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Chrome being polished for Mac and Linux

By Stuart Turton

Posted on 4 Sep 2008 at 08:36

Google has revealed that it is "actively working" on bringing its Chrome browser to Mac OS X and Linux operating systems.

Read our full review of Chrome here.

Writing on its Mac development blog, the company acknowledges that the browser was developed with a Windows focus, but claims that Mac and Linux engineers joined the team early in the process.

"Once the design started to settle down, we started adding Mac and Linux engineers to the team, and they started getting the ball rolling on those platforms," says software engineer Amanda Walker. "Since they are, in many respects, more similar to each other than either is to Windows, we've ended up being able to share code between them, which has sped up development a bit."

Walker also promises that the versions of Chrome for Mac and Linux will be more than just hasty ports of the Windows launch.

"In order to make sure Chromium feels right, each platform's version is being built by people who live and breathe that platform; the engineers working on these versions are long-time Mac and Linux engineers who are just as picky about the details as anyone.

"Sometimes even code written with multiple platforms in mind (as much of the Chromium code already is) will turn out to have embedded assumptions that aren't valid once it's actually running on the other platforms," she says. "The team is fully aware of this and is prepared for it, rather than dictating that everything accommodate to how things work on Windows."

In true Google fashion Walker doesn't give any hint on when Chrome for Mac and Linux will be ready, or even if they will arrive together.

"We're not setting an artificial date for when they'll be ready. We simply can't predict enough to make a solid estimate," she concludes.

Expect them when they're ready then.

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