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Google Chrome has Microsoft Gene

Posted by Charles | September 15, 2008 .

At least part of it, some important parts though.

As you know and Google disclosed, there are many open source codes used within Google Chrome. It turns out that includes Windows Template Library (WTL).

WTL is a C++ library for Win32 development and is kind of like MFC (Microsoft Foundation Classes), but a lot more lightweight. It was originally worked on by Nenad Stefanovic as an internal thing at Microsoft that was then released as an unsupported sample. Nenad is still listed on the old SourceForge project.

Some details from hanselman:

WTL embraces ATL (Active Template Library) which is a series of C++ template classes made to make COM development easier. It was more or less patterned after the STL (Standard Template Library). You may remember that folks like Chris Sells were hard-core ATL wonks. Chris and Chris Tavares (of P&P fame) worked on the ATL Internals book.

WTL is distributed under the MS-PL or Microsoft Public License. This is a VERY relaxed license that basically says “have fun, and don’t call if there’s trouble.” In the Open Source world, licenses like that make people smile.

It seems Google is not that picky when breeding in the open source gene pool.

And, there is more.

After a bit of googling, I found Microsoft used the name “Chrome” first back in 1998. And coincidently, the Microsoft Chrome was thought to be part of IE 5 but it indeed had something to do with HTML. Here was what InfoWord reported in 1998:

Microsoft is preparing to release the second beta release of its new multimedia graphics tool, code-named “Chrome,” to private beta testers. Chrome–once thought to be part of Internet Explorer 5.0–is actually a “data visualization tool” that can be added on to Windows 98 or Windows NT 5.0. It allows Web developers to add multimedia features to HTML using Microsoft’s DirectX technology, which was previously only available to Windows games developers. Microsoft says that the merging of HTML and DirectX will lead to more interactive capabilities for users and an easier programming model for developers. With these capabilities, however, comes a heavy price: Chrome requires some serious PC hardware.

Well, it proves that when technology grows to certain stage, mixing (or messing) genes in a large pool is inevitable. Tech pure breed is eventually only for tech museum. The same goes to Google.

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4 Comments so far
  1. Sravan  September 15, 2008 10:14 am

    Very interesting trivia, Charles. I like it.

  2. zwetan  September 15, 2008 10:35 am

    what’s the point ?

    off course if you compile a programm targeted at Windows you’ll end up one way or another with Microsoft source code in your software, I don’t see in what way it make Google or any other software company “not that picky” ?

    the Chrome remark is also absurd, first a code name and a product are 2 different things and second a data visualization tool and a browser are 2 different products…
    again what’s the point ?

    are you saying that because the source code is from Microsoft, it is evil ?

  3. Charles  September 15, 2008 10:41 am

    @zwetan, the point is as the same as you wanted to make and it’s at the last sentence. The point is that there shouldn’t be any tech pure breed. There is not “do no evil” or evil. Tech is tech. Besides the points, a little trivia for fun won’t hurt either:-)

  4. film fan  September 16, 2008 3:15 am

    i keep learning about more and more little advantages and quirks with Chrome, with security, for example; now if only they would take care of it’s cookie management glitches…


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