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Google Chrome: the New Web Platform? 290

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-in-one dept.
snydeq writes "The Chrome dev team is working toward a vision of Web apps that offers a clean break from traditional websites, writes Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister, in response to Google's new Field Guide for Web Applications. 'When you add it up, it starts to look as though, for all the noise Google makes about Web standards, Chrome is moving further and further apart from competing browsers, just by virtue of its technological advantages. In that sense, maybe Chrome isn't just a Web browser; maybe Chrome itself is the platform — or is becoming one.'"
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Google Chrome: the New Web Platform?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2012 @05:25PM (#39094927)

    First of all, this was submitted by someone from Infoworld, and the article is on Infoworld, so nice spam.

    Second, web platforms are dead, and native apps that call web services are the new rage. It's just a better experience. Web platforms have been tried before since the 90s--see Java applets and ActiveX--and the experience is always poor. Nobody wants ChromeOS over iOS, Android, etc. Google has offered Native Client and Dart to compete performance-wise, but those are non-standard, Google-specific technologies (Dart as a language has been criticized pretty heavily on its own), and there's just something weird about shoving the web browser into the stack as a middle-man for no reason.

    Third, and this will sound flamebait-ey so take it as personal opinion, but forgive me if I'm a little uncomfortable with a multi-billion dollar web advertising company with a history of privacy violations tracking everything I do at an OS level. It'd be like installing an operating system written by DoubleClick. I'd rather limit my data exposure to the occasional web search or Gmail message, thanks.

    • by x1r8a3k (1170111) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @05:31PM (#39094981)
      It would be installing an operating system written by DoubleClick exactly. Look up who their parent company is.
    • by rreyelts (470154) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @05:41PM (#39095043) Homepage
      How can this be +5 insightful with less than 10 comments on the entire post? It turns out that if you do a search for the phrase "a multi-billion dollar web advertising company with a history of privacy violations", you'll discover this is just spam propped up by puppet accounts. Slashdot, you need to clean house.
      • by icebike (68054) *

        What does the number of comments have to do with modding +5?

        You do realize that modders can't comment, don't you? There are many who prefer to mod over chirping in with a pointless comment.

        And finally, why worry about mods on a thread that has no comments yet. All that indicates is SOME people with mod points are using them as new stories come out. There are heavy anti-google and heavy pro apple modders on /. that have dozens of accounts, and who jump quickly to mod stories and posts that fit their agen

        • by Hentes (2461350) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @06:02PM (#39095163)

          You do realize that modders can't comment, don't you? There are many who prefer to mod over chirping in with a pointless comment.

          But in that case at least wait until there are enough comments to mod.

          • by icebike (68054) * on Sunday February 19, 2012 @06:07PM (#39095193)

            One is enough to mod.
                You are supposed to mod a comment based on its content, not score them on a curve like in grade school.

        • by bky1701 (979071)
          If there are that few comments, it means there are also few readers, which subsequently makes the likelihood of there being modders reading low. It gets even more suspicious when only one post gets modded up, which I have seen too many times to not know there is something shady going on.
      • by russotto (537200)

        How can this be +5 insightful with less than 10 comments on the entire post? It turns out that if you do a search for the phrase "a multi-billion dollar web advertising company with a history of privacy violations", you'll discover this is just spam propped up by puppet accounts.

        Yep. By his epithets ye shall know him. Perhaps "multi-billion dollar advertising company with..." is just bonch's version of "carthago delenda est".

      • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOsPAM.gmail.com> on Sunday February 19, 2012 @06:12PM (#39095219) Journal

        Soooo...speaking the truth is bad if it doesn't fit with your perception bubble? "All go to hell except cave 76! oh and Google!~ Rah!" please. Name a single thing the guy wrote that wasn't factual. Billion dollar web advertising company? simply look up their SEC filings and it says in black and white they make more than 96% of their income from ads, and they are a multi-billion dollar company, so check there. And Google having a history [redorbit.com] of privacy [washingtonpost.com] violations? [examiner.com] I would say that's a pretty big yes. So I'm sorry if his post breaks your perception bubble but truth is truth.

