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September 25, 2009

Chrome Frame, Not Just for Internet Explorer

Google has recently released a plugin for Internet Explorer that renders web pages using Google Chrome. The plugin, called Google Chrome Frame, is open-source and the code is publicly available.

By looking at the code, it's obvious that the plugin is not limited to Internet Explorer. There's also a NPAPI plugin, which should work in browsers that support NPAPI: Firefox, Safari, Opera and other browsers. Here's a comment from one of the Chrome Frame files:

"ChromeFrameNPAPI: Implementation of the NPAPI plugin, which is responsible for hosting a chrome frame, i.e. an iframe like widget which hosts the the chrome window. This object delegates to Chrome.exe (via the Chrome IPC-based automation mechanism) for the actual rendering".

A post from the Chromium blog explained the purpose of Google's plugin: "With Google Chrome Frame, developers can now take advantage of the latest open web technologies, even in Internet Explorer. From a faster Javascript engine, to support for current web technologies like HTML5's offline capabilities and <canvas>, to modern CSS/Layout handling, Google Chrome Frame enables these features within IE with no additional coding or testing for different browser versions."

Instead of asking users to download a different browser, Google and other companies that develop complex web applications can ask users to install Google Chrome Frame. This way, Google Chrome runs invisibly inside another browser.

29 comments:

  1. But, assuming it is an .exe file, it is still a Windows product, yes?

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  2. And what about the feature that sends information to Google, is that implemented? :)

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  3. Eugh, why all this talk of HTML 5? I thought we moved on to XHTML ages ago... The W3C only took HTML 5 on because there'd be mutiny otherwise. As much as I find the video tag a good idea, I can't get enthusuastic about it when it's made by WHATWG. Surely it's not just me?

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  4. I totally agree with this. People didn't see it coming when Chrome Frame was released. If they can do it for IE , why can't they released for other browsers especially firefox who's the next contender considering it's getting slower and slower since the first day it was released (it can't handle n tabs opened at the same time, opera does it without problems)

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  5. Great!
    The advantage of apps build on Flash is that developers don't need to worry about compatibility issues. With Chrome frame, maybe this can happen to JavaScript-based apps too! :]

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  6. This is awesome. I’ve started using the Universal IE6 CSS along with no JS for all versions of IE on any project I can myself. It’s such a pleasure to be able to just write code and not worry about IE. And if you stick to progressive enhancement IE users won’t be left out completely.

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  7. I'm glad to have visited your blog and good to know you! I find it interesting and informative.

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  8. It is awesome. Google found a way to hijack IE. Unbelieveable :)

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  9. Since the Chrome Frame works on OGGTV.com, HTML5 video, and the VLC video browser plug-in, will help IE users.

    Have fun testing at http://oggtv.com and send reports to Google.

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  10. Look at all the great things you can do with HTML 5 without downloading a plugin! Oops, I mean look at all the great things you can do when you download a plugin...

    Just to make it clear, I like Chrome a lot, but if one of the selling points of HTML 5 over Flash/Flex is that you can use the features without downloading a plugin, this seems to undercut that notion.

    --Matt

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  11. @ KenBW2
    Bit behind are we? XHTML is dead. (well, 2 definitely is)

    And what is wrong about WHATWG?
    At least it get things done, unlike the mess that is W3C.

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  12. Matt, what about browsers that don’t support HTML 5?

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  13. @LoKi`
    No information is sent to Google.

    And regarding Chrome the only information sent to Google is search data (which is a given), all of the other information they collect you can opt-out of giving by clicking on a checkbox before installation.

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  14. Jonathan, shouldn't they, woops, shouldn't IE start doing that?

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  15. @PinkHippo
    Well Microsoft say that they are working on some of HTML5 at the moment.
    I know they have localStorage ready (and actually have 10MB of storage, rather than the 5MB that has been suggested as the max size)

    Let us all hope and pray that Web Workers and localStorage doesn't end up leading to IE becoming a botnet-hoster... we all know what they have been like with security in the past...

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  16. Great! I hope It will support with Opera soon... :)

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  17. Well nobody can compare two different web browser, Nobody can say that chrome frame availabe for free then Mozilla Firefox goes down. Both has different features and they are best on their way

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  18. i want exe dmg and deb will copatible with this os ;))

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  19. It will support to all web browsers as soon.

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  20. Chrome Frame is only a rendering engine, an open source engine built by Apple, so Chrome Frame on Safari is redundant.

    Salimane, in your enthuasiasm to insult Firefox, you're not making any sense. Firefox's rendering engine has gotten only faster with every release and the rendering engine has nothing to do with having lots of tabs open which is controlled by the chrome of the browser.

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  21. The tag meta [http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="chrome=1;IE=8"] seems to be the best code for now. Gives IE8 'standards' mode rendering if there's no Chrome Frame installed, and Chrome Frame rendering if it is installed, regardless of IE version. You can see this in use at http://www.swhmrs.org.uk The main picture should be centered when CSS is properly implemented, so only renders wrong under IE7 or lower, as IE8 'standards' mode renders it right, as of course does Chrome Frame.

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  22. Will this frame make IE run any faster? I prefer to use Chrome because of its speed but there are still some websites that I can't utilize unless I'm in IE, namely taleo.com with applying for jobs.

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  23. i just love microsoft .. the framework clearly makes IE faster, but they still have to whine :))

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  24. Well this seems good news. I wonder in how much time someone will make an addon for firefox like the ie-tab to render with safari/chrome´s engine. It´s always good to be able to test other browers engine without switching the browser. Anyway will Firefox load faster with safari/chrome rendering engine..? dude it

    Salimane is just another opera fun angry with the world
    BTW I have got nothing again Opera, rather that I don´t like it.

    @Hugh Isaacs II No idea about that, I may check it out. Anyway I prefer SPware Iron, just hope they make updates more often.

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  25. I love the subtle dig 'With Google Chrome Frame, develepors can now take advantage of the latest open web technologies, EVEN in Internet Explorer'

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  26. That's lovely.. these free plugins helps a lot..and when these are coming from a brand like a huge Google, its always a better thing to use and go ahead with it..

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  27. I am totally confused.

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  28. Ya...the entire comment potion creating confuse me and others... -

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  29. Chrome > Firefox > IE...this is how i see it. It's true, it needs more plugins, but the engine is remarkable!

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