Google is going to release a new open-source web browser tomorrow (Sept 2nd, 2008) called Google Chrome. Lots of information contained in forty pages of this comic book. The rendering engine is WebKit, but it has its own JavaScript engine (V8) that compiles the JS into bytemachine code and uses more efficient garbage collection. It also follows the thoughts of the Internet Explorer team of putting the tab at the root of the UI and letting each tab be its own process (not just thread). Oh, it comes with Google Gears pre-installed too.

This all sounds good: security, stability, anti-phishing, sandboxing, 'superfast' JS. Of course there's only one true test though.

At first I was wondering if this was a fork of WebKit, but I think the only thing that would make sense would be for Google to work in parallel with WebKit (continually updating Chrome's rendering engine with new versions of WebKit). Everything else would be part of the Chrome open source project. If you're in the know, drop a line below.

Ok, I'm happy. A completely open source browser that supports SVG and is (sort of) co-sponsored by two big companies with lots of cash (Google and Apple).

§493 · September 1, 2008 · Google, Software, Technology, Web · Tags: , , · [Print]

4 Comments to “Google’s Chrome”

  1. Had a night to sleep on it. Now I’m not so sure Chrome is not a fork. Pam Greene specifically says they went from 23% pass rate of the Webkit layout tests to 99% pass rate (page 11 of the comic book). I guess this will come down to testing when the browser beta is finally released today.

    I also find it interesting that Chrome has an advantage over all other browsers (except perhaps IE) in that they already have a significant means of automatically gathering and testing web pages in their search engine/crawler.

    Final thought: I don’t think Firefox is in immediate harm’s way unless Chrome has an equivalent extension mechanism.

  2. David says:

    Let me see…

    – faster

    – lighter

    – more secure

    – controls and address bar inside the tabs

    – draggable tabs

    – full-text history search

    – speed dial

    I think I recognize this browser : Opera !

  3. 🙂

    There’s no question they have lifted some of the best things about Opera. There are some differences though:

    • Fully open source
    • Uses a rendering engine with ever-increasing market share
    • Does not handle feeds in any way. Boo! Hopefully future versions will allow integration with feed readers (including online feed readers like Google Reader)
    • Almost no ‘tweakable’ options. Boo! Hopefully future versions will allow developers to extend the browser like Firefox.
  4. movie buff says:

    i’ve been using Chrome for about a day now and it seems to be a lot faster than FireFox or IE… though i do miss the “recently closed tabs” feature in Firefox