Native Client vs. ActiveX

November 10th, 2012 at 7:00 am

Some sources compare Google’s Native Client with the defunct ActiveX. I think this is just silly. Focusing on its web-directed goals, ActiveX was an attempt to enable writing web applications in C++ and a bunch of other languages like VB. For Windows. For x86.

Native Client is somewhat different. Particularly with PNaCl, it will enable writing a program in C/C++ which will run across multiple OSes and multiple architectures. Now, that is interesting. Imagine the way Javascript is written today. You write a single JS app and it runs inside the browser both on x86 Windows desktops and on ARM Android smartphones. NaCl aims to do the same for C/C++ (and by extension any other language).

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5 Responses to “Native Client vs. ActiveX”

  1. RobNo Gravatar Says:

    Several years ago, I said NaCl would be the death of Windows, at least in regards to any penetration by Windows on the web.

  2. LeibovichNo Gravatar Says:

    It is notable that it’s currently only running on chrome (I think).

  3. elibenNo Gravatar Says:

    To the best of my knowledge, nothing restricts NaCl to Chrome. You can implement it in a different environment. Chrome simply provides a convenient platform for it, which is open source and runs across several OSes and CPUs.

  4. AlexNo Gravatar Says:

    But then nothing restricts ActiveX to IE either. Firefox on Windows actually supported it in the past and perhaps it still does. The problem is that nobody, definitely not Apple, nor Microsoft, will ever support NaCl in their browser. So what you end up with is a platform that in a lot ways is similar to Unity and Flash. You may argue that it’s a better platform coming from a better vendor, but I’m not so sure about that.

  5. TobuNo Gravatar Says:

    Though the code is open-source, it doesn’t run in Google’s open source browser. Chromium builds don’t get a lot of love it seems.

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