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Re: [GNU-linux-libre] Status of google chrome and chromium

From: Karl Goetz
Subject: Re: [GNU-linux-libre] Status of google chrome and chromium
Date: Thu, 7 Jan 2010 10:48:26 +1030

On Wed, 6 Jan 2010 15:19:44 +0100
jaromil <address@hidden> wrote:

> Hash: SHA256
> re all,

Hi mate,
Guess I'll stick my oar in here.

> more on  Chromium / Iron:

I forwarded a message about this onto someone from this list on the
4th, guess I should have sent it here directly.

> I've  been using  Iron now  for  a while  and it  very much  resembles
> Chromium; after being generally happy  with the speed of the software,
> I was looking for more  precise informations about the patches applied
> by Iron - then today a friend (Google employee) passed me this link:

I saw the link a few days after it was published (benefit of knowing a
chromium hacker ;)), so...

> I still  didn't do a code review  on Iron myself, nor  even diff'd its
> source against Chromium's  trunk, however the above link  reads like a
> veritable analysis  to me that,  along with the poor  documentation on
> Iron that its developers provide, basically erodes my trust for futher
> usage.

... I have had a quick look at it.

Iron makes no source available via (D)RCS, only two downloads via
rapidshare. The two parts are a split 7zip file, so they need to be
cat'd together before use.

I exported chromium git (well... svn, but my mates stuck it in git for
his work) at various points, and diffed against Iron.

du -hs Desktop/rev-iron-vs-chromium-*
365M    Desktop/rev-iron-vs-chromium-130b4651d.diff
351M    Desktop/rev-iron-vs-chromium-344bc62c.diff
365M    Desktop/rev-iron-vs-chromium-34b31da1.diff
394M    Desktop/rev-iron-vs-chromium-a615c2e8.diff

These are reasonably average sizes. Smallest I got (about 8.5 million
lines) was 340MB, largest about 500MB (15 million lines). The numeric
id's before .diff are the git commit.

I hope I was doing something wrong ... (On the subject of doing
something wrong, I don't remember exactly what I did anymore, so I
guess I should have made notes at the time :/)

My closest estimate put the fork time between the start of June and the
start of September last year. Chromiums google calendar isn't populated
before July, so I couldnt jump directly to a known release on that
front :(

> I'm now opting  for Chromium, nevertheless it would  be really nice if
> the  GNU  project can  host  a  patch-set  that is  peer-reviewed  for
> characteristics that we regard as freedom and privacy respecting.

Surely we only want to host a diff if upstream isn't willing to accept
our changes?

> All doe there might  be no need for that at all:  from what I can hear
> in informal  conversations among Google developers, it  seems that the
> Chromium codebase might conform with our requirements.

I'm told putting Chromium into incognito mode does most of what we
want, and its possible they would accept (build time?) options for the

Karl Goetz, (Kamping_Kaiser / VK5FOSS)
Debian contributor / gNewSense Maintainer
No, I won't join your social networking group

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