then you'll see IE user-share decline rapidly.

Re:Why is it taking so long? (1)

daniel142005 (906427) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409619)

Originally Google Chrome used the WinHTTP library, which is native to Windows. In the currently dev build (2.0.156.*) it now has its own implementation of the HTTP network protocol so it will compile on mac and linux.

Firefox extension? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26408857)

but the mental cost of switching could be high for someone used to particular Firefox extensions, unless or until they can all be expected to work seamlessly with Chrome.

Unless I am grossly misinformed, I do not see how Firefox extensions could work at all on Chrome, let alone 'seamlessly'. A statement such as this essentially says "I will only use exactly what I have now"

Re:Firefox extension? (3, Insightful)

alexborges (313924) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409083)

I read it differently.

I thought it pictures quite well the fact that Chrome will have a huge way to go against firefox if they cannot take some of firefoxes most popular extensions features and offer them in chrome.

I wanna be able to firebug, addblock and a host of other stuff that, if not available in chrome while most of google works fine with ff, then its useless to me.

The real trouble will be spelled out next year, when google decides that this or that feature of their cloud will be chrome only.

We will be damning google for ages after that. But mark my words:

I foresaw it in my noodles.

Re:Firefox extension? (0)

urbanriot (924981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409323)

I used Firefox with a host of extensions, more than most people, and yet I don't miss them at all since switching to Chrome. While I was surprised to learn that Slashdot has advertising embedded in it, it doesn't bother me at all due to the rendering speed. When I occasionally use Firefox on other systems, it feels like I'm riding on a slow moving turtle.

Re:Firefox extension? (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409541)

You'll never see an adblock plugin for Chrome from Google themselves. As a company that runs two of the largest ad networks on the Internet (Doubleclick and Google Adsense), they won't even consider it.

FireFox extensions (4, Insightful)

Tink2000 (524407) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408861)

Sorry, Timothy: it's doubtful you'll see out of the box compatibility with AdBlock for Chrome.
Why would a technology company that generates revenue from ads want to allow you to block the ads?
Slashdot's pretty greedy these days; there's ads in my RSS feed from Slashdot.
I ignore them.

Re:FireFox extensions (3, Interesting)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26408963)

Google would lose nothing from allowing adblock. In fact, they would only gain from it.

The only reason to block ads for most people is because they are distracting. This means flash, animated gifs, and rotating scripts. If ads didn't move, there would be a much reduced need to block them. Personally I just can't read a page if something is blinking in the corner. Prior to adblock, I'd have to put pieces of paper over parts of the screen, or scroll it to hide ads. Advertisers have always lost me as customer by advertising in this way.

I don't, and I suspect most people don't, ever block text based ads. I've no problem with them. Thus Google's ads get through. Google understands that text based ads do not bug most people, hence it's always been their ideology to use them.

If adblocking of moving images is more widespread, then text based ads become the primary way of reaching customers. That's a win for everyone -- especially Google. (the only losers are low-life flash ad designers, whose unemployment is most welcome.)

Re:FireFox extensions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26409129)

But can you imagine the kind of legal hot water Google would find itself in if it only allowed its own ads? I don't think you will see any kind of 'AdBlock', because it would have to be all or nothing... Well, unless they can find a loophole with an 'Annoyance Annihilator'.

Re:FireFox extensions (2, Insightful)

Al Dimond (792444) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409271)

Is there actually a precedent for successful legal action over stuff like that? Have advertisers sued VCR manufacturers, Tivo, etc? What about the old adware junk that would look at ads and let users see competing offers? I know advertisers complained, but did anything ever come of it? I don't think there's a specific law against it, and there aren't contracts between any of the parties involved.

Re:FireFox extensions (5, Informative)

lilmunkysguy (740848) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409521)

Have advertisers sued VCR manufacturers, Tivo, etc?

Yes.

NBC, ABC and CBS filed a lawsuit Wednesday in federal court in California against Sonicblue, claiming the ReplayTV 4000 would violate their copyrights by allowing users to distribute copies of programs over the Internet. The networks also complained that technology in the personal video recorder can automatically strip out commercials. In a joint statement, the networks said the device "violates the rights of copyright owners in unprecedented ways" and "deprives the copyright owners of the means by which they are paid for their creative content and thus reduces the incentive to create programming and make it available to the public."

http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/news/2001/11/48065 [wired.com]

Re:FireFox extensions (4, Insightful)

Sentry21 (8183) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409163)

The only reason to block ads for most people is because they are distracting.

