Google's new browser, Chrome

Richard Rucker rrucker at
Mon Sep 8 11:08:17 CDT 2008

On Sep 8, 2008, at 10:55 AM, Alex Fraser wrote:

> What is the deal?  Is this a leap?

With Google's apparent long-term objectives in mind, it seems to be an  
essential step along the way.

Here are a few good sources:
1 <>
Leo LaPorte, Andy Inhakto, and Merlin Mann speculate about Chrome on
"MacBreak Weekly 104: In A World Made Of Chrome."

2 <>
Google's comic book explaining the technical details at a digestible  

3 <>
  Niall Kennedy's Weblog for 3 Sep 08

4 <>

5 <>

6 <>

Quotes from 1 above:
Andy says the comic book [see ref 1 above] does a good job explaining  
why Chrome might become a significantly better browser than the  

His guess at Google's motive: to have much more capable and reliable  
browser as the baseline user target for designing such things as  
Google-served "cloud-based applications."

Google likely made it "open source" to encourage other browser  
developers to follow suit.
One side-effect: to minimize Microsoft's ability to constrain the  
future of cloud-based apps.

Quotes from 2 above:

one Process, one Tab:
"Each process has its own memory and its own copy of the global data
structures. We're applying the same kind of process isolation you find  
modern operating systems."

"Separate Processes render in separate Tabs."

process monitoring added to the browser:
"... just like with your OS  -- [I'm visualizing OS X's Activity  
Monitor] --
you can look under the hood with Google Chrome's Task Manager to see  
what sites
    using the most memory,
    downloading the most bytes, and
    abusing your CPU."
"You can even see plug-ins... since they appear... as separate  

WebKit chosen as rendering engine:
"We [the Chrome team] knew there was a team at Google working on  
  We asked: 'Why did you use Webkit?'"

Ans: "It uses memory efficiently, was easily adapted to embedded  
devices, and
it was easy for browser developers to learn to make the code base work."

Leo LaPorte commented that: "Safari,using Webkit, is so much faster  
than Firefox,
which uses the Gecko rendering engine."

Quotes from 3 above:
"Google extended what it could not add to [existing] browser cores:
    'Gears' for new application functionality on multiple browsers
    'Browser Sync' to synchronize browser settings/data across  
multiple computers
    'Safe Browsing' to create more web trust."

"In Spring 2006 the team began work on a new browser prototype built  
on top of
WebKit designed for broadband-connected, always-on, web applications  
such as
Gmail or Google Maps…"

"Folks from each of Gears extension teams are now working on Google  

"Google Chrome has the advantage of a fresh start to achieve some  
features not
currently possible in other browser architectures; e.g., tab-isolation  
and task

V8 JavaScript Engine:
"Lars Bak and his [Google] team in Denmark spent many years writing  
machines… A few years ago [they] began work on a new interpreted  
engine optimized for x86 and ARM architectures. The 'V8 engine**' is
specifically tuned for recursive JavaScript tasks… and is multi-threaded
opening up new parallel processing on multiple computing cores."

[From Ref 4]
"The V8 JavaScript engine is an open source JavaScript engine  
developed by
Google in Denmark and shipping with the Google Chrome browser. It  
great performance by compiling JavaScript to native machine code,  
rather than
to a bytecode. Thus, JavaScript applications will run at the speed of a
compiled binary."

Note: V8 replaces the Javascript engine developed for use with WebKit.

"Google Chrome adds additional JavaScript functionality through Gears.  
Gears is
bundled with every Chrome install, adding new features to the web  
faster than previous plugins…"

  [From Ref 5]
"There are several major API components to Gears:
       Database module powered by SQLite that can store data locally.
       WorkerPool module provides parallel execution of JavaScript code.
       LocalServer module caches and serves application resources
            (HTML, JavaScript, images, etc).
       Desktop module lets web applications interact naturally with  
the desktop.
       Geolocation module lets web apps detect the location of their  

Android and Chrome:

  [From Ref 6]
"Google released its first official Web browser on August 18, 2008  
with the
beta release of the Android mobile operating system… Android highlights
Google's web properties through its WebKit-based browser and dependent
applications… Google Chrome shares much of Android's code including its
graphics engine."

"Google Chrome and Android both take advantage of the Skia vector  
library… Google Chrome browser includes Skia graphics engine ports for  
Mac, and Linux."

Dick Rucker, KM4ML
a Mac and Windows user

"I use Mac OS X whenever I can, and
  Windows when there's no other choice."

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