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Google Brings AmigaOS to Chrome Via Native Client Emulation

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the time-machine-always-comes-last dept.

Amiga 157

First time accepted submitter LibbyMC writes "Google's approach to bringing older C software to the browser is demonstrated in bringing the '80s-era AmigaOS to Chrome. 'The Native Client technology runs software written to run on a particular processor at close to the speeds that native software runs. The approach gives software more direct access to a computer's hardware , but it also adds security restrictions to prevent people from downloading malware from the Web that would take advantage of that power.'" Chrome users can go straight to the demo.

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80's hardware (5, Funny)

phrostie (121428) | about 10 months ago | (#45672411)

So an emulator running on 2010 era hardware can almost run at speeds of the native technology on 80's era hardware.

wow

Re:80's hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45672529)

But.... but... but... dis is teh Googlezzzz!!!!!111111

Re:80's hardware (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45672631)

It's "in the browser", so it counts as innovation. More library/emulation/abstraction layers equals progress in the 21st century - didn't you know?

Re:80's hardware (1)

mlk (18543) | about 10 months ago | (#45674499)

I thought the point of Chrome native stuff was that a layer of abstraction was removed?

Re:80's hardware (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 10 months ago | (#45672633)

So an emulator running on 2010 era hardware can almost run at speeds of the native technology on 80's era hardware.

With dynamic recompilation (which PNaCl disallows, if I'm not mistaken), you could run it even on 2000 era hardware.

Re:80's hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45672823)

I'm amazed that the emulator you wrote runs faster. How did you do it?

Re:80's hardware (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 10 months ago | (#45672905)

All I got was: "Error: NaCl module load failed: PnaclCoordinator: PNaCl Translator Error: Error reading bitcode file: Invalid BINOP record"

Re:80's hardware (5, Funny)

michelcolman (1208008) | about 10 months ago | (#45673843)

It's emulating Windows instead of AmigaOS?

Re:80's hardware (3, Insightful)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 10 months ago | (#45673371)

So an emulator running on 2010 era hardware can almost run at speeds of the native technology on 80's era hardware.

wow

On the other hand, you can emulate a high-end IBM mainframe circa 1980 at higher speed than the original on a cell phone.

That's terrifying. You don't even need motor-generators or a water chiller.

Re:80's hardware (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 10 months ago | (#45674001)

If it's a javascript emulator, it's going to be really slow. If it's some hybrid that are JIT, then it's not secure. Speed, security, cheap, pick two.

Give me a damn web browser (5, Funny)

bobbutts (927504) | about 10 months ago | (#45672421)

If I want an emulator, I'll get an emulator.

Re:Give me a damn web browser (5, Interesting)

vastabo (530415) | about 10 months ago | (#45672687)

This is Google demonstrating that their platform for abstracting a client's hardware is robust and performant. I suspect that Amiga emulation is just because it's cool.

Having this layer of abstraction protects Google from the machinations of software vendors who might want a piece of their action.

Re:Give me a damn web browser (5, Funny)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 10 months ago | (#45673305)

This is Google demonstrating that their platform for abstracting a client's hardware is robust and performant. I suspect that Amiga emulation is just because it's cool.

No, It's just so you can play Lemmings the way it was meant to be played.

Re:Give me a damn web browser (1)

vastabo (530415) | about 10 months ago | (#45673641)

Touche

Re:Give me a damn web browser (2)

Master Moose (1243274) | about 10 months ago | (#45674531)

2 player 2 mouse! Used to love having Lemmings battles

Re:Give me a damn web browser (1)

jbdigriz (8030) | about 10 months ago | (#45674607)

No, ultimately, it's so you will be able to put one Android phone in 7 bars on Tybee and 1 in a mortuary in Port Wentworth and end up with an 8-line distributed Cnet Amiga cluster to play spot the Fed on. ;-) Bonus karma if it's FTSC compliant.

Thanks and a tip 'o the hat to Don Murray and the old Night Owl BBS crowd.

Re:Give me a damn web browser (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 10 months ago | (#45674143)

..while reducing the incentives for developing non SaaS software, which protects users from the machinations of google.