The reason that I block ads, aside from being ugly and distracting from content, or from being intrusive, is because 99% of the time when a page is insanely slow to load, it's because it's waiting on some Javascript or image from the ad server, which is apparently overloaded.

Most of the time when I try to load a page and it won't load, it's an indicator that ad blocking is off. I also block Google Analytics and Digg badges as well.

I don't, and I suspect most people don't, ever block text based ads. I've no problem with them. Thus Google's ads get through. Google understands that text based ads do not bug most people, hence it's always been their ideology to use them.

'Most people' (that use ads) use predefined ad lists, which include Google ads. Unless a covenant was reached to remove Google from those lists, they'd stay there; the only other option would be for Google to make its own adblock list without its own ads and ship that to the browser.

Though imagine if a company that was the biggest ad provider on the internet released software that let users browse the internet with only their own ads. I can see some people getting pissed off about that.

Re:FireFox extensions (4, Insightful)

argiedot (1035754) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409235)

I don't, and I suspect most people don't, ever block text based ads. I've no problem with them.

With newer filter-sets, people no longer block anything that annoys them - they just block the whole lot.

Re:FireFox extensions (2, Informative)

Christianfreak (100697) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409305)

Most people install FilterSet-G with AdBlock. It blocks Google text ads by default

Re:FireFox extensions (1)

ChienAndalu (1293930) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409489)

I don't, and I suspect most people don't, ever block text based ads. I've no problem with them. Thus Google's ads get through. Google understands that text based ads do not bug most people, hence it's always been their ideology to use them.

Google owns doubleclick.com

Re:FireFox extensions (1)

lokpest (1136949) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409171)

there's ads in my RSS feed from Slashdot. I ignore them.

Ignore them?? You can do that?!?!!

Re:FireFox extensions (3, Informative)

Dwedit (232252) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409205)

SRWare Iron [srware.net] (A modified version of Chrome) has built in adblocking, but it's nowhere near as good as what Adblock provides.

Re:FireFox extensions (4, Informative)

De Lemming (227104) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409303)

Via an older article [cnet.com] on Cnet I found the Chrome extensions document [chromium.org] , spotlighted [aaronboodman.com] on November 29th by Google programmer Aaron Boodman. From the document:

Use Cases
The following lists some types of extensions that we'd like to eventually support:

  • Bookmarking/navigation tools: Delicious Toolbar, Stumbleupon, web-based history, new tab page clipboard accelerators
  • Content enhancements: Skype extension (clickable phone numbers), RealPlayer extension (save video), Autolink (generic microformat data - addresses, phone numbers, etc.)
  • Content filtering: Adblock, Flashblock, Privacy control, Parental control
  • Download helpers: video helpers, download accelerators, DownThemAll, FlashGot
  • Features: ForecastFox, FoxyTunes, Web Of Trust, GooglePreview, BugMeNot

This list is non-exhaustive, and we expect it to grow as the community expresses interest in further extension types.

Emphasis mine.

Re:FireFox extensions (1)

daniel142005 (906427) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409733)

Its simple. They want market-share for their browser so they will allow extensions such as AdBlock. If people are going to go through the trouble of blocking ads then they are going to do it whether its through a proxy or an extension. So yes, you will most likely see out of the box compatibility with AdBlock for Chrome.

Good News After An Understandable Delay (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26408873)

Having been checking out the incredibly high quality Google Chrome code and what it is doing it is understandable that there was going to be a delay for other platforms.

The reason Chrome is so much faster than other browsers - especially even after days of constant webbrowsing is all the platform specific work with memory protection and threading.

I've honestly been using the Chrome source code as a tremendous learning tool to get up to speed on how to write modern threaded application code.

The delay will be worth it when you get your hands on it. Switching to Chrome had that feeling of running your old apps on a new and faster computer. It just feels so smooth no matter how many tab or windows are open or how much Javascript is running in the background.

Re:Good News After An Understandable Delay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26408887)

Noscript gives me that same feeling

A Joke? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26408967)

Not sure if that was an intentional joke about Firefox or not.

But the horribly outdated single threaded Firefox Javascript makes just turning all instances off by default essentially a necessity.

Firefox is seriously screwed on the performance front. They would need to do a ground up rewrite like Google has with Chrome to implement a modern threading and memory protected implementation. And they've made it clear they have no intention of ever doing so.

Most embarrassing is the fact that Microsoft now has threading and memory protection. Perhaps that humiliation for the Firefox guys will finally motivate them to fix their archaic codebase.

