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Google Demonstrates Chrome Native Client With Bastion 154

Posted by Soulskill
from the smashing-crates-in-the-browser dept.
Multiple readers sent word that Bastion, an action RPG from indie developer Supergiant Games originally made for Xbox Live Arcade, has shown up in the Chrome Web Store. The purpose of the move is to showcase the browser's Native Client technology. From the article: "Ian Ellison-Taylor, Google's director of product management for the open Web platform, said that Native Client, also called NaCl, can currently improve browser performance by 1 to 10 times. 'What would it be like if we could run native code inside the browser,' he asked the crowd, and he enumerated two goals for the Native Client project. He said Google wants to bring native applications to the Web for performance and security reasons, and it wants to enrich the Web ecosystem by bringing popular, long-in-use programming languages to the Web."
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Google Demonstrates Chrome Native Client With Bastion

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  • by Qwavel (733416) on Friday December 09, 2011 @07:40PM (#38320868)

    I agree that Google is just another big evil corp and should be watched closely - I'm a fan of much of what they have done, but I still try to remain critical.

    But this is nothing like what MS tried to do to the web. I'll repeat some of what I posted above: with NaCl, Dart, WebM, and SPDY, Google is not replacing web technologies with proprietary technologies - they are optimizing pieces of web technologies.

    Even when you use these technologies you are still writing a standard web app and it still runs on all browsers - just without the Chrome optimizations. For NaCl for example, the primary use case (according to Google) is that you take your bundle of HTML/CSS/Javascript and replace pieces of the javascript with native code. When deployed to other browsers your app uses the original javascript instead of the optimized NaCl alternative.

    More importantly, these technologies are all open source and restriction and royalty free. So, for example, Amazon is now using Google's SPDY technology in their browser without any royalties or advantage to Google.

    To me these seem like reasonable ways to move the web forward without subverting it.

    So, if you want to be pissed at Google then note that a couple of weeks ago they cancelled their project to make Green technologies competitive with coal. That didn't get nearly enough press. But when it comes to the web they (for now) still appear to be behaving themselves.

  • by goruka (1721094) on Friday December 09, 2011 @08:56PM (#38321630)
    Native Client is like a plugin that makes all other plugins obsolete.

    -It can do everything you can do with Flash, Unity, Silverlight, etc.
    -You can use any language to develop for it, C, C++, ObjC, Python, C#, you name it.
    -Can access everything JS can (using the Pepper plugin API).
    -It's from a trusted vendor (Google), so most people will not be afraid to install it.
    -Will come pre-installed in the soon to be most popular web browser.
    -It's open source
    -It's much more secure than existing plugins due to sandboxing.

    And, yes, I can understand HTML5 purists, but the truth is that:

    1) Not everything can be made into a web application using HTML5+JS.
    2) There's way too much code and applications written in other languages..
    3) Cross-Platform web deployment is very attractive. Compile for x86 and ARM and 99.999% of the devices on the planet can be supported.

    So, disable it if you don't want it, but this is a very attractive idea with a lot of potential for us developers, and even Adobe is trying somehting similar with Alchemy [adobe.com] on Flash. It's a much more realistic way to bring actual real applications to the web than the dream that HTML5+JavaScript is.

APL is a write-only language. I can write programs in APL, but I can't read any of them. -- Roy Keir

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