Native Client: One Leg Offline

On Monday, Google Code Blog released the announcement of a new experiment by the web giant. Native Client is designed to accelerate web applications through direct access to the resources of the central processor on the user's local computer.

The Native Client package will include a runtime plugin for the browser and a set of compilation utilities based on the GNU Compilation Tools. They will allow the web application running in the browser, at the same time, use modules that run independently on the PC. The advantages of this application model are obvious: there is no need to transfer large amounts of data in network applications like video and graphic editors via the client-server channel.

To ensure that applications running with the Native Client have the proper level of security, Google introduces strict restrictions for developers: a) each application must be written in accordance with certain structural criteria for easy disassembly; and b) offline modules should not contain specific chains of instructions. Such an approach to security, however, immediately provokes the opinion that Google just wants to protect developers, as always without letting them go deep into its platform.

You can start your development for Native Client now. The research version of the package is already available for download and promises to work on all popular OSs under x86 and in all popular browsers, except Internet Explorer and Safari on MacOS. Versions for other hardware and software platforms should appear in the near future.