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Chrome Is the New C Runtime 196

New submitter uncloud writes "Cross-platform app development is more important than ever. But what about when you need the features and performance of native code, across platforms? And you're a startup with a small team and impossible deadlines?" His answer? Take advantage of cross-platform Chrome. From the article: "Out of necessity, the Chrome team has created cross-platform abstractions for many low-level platform features. We use this source as the core API on which we build our business logic, and it's made the bulk of our app cross-platform with little effort. Most importantly -- Chrome code has been battle-tested like almost nothing else, with an installed base in the hundreds of millions. That makes all the difference when you want to spend your days working on your company's business logic instead of debugging platform issues."
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Chrome Is the New C Runtime

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  • How big is Chrome? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Saturday January 18, 2014 @08:17AM (#45997489) Journal

    How big is chrome?

      $ls -lh /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/
    -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 953K Apr 15 2013 /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/

    And libc is a mere 1.8M.

    There are plenty of very well battle tested ways of targeting C code to multiple systems.

    I think I'm going to stuff mine into libreoffice. That's only a few hundred meg and a start up time of a second or two.

  • And also... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Saturday January 18, 2014 @08:23AM (#45997517) Journal

    From TFA:

    Unless you are building your app for Windows 3.1, chances are that you want to talk to a server of some kind.

    Why does everyone assume that everyone else is doing stuff exactly like them? For work I don't think I've ever written code that makes any kind of network calls.

    In fact the main reason for me not to use any of the "highly optimized interfaces" they provide is that professionally none of them are of the slightest bit of use to me. It's interesting but there are more programs in this world than web-2.3.1-rc4 apps for phones.

  • Mozilla NSPR (Score:5, Interesting)

    by abies ( 607076 ) on Saturday January 18, 2014 @08:30AM (#45997541)

    I have a strong feeling of deja vu - I have heard same pitch about Mozilla NSPR ( Same thing - base library for many platforms, which is very well tested, developed for the needs of browser coding, but not really tied to hmtl rendering in any way.

    So, assuming I want to be hipster should I:
    - use NSPR, because it was available before reusing browser base libraries went mainstream
    - use Chrome library, because really cool guys use Chrome rather than Firefox

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 18, 2014 @09:21AM (#45997709)

    The software development industry used to consist of professionals. These were people who knew enough to know that not everybody works on networked software.

    Then sometime around 2006 to 2008, the whole "Web 2.0" phenomenon started. It flooded the industry with hipsters. These are people who have no technical or professional training. They just like wearing fedora hats, glasses with no lenses, and expressing "opinionated" ideas about stuff they know nothing about.

    To them, "software development" does not extend beyond JavaScript and Ruby on Rails. They don't know assembly, C, C++, or even Java and C#. They don't know about embedded software. They don't know about industrial control systems. They don't know about financial, scientific and engineering modeling software. To these people, all there is is web development. They can't even conceive the idea that there might be software that isn't networked.

    Hipsters are an infection upon the software industry. They bring nothing but ruin and stupidity.

  • Re:Plugins. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Gavagai80 ( 1275204 ) on Saturday January 18, 2014 @09:54AM (#45997843) Homepage
    This has nothing to do with plugins. Chromium is open source, this is about using chromium source code in other projects. Does not require the Chrome browser to be installed on the system.
  • by TheloniousToady ( 3343045 ) on Saturday January 18, 2014 @11:08AM (#45998249)

    Though I found TFA interesting, it seemed like actually doing what it suggested would be equivalent to learning a large new cross-platform API. Compared to the familiar wxWidgets, QT, and GTK+, the Chrome API may have some advantages in terms of features, but I doubt it would be nearly as well documented. It would probably be a pretty big mountain to climb.

    Regardless of which of these things you adopt (or even Java), you always have the basic problem of learning a large API, so it's hard to commit to more than one of them. So, although the idea of using the Chrome source as a cross-platform API is interesting, I wouldn't actually get involved unless it offered something that I actually needed which the other cross-platform toolkits didn't already provide.

  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Saturday January 18, 2014 @02:58PM (#45999771) Journal

    10 years ago, you just whipped out your Visual Studio when you needed a client application, but not anymore.

    No. I whipped out Visual Studio and created a header called plat.h and a source called plat.c. There were no more than 2000 lines devoted to platform issues, vs. something like 40k for the whole thing at its largest point. They allowed my application to run on Windows, Linux and FreeBSD. And yes, it did threads and networking! It used pthreads on Windows, and it worked very well. Eventually, the kernel module component (yes, kernel module) ran on all 3 systems in kernel mode. The plat.h/plat.c business never got out of hand. It was pretty manageable. At some point, we interviewed a manager who wanted us to switch to Eclipse, and couldn't understand how I could do what I did without using Java. Fortunately he was not hired.

"My sense of purpose is gone! I have no idea who I AM!" "Oh, my God... You've.. You've turned him into a DEMOCRAT!" -- Doonesbury