        As for TFA give me a damned break, we've tried that crap over and over and over and over its sucked the big wet titty. ChromeOS is going exactly nowhere,service across the country is spotty so good luck if you have anything important due soon and your connection takes a big crapola, and finally the performance sucks. As another wrote the future is rich native apps that have the ability but not the mandatory requirement of web integration. This way you have the speed of native and can choose whether or not to use the cloud for syncing or backups or getting the latest data.

        • by walterbyrd (182728) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @09:16PM (#39096329)

          The "privacy violations" stuff is mostly just Microsoft plant stories to smear Google. Microsoft's best buddy, Facebook, is 100 times worse when it comes to real privacy violations. Google may know that one thousand people left your website to go to Amazon; but google does not know who those people are. Huge difference between that Facebook. Facebook knows exactly who you are.

          The story is grossly misleading. Anything that Google is doing with Chrome, can also be done with any other web browser. Dart is open source and compiles to javascript, HTML5, etc. can by used by any browser.

          Since nothing that Google is doing is proprietary, what's the great panic?

          Now compare that to Microsoft with Silverlight, and OOXML.

        • by Namarrgon (105036) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @10:39PM (#39096691) Homepage

          Gotta agree, native networked apps have some big advantages - fast local processing, local gfx elements, cached local data, richer GUI etc. But they have real disadvantages too - they have to be written for specific architectures & platforms, and consumers have to locate (and update) them through a whole different channel (an app store) than the site they communicate with (which is usually a company website).

          But a NaCl (or similar) app could work just as well as a mobile app does. They have all the same advantages (fast, rich local GUI, etc), with the added advantage of being downloaded on-demand directly from the relevant website. And NaCl's disadvantages (platform-specificity and security issues) are no worse than existing native apps.

          Heck, for mobile platforms (well, Android) you might as well use standard APKs as your native client, with just a streamlined installer (click a link, show a permissions dialog, then auto d/l+install+start), and bypass the app stores altogether. Next time you click that link, it takes you directly to that respective app (as with Maps and YouTube links), which then displays the content you wanted.

        • by Anthony Mouse (1927662) on Monday February 20, 2012 @01:24AM (#39097325)

          Billion dollar web advertising company? simply look up their SEC filings and it says in black and white they make more than 96% of their income from ads, and they are a multi-billion dollar company, so check there.

          That's more than a little disingenuous, don't you think? By this logic News Corp., Viacom and all newspapers are also "advertising companies" because they make most of their money from advertisers, and Microsoft is a "business-oriented financial services company" because they get most of their money as electronic funds transfers from large corporations.

          And Google having a history [redorbit.com] of privacy [washingtonpost.com] violations? [examiner.com] I would say that's a pretty big yes.

          How are three links to the same story on different websites a "history"? On top of that, have you actually looked into what happened? Google configured their services to be able to offer certain features that required cookies to Safari users who hadn't changed the default settings (which fails to block "third party" cookies in certain circumstances even though it says it will, in a way that Google itself had already submitted a fix for in Webkit), and a bunch of media companies butthurt that Google was on the list of companies opposing SOPA (notably News Corp's The Wall Street Journal, who broke the story) decided to blow it all out of proportion.

          I mean they're complaining that Google added the +1 feature to ads for users already signed into Google+. This is what passes for a privacy breach now?

      • by jdogalt (961241) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @07:15PM (#39095577) Journal

        if you do a search for the phrase "a multi-billion dollar web advertising company with a history of privacy violations", you'll discover ...

        the part of my brain that contains my sense of irony just melted...

      • by bky1701 (979071)
        Same with Bonch. Constantly modded up right after posting. Meanwhile, there is apparently a mod blacklist. Slashdot has serious problems which the editors need to deal with, or the last few intelligent posters will depart...
    • by evilviper (135110)

      It'd be like installing an operating system written by DoubleClick.

      You meaan Android? Nobody seems to mind.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by MisterMidi (1119653)
      It's just the continuation of web 2.0. Like it or not, there IS a distinction between traditional sites and web apps and I think it's a good idea to have some sort of standard or guidelines of how web apps should feel and behave. That's all Google did. The guide talks about using existing and new standards like HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript, being consistent and providing a good user experience. Nowhere does it say anything about Chrome-only or Google-only features. The InfoWorld article is just sensationalism
      • by RDW (41497)

        The InfoWorld article is just sensationalism.

