updated 04:45 pm EST, Tue December 9, 2008
Google Native Client share
On Monday, Google announced it has launched a developer site for its Native Client open-source research technology for running x86 native code in web applications. This decision to share the technology with research and security communities is meant to help Google perfect and troubleshoot the technology, making it secure enough for public use. The idea is to let users take advantage of the fast processing speeds of their own PCs while performing tasks in web-based programs and applications.
By granting web developers access to users' CPUs, Google hopes to enable them to write much richer, more dynamic content. Google realizes the potential security issues involved, and want to maintain browser neutrality and OS portability with its undertaking, which is why it is asking developers for help. The release includes a runtime, a browser plug-in and a set of GCC-based compilation tools. As well, Google has defined rules and instruction limits for developers that aim to keep potentially virus-like code from spreading.
The tools and runtime offered by Google allows users to write portable code modules that will work in Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Google Chrome on Windows, Mac, or Linux systems with x86 processors. Google is working on supporting ARM and PPC, among other CPU architectures, for wider device support.