Re:Give me a damn web browser (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45672715)

The people that wrote this sell a "proper" emulator. I presume this is their demo version, or for users of ChromeOS.

Yes, this is another slashvertisment.

Re:Give me a damn web browser (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45672971)

It is an emulator. It's just happens to be an application that loads within the browser environment.
The application is native. The browser just handles display, audio, I/O and user interface.

It's just an experimental way to deliver applications. For some scenarios this might be a lot more useful than downloading an installer, installing it, and running it in the OS environment like you normally would.

This looks pretty useful for ChromeOS in particular.

Re:Give me a damn web browser (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 10 months ago | (#45674151)

This is only useful to vendors who want control over how users use their software. I would never want to depend on such 'services' for critical workflows.

Re:Give me a damn web browser (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45674449)

Become a software developer and program in JavaScript, Dart, or nacl!

Re:Give me a damn web browser (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 10 months ago | (#45673597)

Indeed, Firefox now plays video content via gstreamer, so I only keep Chrome around for recalcitrant flash-only sites.

The Daily Show writers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45672423)

... it also adds security restrictions to prevent people from downloading malware from the Web that would take advantage of that power.'"

Ahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! *shits in pants* Ahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

God! You people should write for "The Daily Show"!

We must go deeper! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45672451)

We must go deeper!

Re:We must go deeper! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45672459)

Into your mom's anus!!

Re:We must go deeper! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45672597)

Mod shiz up! Last night I fuck dat ho's ass all night long while dat peckerwood husband jerk his baby cock .

- Nigga Tyrone

Re: We must go deeper! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45672673)

-- Jayden Smith

Re:We must go deeper! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45672729)

or vagina.

Re:We must go deeper! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45672593)

Yes! Port Chromium to AmigaOS, so you can run it in the emulator in Chrome!

Re:We must go deeper! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45674407)

If you could get it to emulate an A1200 with an 040 & MMU, you should in theory be able to run Shapeshifter and emulate a System 7 era Mac...

Let me guess... (1)

3seas (184403) | about 10 months ago | (#45672463)

.... this will be found under the "apps" chrome browser links .... right along with Facebook...

Great! If they could only bring us.... (1)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | about 10 months ago | (#45672491)

a new Duke Nuke... errrr ..... nevermind...

What's The Point? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45672547)

What's the point of this recent spate of in browser OS inception? Do we really need yet another abstraction layer in the software stack? It would seem that these guys want to make it so.

What kind of processor and internet pipe will I need to run Amiga OS, inside Chrome, on "my" Chromebook?

Re:What's The Point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45673841)

The point is software distribution. The future is full of app-stores. Chrome is a distribution channel for apps.

Re:What's The Point? (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 10 months ago | (#45674179)

I think the gp's point was that it's not his future. I am in full agreement. I will never use 'app' stores and remote access SaaS for critical applications.

So Great OS ran on top of crappy OS? (1)

Nyder (754090) | about 10 months ago | (#45672575)

So it takes 20 years to finally get a Great OS on my modern computer, though it runs on top of a crappy OS (Windows. Yes, i know a lot of peeps run Linux, but I'm referring to Windows, because Linus isn't really a crappy OS).

Sweet!

All joking aside, I've always thought the AmigaOS should of went to a linux kernel and brought the sweetness of the Amiga OS as a GUI.

Re:So Great OS ran on top of crappy OS? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45672661)

should of

Maybe you should of went to skool?

Re:So Great OS ran on top of crappy OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45672665)

should of

Your opinion is invalid.

Re:So Great OS ran on top of crappy OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45672675)

So it takes 20 years to finally get a Great OS on my modern computer

Amiga emulators have been around for 18 years. This is "news" because it runs inside Chrome.

Re:So Great OS ran on top of crappy OS? (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | about 10 months ago | (#45672851)

If you want to use AmigaOS on your PC so bad, just use this. [wikipedia.org] Or even get some specialized hardware. [wikipedia.org]

Re:So Great OS ran on top of crappy OS? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45672857)

Linus isn't really a crappy OS

Personally I wouldn't call him an OS at all.

