Google previews Native Client code set

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Google previews Native Client code set

Google is working on a new technology that it claims will give developers the ability to create cross-platform web applications that run securely within the operating system.

Brad Chen, from Google's Native Client Team, said in a blog post that the technology will allow developers to build safer and more dynamic applications that can run natively within the operating system. This means that applications, especially those that are graphics-intensive, will work faster.

"Most native applications can access everything on your computer, including your files. This access means that you have to make decisions about which apps you trust enough to install, because a malicious or buggy application might harm your machine," he said.

"Here at Google we believe that you should not have to choose between powerful applications and security."

Google gave the example of users of a photo-sharing web site being able to edit their own photos directly on the site.

"With the ability to seamlessly run native code on the user's machine, you could perform the actual image processing on the desktop CPU, resulting in a much more responsive application by minimising data transfer and latency," Chen said.

Native Client is built around what Chen describes as a software containment system, or inner-sandbox, that can detect security defects in x86 code automatically. Whereas this would have involved a lot of manual interaction previously, Native Client can help the developer to assess and alter applications with ease.

"While it's a big challenge to secure Native Client, we believe that the ability to safely run fast native code in a browser has the potential to provide benefits to users and developers," wrote Chen.
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