Tag Archives: Chromium
A very interesting series of tweets from Liam Mcullough earlier this week. For those of you who don’t know, Mcullough- also known by his nickname, Hexxeh, is the man who’s more or less been solely responsible for pretty much every Chromium OS release since Chrome first hit the market. He’s also the fellow who loaded Chrome onto a Macbook Air. With that information in mind, it was pretty clear what his intentions were when he tweeted on Sunday that he was “picking up an Asus transformer tomorrow, with the keyboard dock.” That said, he continued by establishing that he was “not interested in running Android on there.”
After spending about a day fiddling around with his new purchase(which apparently rather impressed him), Hexxeh managed to load Google’s Chrome OS onto the rig, as made evident by the screenshot above. Though it’s kind of hard to tell due to the lighting, that is none other than the Asus Eee Pad Transformer, complete with a shiny new OS- and it definitely isn’t Android.
Now, before you folks go getting all excited; there are a few things we’ll first need to establish. One; this isn’t as much of a total system overhaul as with the Macbook Air, either- in this case, he booted straight from a USB drive, in order to make it easier to work on the image. Second, the current build of Chromium on the Transformer is suffering from some…pretty nasty bugs, if Hexxeh’s to be believed. When asked about how well it ran, he responded with the following:
“runs terribly things to some huge bugs in the LDK, gonna try to work around them by patching Chromium and the WM. Basics like WiFi, touchscreen work, sound is MIA right now but that’s an easy fix.”
So….long story short, he’s still working feverishly on getting this system up and running. Those of you expecting a touch-based UI might be a bit disappointed, though. Hexxeh’s made it clear that he’s not keen on building a touch interface for the transformer at the current moment- seems likely he’s more focused on getting the basics working before he starts fiddling with the onscreen keyboard- something which is made possible thanks to the transformer’s rather excellent keyboard dock.
Currently, Hexxeh’s managed to shave ten seconds off the boot time of the Transformer (No word on how long it takes to load, I’ll keep you posted), and the release date for this build is…basically “TBA.” According to Mcullough, when or if he releases this build hinges entirely on when he finds the time to finish it.
Considering how fast he seems to work, I’d imagine it’ll probably be some time next month.
Either way, it’s pretty exciting news- as he put it, the experiment is basically “complete proof of concept” regarding the viability of Chrome as a tablet OS. Of course, we sort of knew the concept was true from the beginning- Hexxeh’s just demonstrating it beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Image Credits: Hexxeh
Looks like Google might be working on a tablet that runs Chrome OS. Or at the very least, the Chromium team’s working on one that’ll run Chromium.
Now, we don’t have much to go on here. There’s been a lot of rumors and heresy bouncing about on the web about this. Ever since the Chromebooks first hit the market, folks have been buzzing about the possibility of tablets, pointing at this move by Google or that action by the Chrome Team. And while it’s true that there is some evidence that points to the eventual development of a Chrome OS tablet…we might not be seeing one for a very, very long time.
So, we’ve got a (relatively) new functionality in Google Chrome’s browser and OS. Known as chrome://sync-internals, it’s pretty much what’s written on the box- it lets you view internal and technical data about your connection to the Google Cloud. It’s pretty simple to use, and pretty simple to navigate as well- though I get the feeling that several tabs (and for that matter, some of the information) is intended primarily for devs, and not for your average, run of the mill user.
Anyway, I’ll give you folks a rundown of the sync-internals page, and then go over how to search your sync data. The first tab, “About” is pretty straightforward. It’s pretty much a summary page, and tells you the status of your sync. You can see when you last synced, whether you’re authenticated, the server you’re syncing to….you get the idea. Note that here, like much of ‘sync-internals’, you’ll need a touch of technical knowledge to understand some of the listed information.
The most recent builds of Chromium are showing a feature that allows for different types of webapps to be installed with Chrome called CRX-less webapps. The CRX file name is used for installation of Chrome extensions.
According to the Google Code site, a CRX file contains:
- A manifest file
- One or more HTML files (unless the extension is a theme)
- Optional: Any other files your extension needs — for example, image files
These are then placed in a CRX file, which is compressed much like a ZIP file.