        That may be so, but at least one highly respected technology news source is reporting that the 'browser-neutral' web may 'soon become a thing of the past', and there's a serious risk that 'the standards-compliant Web, as we know it, will die' [slashdot.org] Can this be prevented?

    • by Qwavel (733416) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @06:05PM (#39095173)

      "Google has offered Native Client and Dart to compete performance-wise, but those are non-standard, Google-specific technologies..."

      The conditions surrounding the use of these technologies are no different then SPDY, which is being adopted by Amazon and Mozilla, and is on its way to becoming standardized.

      Comparing these to MS's contributions to the Internet (e.g. ActiveX and MSIE) is not appropriate - Google's technologies' are open for adoption by anyone and they have the habit of improving the Internet, not subverting it.

      • by SiMac (409541) on Monday February 20, 2012 @02:02AM (#39097403) Homepage

        "Google has offered Native Client and Dart to compete performance-wise, but those are non-standard, Google-specific technologies..."

        The conditions surrounding the use of these technologies are no different then SPDY, which is being adopted by Amazon and Mozilla, and is on its way to becoming standardized.

        No one wants to use Dart because it doesn't provide any benefits that couldn't also be provided by extending JavaScript, which is something Mozilla, MS, and Google are all working on. This is why no one else wants to implement it, and Google knew no one else wanted to implement it before it was even announced. I'm not even sure if Google intends for Dart to be used, as opposed to using it to try to push specific features through TC39.

        No one wants to use Native Client because it will tie the web to specific CPU architectures. Comparing this to ActiveX is appropriate in some way, because it puts additional restrictions on what devices can access the web. If Native Client had come of age at the same time as JavaScript, real smartphone platforms would be probably still not exist, since websites would require x86 processors to run. Intel has only recently announced x86 chips that can provide decent performance while fitting the power profile of a mobile device, and only after getting their ass kicked for many years as the mobile market has continued to grow.

    • and there's just something weird about shoving the web browser into the stack as a middle-man for no reason

      Oh, there's a reason, all right - the same one as offering Android for free - anything that will tie people into Google's ecosphere more close.y. That's a pretty good reason to break standard.

      Embrace, Extend, Extinguish ... where have I heard that before?

    • by Corson (746347)
      How about Web apps calling native APIs, a la Blackberry Playbook OS?
    • Exactly... can someone tag this 'shill'?
    • by CodeBuster (516420) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @08:47PM (#39096181)

      First of all, this was submitted by someone from Infoworld, and the article is on Infoworld, so nice spam.

      Infoworld is routinely fed "press hits" by public relations firms looking to advance the interests of paying clients. Like most trade rags, Infoworld is a tool for spreading marketing hype and PR bullshit. The engineers amongst us usually see through these "technical articles". However, the IT managers, whom trade rags target with flatery, sadly often do not. It's because of Infoworld and others like them that we engineers have to waste time defending mature, proven and well defined technologies against marketing bullshit and unicorn farts like "cloud computing". The PR firms and their hack writers, who actually know nothing about what they're writing, make our jobs as engineers harder and we hate them for it.

    • by Rich0 (548339)

      I'm not convinced that web platforms are dead. Sure, native apps have been taking off, but when was the last time you saw somebody download Facebook for the PC? They're more popular on phones because of the integration with sensors/contacts/etc that a native app can enable, combined with the slow network and browser speeds on those platforms - the app just is nicer. However, there really isn't much that a native app for something like Facebook or Gmail would add on a full PC.

      The problem with native apps

      • If your app is only presenting information from the internet, or is a user interface client then a web app is simpler to install (you don't need to)

        If your app needs to access any native hardware, or uses the system to it's fullest (processing, graphics, disk, other) then a native app is the only way to go

        Facebook only presents data from a web server, so does Gmail, a native client gives you no advantage

        Now try playing most games in a web interface, or anything that pins the processor, graphics, disk, or ne

    • It is hilarious to see people writing web platforms are dead... on a web site. And you're flat-out stupid to write shoving the web browser into the stack for as a middle-man for no reason, when the browser is a universal zero-install runtime for many kinds of fantastic software. And some organizations do want ChromeOS instead of current desktop O.S.es, and if users who only use their laptops to go online understood the benefits it offers, many of them would want ChromeOS too.

