Google’s ActiveX and Sandboxing

December 11, 2008

Google uses unusual words to describe its inventions. If you poke around, you will find that Google has an innovation called “containers”. PCWorld’s Robert McMillan wrote about a Google technology called Native Client. There were some similarities between ActiveX and Native Client but Native Client echoed the container method. The lineage of some Google inventions is murky, but where you read Mr. McMillan’s story here, note this comment:

Called Native Client, the software was released under an open-source software license by Google engineers on Monday. It’s still in an early stage of development, but Google says it could eventually help Web developers create Web programs that would run more quickly and feel more like real desktop applications.

In my opinion, Google is signaling that it wants to provide developers with ways to “hook” more sophisticated applications into Google’s infrastructure. Unlike ActiveX, Google seems to be moving slowly so that certain security issues will be less likely to plague Native Client. Do you see influences of “sandboxing”? I do. I also found it interesting that Mr. McMillan reported that Native Client works in most browsers with the notable exception of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Speed is a good thing, and I think Google is blending speed and security which I find another indication of the firm’s maturation. You can find Google’s original Web log post here. Track other Google developer announcements here.

Stephen Arnold, December 11, 2008


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