The Gillmor Gang talked with Google Chrome’s Group Product Manager Brian Rakowski and Tech Lead Ben Goodger. The conversation focused mostly on the open source fundamentals of the new browser project. Rakowski and Goodger have both been with the project since its inception two years ago, and seemed focused more on the deeper goals of improving and extending the security, robustness, and application framing capabilities of the browser client.
Less important were the need to rush out Mac and Linux clients; Sergey Brin had suggested earlier that the Mac client could come as soon as two months from now, but Rakowski and Goodger refused to be pinned down, citing six months as doable but “no promises.” As to building a competitive Rich Internet Application (RIA) framework to rival Flash and Silverlight, the engineers punted back to the WebKit community while supporting the general notion of open standards development as the underlying strategy for richer browser experiences.
Both rejected the notion that data is collected or sent to Google for use in Google advertising or other products. “All the communication occurs between your browser and the sites you are visiting, Rakowski assured us. “There are a couple of features in Chrome that help you get where you want to go, and those features use Google servers to try to give you information about which pages you want to go to.” He acknowledged that in that case Google servers have to return some information to to your computer, but that they can easily be disabled.
One other note of speculation about sharing code between Chrome and Android: Since Chrome development has focused on Windows, the Mac, and Linux, any code would have to be duplicated rather than shared on the Android platform. And while they are focusing now on the core Chrome platform, there are plans for exposing an extension API to kickstart something akin to the many Firefox extensions available.