Google Chrome (TestShell) for Mac nightly builds coming along nicely

Recently, the Chrome core engine has been wrapped in a basic user interface, minus nearly all normal user-level functinality and lacks any plug-ins but nonetheless allows adventurous users to enjoy the incredible speed of the V8 Javascript engine.

The latest TestShell builds can be found here:

The most up to date build at the time of this posting was 17-Jan-09, available by clicking here.

Although due to the huge dearth of functionality to which nearly every user of finished Web browsers are accustomed to, TestShell is absolutely not a replacement for such production browsers.

However, it does deliver absolutely incredible levels of speed and is even surprisingly stable….though given its very early state of beta testing and highly developmental nature, some crashes are to be expected and quite simply come with the territory.

If you’re willing to deal with the (minor) hassles, keeping abreast of the latest Chrome TestShell builds will not only help the developers at Google….it will also, through changes sent back upstream to the Webkit project, aid in the ongoing developement of Safari — so everybody wins.

We’ve been playing with since the very first build, and simply can’t overstate how impressed we have been with it.

Not only are the modified Webcore and V8 incredibly fast as well as remarkably stable for such early builds of Chrome’s core engine, but we have been nothing less than amazed by how well it supports the latest Web standards and dynamic AJAX/Web 2.0 style sites.

Of course, being based on Webkit, the standards compliance and stability are to be expected — that’s one of the many reasons why Google chose it as the basis for Chrome over alternatives such as Mozilla Firefox in the first place….and why Apple, before them, initially chose the original Konqueror KHTML engine as the basis of Safari/Webkit.

These have been industry-leading technologies from day one; that’s no surprise at this point. What’s really surprising to us is just how much further Google has been able to take Chrome in such a short time; and from what we’ve been told by the people at Apple, Google, and the open source WebKit community…..the best is yet to come!

Already using Chrome TestShell, or have an experience with it you’d like to share? Send us your comments here on the web site or email us:!

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  • HMijail

    Why such breathless awe about V8? Last thing I heard, WebKit’s own Squirrelfish Extreme demonstrated to be far superior!

  • admin

    Actually, we agree! That’s why we’re such passionate nightly build testers/users/advocates….

    I’ll say this, though — try Webkit latest (r40102 at the moment) build against the latest Chrome TestShell nightlies. Granted it won’t be a truly fair comparison made on even ground until Chrome is fleshed out with a real GUI, plug-ins et cetera — but TestShell’s performance stats are truly impressive.

    Ultimately, both share so much and can benefit from one another’s changes (“commits”), so comparing them is specious at best….particularly with these developmental versions.