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Google Announces Chrome For Mac and Linux Dev Builds 251

Posted by timothy
from the for-greater-shininess dept.
Dan Kegel (who admits to being a Chrome developer) writes to point out a post from Mike Smith and Karen Grunberg, Product Managers for Google Chrome, with some good news for non-Windows users who want to play with Chrome: "In order to get more feedback from developers, we have early developer channel versions of Google Chrome for Mac OS X and Linux (for a couple of different Linux distributions), but whatever you do, please DON'T DOWNLOAD THEM! Unless of course you are a developer or take great pleasure in incomplete, unpredictable, and potentially crashing software." (The announcement continues below.)
"How incomplete? So incomplete that, among other things , you won't yet be able to view YouTube videos, change your privacy settings, set your default search provider, or even print.

Meanwhile, we'll get back to trying to get Google Chrome on these platforms stable enough for a beta release as soon as possible ..."
The downloads are available through the Chrome developer's channel.
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Google Announces Chrome For Mac and Linux Dev Builds

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  • Wha...? (Score:5, Funny)

    by pHus10n (1443071) on Friday June 05, 2009 @05:55AM (#28219867)
    Quote: "How incomplete? So incomplete that, among other things , you won't yet be able to view YouTube videos, change your privacy settings, set your default search provider, or even print."

    What the hell did they release? A box of crayons where you have to draw the Internet manually? :)
    • Re:Wha...? (Score:5, Informative)

      by mallumax (712655) on Friday June 05, 2009 @07:26AM (#28220321) Homepage
      I have been following chrome for mac development closely on my blog [manu-j.com] with weekly updates. Here is a list of the functionality as of Build 17426
      What Works

      * Almost All Websites
      * Bookmark pages
      * Most visited sites
      * Open link in new tab
      * Open new tabs
      * Omnibox
      * Back, Forward, Reload
      * Open link in new window
      * Drag a tab to make a window
      * Launch new tab
      * Cut, Copy, Paste
      * Keyboard shortcuts
      * about:version, about:dns, about:crash, about:histograms
      * Find in page
      * History with search
      * Form Fill
      * Delete Thumbnail in New Tab Page
      * Window Positions Remembered
      * View Source with synatx highlighting and clickable links

      What Doesn't Work

      * Plugins (No flash -> No youtube)
      * Bookmarks Bar
      * Print
      * about:network, about:memory
      * Web Inspector
      * Input methods such as Kotoeri (Japanese)
      * Preferences (Partial implementation)
      * Full Screen Browsing
      * Favicon (thanks brin)
      • Re:Wha...? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Eighty7 (1130057) on Friday June 05, 2009 @07:41AM (#28220417)
        Also the linux version doesn't have sandboxing [google.com]

        Unlike the Mac [chromium.org] version. I'm sure they'd appreciate hints on how to use SELinux/AppArmor.
      • by Bluesman (104513)

        I'm not current on development for the Mac, but I've heard that multiple processes can't share a single window in OS/X.

        Do you happen to know how Chrome works around this, or is this not an actual limitation?

        • Re:Wha...? (Score:5, Informative)

          by mallumax (712655) on Friday June 05, 2009 @08:11AM (#28220647) Homepage

          I'm not current on development for the Mac, but I've heard that multiple processes can't share a single window in OS/X.

          Do you happen to know how Chrome works around this, or is this not an actual limitation?

          I'm not a mac dev and what i'm posting here is gleaned from several svn log entries. So it might be wrong and inaccurate :). The chrome architecture is that there is a main process which handles the UI and there is one process per site which is launched but do not handle the UI. In Mac, the one process per site works but if you open up Activity Monitor you will see that the additional processes are shown as "Not responding" though in reality they are.

          What is happening here is that OS-X expects the additional processes to respond to UI events and since they don't mark them as "Not Responding". Two solutions have been proposed

          1. have dummy code which responds to UI events to keep OS-X happy
          2. Rip out the Cocoa code from the additional processes which will make OS-X not expect the process to respond to UI events.

      • by IBBoard (1128019)

        What Doesn't Work

        * Plugins (No flash -> No youtube)

        Hurrah! They've implemented an even more effective Flash stopper than FlashBlock :) Now if only they had generic RPMs for it for us Fedora/openSuse/other users.

      • Window Positions Remembered

        It does? I use Chrome on Windows XP, and I can't get it to remember the position and size of newly opened windows. It just won't do it.

        And here's the funny thing: I played with some Dosbox games recently, and now I notice that Chrome opens new windows in another size and position - but not anything I told it to. Now a new window is just ridiculously small, so my quest to get Chrome to pen them at a certain size and position became that more pressing.

