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Some Post about Google Chrome

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Word from the LA Times is that Google plans to phase out its Gears plug-in in favor of HTML5 when it comes to augmenting browser abilities. The precise details of its enthusiasm for the plug-in aren't clear yet, but the general trajectory is no surprise.

Google, along with Mozilla, Opera, Apple, and some other allies, has been agitating for features that can make browsers and the Web into a more powerful foundation for Web sites and Web applications. Gears was an early Google effort in this area.


Gears emerged in 2007--back before Google released a browser of its own, before the World Wide Web Consortium had put its full weight behind HTML5, before HTML5 had gotten the traction it now enjoys as an official standard in the making, and before Microsoft took interest in contributing to that standard.

It's clear things are different now, and HTML5 is solving the same problems Gears set out to fix, and a healthy cooperation is under way for future Web standards work.

Linus Upson, Google's engineering director for the Chrome browser and Chrome OS, confirmed Tuesday that Gears will be supported but isn't an active area of development.

Various HTML5 elements are just beginning to arrive in Web browsers, and widely used browsers such as Internet Explorer 6 don't have any support at all. But the difficulties of getting people to install Gears or other plug-ins means that built-in browser support probably will reach more people sooner than Gears.

Google has given plenty of signals it's happy to direct Gears energy into HTML5. It proudly demonstrated offline Gmail using HTML5 storage last May at its Google I/O conference, for example. And regarding its O3D and Native Client plug-ins, which accelerate 3D and regular computing processes in a browser, Google developers have argued such technology should be built into the browser, not handled as a separate plug-in.

Upson said Google will continue adding features into Chrome and its Chrome OS, even if that means deviating from standards at times.

"Ideally for all these things (such as Native Client and O3D) we'd like to get them into standards," Upson said. "At the end of the day, we can't control the pace of the Internet Explorer developer team at Microsoft (or developer teams) at Mozilla and Apple. We all have a shared incentive to not fragment the Web, but there always will be seams that aren't smooth."

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