Firefox Left Without A Seat? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26409009)

We are now in a weird situation where Firefox made its name by ridiculing IE as being woefully outdated.

But now Google and Microsoft have put in the enormous effort to implement memory protection and threading for tabs leaving Firefox as the technological relic.

Even if Firefox started today working on trying to catch up to Chrome and IE it would certainly be a couple years before they did the bottom to top rewrite it would require.

Re:Firefox Left Without A Seat? (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409105)

Inertia plays in favor of ff

Specialization plays in favor of ff.

70 billion cash plays in favor of ff.

When they are good and ready, theyll do it and it will rock.

Re:Firefox Left Without A Seat? (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409121)

70 billion.... HOHO

Just with all this rescue packages things, i get confused.

70 million a year is what I meant.

Re:Firefox Left Without A Seat? (1)

hobbit (5915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409503)

70 million a year? Google probably spends that much on coffee.

Pats The FF Fanboy On The Head... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26409237)

"When they are good and ready, theyll do it and it will rock."

Sure if will. Oh god...

Given just what a fiasco something as simple as tracking down and fixing gigantic memory leaks was for the FF devs, 70 million or even 70 billion isn't going to do anything.

The FF devs solution for their horrendous memory leaks was to sit around in forums like pricks flaming anyone who dared complain about having to constantly quit out of FF to clear out the unused memory. It's not a memory leak, it's a feature you idiots!

Instead of getting their shit together they will most likely just do nothing and put out more silly cherry picked benchmarks and other bullshit to do damage control for how far behind technologically they've fallen.

Should be tagged !opensource, !free, and whocares (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26408877)

With Firefox and numerous other free browsers out there who needs google's non-free crap? They are just as evil as Crapple and Micro$haft.

Re:Should be tagged !opensource, !free, and whocar (2, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409199)

It's open source.

Re:Should be tagged !opensource, !free, and whocar (1)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409465)

People who want better Javascript performance than FireFox.

Just how do you download it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26408949)

I may be very dumb but how do you download Chrome from the Chrome download page using Firefox 3.05 on (cough) windows xp? I only get a blue box with two non clickable text lines saying 'for windows vista/xp sp2' Something wrong with some weird setting on my pc?

thats bass ackwards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26408991)

They are doing a parallel development for Linux and Mac ? "Iterating to get the architecture right?" sheesh. If you wanna do crossplatform desktop software, you design for it from the get go and develop everything at the same time, not doing a rewrite or "parallel development" later on.
I havent looked at the chrome codebase, so maybe they have a clean interface layer there for opsys and rendering backend dependencies, so they are basically doing a port of these pieces now, but it seems like awfully long time for something so basic ...

Mental cost of switching (3, Insightful)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409029)

Because nobody using Mac or Linux has ever switched from a different operating system.

Why bother on the Mac? (2, Insightful)

moderators_are_w*nke (571920) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409033)

We already have a pretty decent, well supported Webkit powered browser with a reasonable userbase. I'm not really seeing google bringing anything new to the party.

Re:Why bother on the Mac? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26409151)

A very fast javascript engine and isolating what's running in each tab would seem to be what they're bringing. But - broadly speaking - I suppose you're right, because whether those are *enough* to tempt Mac users is another question.

Safari is a very a nice browser; and those who don't mind sacrificing polish and OS integration for extensions can download Firefox. I'm not sure where Chrome fits in here at all.

Re:Why bother on the Mac? (3, Insightful)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409387)

There's benefit to having broad OS availability. Safari is available on OS X and Windows but not Linux. Safari is also pretty closed as far as plug-ins are concerned. So is Chrome, at the moment, but they're working to rectify that. If Safari ran on Linux and had an open platform for add-ons, I'd be more inclined to agree with you that there's no need for Chrome.

Presumably Google's other motivation is to provide a run-time environment for future web-based applications they might release. If they own the browser on which these applications will run, they can more easily remedy any bugs or performance concerns that crop up instead of having to wait for a third-party to take care of them.

Re:Why bother on the Mac? (1)

hobbit (5915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409535)

If it forces Apple to play catchup on the javascript process isolation front, I'm all for it...

Re:Why bother on the Mac? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409537)

Safari on windows is quite the memory and cpu hog.* I certainly hope it's better on Mac, where both are more scarce. If it's as bad on Mac as it is on windows, though, I think people would run for chrome the second it was made available.

