Google may intend to produce a Chrome Frame plug-in for Firefox, Mozilla's chief engineer said.
"The code is certainly there," said Mike Shaver, Mozilla's vice president of engineering, referring to parts of the Chrome Frame source code that indicate Google could crank out a Firefox plug-in similar to what Google released last week for Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE).
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"But source code doesn't speak to intent," Shaver added Wednesday, saying he had no inside knowledge whether Google would, in fact, expand its browser-in-a-browser plug-in concept to Firefox.
Specifically, Google said it had created Chrome Frame because it decided it wasn't worth the time and trouble to make its new collaboration and communications tool, Google Wave, work with IE. Google developers claimed they had spent "countless hours" tweaking Wave for IE, but gave up in favor of producing a plug-in instead.
Shaver said that Chrome Frame, which is open source, includes technologies that could be destined for Firefox as well as Opera Software's Opera browser. "They've chosen not to ship yet," said Shaver, talking about plug-ins for those two browsers. "I hope they won't."
Mozilla staked out its position on Chrome Frame Tuesday, when both Shaver and Mitchell Baker, the former CEO of Mozilla and currently the chairman of the Mozilla Foundation, took swipes at Google for releasing the plug-in.
Both Shaver and Baker called the plug-in a bad idea, with Baker arguing that it would confuse readers over which browser was rendering a site, divide personal details like site passwords and browsing history between two applications and cede control over users' browsing experience to site designers.
Shaver, meanwhile, panned Chrome Frame for some of the same things that Microsoft used to hammer Google earlier, including breaking IE's private browsing mode.