      I agree Dart and NaCl are divisi

  • E3 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sourcerror (1718066) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @05:27PM (#39094947)

    Embrace, extend, extinguish. Or is there any other way this can be interpreted?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bonch (38532) *

      I don't think Google has the same kind of motivations that Microsoft did, though the final effects may be the same. Microsoft was about forcefully expanding their market presence to ensure success, while Google's is to provide free services in order to track more and more personal data and deliver more ads. For what it's worth, I doubt this initiative from Google to create their own web platform will be successful.

      • Re:E3 (Score:5, Insightful)

        by houghi (78078) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @06:08PM (#39095201)

        Mod parent up (even tough I disagree with his point of view)

        I don't think Google has the same kind of motivations that Microsoft did, though the final effects may be the same. Microsoft was about forcefully expanding their market presence to ensure success, while Google's is to provide free services in order to track more and more personal data and deliver more ads. For what it's worth, I doubt this initiative from Google to create their own web platform will be successful.

        They are both companies. Their natural goal is to make as much money as possible. This will mean that they will be wanting to expand their market share. At some point this will happen with force.

        Also: Google's thing is not to provide free service. Their goal is to sell ad space. The free service is just to lure the product they sell (the people using it) so they can sell more of it.

        • Re:E3 (Score:4, Insightful)

          by iserlohn (49556) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @08:31PM (#39096105) Homepage

          Actually, Google's business is to organize, index and provide access to information. Selling ad-space is just how they profit off their core business, for now. This can change anytime in the future when a better business model appears.

        • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday February 20, 2012 @12:42AM (#39097189)

          They are both companies. Their natural goal is to make as much money as possible.

          This is a horribly dangerous misconception.

          The fact is that for MANY companies money is not the primary goal, once they have enough money to "coast".

          Larry Ellison. Steve Jobs. Scott McNealy. Bill Gates.

          These are all guys who did insane things with the companies they ran, insane at least with the expectation you'd be making money.

          No, for the top players it is NOT about making money, it's about the Game. There's not even one Game, each is playing his own and wanting to "win" by whatever internal definition they have.

          Until you understand this basic truth you will never understand the computer/technology market, or be able to predict anything about it - and that is VERY dangerous if you have a career that intersects it in any way.

  • by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @05:29PM (#39094963) Homepage Journal

    How about we all just stick with official standards and co-habitate?

  • Yeah! Back to ie6..

    • Re:ie6 (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Billly Gates (198444) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @05:59PM (#39095149) Journal

      You know what is ironic?

      IE 9 and 10 are fully open standards compliant with XAML the only semi proprietary thing in it for Metro hooks. Oddly I am considering going to IE 10 when it comes out because it is the the most standards compliant, secure, and best browser and I am afraid to get locked into an eco system.

      I feel I just walked into the twilight for even saying this! But I feel it is exactly 10 years ago all over again with IE 6 and that fear of the web being closed off. Those were some dark days.

      Companies like Apple have proved that once they are in a dominate position can quickly turn into the bad guys. 10 years ago I never would have imagined Apple doing anything as crazy as they are today. Google just might pull it off as IE and FF usage is declining.

      • IE is definitely not the best browser out there, at least right now. Chrome is way faster, and by virtue of throwing out some of the traditional design conventions, acts as more of a "window out" than application in and of itself.
      • by microbox (704317)
        Problem with IE10, is that it only runs on Microsoft. Depends on who you are developing for, but if it the general public, then you are out-of luck. Write to the most standard's compliant platform first, and then /test/ on all platforms.

        For in-house web databases, I see nothing wrong with standardising on IE, but no more compelling reason then using Firefox, Safari (if you're OSX), Chrome, or even Opera.

