Fresh from Mozilla: Google Chrome Frame Comments, Weave 0.7 Update
Article by George Norman
On 02 Oct 2009
We couldn’t end the week without presenting these interesting bits and pieces from the Mozilla Camp. First off, it seems that Mozilla and Microsoft see eye to eye on one topic: Google Chrome Frame, the open-source plug-in that gives Internet Explorer HTML5 compatibility and faster JavaScript, basically turning Microsoft’s browser into a makeshift version of chrome.

Google announced Chrome Frame as a means to “help web developers deliver faster, richer applications like Google Wave” to the people out there who use Internet explorer – and the bottom line is that the vast majority of them use IE instead of Firefox, Opera, Chrome or Safari. Microsoft responded by expressing its fears that the user who gets Chrome Frame exposes himself to security risks.


““With Internet Explorer 8, we made significant advancements and updates to make the browser safer for our customers. Given the security issues with plugins in general and Google Chrome in particular, Google Chrome Frame running as a plugin has doubled the attach area for malware and malicious scripts. This is not a risk we would recommend our friends and families take,” commented a Microsoft spokesperson.

Google’s reply was that Chrome Frame, even though it is still I nearly development stage, takes security quite seriously. “Google Chrome Frame is an open source plug-in that is currently in an early developer release and was designed with security in mind from the beginning. While we encourage users to use a more modern and standards compliant browser such as Firefox, Safari, Opera or Google Chrome rather than a plug-in, for those who don't, Google Chrome Frame is designed to provide better performance, strong security features, and more choice to both developers and users, across all versions of Internet Explorer. Accessing sites using Google Chrome Frame brings Google Chrome's security features to Internet Explorer users,” said Google.

Mozilla, through the voice of its Vice President of Engineering for Firefox, Mike Shaver, has joined the debate. The odd thing is that it sided with Microsoft – the two companies rarely see eye to eye. Here are the drawbacks that Shaver sees in using Google Chrome frame:
- “Running Chrome Frame within IE makes many of the browser application’s features non-functional, or less effective”
- People running IE6 on their machine “are likely to be unable to use Chrome Frame due to lack of system permissions or because they are running too old an operating system”
- “The user’s understanding of the web’s security model and the behaviour of their browser is seriously hindered”

See Mike Shaver’s full post on the Google Chrome Frame subject here.

Moving on, Weave has been updated to version 0.7. Weave is an add-on for Firefox that will encrypt and synchronize your Firefox experience across multiple browsers (see here for a more detailed presentation). Weave 0.7 comes with the following new bits and pieces, as detailed by Weave team member Mike Connor:

- Major changes to improve sync reliability and performance for all users
Incremental download support: when adding a new client, Weave will download your data in chunks to spread out and reduce memory and network usage
- Revamped setup and configuration UI, continuing the exploration we started with 0.6
- Many added bugfixes

If you would like to get Weave 0.7, a download location is available

Tags: Mozilla, Firefox, Google Chrome Frame, Weave
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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