Google I/O 2012: Chrome/OS Fireside chat

We go face to face with the Chrome and Chrome OS team.

The third day of Google I/O stared with several sessions on Android, Chrome, and more. I decided to attend the Fireside chat with the Chrome and Chrome OS teams. On stage were:

  • Jeff Chang, product manager on the Chrome Browser. His favorite new feature is tab synching.
  • Alex Komoroske, product manager on Chrome. Web components are his favorite area of Chrome.
  • Erik Kay, engineer in the Chrome team. Has been on the team for almost 6 years. He has worked on auto-update, extensions, native client, and more. He's most excited about web apps.
  • Ian Elison-Taylor, director of product manager for the web platform. He says what's coming with the new generation apps will be a game changer. Also he's excited about tooling.
  • Pavel Feldman, software engineer on developer tools. His focus areas are memory management, heap profiling, and remote debugging for mobile.
  • Felix Lin, product team for Chrome OS. He's most excited about the Samsung ChromeBook and ChromeBox that were just released.

After introductions, the floor was turned over to questions.

Q: Will it be possible to close tabs on other devices?

A: Interesting feature request, we'll have to think about that.

Q: What's the roadmap for VPN on ChromeOS?

A: Already supported, and we're working on improving management.

Q: Is anything in the works to improve drag and drop interop between web apps? For example drag an attachment out of GMail and drop it into some other app.

A: That's a great use case. There isn't a standard for that but the closest thing is Web Intents. That lets you have a loose coupling between apps like GMail and others. We think Web Intents are a big deal. Sites can interoperate without hard coded relationships.

Q: What features are missing from the web platform that will help drive offline app usage?

A: We have local storage, app cache, index db, and others. Thinking about your app as offline by default gives you a new perspective. People think, we have connectivity everywhere, why do we need offline? Sometimes you have spotty connectivity. Sometimes you're at a trade show and WiFi can't keep up. Making your apps resilient to these condition takes some forethought. Assume you're offline and have your code run locally to begin with. Then sync to the server as you have connectivity.

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