Pragmatic Programmer Issues

Native Client SDK from Google

Comments: 2

Native Client allows us to build web applications that execute native compiled code inside the
browser. The Native Client SDK includes API, documentation, and examples and it is available to OSX, Linux and Windows platforms. Last version was released on 17 February 2011 (this update force you to use at least Chrome 10.x).

Native Client is available in Chrome Browser.

The first question in my head was: Why? Possible answers are:

  • Games – I’m not really sure if this is the main case, because we have Canvas and of course Flash is still in the game.
  • Existing Software – that is nice, instead of installing on every computer we can run our app in browser (or part of it).
  • Low level – Codecs, communication with OS (it’s limited to special API)

One picture is worth more than thousand: This picture comes from Google’s Technical Overview.

Native Client consist of: HMTL/JS, bridge between JS and native module, plus native module.




First at all you have to enable Native Client feature in Google Chrome, enter “about:flags” into url address and than find “Native Client” option, you have to enable it and restart the browser.

First at all try some of the examples provided by Google: Native Client Examples, for me Life game was really cool.

I wrote simple hello world application, but it is nothing more than Google tutorial, and of course one more link to Pepper API.




I don’t consider Native Client as something that will change the world, but it may be useful in some situations. One additional plus is that we can distribute our application through Chrome Web Store. We will see how much effort Google will put in Native Client development.




Thanks 🙂

Tomasz NurkiewiczTomasz Nurkiewicz

Typo: Natice -> Native in title :-).