Google Chrome Needs 'Common Code' on Mac and Linux

New beta out for Windows, Mac version still has a long way to go

By on January 9th, 2009 08:25 GMT
Google has released yet a new version of its WebKit-based web browser, Chrome. Although still in beta, the browser adds numerous changes requested by users worldwide. Unfortunately, Mac development is still lagging behind, just as we reported the last time Chrome was receiving an update.

Google has confirmed that it is hard at work on matching the standards of other browsers. As tech-savvy readers should know, Google Chrome is based on the WebKit engine, an open source code that helps the browser render web pages written in HTML and CSS. Chrome 1.0.154.36 used pretty much the same version of WebKit as Safari 3.1, according to the development team.

All that was about to change, as the WebKit team made a lot of improvements since that version was released. In addition to fixing bugs and enabling features like full-page zoom and auto-scroll, the new version also enables CSS gradients, CSS canvas drawing, and partial implementations of CSS reflections & CSS masks.

Google has also confirmed that, in the new version of Chrome, developers have implemented new network code. “Google Chrome now has its own implementation of the HTTP network protocol,” Google's developers say. Speaking of the shortcomings on Mac development, “We were using the WinHTTP library on Windows, but need common code for Mac and Linux,” the team adds.

As we reported last month, the Mac build of Chrome is still a “work in progress,” according to the Chromium wiki, which offers instructions on how to build the browser on Mac OS X. “Chromium” is the dubbing for the Mac version of Chrome.

“The TestShell project builds and is able to render web pages,” while “Work has yet to begin on the user interface of the main Chromium application,” the page where progress for the Mac version can be followed reveals. “After we get the layout tests passing, we can begin the discussion of a multi-process architecture and a Cocoa-based user interface. The focus right now is getting the core working correctly,” Google's coders note.

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