Relying on a manifest file in a web page, which is simply text, instead of a CRX could result in a more streamlined process for packaging/installing webapps. I’m going to assume that somehow these files are marked as trusted and require Chrome users to allow/disallow installation.
One of the founders of Netscape, Marc Andreessen, is backing a new social browser called RockMelt. It’s based off of the Chromium code and aims to add more social functionality than other other browsers. This has already been done with a browser called Flock which is also based on Chromium, but I’d put my money on Andreessen staying with this venture for the long haul.
As he said recently, “We think it is a fantastic time to build a company around a browser.”
Do you think that’s true in 2010? Decide for yourself by getting an early invitation to RockMelt.
Version 9 of Chrome is on its way. This is because the builds of Chromium that are released frequently throughout the day have now reached 9.
What’s going to be new in Chrome 9? It’s hard to say, the releases are starting to come so fast most of the work being done is on bug fixes and the like. We can expect to see more “about:flags” functionality along the way, and the implementation of more File API specifications should be coming along for the release of the webapp-laden Chrome Web Store.
Recently, Google VP of Engineering Andy Rubin took to Twitter in an effort to take a shot at the openness of Android when compared to Apple’s iOS. That certainly got former Mozilla engineer Joe Hewitt fired up, tweeting some thoughts about the actual openness of Google’s smartphone platform.
Since it’s pretty hard to get in-depth on Twitter about the technicalities of open-source, Hewitt wrote a full blog post and he makes a lot of good points. Unlike Android, Chromium has been developed in the public eye and people outside of Google are capable of following the progress with builds of both the browser and the OS.
CNET is reporting that although hardware acceleration can be enabled in current versions of Chrome available, it won’t come standard to the browser until at least Chrome 9. Jason Kersey, a Program Manager for Chrome at Google, announced on the Chromium development discussion list recently indicating that version 8 is going to soon be pushed to the Canary and Development builds.
That means we can expect Chrome 7 to move to stable very soon. It was about six weeks ago when 6 went stable, so an announcement should be just around the corner.
Two new Google Chrome Labs have popped up with the most recent builds: the ability to disable a plugin that is out of date and an XSS auditor. Both can be used if you download the newest Chromium browser version and type in “about:labs” in the Omnibox. A restart of the browser will then enable these new features.
Before now, there really wasn’t a way to easily shut down plugins in Chrome that were out of date. Now with the amount of expected plugins to increase, the browser can reference whether or not a plugin is updated and offer to download the latest version. This is a security feature that takes the effort of updating right out of the users’ hands so that the browser has less vulnerability.
The other feature in the new builds is the XSS Auditor. XSS is cross-site scripting, and it allows for client side injection of malicious code into web pages. While Chrome already has some ability to identify this type of code by warning users of suspicious sites, this helps developers find issues within web code that could potentially be problematic.
More code in complex websites and more plugins for interactive content are on the way for browsers. These are just more security features to help keep the more dangerous elements of the web in check.
Today’s build of Chromium has brought a new feature to the Google Chrome Labs “about:labs” feature when entered into the Omnibox: the ability to open the options menu in a HTML-built tab. Since the concept of Chrome is everything in the cloud, this feature is a logical step further towards that end and will surely pop up in Chrome channels sometime soon.
Once you enable the option, the browser will prompt you for a restart, and when you access the Options menu through the wrench icon, you get a tab with your settings. Everything is the same, just in a slightly different format.
Another new feature that is a part of Chrome 7 is the ability to talk into the browser. This would be useful for Google’s voice search technology just like what is available for smartphones. For the time being we’ll have to suffice with a demo by developer Jeremy Selier, which uses the Google Translate API to convert spoken English into French text.
You don’t even have to use a command line switch for this one. Just make sure that you have the most recent version of Chromium downloaded (the speech attribute demo only works on Windows and Mac). Then head over to Selier’s demo page hosted by AppEngine.
The demo can take spoken language in English and convert it into French. There are a number of uses for something like this, and having speech in the browser will make for some intriguing web applications down the road.
The newest version of Chrome 7 now includes the Chrome Web Store icon when you open a new tab.
This screenshot was taken from the 7.0.510.0 release of Chromium, which you can download from here. When you click on the icon it leads you to the official Chrome Extensions site. When the Chrome Web Store is launched, extensions and webapps will both be featured on the site.