Re:So Great OS ran on top of crappy OS? (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about 10 months ago | (#45672877)

should of

In the recent couple of years a new trend seems to have emerged where people incorrectly write "should of" instead of "should have".

Re:So Great OS ran on top of crappy OS? (5, Funny)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | about 10 months ago | (#45673047)

Irregardless of what you say, "should of" works for all intensive purposes. Pacifically when writing informally, anyways. What else is one suppose to do in this case and point?

Re:So Great OS ran on top of crappy OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45673867)

"Irregardless" isn't a word. The word's regardless, regardless of what you said.

Re:So Great OS ran on top of crappy OS? (2)

beernutz (16190) | about 10 months ago | (#45674115)

That whooshing sound is the point of his post flying over your head at mach 3! 8)

Re:So Great OS ran on top of crappy OS? (1)

anagama (611277) | about 10 months ago | (#45674697)

I'm not so sure. Maybe you're hearing the whooshing sound because the only thing AC complained about, was "irregardless" -- which though nonstandard, was actually spelled correctly and used as it normally is used. This distinguishes it from the other terms which were phonetic misuses of familiar phrases. So maybe it was a subtle riff on the previous joke. If so, it was deep. Then again, maybe not. It's pretty hard to tell here.

Re:So Great OS ran on top of crappy OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45674255)

*woosh*

Re:So Great OS ran on top of crappy OS? (2)

fatphil (181876) | about 10 months ago | (#45673889)

I detect someone whom needs to sit down and relax with a nice expresso, and watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3y0CD2CoCs

Re:So Great OS ran on top of crappy OS? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45674043)

And, walla, the world was made hole.

Re:So Great OS ran on top of crappy OS? (1)

Trogre (513942) | about 10 months ago | (#45674263)

My head just exploded.

Re:So Great OS ran on top of crappy OS? (1)

anagama (611277) | about 10 months ago | (#45674605)

Don't worry about it -- it's a mute point.

Re: So Great OS ran on top of crappy OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45673073)

I was specifically taught not to write "should of" at school, so people have been doing that since the 80's at least.

Re: So Great OS ran on top of crappy OS? (1)

jbdigriz (8030) | about 10 months ago | (#45674433)

Tsk. That's "shoulda", not "should of".

Re:So Great OS ran on top of crappy OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45672927)

Back in the 90's there weren't a shortage of window managers that mimicked the Amiga GUI. I don't see why you want to do it, the Amiga OS has a very interesting kernel. You can probably find the source somewhere on the internet if you look around.

Re:So Great OS ran on top of crappy OS? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45672937)

Wow! Ignorant karma whoring at its finest! The Amiga OS was great, but not anymore. Hell, these days Windows 8 gives me more stability than my old Amiga 500 (with M-tec 68020/68881 accelerator board / OS 3.1). No memory protection, no way to recover memory from a crashed program, and generally unstable after a few days without a warm boot. Linux is a decent kernel, but on the desktop it's like an aborted fetus with Down's syndrome. Ugly and not too bright. Amiga OS was designed with a GUI centric approach, unlike the clusterfuck shit that is X.org running atop what is essentially a multi-tasking/multi-user version of DOS. Amiga OS was a fresh approach, not another neck-beard stroking clone of Unix.

Beta - default to now for ACs??? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45672601)

Is there a secret to turning off beta.slashdot?

What a piece of shit they turn this place into.

Re:Beta - default to now for ACs??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45674561)

The beta looks pretty good the future of slashdot!

Can I run Chrome inside of Chrome? (0)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about 10 months ago | (#45672697)

A browser running in a browser would be even more secure.

Re:Can I run Chrome inside of Chrome? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45672759)

A browser running in a browser would be even more secure.

They'll get around to that as soon as they have Minecraft running in Minecraft so they can run the meta-Chrome securely.

Re:Can I run Chrome inside of Chrome? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45672767)

Yo dawg! I heard you like Chrome so I put a Chrome in yo Chrome so you can browse while you browse!

Re:Can I run Chrome inside of Chrome? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45673547)

i hope ya like yur new ride!!!

