Google: Chrome likely to land on Mac before Linux

A Google software engineer said that it's a safe bet that Chrome will hit the Mac platform before Linux. Google launched Chrome, its entry to the browser war, earlier this month only on Windows.

A Google software engineer said that it's a safe bet that Chrome will hit the Mac platform before Linux. Google launched Chrome, its entry to the browser war, earlier this month only on Windows.

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When asked if Chrome (all posts) will hit new platforms soon, Ojan Vafai (right), a Google software engineer who is working on the browser, said a "large percentage" of developers are working on the Mac and Linux rollouts. "We really don't know when [Chrome will launch for Mac and Linux] we've been working on it for a few months now. I would guess--and this is a total guess--that the Mac one would be first. It's just a market share issue."

See: Most popular Chrome posts

Vafai made the comments during a Chrome development walk-through at the Web 2.0 Expo in New York. Vafai, speaking to a crowd of mostly Web developers, covered a lot of familiar ground, but did drop a few interesting nuggets. The biggest takeaway is that Chrome is all about Web applications and making them stable. It's no coincidence that Gmail, which Vafai also worked on, will be a big beneficiary.

Part of that stability push is to eliminate browser crashes. Vafai said in the near future--next year or two--will be a thing of the past. "In two years it'll be ridiculous that a browser crashes. It'll be like the blue screen in windows. It happens but it's rare," he said.

Among other odds and ends:

  • Vafai said Google is working on transferring its Chrome documentation to a public site for the open source community. The document transition is currently underway.
  • Web development has to get easier. Part of Chrome's mission is to make it easier to develop Web applications. He specifically noted that JavaScript requires a lot of code just to create dialog boxes and toolbars. "Gmail takes a long time to load and a lot of that is JavaScript," he says.
  • Vafai noted that Chrome's JavaScript engine--V8--has sparked debate about benchmarks, but has also moved the ball on development. And that's good for browser advances. "We want web applications to work. Browsers aren't developing fast enough to make them work," he said.
  • Chrome developer tools "may be coming soon." Vafai said that Google is quickly moving on a debugger for V8 a Webkit Web inspector tool is also moving along.
  • And finally Vafai urged developers to file bugs on Chrome so "you don't have to hack around them." Vafai's message: If you file the bugs Google will fix them.

Also see: Web 2.0: Don’t forget the business risks

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