Linked by Kroc Camen on Sat 29th May 2010 20:41 UTC
Apple I've been meaning to write this for some time, and for all the time I delayed the more poignant the point I wanted to make started to become as new news came out further solidifying my angle. When I begun writing this article the iPad had not yet been revealed, iPhone OS 4 was not on the map and Apple had not yet purchased Lala. You've probably just noticed that all of these events in fact point toward Apple embracing the web more and in this article I will point out why this is not the case because I believe Apple's agenda here is similar to something we've already seen in recent history.
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NaCl is not Java (or ActiveX)
by dpJudas on Sun 30th May 2010 05:55 UTC in reply to "Er"
dpJudas
Member since:
2009-12-10

NaCl is an attempt at creating a new binary interface between applications and the operating system.

Do not see it as trying to be another Java, but rather as a replacement for PE (Windows) and ELF (Linux) executables. The main difference is that the syscalls for Unix and Windows was designed in a time and age where a system had a system administrator that knew what he was doing. The syscalls in NaCl are far more defensive in nature and are not using the root user mentality that both Unix and Windows has shown to not work well for personal computers.

While you can rightfully argue that applets and the Java VM attempted to deliver the same thing, the way it is being done is significantly different. The NaCl design is not tied to a specific language, but aims at allowing any compiler that can target Windows+Unix today to target it by just adding another target to the compiler.

This is a significant difference since it will allow you to recompile a typical well-written cross platform C language family application with fairly little effort. Both Java (and Silverlight) suffer from the problem that their sandboxes are tightly married to the languages they were designed for and unfortunately have design decisions that make them unsuitable for languages not designed for them. NaCl will finally allow you to write your applications in the language of your choice and not something Javascript, Java, C# or any other language for that matter.

Those that think of NaCl as another ActiveX are also mistaken, since ActiveX allowed you to use the Windows syscalls - something that was a very, very bad idea.

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