Re:Can I run Chrome inside of Chrome? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 10 months ago | (#45672873)

Yo dawg, I hear you like browsers ... ;-)

Loading... (yes, it'll load faster the second time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45672763)

There is not going to be a second time, kthxbye.

nice...if it actually worked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45672843)

With Chrome Version 31.0.1650.63 on OSX 10.7:
Error: NaCl module load failed: PnaclCoordinator: Compile stream chunk failed. The PNaCl translator has probably crashed.

Only on Windows Apparently (1)

Art Challenor (2621733) | about 10 months ago | (#45672919)

Needs Chrome 31 or high, no iOs or Android. Also:

Version 30.0.1599.114 Ubuntu 13.10 (30.0.1599.114-0ubuntu0.13.10.2)

So Windows only.

/. is really loosing it.

Re:Only on Windows Apparently (1)

jonabbey (2498) | about 10 months ago | (#45673045)

No, it loads and runs on Linux with the latest stable release of Chrome as well.

It doesn't run _well_.. it failed to capture the mouse and it locked up the browser, but it does run. I got to see Workbench and everything.

Re:Only on Windows Apparently (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 10 months ago | (#45673101)

It doesn't run _well_.. it failed to capture the mouse and it locked up the browser, but it does run.

For small values of 'run', apparently.

Re:Only on Windows Apparently (1)

Winter (87716) | about 10 months ago | (#45673175)

Runs fine on my Ubuntu box with latest chrome.

Re:Only on Windows Apparently (1)

sootman (158191) | about 10 months ago | (#45673217)

Runs perfectly on a Mac. (10.8)

Re:Only on Windows Apparently (1)

Art Challenor (2621733) | about 10 months ago | (#45673377)

Runs perfectly on a Mac. (10.8)

Interesting. From above the black box on Chromium 30.0.1599.114 (Chromium probably explains the lack of support on my system):

This page uses Portable Native Client, a technology currently only supported in Google Chrome (version 31 or higher; Android and iOS not yet supported).

Re:Only on Windows Apparently (2)

Balinares (316703) | about 10 months ago | (#45673351)

Linux here, works fine for me. Chrome 31. I'd ask "can you try to upgrade to the latest version?", but I wouldn't want to contribute to, you know, Slashdot losing it. :)

Re:Only on Windows Apparently (1)

Art Challenor (2621733) | about 10 months ago | (#45674063)

Actually I suspect that the problem is that I'm running Chromium and not Chrome proper. I don't really have any incentive to change that since I don't really have much immediate use for an Amiga emulator or the willingness to spend the time to get it to work. It'll happen eventually, and if I still care I'll check out the demo. This is Slashdot so I can expect a dup in a week or so to remind me, which may be far enough into the future.

Of course, if there isn't a dup in a week or two then I'll know for sure that Slashdot is irrevocably changed.

Re: Only on Windows Apparently (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45674557)

I'm reading these comments after playing around with it on my Mac for half an hour. it was either working or I seriously need to stop drinking.

Open message to all developers (1)

mewsenews (251487) | about 10 months ago | (#45672959)

Please stop with cutesy loading messages (reticulating splines, fetching slippers, percolating coffee). You were too lazy to include an accurate bar indicating when the loading process would finish, and you are insulting our time wasted looking at your "jokes".

Re:Open message to all developers (1)

chthon (580889) | about 10 months ago | (#45673237)

And reticulating splines is plagiarism from SimCity 2000.

Re:Open message to all developers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45673509)

So, by all means, write a perfectly accurate progress bar.

No, please. You're the go-getter telling us lazy gadabouts what we're doing wrong, so prove yourself. Go write a progress bar that perfectly consistently predicts how long an application startup operation will take. This application will need to touch upon fifty or sixty different OS subsystems to get everything in order, must be runnable on any modern computer architecture with any reasonable storage hardware and give accurate predictions on non-realtime kernels under any conceivable load (both system AND memory/swap). And it goes without saying, accounting for processor stepping if the startup triggers an overheat condition is expected.