  • by timothy (36799) Works for Slashdot on Friday June 05, 2009 @05:56AM (#28219875) Homepage Journal

    I just installed the .deb on this laptop, running Ubuntu 9.10 alpha. So far, seems nice and pleasant :)

    I seem some rendering problems, but Hey, I blame google!

    timothy

  • by pieterh (196118) on Friday June 05, 2009 @05:56AM (#28219877) Homepage

    I've been using Chromium for some time on my Eee 1000, since FireFox hangs intermittently (slow SSD, which does not like apps that write a lot of stuff).

    Chromium is a pleasant experience, fast and snappy. It used to crash all the time (e.g. when doing a copy/paste) but has been improved daily, and is now stable and usable. I don't know what the Google branded version would add on top. "DON'T DOWNLOAD" sounds like reverse psychology. Definitely, download, and use if you have a machine that is a little slower than the average desktop.

    • by reynaert (264437)
      Most Eee PCs have two SSDs: a large, slow one and a small fast one. Firefox became a lot snappier once I moved my profile directory to the fast SSD. Obvious in retrospect, I know...
      • by asdf7890 (1518587) on Friday June 05, 2009 @07:37AM (#28220389)

        Most Eee PCs have two SSDs: a large, slow one and a small fast one. Firefox became a lot snappier once I moved my profile directory to the fast SSD. Obvious in retrospect, I know...

        If you have >512Mb in your netbook you could do what I've done: I keep the entire profile in RAM (on a tmpfs filesystem). On bok the profile is copied in to the ram drive and on shutdown it is rsynced back to the SSD (using --inplace to reduce copy+write operations on the urlclassifier db).

        OK so it lengthens boot time a little, but it isn't often the machine is properly shutdown anyway (it tends to be suspended when not in used instead) so doesn't do a full boot often.

        The urlclassifier db appears to be the main culprit for the "unexpected" IO in firefox. and even with all the relevant features turned off it seems to keep updating the file. If you don't want to put your whole profile in RAM (there is the risk of losing important bookmarks and cookies and such if the machine unexpectidly loses all power including battery or if normal shutdown scripts otherwise fail to be callde) you could probably just copy this file in and replace it with a symlink.

  • by acb (2797) on Friday June 05, 2009 @06:11AM (#28219959) Homepage

    How does this differ from the Chromium daily builds [launchpad.net]? Is it identical only officially a Google product, or are there technical differences?

  • Beta? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 05, 2009 @06:22AM (#28220013)

    I'll just wait for the final release.. can't take to long.

  • by sveard (1076275)

    from http://dev.chromium.org/getting-involved/dev-channel [chromium.org] :

    Installing Google Chrome will add the Google repository so your system will automatically keep Chrome up to date. (If you don't want Google's repository, do "sudo touch /etc/defaults/google-chrome" before installing the package.)

    But it didn't (and I didn't touch /etc/defaults/google-chrome)

    • by sveard (1076275)

      Okay, never mind my previous post

      Knowing Google, they did things differently and added /etc/chron.daily/google-chrome which has the deb line and the signing key

  • by metacell (523607) on Friday June 05, 2009 @06:38AM (#28220105)

    "[...]but whatever you do, please DON'T DOWNLOAD THEM! Unless of course you are a developer or take great pleasure in incomplete, unpredictable, and potentially crashing software."

    Of course I do. I used Windows 95 for years!

    • I am posting from Chrome now. It seems quite zippy. I didn't expect it to be (or seem) faster than Firefox. I wonder if the XUL middleware in FF slows things down.
  • by cerberusss (660701) on Friday June 05, 2009 @06:40AM (#28220121) Homepage Journal

    Dan Kegel (who admits to being a Chrome developer)

    They say it like it's something dirty!

    Girl: "Mom, I've got a new boyfriend."
    Mum: "Really, pumpkin?"
    Girl: "Yes. He's a Chrome developer!"
    Mum: "Oh!" *faints*
    Dad: *finally looks over his newspaper* "Straight to your room YOUNG LADY! You're grounded for a week with no telephone!"

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Friday June 05, 2009 @06:42AM (#28220129)

    Trust me, I admire Google. But I am mad at them for using the "wrong" toolkit in developing Chrome for Linux. Slashdotters, this is *my* opinion having used both toolkits and deployed software though not as complex as a browser on all operating systems.

    And I have at least one supporter [purinchu.net] on this front.

    What they should have done is to fund development of Chrome using the "right" tool for the job. What would be wrong with that?

