Sean Sheedy sean at
Mon Sep 8 16:47:48 CDT 2008

It is not surprising that the Java plug-in does not work or is not  
available (NOAA weather radar loop).  Sun and Google definitely do not  
get along.  Google ditched Sun's VM for their own for Android and are  
not using the name Java, possibly to avoid licensing.

I am not crossing my fingers for a Java-compatible plug-in for Chrome  
coming from Google any time soon since they are obviously looking to  
the browser and their implementation of Javascript and Gears, not  
Java, as the cross-platform application enabler.  Sun is probably  
already working on a plug-in, though.

It is possible to go to the open source version of Chrome (Chromium)  
and download the very latest build of Chromium and avoid the Google  
EULA.  Link:  Some might  
call this unstable but I've only hit one or two websites that did not  
work properly, and they were non-essential, and if a build doesn't  
work for you, just pick another - there are a half dozen to a dozen  
builds a day.  I use a Mac and PC side by side and I have found myself  
doing much more browsing on the PC now where Chromium is installed.   
The performance just feels a bit snappier and the UI is certainly much  
cleaner compared to Safari and Firefox.  The tear-off tabs come in  
quite handy.

Already I am finding that Chromium lacks the increasing bloat I've  
encountered with other browsers as they get used during the day.   
Anecdotally, certain sites that rely on Javascript definitely do seem  
to perform much better, but that could also be wishful thinking.

If I were writing an application that I wanted to run on multiple OSs,  
I would definitely be thinking strongly about Chromium as the  
environment in which it were to run, even though the Linux and OSX  
versions are not working yet.  Chromium also could help standardize  
the web on the technologies used to develop Web 2.0 applications.  I  
am curious to see just how deep you can go into the host platform with  
Chromium before having to write a plug-in.  I wonder just how much  
performance one can get out of applications that require a lot of crank.

The biggest potential impact I see, however, is in the mobile space,  
which is hugely fragmented in both the browser space and with multiple  
execution environments available that are rarely compatible across  
phones even from the same manufacturer.  With Chromium being open  
sourced (BSD no less) and based on WebKit and with an increasing  
number of phones employing a Linux core, we might finally be  
approaching a time when it is much easier to develop an application  
that runs on multiple handsets without a lifetime of managing special  
exceptions and bug workarounds for a thousand devices.  Of course,  
this also depends on how deep into the platform Chromium on a phone  
would let you go, and that depends on whether or not the manufacturers  
and operators, who make that decision, finally decide that they could  
make more money by selling more devices than by hobbling access to key  
features so that they can have their own little hooks into the  
application revenue stream in the name of "security".   Not likely for  
a few years, though Apple is helping set a new example with the iPhone  
and app store (albeit with a different set of challenges for  
developers.)  Maybe W3C with help from groups like OMTP and the JCP,  
inspired by Google's work and with lessons learned from past  
application environments, can come up with some standards to help this  
along and make it universal.  Unfortunately the level of development  
freedom we enjoy on the PC might never be widely available on mobile  
devices, with the exceptions to this being niche devices such as  
OpenMoko's Freerunner (more power to them!)

Sean Sheedy (AI4ID)

On Sep 8, 2008, at 4:16 PM, Alex Fraser wrote:

> The Java plug in for chrome don't work.  Nice program though, as it  
> matures it should be a winner.
> On looking around (using chrome) I found you must get another later  
> beta version of Java which I'm doing now.  It's hard to type with  
> your fingers crossed.
> Alex Fraser wrote:
>> I'll probably put it on number two machine first.  I've had the  
>> NOAA weather radar's java crash my SeaMonkey a couple of times.  I  
>> want to see if the radar loads quicker and I can still run video in  
>> another tab.  I'll be watching for a Ubuntu version too.
>> Robert E. Seastrom wrote:
>>> Alex Fraser <beatnic at> writes:
>>>> What is the deal?  Is this a leap?
>>> It is very cool conceptually.  Dunno if you have seen the comic that
>>> talks about it; you can find it here:
>>> That said, it is "beta" and this time they mean it.  I would not  
>>> make
>>> this your main browser; you should be using Firefox or Safari for  
>>> that
>>> these days.
>>> Certainly worth downloading and playing with though, and I encourage
>>> that.  I'm waiting to see what the first ("beta") releases of the  
>>> Mac
>>> and Linux versions look like.
>>> -r
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