Go right ahead and make that. I dare you. I double-dare you. Go make your magical progress bar. Should take, what, an afternoon? An hour? Hell, I don't know, I'm just a lazy developer who can't figure this thing out. But it shouldn't be too long. Go do that, and don't come back until you've got code to show for it.

Re:Open message to all developers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45673865)

Please stop taking out your psychological problems on happier people.

Why? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 10 months ago | (#45672985)

The approach gives software more direct access to a computer's hardware

Why the hell would I want my browser to be able to do that?

This just smacks of something which is going to become a huge security issue, even if Google is trying to prevent malware.

Works pretty well (4, Informative)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | about 10 months ago | (#45673063)

As a former long time Amiga user, this seems to work pretty well on the outset, and gives an authentic experience in regards to the clock timing and boot time. (though it thankfully may be a little faster :) ) It looks like they are using the emulation code from Cloanto (Amiga Forever) which has been around for quite a long time now.

This OS and demos may look very simple to younger folks, but it was quite groundbreaking at the time. the H.A.M. (Hold and Modify) demo showing 4096 colors was pretty impressive at a time when most PCs were stuck with 256 colors. There are a lot of really nice demos for the Amiga from the demoscene that took all of that a step further even, hopefully someone thought to save and compile them.

The only issue I ran into so far is on the juggler demo, the ESC key is needed to exit the demo, while on the emulator the ESC key is what switches you away from the emulator mouse to your native mouse, so it does not trigger an ESC on the Amiga. (you need to reset the emulator) Juggler doesn't let you pull down the screen to reveal the workbench. There may have been a keyboard shortcut that I have forgotten about to toggle screens. I haven't touched an Amiga in 20 years.

Hats off to the coders, brought back a lot of memories.

Re:Works pretty well (2)

theArtificial (613980) | about 10 months ago | (#45674309)

The scene is still alive and well, and there are still Amiga demos to be found without great searching. Pouet.net [pouet.net] is a great place to begin. For more general eye catching demos take a look at scene.org [scene.org]

Re:Works pretty well (2)

Dogtanian (588974) | about 10 months ago | (#45674527)

The H.A.M. (Hold and Modify) demo showing 4096 colors was pretty impressive at a time when most PCs were stuck with 256 colors

HAM was around almost two years before VGA debuted (with the PS/2 in April 1987)! (*)

The downside was that it was hard to use for animated graphics, since the colour of most pixels were modified shades of the one to their left, meaning one had to take into account surrounding pixels when moving an object to avoid miscoloured streaking. Few action games used it, though I'm still convinced more games could have exploited HAM if the problem had been analysed methodically and restrictions on the use of base colours and general shading worked out to minimise artifacts and keep calculations workable.

Possibly this wasn't really considered because in Europe (where the Amiga was popular), most 16-bit games were also written for the Atari ST (***) and this would have made them harder to adapt. Hence most used the regular 32-colours-from-4096 or occasionally, the sort-of-64-colour "halfbrite" [wikipedia.org] modes.

(*) AFAICT the best widespread PC adaptor around when the Amiga launched was EGA [wikipedia.org] (i.e. 16 colours from 64). IBM *did* apparently have a graphics adaptor comparable to VGA in 1984 [slashdot.org] , but the card alone was four times the price the Amiga cost when it launched the following year(!)

(**) HAM gave 12-bit colour using only 6 bits per pixel. One could either choose from 16 "base colours" (chosen from a palette of 4096 RGB colours) or choose to modify the red, green or blue component of the pixel to its immediate left, meaning that it could take up to 3 pixel positions to get an exact value; this led to fringing, which could be minimsed by choosing the base colours wisely (and by dynamically changing the base colours on every line with software assistance).

(***) Apparently there was a program for the Atari ST that gave it a software-assisted 512 colour display [doudoroff.com] , but I don't know how restricted *that* was; apparently there were timing issues.

Lack of vision (5, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | about 10 months ago | (#45673097)

Sometimes, Google just baffles me. The lack of direction in their product lines makes me shake my head.