    • by jcupitt65 (68879) on Friday June 05, 2009 @07:10AM (#28220259)

      Two issues are being confused there. First, do you use a cross-platform toolkit, or do you write a true native GUI for every platform and just keep the backend in common? Google have decided to write a new GUI for every platform, and I think they are probably correct to do this. Qt (and GTK+) are cross-platform, but they are not quite native (though arguably Qt is better at this).

      Once that choice is made, all you are doing is picking a toolkit for Linux. GTK+ has the advantages of being familiar to the chrome devs, matching the existing ff dependency, being the most widely-used toolkit (and therefore appearing native for the largest number of users), and being "good enough".

      • by pherthyl (445706)

        >> First, do you use a cross-platform toolkit, or do you write a true native GUI for every platform and just keep the backend in common?

        I'd say considering in how bad of shape Chromium on Linux and Mac are, it's pretty damn clear that writing separate GUIs is the wrong approach. Skype is another example of an app that gets is completely wrong. They have separate "native" GUIs for each platform, and each platform is completely different than any other. If I know how to do something in Windows, I won

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      It would have been smarter to use Qt than to have very Windows- and Mac- customized ports, and then you would have got a Linux port for free. You can use QGtkStyle (included in Qt 4.5, but you can run it yourself now) to make Qt apps look like GTK ones.

      This seems kind of retarded because Google Gadgets is already GTK and Qt. Obviously they didn't build a GUI abstraction layer then, and reinvented the wheel then (with Qt and GTK+ versions.) So now they will do it all again for Chrome. I guess someone should

      • This seems kind of retarded because Google Gadgets is already GTK and Qt.

        And Google Gadgets has different engineers working on it. The team working on Chrome, as Ben pointed out, has more experience and familiarity with GTK which is why they are using it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        It would have been smarter to use Qt than to have very Windows- and Mac- customized ports, and then you would have got a Linux port for free. You can use QGtkStyle (included in Qt 4.5, but you can run it yourself now) to make Qt apps look like GTK ones.

        Qt may be a cross platform toolkit, but the reality is that you don't get the same level of responsiveness out of it on all platforms as you can get using platform specific tools.

        In a market like the web browser market, feeling a little sluggish compared to the competition is fatal, and they were completely correct not to use Qt for all platforms. Not that I'm sure GTK is the best choice for Linux, but for a project like Chrome, it's definitely the right choice to use the best tools available on each platf

  • Let's give Dan Kegel even more spam by posting his e-mail address.
  • CPU Usage... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PhotoGuy (189467) on Friday June 05, 2009 @07:04AM (#28220229) Homepage

    Here's why I'm excited about/anxious for Chrome on OS/X:

    I used Firefox for awhile, a couple of years back. It bogged down the CPU, especially after running for awhile.

    So I switched to Opera (and shortly thereafter went from Windows to OS X). It was a peppier experience. But with newer releases, and the increasing use of Flash (I think) on the Net, it started getting slower and slower. I don't like having my fan run while I'm simply sitting and reading a static page. Turning off all plugins seems to avoid that, so I point the finger at Flash. But not having Flash, or only having it on demand, is fairly annoying. Also, there's some sites Opera just won't render properly. Not many, but some.

    So I switched back to Firefox, with the advent of 3.0. Even doing nothing, sitting with a few static pages open (and Adblock, Flashblock) it seems to still hover at 10% CPU usage. Bleh. Enough to keep my fan humming all the time.

    When I tried Chrome on Windows, I was quite excited, with the process-per-page approach. I can see *what* page is slowing things down, and kill it if I chose. That's my biggest beef with Opera/Firefox (I won't even let IE into the discussion :P): you can't tell *what* page is slowing down your browser. I've tried JavaScript debuggers, other dev tools to try and found out, but have had no success.

    I'm praying that Chrome on OS/X will be my salvation (although I've become dependent upon some Firefox extensions, particularly vimperator :P). Upon first glance, it looks pretty good (and I'm using it to post this article). It seems to suck up 30% CPU for 20 seconds or so *after* finishing loading a page, but then does settle down.

    Right now I have about 5 tabs open, and each is using 2-3%, which is slightly concerning. That could add up to be just as bad as Firefox/Opera. But for now, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt of being an early release, and keep my fingers crossed that the "Browser That Finally Doesn't Suck [CPU]" is on the horizon...

    • by amn108 (1231606)

      NoScript extension for Firefox may alleviate the symptoms :-) Does it fix the REAL problem? No. It is almost most annoying to use, when 75% of ALL websites I visit just fail to work without JavaScript, and I mean even navigation does not work, as sloppy Web-programmers use the horrid Microsoft-invented "postback" technique, which uses encoded navigation target as part of a JavaScript function call. Nothing insults WWW when the very method of navigating it - hyperlinks - is rejected in favour of some proprie

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        NoScript helps me identify big fucking idiots. Then if I have a choice, I avoid their website. Anyone who is turning perfectly good links into javascript-only links is clearly not marketing to me.

