Google Chrome, what’s missing?

I’ve been playing with Google Chrome lately, and … after reading the rather lengthy comic that describes the ‘ins and outs’ of the browsers architecture and actually sitting down and surfing with it, I’m quite impressed.

However, as with all things that are new … the number one issue I had was with it’s lack of support for Plugins.  Firefox is an open-source browser, and to my knowledge, so is the API that powers plugins for Firefox.  With a little bit of crafting, I’m sure Google Chrome could support Firefox plugins in no time flat.

Just imagine, the full power of WebKit, with the extensibility of Firefox and the stability of Chrome’s architecture.  The web looks like it’s going to be getting quite a face lift in the near future, with the way that Chrome handles rendering and how it isolate’s javascript and to that affect, optimizes it as well… we’re looking at a whole new ‘big picture’ for the web in the near future.  I don’t think anyone will adopt the technology ‘right away’ and require it for ‘stability’, but I do see it being looked at very seriously for all future web ventures … just picture, if Facebook was designed to work exclusively with Chrome’s architecture, how much more they could do with the ‘web app’ without affecting the user’s experience by slowing down other pages, etc?

One thumb up for Google so far … two if they integrate Firefox plugins, none if they go the route of developing their own Plugin API… cause we all know, we don’t need yet another browser plugin API…. geez, can’t we all just get along, and share the brilliant power of freely downloable browser plugins without needing to have Browser X or Y installed to utilize them?  We all know, Microsoft will never jump on that band wagon, but Google … they just might.

I also see a future release of Firefox taking advantage of the Chrome architecture as well … in the near future.

2 comments for “Google Chrome, what’s missing?

  1. September 5, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    Chrome is still in beta; extensibility support is reportedly coming.

    There’s NSAPI plug-in support in Chrome, which is something; at least you can run Flash, for example. But NSAPI is junk; Chrome’s support for NSAPI was just part of the legacy support that came with WebKit.

    Google did indicate on their Chrome web site that a plug-in architecture is coming. It’s just not there yet in this beta.

    Unfortunately, I highly doubt that Firefox plug-in support will ever be supported in Chrome because WebKit and Mozilla are entirely different frameworks; in FF, both the browser and the container are written up in XUL. WebKit has no XUL tie-ins. Google could certainly work to join the efforts of Mozilla and WebKit to bring XUL, XPI, and XPCOM support in WebKit and in Chrome but that would be a great undertaking — one I’d root for as I’d love to see XPCOM continue in other, non-Mozilla venues — but it’s also unlikely, and XPCOM is reportedly being deprecated.

  2. September 5, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    My understanding, from all the documentation I read about Google Chrome is that Google merged the best of Safari and Firefox, and then rolled their own when they felt something “wasn’t good enough” (such as the multi-process architecture, and the new javascript runtime) …

    This leads me to believe, that if Chrome comes out with Addon support (not necessarily plugin support, that was a poor choose of words for this feature as ‘Plugins’ are things like Flash and QuickTime, and Addons are browser enhancements [in the firefox terminology]), then it will be Firefox compliant … even if it means ‘porting’ the addon on-the-fly to a Chrome specific format.

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