*I suppose my experience could be a configuration issue: the freakin' apple page that it starts with occasionally pegs my trusty ol' athlon XP at 100% and 450 MB footprint. Still, Chrome, Firefox, and IE don't do that or anything like it, and I'm quite unmotivated to do anything requiring more effort than a cursory google search.

Re:Why bother on the Mac? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26409677)

Yes, because competition is a bad thing.

Enough already... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26409053)

Will people stop making new browsers and just concentrate on fixing Flash? If that one problem plugin were replaced we would have much fewer problems with all of the browsers.

Re:Enough already... (2, Insightful)

hobbit (5915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409549)

Replaced with what? Silverlight?

Not a deadline (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409075)

So now it seems Google is answering your calls, promising in this article on CNET a deadline for Mac and Linux support.

The article actually used phrases like "hopes to" and "wants to" regarding the release dates.

If Google promised specific release dates, I'd get really worried about quality, and about Google becoming a marketing-driven rather than engineering-driven organization.

As Blizzard has shown us, the "we'll release it when it's ready" policy correlates well with excellent products.

Re:Not a deadline (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409127)

As Blizzard has shown us, the "we'll release it when it's ready" policy correlates well with excellent products.

You can take it to far though, like 3D Realms with Duke Nukem Forever.

extensions (4, Insightful)

burris (122191) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409279)

Wake me when they have NoScript, AdBlock+/ElementHiderHelper, Repagination, ChickenFoot, FoxyProxy, RefControl, etc...

Re:extensions (1)

hobbit (5915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409567)

If you build it, they will come...

Re:extensions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26409597)

I don't use extensions. I did at one point, but then I found out that I actually have no need for any of them. You have fun with whateverthehell it is all your crazy extensions does.

Might as well since no one wants it on Windows. (1, Funny)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409313)

Google Chrome isnt exactly giving me a geek boner yet.

re: extensions (1)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409333)

This seems like an instance where "most bang for your buck" comes into play. IMO Google doesn't need to offer the full flexibility of FireFox as long as they provide replacements for the most popular plug-ins. In other words: Ad-Block Plus, Foxmarks, GreaseMonkey and FireBug.

Ad blocking, and "content blocking" in a more general sense, has always struck me as a task that should be "built in" to a browser instead of handled by a plug-in. Possibly also bookmark synchronization. GreaseMonkey and FireBug are more niche, so they seem well-suited to the plug-in model.

Re: extensions (2, Informative)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409449)

Funny you should mention that, Opera has all those out of the box.
-AdBlock ("content blocker")
-Foxmarks (Opera Link)
-Greasemonkey (User JS)
-Firebug (Dragonfly)

BSD too? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409381)

If they do OSX, its minor to get it to BSD.

Re:BSD too? (1)

hobbit (5915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409583)

Indeed. All you'd have to do is port Cocotron to BSD ;)

Re:BSD too? (2, Informative)

MarkKnopfler (472229) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409661)

{Free,Net}BSD has linux binary compatibility I think. A linux port should be running on them. Opera flies that way I think.

No strategic interest in Linux and Mac (2, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409401)

Google doesn't have a strategic interest for Chrome on Linux or Mac, as there IE is nonexistent. Chrome was created specifically to fight against IE. And IE exists on Windows only.

So far, Google's tactical move has worked, by chipping almost 1 percent of marketshare from IE. Firefox users aren't going to switch to Chrome (in general) but some IE users will.

Mental cost (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409423)

I'd really like to not care about the name of the browser I'm using, but the mental cost of switching could be high for someone used to particular Firefox extensions, unless or until they can all be expected to work seamlessly with Chrome.

Is that coming from the same people that ask to switch to FFox from MSIE (or from Windows to Linux), even that could be some "essential" plugin/extra/program/whatever that wont work seamlessly in firefox?

At least there is an advantage in Firefox extensions: they are (most, at least) opensource. If Chrome have any way to be able to "plug" code from others (call it plugin, extension, addon, whatever) those essential firefox extensions could be ported, adapted or recoded to fit in the new browser, and with a bit of luck, with not very much effort over what is needed to port them to the next firefox version.

And that is not something that one must wait google (or the chrome developers community) to do. But they should provide the tools to enable others to do that.

Who honestly cares about Chrome? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26409595)

I think the question isn't so much when will Chrome be available for Mac and/or Linux... but rather who will actually use it on those platforms. Between the Apple fanatics not wanting to let go of Safari to the FSF fanatics who are gonna lay an egg over the non-GPL license I quite frankly don't see it becoming a very viable, or more to the point widely adopted, alternative to what people are already using on these platforms.

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