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February 13, 2009

First Screenshot of Google Chrome for Mac

The Windows version of Google Chrome was launched in September 2008 and many users asked for Mac and Linux versions. The work to port the Windows version started soon after the initial release and it will soon show some visible results.

A document from Chromium's site includes a list of remaining features that need to be implemented. "The purpose of this document is to help organize and coordinate the effort to get a browser window up and running on Mac and Linux using as much of the code that is already there as possible (with temporary header and link scaffolding, plus ifdefs) as opposed to writing a bunch of throw-away code that duplicates what already exists on windows. Our goal is to get a double-clickable app with a working browser window using the real multi-process infrastructure (not TestShell) by mid-February."

Mike Pinkerton offers more details about the Mac port, which will certainly be released before the Linux version. "We made a list early in the week of the key classes on the critical path to getting a renderer launching and showing bits on the screen. Our goal was to have a renderer being spawned by launching the browser by the end of this week. The list is now almost all green and as of this morning we hit our goal (one day early!) to have renderer processes launched. In fact, we launch a new renderer with each tab, and when the tab is closed, the renderer goes away!! You can see it come and go in Activity Monitory. All this goes through the cross-platform infrastructure with a Cocoa front-end."

Even if there's still some work for creating a proper user interface, here's the first screenshot of Google Chrome for Mac:


And another screenshot via Mike Pinkerton: "Now mind you, clicking doesn't work, and the renderers crash like nobody's business, but the other great thing is that the user interface stays running even if they do. Just open a new tab and keep going! It's important to point out that's part of what's taken us so long to get to this point. The WebKit that ships as part of Mac OS X can't run this way -- it took a lot of work to marshall it to do so. In addition, the UI clearly needs much love, but it's an indicator of the clean and simple direction we're heading."


More about the progress of Google Chrome's Mac port:

* Mac Detailed Status: "Our new goal is to have a multi-process browser limping by the end of the quarter."

* Build instructions: "Right now, the Mac build is a work in progress. The TestShell project builds and is able to render web pages, and this area is currently under active development, but work has yet to begin on the user interface of the main Chromium application."

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