We have several distinct software platforms:

1) Android. Development in XML with Java used as glue to hold everything together. Unless you don't. You can use standard C libraries and call the Linux kernel directly, bypassing the Dalvik Java VM. [cnet.com]

2) Chrome browser. Development largely in javascript, again there are some obvious exceptions. [google.com] Javascript is, of course, preferred because it's safer, so ChromeOS protects you by having everything done in Javascript. Except that it isn't.

3) ChromeOS. Kinda/Sorta like using the Chrome browser, except that it's not, because you are developing things that run as if they were actual clients. In Javascript. And of course, this too, is just as strictly enforced [unixhub.net] .

4) But Let's not forget the 4th platform in the trio: Google's Go language [unixhub.net] is clearly a contender, and it's designed to replace C, except for a few bone-headed decisions like linking everything statically resulting in enormous binaries [donatstudios.com] . Because you really, really need to have the same library installed once for every app installed, because that way you get to recompile everything installed on your system any time a security update comes out for your favorite library. Except that, of course there are exceptions here, too. [google.com]

And most importantly, you cannot target all these platforms with any single codebase written in any language. It's like they are trying to make their product suite as difficult as just using products from multiple vendors anyway.

Re:Lack of vision (2)

stenvar (2789879) | about 10 months ago | (#45673253)

And most importantly, you cannot target all these platforms with any single codebase written in any language

Yeah, because that worked out so well for Sun and Microsoft, right?

Different users have different needs that are met by different languages and environments. And unlike other companies, Google seems to have concluded reasonably that they don't know what people are going to be using, so they give people options.

Re:Lack of vision (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45674541)

I think mcrbids problem is that there is not a single language that can target all the platforms.

  • Android : Java, C, C++ (Android NDK)
  • Chrome : JavaScript, C, C++ (NaCl)
  • ChromeOS : JavaScript
  • Server development language pushed by google: Go (No bindings for Android/Chrome/ChromeOS)

Basically all the platforms pushed by google stand as isles completely unconnected. If you want to publish some library that works on all of them that means 3 or 4 rewrites of the same code in different languages and a project needing that isn't even far fetched. All of the target devices are internet enabled and have good reasons to talk with each other, which requires the same encoding/decoding, validation, sorting, etc. logic on all of them.

Re:Lack of vision (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45674689)

Google isn't Microsoft; they don't have grand platform strategies or try to lock you into something.

Chrome and ChromeOS are just browsers and run what browsers do. NaCl and Go are just projects at Google, not an attempt to take over the world. And Android is stuck with "Java" for better of for worse, but it's not like you can't program it in JavaScript or other languages.

Re:Lack of vision (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45673673)

Dynamic linking is cancerous, thank the gods they chose not to use it. Of course, it's Rob Pike and Ken Thompson, so there was never any risk of it. And never will be as long as they're on it.

Re:Lack of vision (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45674257)

I'm so glad some people get this.

Re:Lack of vision (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45673757)

It's almost as if Google is a huge but not monolithic organization or something.

Re:Lack of vision (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45673807)

You forgot AppEngine.

Re:Lack of vision (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45674333)

Sometimes, Google just baffles me. The lack of direction in their product lines makes me shake my head.

Your confusion likes in your underlying assumption that the software (etc) they make is their product.

That's wrong. The information they collect from all the users of that software (etc) is their product, that and the users' eyeball time, all of which they then sell to advertisers and other interested (*cough* NSA *cough*) parties.

Enormous binaries versus shared libraries (2)

swb (14022) | about 10 months ago | (#45674505)

I'm not a software developer, but as a long-time network admin it always struck me that shared libraries were a great idea except when they weren't.

Before I switched to FreeBSD, Linux always seemed to have headaches with shared library problems, with some apps not working with some versions of shared libraries and a general nuisance being made with multiple versions of shared libraries being around.

Windows, of course, has its reputation for DLL hell, which I think was more of an issue in really old versions than it is now.

Given the size of storage generally available now, is it really so bad to have statically linked binaries? It greatly increases application portability and version independence and probably makes package management a lot simpler and more risk-free since you don't have to worry about shared libraries.

I've always been tempted to do a statically linked buildworld to see just how much extra space it takes.