        So... what exactly is your point? That you can write cross-browser apps only targetting IE10 because
  • I like it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lussarn (105276) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @05:40PM (#39095035)

    It's pretty obvious Google are trying to make a "web platform" with Dart and NaCL. Most people spend a lot of time using the web, probably most of the time in front of the computer is web-time. When I use the web, which is a lot I want a better experience, I want native speed, I want real apps and games delivered on the web. If Google can give me that, more power to them. So far their technologies is open source, so I see little wrong from their doings. I don't like installing crap on my computer, phone or "pad", if apps can be delivered over the web, all the better.

    Seeing the web as a glorified publishing tool as it is today is old school. Google should have WOW ported to NaCL, that would give it a boost.

    • The problem is, and always has been, that providing parity between the web and native applications, especially complex ones like WOW, invariably ends badly. How can the web duplicate WOW without granting a similar level of access to the local resources of the machine? The browser, or even the OS itself, cannot be all things to all people as a single monolithic program. Attempts to make the browser or the web into the OS are doomed to fail. At best what you end up with a second class OS, lacking only a decen
      • by Lussarn (105276)

        I hear where you're coming from, but I don't agree. The OS is becoming less and less relevant. If the web is where people are when using the computer it's the web that needs to evolve. Current technologies gives my computer the speed of an Amiga from 20 years ago while using the web, not good enough if you ask me. I want native speeds, I want portability, I don't want restrictions on what developer tools to use when programming (everything Javascript isn't really that hot). NaCL seems like a good bet, if Go

  • by gweihir (88907) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @05:47PM (#39095079)

    Nothing that I can see. Lean and serves the purpose very well. Just as useful as paper and as easy to handle.

    Of course there are always those that want to blink and animate and visually scream at you in order to capture your attention. That is something traditional webpages do not do or do not do well, and that is actually one of their advantages, as really the only purpose this serves is advertising. Personally, I have blocked any animated add for years now, and the web has a cleaner, calmer and far more pleasant look to me because of it. (Blocking is via Opera integrated content-blocker.) For me, the web is a library, and the clean look of wikipedia the ideal. I do not want another wannabe television surrogate. I have dropped TV more than 10 years ago, because it became intolerable.

    This angle would also explain why Google wants to break away from it: Their main business is wasting peoples time, i.e. serving them ads. (Which is, in itself pretty evil, all things considered. But hey, nobody believes the "don't be evil" mantra anyways today.) This also includes getting as much statistical data as they can. Both the serving and the snooping works far better when you leave traditional webpages behind.

    • by jader3rd (2222716)

      Their main business is wasting peoples time, i.e. serving them ads.

      I don't see that. Googles main business is providing relevant search results. The result of that being that peoples time is not wasted. Many find Googles search results to be productivity boosters. They make money by monetizing search results, but that will only work so long as the search results are relevant and don't waste peoples time.

  • by DavidinAla (639952) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @05:47PM (#39095085)
    People who worship Google as a paragon of virtue are no smarter than people who worship any other company, whether it's Apple of Microsoft or Red Hat or whoever. Every company's agenda is to compete and win, gaining power and making money. I have no problem with that. That's just the way the market works. The problem comes when gullible people believe a company's PR rhetoric about peace, love and freedom -- or whatever they're selling that day. Google isn't your friend. Google is a huge corporation that provides services in its effort to win more dollars in the long run. Those who think that Google is doing "open" things out of the goodness of their hearts in order to make the world a better place are either stupid or naive. They're a huge company that's competing to own as much as it can. If you like its services, use them. But understand this. When you are using "free" services, the company is making money some other way -- and it's almost always the case that YOU have become the product that they're selling to someone else. If that's OK with you, fine. But you need to understand reality instead of thinking you're getting something free. You pay in one way or another. With Google, you pay by giving up your information and privacy. But that's your choice.
    • by Nethead (1563)

      The only company I worship anymore is the Bell System. They invented the transistor and wired a nation. They are dead and gone and can't break my heart. (Looking at you HP and Motorola.)

    • by symbolset (646467) * on Sunday February 19, 2012 @09:09PM (#39096289) Journal

      I guess that depends. Google gives me Android, to use however I wish. They give me the fastest browser, interesting new languages, interesting applications of age-old technologies. And a first-rate video and audio codec family with no patent encumbrances. And of course when I look for stuff they are Johnny on the spot. And then there's this new web platform in TFA that I can use however I like. The only thing I can't do with this stuff is tell people I invented it.

