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Monday, 15 August 2011 08:57

Google releases Native Client Framework

Written by Nick Farell


Chrome 14 gets OS neutral binary
Google's beta Chrome 14 includes its Native Client (NaCl) framework under the bonnet. In the past you had to switch on the feature but it looks like it will finally be enabled by default in the next major version of the Web browser.

NaCl has been around since 2008. It allows developers to compile C or C++ code into an OS-neutral binary that is executed by a browser-integrated runtime. It is similar to Redmond's ActiveX but has more sophisticated sandboxing techniques to avoid Redmond's security holes. NaCl also provides a messaging mechanism so that functions in compiled NaCl binaries can be called from JavaScript.

What makes the change interesting is that it is possible for Web applications to use high-performance native code instead of JavaScript. It means that there will be more sophisticated games and software to operate within the Web browser. This will be a big hand to Google's Chrome OS platform, which relies solely on browser-based software.

It has been a rough ride for NaCl has it had some major technical problems, particularly to its sandboxing mechanism. That problem has since been fixed and it now has 64-bit support and experimental ARM compatibility. Google has opened the source code and is encouraging other browser vendors to support the technology, but none have expressed much interest.

Nick Farell

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Comments  

 
+1 #1 Kryojenix 2011-08-15 12:58
Native Client = NaCl ... I will take this with a pinch of salt! :roll:
 
 
+1 #2 fed44 2011-08-15 16:19
Not another one... Unless this includes GUI stuff I'm not sure how much point there is in this without h/w graphics acceleration and also if you really needed high performance whatever you could consider flash or silverlight, from what I know either will be fast enough, and silverlight is probably more secure.
 
 
+3 #3 stephenbrooks 2011-08-15 22:19
"OS neutral binary" sounds like a good idea. Like .NET/Java without the VM (or with less VM).

Graphics would be good from this if you could call OpenGL functions.
 

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