Thursday, September 18, 2008

Chrome's JavaScript challenge to Silverlight

The biggest rival for Microsoft's next-generation Silverlight Web technology will be JavaScript, not Adobe Systems' ubiquitous Flash, according to experts speaking at Microsoft's Tech.Ed conference here.

"I think that the next 18 months we're going to see a 100- to 1,000-fold speed increase in JavaScript as Google and the guys at Mozilla are going to kick us all in the arse and make our JavaScript jittered," Microsoft senior program manager Scott Hanselman told the audience Friday, days after Google released its Chrome browser, which features faster JavaScript technology.

Jonas Follesø, senior consultant at Cap Gemini, agreed, saying that JavaScript would continue to get speedier and that Chrome will become "massively" faster than it is.

"Now Google has stepped up and released a browser with jittered JavaScript and JavaVM, making this really, really, really fast," he said.

ZDNet's Sumi Das and Sam Diaz talk about the perks and pitfalls of the
newly released browser from Google.

The consultant said that whenever he thought people had reached a limit about what could be done inside a browser using just JavaScript, some "cool JavaScript writer" came up and showed him how to do more.

"It's going to be hard to tell if it's going to be Silverlight or JavaScript we're going to use for our applications," he said. "I think in the end JavaScript is going to be a bigger competitor to Silverlight than Flash is."

An audience member questioned the panel of experts later on whether he should "be out buying JavaScript books" now the language had been "put on steroids."

Harry Pierson, Microsoft program manager, answered that he thought "JavaScript is a very odd language for most developers" and that it was more interesting to do higher-level development and if necessary compile it down to JavaScript.

Hanselman had a different opinion, saying that although it was a "freaky, weird language," it was possible to do object-oriented programming. "The JavaScript I used and hated in Netscape 4 is not the same JavaScript we have today," he said. "So yeah, I think you should get some JavaScript books."

Follesø said that even if souped-up JavaScript became dominant, he thought Silverlight was going to be big, especially in the enterprise when "fun" Web 2.0 applications come to roost. "For the intranet, when the users expect the same kind of user experience it's not that easy to really build that stuff in HTML and JavaScript, so Silverlight might be a lot easier alternative," he said.

More on Chrome Browser>>

Google's Chrome Browser Not Yet Secure

Speed test: Google Chrome Wins the race and beats Firefox, IE, Safari

Google's Chrome browser 

Friday, September 5, 2008

Google's Chrome Browser Not Yet Secure

If we see theoritically, Chrome should be more secure than other browsers because, rather than being a single-threaded application, each tab is handled by its own sandboxed process.

Google (NSDQ: GOOG)'s Chrome browser is only a day old, but security researchers already have found vulnerabilities that can be exploited.
According to a report published by ZDNet, security researcher Aviv Raff has found that he can combine a flaw in the open source WebKit engine with a Java bug to dupe Chrome users into downloading executable files.
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Apple, which uses WebKit in its Safari browser, fixed this flaw with its Safari 3.1.2 browser patch. Chrome uses an older version of WebKit that has not been repaired.
Another security researcher, Rishi Narang, claimed to have found a way to crash Chrome with a malicious link.
"An issue exists in how chrome behaves with undefined-handlers in chrome.dll version," Narang explained on the Evil Fingers Web site. "A crash can result without user interaction. When a user is made to visit a malicious link, which has an undefined handler followed by a 'special' character, the Chrome crashes with a Google Chrome message window 'Whoa! Google Chrome has crashed. Restart now?' "
And someone identified as "Nerex" has posted proof-of-concept JavaScript code on that supposedly "allows files (e.g., executables) to be automatically downloaded to the user's computer without any user prompt."
This exploit appears to be similar to the one identified by Raff.
In theory, Google Chrome should be more secure than other browsers because, rather than being a single-threaded application, each tab is handled by its own sandboxed process with its own memory space. Like a multiengine plane, Chrome is designed not to crash following the loss of a single engine.
"[Chrome] utilizes technology that has historically been associated with operating systems to create isolation between different browser tabs with the aim of improved crash-resistance and security," IDC analyst Al Hilwa said in a research note. "The security capabilities also ensue from a new sandbox model that strengthens what is typically available today from other browsers."
But Chrome is beta software and remains a work in progress.
Hilwa observes that while Google's security architecture isolates the browser's kernel from attacks on rendering-engine vulnerabilities, it doesn't extend this same protection to plug-ins like Java, Flash, and Silverlight.
Mozilla software engineer Robert O'Callahan in a blog post said that while Chrome looks promising, Google's coders still have challenges to overcome. "There are some interesting architectural problems they haven't solved yet, especially with the process separation model, especially with regard to windowless plugins, and also Mac," he said. "These are problems that will be encountered by anyone doing process separation so it will be interesting to see how that goes."
Take a spin through our Google Chrome image gallery and have a look at the browser that's being touted as a game-changer.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Speed test: Google Chrome Wins the race and beats Firefox, IE, Safari

The Google engineer, Lars Bak who was the technical leader for Chrome's V8 JavaScript engine, said at the launch event Tuesday he's confident Chrome is "many times faster" than the rivals at running JavaScript, the programming language that powers Google Docs, Gmail, and many other Web applications.
But when pressed for specifics, he said that you have to try them by yourself. So I just downloaded that right away and did some reaserch on that.
Google offers a site with five JavaScript benchmarks. On each one of these tests, Chrome clearly won the competition.Lets hope benchmarking experts and developers will weigh in with comments about how well these tests represent true JavaScript performance on the Web--either for ordinary sites or for rich Web apps.
Here's the site description of the speed tests:
• Richards: OS kernel simulation benchmark, originally written in BCPL by Martin Richards (539 lines).
• DeltaBlue: One-way constraint solver, originally written in Smalltalk by John Maloney and Mario Wolczko (880 lines).
• Crypto: Encryption and decryption benchmark based on code by Tom Wu (1,689 lines).
• RayTrace: Ray tracer benchmark based on code by Adam Burmister (3,418 lines).
• EarleyBoyer: Classic Scheme benchmarks, translated to JavaScript by Florian Loitsch's Scheme2Js compiler (4,682 lines).
Google's overall score is head and shoulders above the competition for executing JavaScript.

Google's Chrome browser

Google's Chrome browser is now officially available as a beta, offering the promise of increased speed, security and usability. During a conference call and Webcast with the press today from the Googleplex in Mountain View, Calif., Google trotted out a line-up of engineers to explain what is new for Web users and what Google hopes to gain with Chrome.

Download Google Chrome or com/chrome/
Sundar Pichai, Google's vice president of product management, said the name Chrome itself is indicative of the key value that Google is aiming to provide with the new browser. Chrome is the space where the user interacts with the browser in the traditional Netscape/Mozilla view of browsers. It's an area that Google is aiming to minimize for usability. "Chrome is kind of an ironic name for our product," Pichai said. "Our view is that the browser is just a tool for people to interact with applications that they care about so browsers should not be self-important. We wanted to make sure that people were forgetting why they are using a browser." Google has introduced something called the OmniBox which integrates the traditional browser address bar with a search box.. Features:
One box for everything
New Tab page
Application shortcuts
Dynamic tabs
Crash control
Incognito mode
Safe browsing
Instant bookmarks
Importing settings
Simpler downloads

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