      Microsoft offers us freebies now and then - like freeware feature-limited applications and development environments. But there's always a catch, like it only works with their for-pay ware, has limited use, is nagware or whatever. Even the search engine just doesn't do it for me - and they sold out to China.

      Of course Google's pouring money into lots of interesting stuff, like carbon-neutral energy research, space research, just bunches of stuff.

      Overall I think I'm OK with giving Google more slack than a company that has the Halloween Memo collection and the Comes Collection history of horrors behind it. Google seems to be more about driving the pace of progress and keeping things open - and by the way, having great other stuff that they make money on. To me Microsoft seems committed to preventing all the progress they can't control utterly. I think Google has the better offer here, and I don't think anybody else even comes close to trying.

    • by walterbyrd (182728) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @09:39PM (#39096447)

      With Google, you pay by giving up your information and privacy.

      You don't even have to login to use google. Google does not even know who you are, unless you want Google to know.

      Yes, google uses you search information to display innocuous ads by the side of the page, so what?

      Google may not deserve to be worshiped as a paragon of virtue; but I don't see Google filing dozens of bogus lawsuits, using total junk patents, like Apple and Microsoft routinely do. I don't see Google being an abusive monopoly, like Microsoft. I don't see Google trying to prevent the use of competitor's technology by forcing proprietary standards like OOXML, and Silverlight. I don't see where Google has been caught red-handed astroturfing, or hiring shills on message boards. I don't see a US federal judge accusing Google of using "Tonya Harding tactics." I don't see google hiring shill companies to do fake TCO studies, or benchmark studies. I don't see Google caught red-handed outright lying to the US DoJ. I don't see Google caught red-handed bribing OSI officials.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @05:48PM (#39095091)

    Last I checked, Google didn't really control the development of WebKit, and JavaScript is based on standards - so unless there's evidence Chrome intends to start down the old proprietay-extensions path Microsoft blazed 10-15 years ago with Internet Explorer, I'm not sure how "web apps" became synonymous with "Chrome as an exclusive platform".

    Now - as the article points out - Google has proposed some ideas (e.g. Dart) that break from the past; but 1) as far as I can tell, they haven't tried to lock others out, and 2) there's currently no evidence these new ideas will ever gain any real-world traction (actually, #2 is probably the more important point by far). Many of us are old enough to remember the pain Microsoft's proprietary browser caused - and most of us will steer clear of anything that looks like an attempt to bring back that model.

    • by Billly Gates (198444) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @06:18PM (#39095249) Journal

      Google has proprietary CSS and Javascript as "enchancements". Yes webkit is open source but the CSS 3 implementations are not w3c standards. THey propose replacing HTTP with SPDY and already violate RFC implementations of http that can flood routers that are not configured properly in order to make it appear faster. Now everyone is doing it.

      To me Chrome feels a lot like IE 5 or 5.5 where cool AJAX was introduced and IE at the time was a great browser that was faster and sleeker. However, proprietarness crept in at those releases just like it is with Chrome.

      IE did its work in the corporate market with tie in. Chrome is doing it in the consumer market. Oddly, IE 10 is one of the most standards compliant browsers that is being developed. It is the total opposite of 10 years ago but Chrome will be stuck with many webmasters a decade from now who will wine like they do today with supporting IE 6.

      • by salesgeek (263995) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @08:30PM (#39096103) Homepage

        The -webkit stuff is nothing to be shocked by. It's just a step towards eventually becoming part of the css standard. There are tons of -moz properties as well. Take -border-radius, which is now part of the standard. Before it was part of the standard it was -webkit-border-radius and -moz-border-radius. So, the whole -webkit thing is just a step on the trail to standardization.

        When you see a company stuck on XP, there is simply not a good reason for it anymore. Most often, being stuck on XP or IE6 means the company IT department is not able to keep up with change and are doing things like it is 1997. They are using a software installation model that is based on physically inserting CDs to perform upgrades and often are unable to cope with distributing a security patch in a timely manner.

