Google Native Client: C/C++ on the Web

Trevor Boland By Trevor Boland
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Of Google Chrome’s distinguishing features, Native Client is the most relevant to the C/C++ developer.

As Google describes it,

Native Client is an open-source technology that allows you to build web applications that seamlessly execute native compiled code inside the browser.

In a video presentation released last month, Native Client Product Manager Christian Stefansen discussed the common use cases and benefits of Native Client.

Port an existing application to the web

Many developers have large code bases written in C or C++ and want to use this code to build web applications. Rewriting everything in JavaScript would take a long time. With Native Client it is fairly easy to port your existing code to the web platform

Create a performant web application

There are also many cases where an application has significant performance requirements. While we’ve seen amazing improvements in JavaScript performance over the last couple of years, some applications need all the performance they can get. Native Client runs native ode, so you can create these performance intensive applications for the web.

Write once, run everywhere

If you’ve developed a desktop app that you want to make portable across operating systems, we believe that Native Client can help you out… With Native Client you only have to maintain one code base but your app can run on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS.

While parties within Microsoft and Mozilla have announced that the technology won’t be integrated into their own products–the controversy is covered here–Chrome’s usage share is significant, and Google may be able to add support for Native Client applications to Firefox and Internet Explorer on its own.

Visit https://developers.google.com/native-client/ to get started.

About Trevor Boland
Trevor is a staff writer for the iEntry Network.

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