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Chromium (web browser)

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Licensing and Differences from Google Chrome
– Chromium is a free and open-source software project.
– The Google-authored portion is shared under the 3-clause BSD license.
– Third party dependencies are subject to various licenses, including MIT, LGPL, Ms-PL, and an MPL/GPL/LGPL tri-license.
– Chromium allows any party to build the codebase and share the resulting browser executable with the Chromium name and logo.
– Chromium lacks certain features that are available in Google Chrome, such as automatic browser updates, API keys for some Google services, the Widevine DRM module, and licensed codecs for H.264 video and AAC audio formats.
– Chromium also lacks tracking mechanisms for usage and crash reports, which are present in Chrome.
– These differences make Chromium more customizable and suitable for certain use cases.

Branding and Licensing
Google first chose the name Chrome for its browser.
– The open-source release of Chrome was named Chromium because chromium metal is used to make chrome plating.
– While Chrome has the same user interface functionality as Chromium, it changes the color scheme to the Google-branded one.
– Unlike Chromium, Chrome is not open-source and its binaries are licensed as freeware under the Google Chrome Terms of Service.
– The branding and licensing differences between Chromium and Chrome reflect their different development and distribution models.

– The Chromium browser codebase contains about 38 million source lines of code.
Google employees have done the bulk of the development work on Chromium.
– Other companies, such as Microsoft, Igalia, Yandex, Intel, Samsung, LG, Opera, Vivaldi, and Brave, have also made important contributions to the Chromium codebase.
– The Chromium projects, including ChromiumOS, are Google projects, and Google retains firm control over them.
– The development of Chromium involves the use of multiple programming languages, including C++, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Java, Kotlin, Objective-C, Swift, Python, and Rust.

Browsers based on Chromium
– Brave, a web browser that blocks website trackers and removes intrusive ads
– Bromite, a Chromium fork for Android with privacy enhancements
– Carbonyl, a fork for the command-line interface
– Falkon, an open-source Qt-based GUI using Chromium-based QtWebEngine
– qutebrowser, a Qt-based GUI with Vim-like keybindings using Chromium-based QtWebEngine

Architecture and User Experience
– Chrome was the first browser with a multi-process architecture, improving stability and security.
– Chromium provides a seamless browsing experience with a unified menu for easy navigation.
– Chrome offers a customizable and user-friendly interface, with native theming on Linux.
– Chrome’s architecture is based on the Blink rendering engine, and Rust is used in the Chromium project to improve security.
– Chromium uses the GN build system for efficient development and follows a regular release cycle to introduce new features and improvements.
– Alternative browsers based on Chromium, such as Qutebrowser and Ungoogled Chromium, offer different features and customization options.

Chromium is a free and open-source web browser project, primarily developed and maintained by Google. This codebase provides the vast majority of code for the Google Chrome browser, which is proprietary software with additional features.

Original author(s)Google
Developer(s)The Chromium Projects
Initial release2 September 2008; 15 years ago (2008-09-02)
Written inC++ primarily, HTML, CSS, JavaScript for UI and test suite
EnginesBlink, V8
Operating systemWindows, Linux, Android, iOS, macOS, BSD
PlatformIA-32, x86-64, ARM, ARM64
LicenseBSD-3 and others

The Chromium codebase is widely used. Microsoft Edge, Samsung Internet, Opera, and many other browsers are based on the Chromium code. Moreover, significant portions of the code are used by several app frameworks.

Google does not provide an official stable version of the Chromium browser, but does provide official API keys for some features, such as speech to text and translation.

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