June 3, 2009

Browsers are hard, mmkay?

I'm getting a little weary of reading over and over and over about how "surprised" everyone is by how long it's taking for Mac Chrome to come out. Really folks, web browsers are complicated pieces of software that take a long time. They don't just fall from the sky, fully written. Camino took years (plural) of development before it got to 1.0, and that's with an already mature Gecko engine behind it.

We're lucky in Chromium that we can leverage a lot of shared code from the windows side, but we do have to write a bunch of UI code (unless you want the UI to just look and behave exactly like windows...I didn't think so). We're also not just embedding WebKit and dragging in a couple buttons and a text field. The team has made significant changes to how WebCore works (resource loading, sandboxing, multi-process, etc) and those take time to get right on other platforms.

So the next time you're about to blog about how long it takes to write a web browser, think about the 10+ years of development that's gone into the one you're currently using and just move along. Mmmkay?

Posted by pinkerton at June 3, 2009 7:29 AM | TrackBack