Google's 64-bit Native Client Enables Screaming Fast Web Applications

By HTMLGoodies Staff

With the announcement today by Google that its Native Client now supports 64-bit processors, web applications may soon be as fast as software which runs on the operating system. The Native Client open source project enables code that is downloaded over the web to run fast and natively.

Web browsers generally include rendering engines which run programs that are written in JavaScript. The JavaScript programs have to be translated, usually through a labor intensive process within the browser, into native instructions that the computer can then execute, which in turn makes the process slow--a lot slower than software which runs within the operating system itself.

Google also announced a plan that will remove the need for developers to focus on specific processors. The Native Client, or NaCl for short, is extended by Google's new Portable Native Client variation, PNaCl, pronounced "pinnacle". In a recent paper, Google stated that "PNaCl should make it easy for developers to write their application once and be confident that it will execute, with identical behavior, on every platform supported by Native Client."

Although it is still in prototype form, Google is getting PNaCl ready to be the defacto technology that developers use with most processors. Google's engineering manager of Native Client, Brad Chen, recently stated in an interview that "We'd like PNaCl to be the main way people deploy these applications."

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