        It is high time that CEOs realize if their people are using IE6 or WinXP, that the CIO and CTO should be sacked. Sorry, but there is no excuse for keeping your company stuck in the 1990s. Also, if you develop web apps, the right move is always to discontinue support for IE6. If you are feeding the monster, you are part of the problem.

        • Chrome is new now just like IE 6 was when CSS was new. It was not an issue in 2001. Look what happened? W3c came up with a different box model than IE which meant missing padding and stretching, W3C decided to round with floats instead of doubles with pixels so now IE 6 places elements wrong too, many new features came out as IE was frozen in time. This lead to where it is today. Chrome is being just as stupid as the W3C could implement something differently than Chrome making IE and FF render the site diff

        • by BZ (40346)

          > It's just a step towards eventually becoming part of
          > the css standard

          Except when it's not. There are plenty of -webkit properties that have never been proposed for standardization, and some that Apple is refusing to propose even though people are asking them to. Presumably because Apple has patents covering the behavior of those properties and doesn't actually want to license them.

    • Err all the html apps you get on the chrome store are, chrome only.
      Stuff like gmail offline storage (reading emails offline) only works on chrome, despite the offline storage works on other browsers.
      NaCl of course only works on Chrome.
      It goes on and on.

      Of course one could take Chrome and push it into their browser to be compatible, since most of it is open source, right? Well that's one of the point of the article actually: Google becoming the platform.

  • Starting a real web platform's been tried before(netscape)
    Its much harder than it looks, and ultimately, we're protected by those firms still using ie6 in this day and age. They slow down adoption enough for people to breathe and smell the roses.
    At the end of the day the relationship between user, platform builder and 3 rd party dev has(so far) always been much more contentious than expected, and usually to the detriment of anyone but the app devs

  • I have two laptops. A MacBook Pro with an Ubuntu partition, and Samsung Chromebook, I really like both. Many here comment negatively about Chromebooks and my guess it is mainly those that do not won them. I use my MacBook in reality as a desktop, and when I travel I PREFER the Chromebook. I would like to see a Chrome tablet, and would prefer that to an iOS or Android platform for the tasks tablets do. Until you use a Chromebook in real life, and see most of the negative " can't do anything without internet

    • I am curious as to what makes a Chromebook preferable to a generic netbook with Linux and Chrome. Honest question, I've never used a Chromebook.
  • by roca (43122) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @06:01PM (#39095155) Homepage

    Almost everything in the "Field Guide" is supported across browsers --- which is good and proper, but it's not pointing the way to Chrome-only applications like the Infoworld article suggests.

    Apparently in the Infoworld article, Chrome's "technical advantages" are NaCl and Dart (not mentioned in the "Field Guide"). NaCl is bad for the Web in multiple ways. It ties Web apps to specific processor architectures. (PNaCl is going nowhere because LLVM bitcode is not actually architecture-independent.) Worse, it creates a huge new set of Web APIs ("Pepper") for NaCl applications that mostly duplicate the functionality of the standards-based APIs we already have. This is a lot of unnecessary bloat, complexity and attack surface, plus a lot of extra standards work that would have to be done if NaCl were to be come a real cross-browser standard (which it won't, because no other browser vendor has shown interest in implementing it). The performance advantages of NaCl are overrated; C-to-JS compilers like Emscripten are rapidly improving, the JS language and implementations are rapidly improving, and for a lot of modern apps you want to be offloading to the GPU anyway.

    Dart is unnecessary and will simply be overtaken by improvements to Javascript.

    • ... LLVM bitcode is not actually architecture-independent...

      This surprises me. Could you please explain why?

  • The goal of Google is to move everything into the cloud, which is their domain. But they are not stupid, and while they are certainly trying, they won't force stuff like that when it doesn't work. So while Google will certainly try to make Chrome a new platform, whether it becomes one or not doesn't depend only on them.

  • Apps are the past. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by slasho81 (455509) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @06:16PM (#39095241)

    Apps are not the future. They are the past.

    Webapps or just web pages, as we used to call them, are the future of software. You just enter an address or click a link and you get to the most up to date "app". No installation, no updates, no permissions, no specific OS or hardware necessary. It works everywhere by everyone and all the time with no hassles.

