Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Chromium OS Menu

(Note: I don't know how long this has been the case. I think it's recent)
Previously, the page for the main menu would be inaccessible to anyone without an email address (read: Google employees only). That page now redirects to, and it only needs any Google account. If you use the Developer Tools ... thing, you can make a sidebar visible.

What's interesting is that the file browser entry links to, which I think was used in the original presentation of Chrome OS. Instead of having some cool integration with Microsoft Office files, it directly linked to Microsoft's Live editor. (Pretty weak, I know.) Obviously that feature's still in development.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

(Nov 19) No Secrets

Google has fully open sourced Chromium OS. Everything is now open: bug reports, design documents, etc. Remember the patch that I would provide for every build, commenting out references to libcros? Well, now it's not necessary.

I have not yet had a chance to update my build. (If you want a new one, go here.) I will continue to monitor Chromium OS' now fully open development. However, because (a) the whole project is pretty freaking huge, and (b) I'm more interested in the browser itself than the underlying operating system, I will be focusing on and building only the browser.

I will hopefully post more tomorrow.

PS: Google, if you want this blog URL, I'd be happy to give it to you. :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Third Party Libraries for Chromium OS: Clutter, X, etc.

Normal Chromium has a list of third-party libraries in use, such as ffmpeg and webkit. (The list is available at about:credits, or here.) The Chromium OS version of this has been added. Some additions are no surprise, such as the Linux kernel and the Synaptics library (touchpads). However, the addition of the Clutter toolkit comes as a surprise.

In the original announcement, the phrase "a new windowing system" lead many bloggers and commentors to believe that Chrome OS will not have the X server, which is used in essentially all Linux desktops. However, three additions to this list has me believe that Google meant a new window manager, (e.g. Metacity or Compiz) which would certainly be much less drastic. xserver-xorg-core and xserver-xorg-video-intel (link) along with xscreensaver are included.

Speculation: the window manager will be a fork of Metacity developed by Google. It will support compositing (it is used in many places in Chrome), though it will be trimmed down from normal Metacity.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday the Thirteenth: Lots

This has certainly been an exciting week in the Google WebTM. Google introduced the Go Programming Language which may be related to Native Client. NaCl has been making significant progress in Chromium. Google also announced the SPDY protocol to be a faster replacement to HTTP. Google's cloud storage greatly increased. A posting speculates of Linux and Mac betas of Chrome available in December. TechCrunch claims to have reason to believe that the full version of Chrome OS will be officially available within a week. However, most relevant to this blog is the appearance of a file browser in Chromium OS. I updated my copy of Chromium and got the start of the file browser. (For now) Unfortunately, it uses more bits of the cros library that are as of yet unavailable, so there is no real functionality. But I do have a screenshot of it:

Some observations: the link appears to go to the '/home/chronos' folder, which is nonexistent. I don't know if this means Chromium OS has some cool time-bending feature, or if it's just an odd typo. However, in the status bar 'descend' is misspelled as 'decend'.

Also of note, which has been around for a bit though I failed to mention it last time is that Chromium OS cannot open external protocol (eg chat, apt, etc) links. Screenshot:

The window is being drawn by Chromium instead of the window manager, like with the about dialog. This leads me to further believe that all dialogs will have this window border.

I do not have downloads available currently, as I do not currently have enough time to prepare them. I hopefully will tomorrow. And yes, the close button in the screenshot is different. I personally prefer the older window buttons (which were replaced around the time of the Glen incident) to the newer ones, so I will have a separate build for that next time.

PS: If you miss Glen's head watching you, pass --glen to the Chromium command line on any recent enough Chromium on Linux.
PPS: I finally got my Google Wave invite from the kind folks at Google! If you wish to contact me, my username is sharkbaitbobby(at)

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Fifth of November: (r31140) Fuller fullscreen and updated status area

Verily, a vogue version of the voluminously vaporware venture vis-à-vis Chromium OS is available for your voluptuosity. The full view now is more vast; the bar over the view is no longer visible. The visage of the status vicinity varies from the previous. Moreover, an unconventional button has been conceived. I am not versed vis-à-vis its objective; Chromium dies in vain on click.
This verse is becoming excessively verbose; it is very much a vichyssoise of slovenly-chosen verbiage. I advise you to view the screenshot and be vociferous about its value. You may receive a derivative of Chromium OS if you vote to do so.

Download version 29835: Vent open the chromium-os-rxxxxx.tgz archive and activate chromium-os. To receive the very many translations, uncover chromium-os-i18n-rxxxxx.tgz and move the files to the locales/ folder. To get the HTML element inspector, reveal chromium-os-inspector-rxxxxx.tgz and move the inspector/ folder to the resources/ folder.
r31140.diff (39.3kb)