Re:Lack of vision (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about 10 months ago | (#45674657)

Re Go being statically linked: great! It's meant to be a language for writing services. Those are typically deployed by creating a giant tarball of all the artifacts needed to deploy a service, copying it to all the hosts that will run it, extracting in place, and restarting. In this case, the tarball is the compiled executable. You can copy it to its server and have everything required to run it in a single tidy package.

Contrast with a Java deployment where the tarball will contain many JAR files, etc. Rolling back to a previous version either involves a symlink shuffle and restart or updating CLASSPATH to point to the old version. The Go equivalent is stopping the service and running the previous binary.

Static linking would be a pain in the ass for replacing everything in /bin. It's awesome for deploying network services, where building a new binary and deploying it to 1,000 servers is no harder than updating a particular library on each of those 1,000 (and avoids version conflicts where another service on the same box really wants a slightly older version).

Re:Lack of vision (2)

CTachyon (412849) | about 10 months ago | (#45674835)

Sometimes, Google just baffles me. The lack of direction in their product lines makes me shake my head.

We have several distinct software platforms:

1) Android. Development in XML with Java used as glue to hold everything together. Unless you don't. You can use standard C libraries and call the Linux kernel directly, bypassing the Dalvik Java VM. [cnet.com]

2) Chrome browser. Development largely in javascript, again there are some obvious exceptions. [google.com] Javascript is, of course, preferred because it's safer, so ChromeOS protects you by having everything done in Javascript. Except that it isn't.

3) ChromeOS. Kinda/Sorta like using the Chrome browser, except that it's not, because you are developing things that run as if they were actual clients. In Javascript. And of course, this too, is just as strictly enforced [unixhub.net] .

4) But Let's not forget the 4th platform in the trio: Google's Go language [unixhub.net] is clearly a contender, and it's designed to replace C, except for a few bone-headed decisions like linking everything statically resulting in enormous binaries [donatstudios.com] . Because you really, really need to have the same library installed once for every app installed, because that way you get to recompile everything installed on your system any time a security update comes out for your favorite library. Except that, of course there are exceptions here, too. [google.com]

And most importantly, you cannot target all these platforms with any single codebase written in any language. It's like they are trying to make their product suite as difficult as just using products from multiple vendors anyway.

It's really quite simple. A lot of Google projects started from a handful of people going "you know what would be a cool idea?" and doing it with very little approval or red tape (the fabled 20% time). That's certainly the only explanation I can think of for DART, at any rate.

Go is basically what you get when you hire a former Plan 9 developer, expose him to Google's internal hermetic build system (where a 100MiB binary is small), then let him build cool stuff to keep him from getting bored.

Disclaimer: I work at Google but do not speak for my employer. I don't work on any of the teams mentioned in your post. The information in this post is already available to the public in [wikipedia.org] various [blogspot.com] places [wikipedia.org] .

yu0 Fai7 It. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45673201)

Get busy GoG!!! (2)

MetricT (128876) | about 10 months ago | (#45673689)

Just think about all the great old Amiga/Commodore-64/etc games you could sell using something like this. I'll pay good money for Bard's Tale I/2/3 and Raid on Bungling Bay.

Re:Get busy GoG!!! (1)

QuantumLeaper (607189) | about 10 months ago | (#45674227)

I MESS those games, it when old games were better than some of the newer games. There are quite a few C64 emulators and some very good Amiga emulators also.

Go Google. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45674039)

Wish they ported it to asm.js, at least that works in other modern browsers. But hey, that wouldn't upsell their own replacement web stack components, so I can sympathize. Far better to create their own tech no one else wants then it is to put their resources into something like Shumway or other tech that wasn't invented there.

Meh (1)

Trogre (513942) | about 10 months ago | (#45674287)

If it's not sync'd to the video refresh it's going to be a very choppy, tear-ridden experience.

ActiveX (0)

Dan East (318230) | about 10 months ago | (#45674399)

What is this, ActiveX reborn?

YES! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45674431)

Whoohoo! Less than 20 minutes of tinkering with it and I got a Guru Meditation!

Aaaah, the memories...

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