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Google Will Replace GTK+ With Aura Engine in Chrome/Chromium

google-chrome-logoGoogle‘s Chromium team is working on an alternative of Gtk+ for the browser. Elliot Glaysher, a Google developer explains, “We aim to launch the Aura graphics stack on Linux in M35. Aura is a cross-platform graphics system, and the Aura frontend will replace the current GTK+ frontend.”

The new graphic stack, Elliot says will also “address long standing issues with GPU memory consumption and GPU rendering performance. Using our own graphics stack enables us to have one OpenGL context per window, instead of one OpenGL context per tab, which should significantly reduce GPU resource consumption.”

The announcement has triggered some reaction from the Free Software community. Jan Wildeboer compared it to Canonical’s Unity, “Google pulling a Unity? Not even mentioning surprised face. Let’s introduce yet another stack. Linux wants to be the REAL UNIX. “Don’t share, don’t care” is the new mantra? Please show me I’m wrong.”

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Alberto Ruiz disagreed, “To be honest this is not a Unity situation at all, they depend on Gtk+ 2 at the moment which is not maintained anymore. In the face of porting to something else and the myriad of platforms they support it makes a lot of sense to create a domain specific toolkit that targets lower levels of the stack on each platform.”

Thomas Pfeiffer of KDE community was of opinion that Google could have worked with the GTK community to make things better, “I tend to agree with Jan here: I don’t think it makes much sense to write your own GUI toolkit just for a browser. They could have contributed to GTK 3 or – probably more sensible for cross-platform development – switched to Qt and contributed to it in case it didn’t meet their needs in some aspects.”