Today Google flicked the switch on Native Client with the launch of Chrome version 14.  Last month it was enabled on the developer version but it has now made its way onto the stable channel for release.

Native Client has been three years in the development and is an open source project carrying some serious controversy.  Basically Native Client (NaCl) allows C+ and C++ code to run directly within the Chrome browser.  The objective to offer a robust platform for the development of more serious apps, such as web editing and 3D gaming, which JavaScript can not accommodate.

Google have sought to address security concerns by ensuring Native Client runs in a sandbox within the browser.  Certain machine features and memory segments are simply off limit, hopefully eliminating the prospect of the app attacking your machine.

Google see this as the next big thing in browser technology, however Mozilla (Firefox) and Opera are less than convinced and think there is far more mileage in developing current web standards.

While innovation should not be stifled, we are in danger of returning to the situation of several years ago whereby Microsoft developed ActiveX for Internet Explorer; websites were developed to make use of this non-standard technology  rendering them useless in any other browser.  Could we end up in the same situation again with NaCl?  Imagine visiting a website and being told you require the latest version of Chrome to view it!

Of course Goolge hope everyone will adopt their new project -- I don't see it personally.

Long live choice!

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