    The reason apps made a comeback is because you can charge for apps. An app is a defined thing and an installation is a chargeable privilege. So thank Apple and all the me-too followers for burdening us with software deployment and management just as we were about to escape those unnecessary activities.

    Apps as platform is not driven by mobile OSes, browsers or other modern technology. It is driven by capitalism.

    • by jader3rd (2222716) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @06:48PM (#39095411)

      The reason apps made a comeback is because you can charge for apps.

      I don't think that's it. I think apps made a comeback because there were fancy new devices which were a different form factor which didn't match the paradigm used by most websites. Company's wanted a good experience and found it easier to provide that experience by creating an app, having access to OS api's, than by creating a version of the website that worked well with the hand held, touch, form factor. Plus, many consumers only look for a companies app, they don't consider there might be a decent handheld website experience.

      • by slasho81 (455509) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @07:01PM (#39095495)
        Webpages had to evolve to small form factor and become "richer", which is what's happening now with HTML5 and better CSS definitions. Unfortunately, that didn't happen fast enough, so obviously the native approach gained traction. It's the low-hanging-fruit coupled with greed. Now, I'm not saying native apps were a mistake. I'm saying it's not something to strive for in the future.
    • by Dan541 (1032000)

      It works everywhere by everyone and all the time with no hassles.

      So long as you have an internet connection.

    • by salesgeek (263995)

      Webapps or just web pages, as we used to call them, are the future of software.

      For the most part, this is spot on. The exception is probably, as usual, games.

    • by Waccoon (1186667)

      No installation, no updates, no permissions, no specific OS or hardware necessary. It works everywhere by everyone and all the time with no hassles.

      Other than having to update your web browser and plug-ins every week, that provide the installation, maintenance, permissions, and hardware access. Plus log-ins, passwords, pop-ups, JavaScript vulnerabilities, redirects, scary-looking URLs, seams between transitions between pages, ads, ads, ads...

      Apps gained traction because they worked better than web apps. That's why people pay for them.

  • by Tom (822) on Sunday February 19, 2012 @06:51PM (#39095429) Homepage Journal

    They said that 10 years ago. The browser was to break the MS monopoly, obsolete the OS, really soon now everything would be running in the browser, yada, yada, yada.

    Every few years, someone digs up a dead horse and runs it through town again.

    • "They said that 10 years ago. The browser was to break the MS monopoly, obsolete the OS, really soon now everything would be running in the browser, yada, yada, yada.

      Every few years, someone digs up a dead horse and runs it through town again."

      You mean like salesforce.com, SAP, Google Docs, Gmail, Office 365, Iphone apps?

    • But every time the dead horse is run through the town, the town has changed and the horse is becoming a little less dead than before. Sit down it might come as a big shock to you. MS is no longer having the strangle hold monopoly. Don't get me wrong, it is still the king in desktops and corporate office application markets. But the town has expanded so much in the tablet, mobile phone arena, that the original fiefdom of MS has shrunk in percentage, even though it has expanded in size!

      The iPhone is the new

    • The reason it went away "10 years ago" was due to bandwidth - now that the bandwidth is here, we're ready to move forward. The web platform and can will deliver on it's the promises - it's already making significant waves

      • by Corson (746347)
        That and poor UI. Like you said, they are both here now. The has been to make app(lication)s platform-independent. Java and .NET didn't cut it so Web is the new rage. I doubt that platform-independence will ever be achieved without open hardware standards, though.
  • Let us not forget that Google is _the_ corporation that makes its money by knowing as much as possible of what users (and that includes you) do on the Web. It is their business model.
  • From some dope at Microsoft friendly infoworld.

    1) ChromeOS can run on any common platform.

    2) Dart is going to be opensource. Anybody can incorporate Dart into their browser.

    3) Dart can be compiled to JavaScript.

    4) HTML5 etc. are also free to be used by anybody

    Add it up: Google Chrome will be no more a web platform than any other browser.

[Crash programs] fail because they are based on the theory that, with nine women pregnant, you can get a baby a month. -- Wernher von Braun

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