    • by RMH101 (636144)
      Does it support keychain? That's why I'm still using Camino as opposed to Firefox...
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Ann1ka (604222)

      If you like the OSX experience enough to stick with it. Why not give Safari 4 beta a try? It comes with better integration into OSX and has most of Chrome's features, with biggest miss being the sandboxing. It also uses the Webkit engine for rendering webpages, which is somewhat faster than Firefox's Gecko.

    • by cbhacking (979169)

      For the record, IE8 (even the first beta) used multiple processes to handle tabs. It doesn't have Chrome's nice "Task Manger" interface, but you can fairly easily tell which tab is slowing things down (by cycling through them, if nothing else) and can kill a slow or even completely hung tab without brining down the rest of the browser. I'm not sure which of Chrome and IE8 had this idea first (or if they got it from some common source) but it's a good one and could stand to be copied widely. Firefox in parti

  • Final release 2.3?

    But seriously, this is how it's done KDE. Note that people still want to download it and test it despite the fact that it is not labeled a .0 release.
  • I find the Chrome interface quite revolting. But what's even worse is the psychotic bitchings of Ben Goodger [google.com], former Mozilla developer. My response to Ben [homelinux.org] discusses the issues he raised.

  • Does the job? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rxmd (205533) on Friday June 05, 2009 @07:38AM (#28220397) Homepage

    I would bet that while you can't print, view YouTube videos or change your privacy settings yet, the core functionality of aggregating data about the user's browsing behaviour and sending it to Google with a uniquely identifiable ID is firmly in place.

  • Great..., another package that wants me to install half of gnome.
    ( it's linked against gconf. )

    As a kde user i'll have to say no this round.
    I'll stick to firefox/konqueror for the time being.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Friday June 05, 2009 @07:49AM (#28220483) Homepage

    Using the Fedora Linux here and have been for a rather long time. I am very much "anti-advertiser" simply because they have a huge propensity to "go too far" with their advertising and data collection. (I have nothing against advertising when it comes to respectful means that the customer seeks out for himself.) Google, for everything else they do in terms of evolving the internet technologies, is still an advertiser. I don't trust them. I can't imagine why anyone else would either.

  • by jDeepbeep (913892) on Friday June 05, 2009 @08:37AM (#28220839)

    we'll get back to trying to get Google Chrome on these platforms stable enough for a beta release as soon as possible ..

    Yes, hurry up with that.... so you can keep them in BETA for 5+ years afterwards. :p

  • Irony (Score:5, Funny)

    by Alsee (515537) on Friday June 05, 2009 @08:45AM (#28220907) Homepage

    DON'T DOWNLOAD THEM! Unless of course you are a developer or take great pleasure in incomplete, unpredictable, and potentially crashing software.

    How ironic, they announce new Mac and Linux versions and tell you not to download them unless you use Windows.

    -

  • Phoning home (Score:3, Interesting)

    by karmaflux (148909) on Friday June 05, 2009 @09:10AM (#28221157)

    Does it still send unknown encrypted data back to google at will [foliovision.com]?

    Thanks, that's all I need to know about this browser.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mallumax (712655)
      You can use chromium [chromium.org] if you don't want to use the google branded Chrome. Chromium will not send any data to anyone.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by cerberusss (660701)

        Chromium will not send any data to anyone.

        Yes, it's awful, it won't even send the data to the screen! When you type in a URL in the address bar, Chromium will retrieve the data and then KEEP IT TO ITSELF. It will smugly show a blank screen instead of showing the data. I think I even heard a satisfied snort from it.

  • NOT amd64 (Score:5, Informative)

    by uhmmmm (512629) <`uhmmmm' `at' `gmail.com'> on Friday June 05, 2009 @09:15AM (#28221215) Homepage

    A friend wrote up a Gentoo ebuild for it, which I went and installed (for the amd64 version - I run an almost entirely 64 bit system). Try to run it, and got this message:

    /opt/google/chrome/chrome: error while loading shared libraries: libgconf-2.so.4: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

    That's odd ... double check ... yes, /usr/lib64/libgconf-2.so.4 exists ... No ... they couldn't have ...

    $ file /opt/google/chrome/chrome
    /opt/google/chrome/chrome: ELF 32-bit LSB executable, Intel 80386, version 1 (SYSV), dynamically linked (uses shared libs), for GNU/Linux 2.6.8, stripped

    *facepalm*

    The 64-bit Chrome is *NOT* 64-bit, and will not run on 64-bit systems which are missing a number of 32-bit libraries.

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