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Innovation

Google Chrome - an open source browser, and more...

Through the unusual medium of a comic book, Google has apparently published details of Chrome, an open source browser with more than a hint of being a complete system. Chrome not only runs each tabbed session as a separate process, preventing one crashed session from bringing down the entire browser, but adds a task manager and a hierarchical process controller.
Written by Rupert Goodwins, Contributor on

Through the unusual medium of a comic book, Google has apparently published details of Chrome, an open source browser with more than a hint of being a complete system. Chrome not only runs each tabbed session as a separate process, preventing one crashed session from bringing down the entire browser, but adds a task manager and a hierarchical process controller. It also has Gears, allowing web apps to work offline, plus multiple innovations in garbage collection, security and user interfaces - including a nine-pane automated favourites page, where the browser keeps your most-visited pages front and centre.

Google's using its infrastructure to throw millions of pages at Chrome a week via Chrome Bot, an automated test system. which selects the most popular millions to use - after all, Google does have a shrewd idea what people actually look at online. It also uses the open source Webkit rendering engine, which it shares with Android, and a new virtual-machine based Javascript compiler from a Danish group called V8. This is effectively seperate from the rest of Chrome, and Google says that it hopes other people will pick it up and use it - and the rest of the code, as they see fit.

"As excited as we are at building Google Chrome, it's important to allow ALL browser to become more powerful", the comic states. "to keep evolving with the Web and continuing to build a SOLID FOUNDATION for modern Web applications. We owe a great debto to other open source browser projects -- especially MOZILLA and WEBKIT. This is our contribution, and we hope people will take some those ideas, too; challenge them, build on them, and keep moving the web FORWARD."

The comic itself goes into some detail on the internal structure of the project, and is licensed under Creative Commons.

UPDATE: Yes, it's all true. Beta may be available to download today. Logo looks like a cross between Windows Office (cheeky!) and a Simon game. Comic leaked out early. Windows version first, Mac/Linux soon after.

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