Google advances Native Client Web browser technology

Revamped SDK addresses security concerns, allows developers to build Native Client apps before technology's official launch

Google on Friday began offering a revamped SDK for its Native Client open source technology for running Web applications that execute native code inside a browser.

With the SDK, developers can start building Native Client applications ahead of the official launch. Plans call for putting Native Client technology inside the Google Chrome browser; until then, users cannot access the applications. Google did not have an estimate on when exactly Native Client would be supported in Chrome.

[ Also on InfoWorld.com: Blogger Neil McAllister calls Native API "Google's craziest idea yet." | Stay up to date on the key programming news and issues with InfoWorld's Developer World newsletter. Sign up today! ]

"Today, we've reached an important milestone in our efforts to make Native Client modules as portable and secure as JavaScript, by making available a first release of the revamped Native Client SDK," said Christian Stefansen, of the Google Native Client team, in a blog post.

Developers can view APIs, documentation, and examples to show how to write a module in C or C++ and communicate with JavaScript code executing in a browser. The SDK improves security, removing localhost restrictions in previous releases. "Beyond security, we've also improved the mechanism for fetching Native Client modules based on the instruction set architecture of the target machine, so developers don't need to worry about this anymore," said Stefansen.

Also featured in the SDK is support for a set of interfaces dubbed "Pepper," providing compute, audio, and 2D Native Client modules. Pepper allows better access to browser systems for plug-ins.

The issue with native applications, including plug-ins, has been their access to the full machine -- even files. As a result, users are forced to make decisions about which applications to trust. Google with Native Client comes with rules that define valid code modules and limit access to a user's computer. It offers capabilities such as validation, which can prevent an invalid module from running.

Google had released a "sneak peek" of the SDK last year. In coming months, Google plans to add APIs for 3D graphics, local file storage and peer-to-peer networking. An ABI (application binary interface) is planned as well.

"Until the ABI becomes stable, Native Client will remain off by default," Stefansen said. "However, given the progress we've made, you can now sticky-enable Native Client in Chrome 10+ through the about:flags dialog. Otherwise, you can continue using a command-line flag to enable Native Client when you want to."

Google has positioned Native Client as a technology intended to give developers full access to client CPU power while maintaining browser neutrality, OS portability, and safety in Web applications. It was built initially for 32- and 64-bit x86 systems running Windows, Mac OS, or Linux. The goal of the technology has been to enable development of Web applications that are richer and more dynamic.

This article, "Google advances Native Client browser technology," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in business technology news and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

Read more about developer world in InfoWorld's Developer World Channel.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Googlesoftwareapplicationsapplication developmentweb browsersDeveloper World

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Krill

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?