Sunday, October 4, 2009

Salted Chrome

According to CNet there is now a NaCL (Native Client) version of Chrome. Since the early days of the web, computer scientists have tried to come up with ways to programmaticly extended the browser. It started with slow Java Applets and led to scary ActiveX implementations. Today most developers stick with Javascript or Flash.

This latest effort from Google might actually have a chance at success. It seems to strike a nice balance between performance and security. Of course a huge obstacle will be adoption. Including NaCL in Chrome is a significant step forward, but Chrome is has a very small percentage of the browser market. Perhaps if the Chrome experiment goes well, Google can get Firefox to include NaCL. I still don't see Microsoft supporting NaCL in IE, so compared to Javascript and Flash, it's going to be a long uphill battle for widespread adoption. I suppose NaCL browser plugins/extensions for Firefox and IE might be one way to gain further adoption. Maybe they could deliver it as an iPhone App as a way to finally get Google Voice on the iPhone. :-)

I'll be interested to see how it goes. I'll give it a try when the Mac version comes out.