Google Chrome: Not Invented Here Syndrome Invades Mountain View

By M. David Peterson
September 1, 2008 | Comments: 9

Update: It's here.

Update: Apparently Chrome ships tomorrow.

A fresh take on the browser 9/01/2008 02:10:00 PM

At Google, we have a saying: "launch early and iterate." While this approach is usually limited to our engineers, it apparently applies to our mailroom as well! As you may have read in the blogosphere, we hit "send" a bit early on a comic book introducing our new open source browser, Google Chrome. We will be launching the beta version of Google Chrome tomorrow in more than 100 countries.

Oh, and yes, Chrome is the name of a long since dead Microsoft "multimedia browser" project (~'97-'98 time frame.) Thus my comment from this post's excerpt:

Chrome? That's the best they could come up with?! Well, more on that later.

Somebody@Google /had/ to have known this, right? Well, either way, it looks like the browser wars are heating up yet again. And to answer my own question from below regarding "Why Yet Another WebKit-based Browser?", the *BIG* news here isn't necessarily Chrome itself. It's V8, Google's new Javascript Virtual Machine which, when combined with Google Gears puts Google in direct competition with Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight. And given WebKit already provides support for both the canvas element and SVG, what Google is about to launch is quite a bit more than "Yet Another WebKit-based Browser." It's a complete, highly optimized WebOS.

Interesting times...

[Original Post]
So *WOW*!

Today there was a comic book in my mail, sent by Google and drawn by no less than Scott McCloud, creator of the classic Understanding Comics. Within the 38 pages, which I've scanned and put up, in very readable format Google gives the technical details into a project of theirs: an open source browser called Google Chrome. The book points to www.google.com/chrome, but I can't see anything live there yet.

From this same entry, it seems Google Chrome will be based on WebKit, the same open source foundation that Konqueror and Safari are built on top of.

From the scanned version of the comic book:

Google on Google Chrome - comic book

Google Chrome is Google's browser project; this comic book by Google, drawn by Scott McCloud, is scanned here and shown under its Creative Commons license.

1.png

Still researching this and will provide more detail once it seems I've got a better grasp of the entire story. Of course this announcement does beg the question: Do we really need Yet Another WebKit-based Browser? I'm all for innovation and competition, but what exactly does Google believe they can provide that Konqueror and Safari do not?Scratch that. See the above update as to why.

Anyone care to chime in on this one?


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9 Comments

I'm only half way through the comic, but the process separation seems like a pretty sweet feature. One of the suckiest things about webapps is that a crappy flash ad on a page can take out two or three google documents.

@Jackson,

>> I'm only half way through the comic, but the process separation seems like a pretty sweet feature.

Yup! Of course, IE8 provides this exact functionality, which means things are /definitely/ headed in the right direction. Let's hope both Mozilla and Opera follow suit! We live in a world where 2Gigs of RAM at least 2 processor cores is standard issue for a baseline $500 machine. In this kind of world, the "shared nothing" approach is absolutely the right approach to be building on top of.

I agree that one of the most interesting aspects of this release is the V8 VM. It appears to have been created by a team lead by Lars Bak who has a 20 year track record of developing VMs (he was, amongst other things, tech lead on Hotspot and latterly seems to have worked on high performance VMs for embedded devices).

One interesting question is if this VM is related to the Davlik JVM in Android. As Davlik has its own instruction set (i.e. it does not use JVM Bytecode) it's just possible that V8 and Davlik share core technology. An Open Source VM which supports a static language like Java and a dynamic language like Javascript would be very interesting indeed.

Yesterday when I read the news I reached the same conclusions that you have. I posted this on my blog, and now that I've read your piece I've updated my post to quote you. You can read my post here: http://ericomguy.blogspot.com/2008/09/chrome-vs-silver.html

poor Firefox... they're gonna take more and more of a hit as Chrome inevitably gains in popularity

omg! google chrome iz da best thing, like ever! it's simple, and waaaaaaaaaaaaaay faster than internet explorer or firefox. i mean, i've had google chrome for 6 months and it has never failed me ever! Download it! NOW!

Google Chrome better than IE & Firefox. I am using Google Chrome for my web site forum. G. Chrome is very fast and very useful. i prefer it.

Develop or invest in your browser to browser, I think a very logical and we think it is useful to users. Page adjustment sometimes can cause problems. According to which one should I set my page missTR I do not know! Thanks for sharing

What is the current usage of IE, Mozilla, and Chrom..any idea.. think Chrome keeps gaining some ground .....

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