Google's Chrome browser heads toward Linux and Mac

While the current beta edition of Chrome currently runs on Windows only, open source developers -- including some from Mozilla -- are now working on getting Google's new browser to operate on Linux and Mac, too.

The developers' site for Chromium, an open source project rolled out by Google at the time of its launch of the Chrome browser, also contains build instructions for Windows, Linux, and Mac. There, in addition to making the source code for Chrome available under a BSD license, Google explains how to submit patches and submit bug reports. The source code for Chrome's high-performance V8 JavaScript engine is also downloadable.

Apparently, some of the developers from the Mozilla Foundation -- an organization which still receives Google funding -- are also working on the Chromium Project.

In a blog post on his own Web site last week, developer Mike Pinkerton said that he plans to continue his decade-long involvement with Mozilla as the project lead for Camino -- the foundation's browser project for Mac -- even though he's contributing to Chromium, too. Pinkerton's Camino 2.0 is a new release of the Mozilla_1_9 branch (Gecko 1.9) requiring Mac OS X 10.4 or later.

"There shouldn't be any talk of 'doom' or 'gloom' because really nothing has changed. People still download Camino and continue to send e-mail to our feedback list saying how much they love the product this community has created. That's just as valid tomorrow as it was yesterday," according to Pinkerton.

"[But] I'm also looking forward to working with and becoming a part of the WebKit community. [It's] interesting [to see] how many people in the Mozilla community also participate in Webkit," he said. Webkit is a rendering engine used in both Google's Chrome and Apple's Safari browser.

"My goal (again, speaking for myself) is to build a first-rate, native Mac product for Chromium and make it so that other projects can stand on the shoulders of giants," Pinkerton continued. "That's what open source is all about. I don't know why I should be shy about saying that, and I don't feel bad about it one bit."

Interestingly, although Google's Android project -- now in simultaneous development with Chrome -- constitutes a Linux-based mobile platform, a Linux edition of the Chrome desktop browser seems to still be in its early stages at Chromium.

Meanwhile, for users who can't wait for a native Linux browser for Chromium to reach the same stage as the Windows edition, a developer named Romeo Adrian Cloabaon has posted instructions on his Web site for how to install Google Chrome for Windows on Linux using the Wine framework.

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