A few days ago, Google announced that, after discovering that some third-party Chromium-based browsers could integrate Google functions intended exclusively for this brand, it would limit access to its private APIs as of March 15, 2021. Taking into account that this software is used by other browsers such as Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi, Microsoft Edge or Yandex, the decision has lifted some controversy.
In 2008 Google released Chrome 1.0 in December and three months later, the company released its source code along with a project they called Chromium. The idea was to get the help of the community to jointly improve the browser engine.
Chromium features made private
The new announcement, scheduled for March, shows that this software is not as open source as it may be. As the same company presents its software to the public. According to the information published by the Mountain View company, “Chrome sync and Click to Call these are functions that are only intended for Google's use ”or that should according to the company's approach.
Until now, certain users were able to access their Google account and store their personal Chrome sync data, such as bookmarks, not only with Google Chrome, but also with some third-party Chromium-based browsers. Is function will disappear when access to private company APIs is limited for those who use non-Google browsers, according to published information.
Anyway, for users who accessed Google features (like Chrome sync) via a third-party Chromium-based browser, your data will continue to be available in your Google account.
Is it time to have a purely Open Source Chromium program?
As Xataka recalls, many Linux users and developers are now protesting a decision that affects them, as it does with the browsers already mentioned at the beginning of this article. According to information from ZDnet, this announcement has made several of those responsible for the Linux distribution development are quite disappointed.
In its Twitter profileTom Callaway, Red Hat's Fedora Chromium Package Manager, explained that "this will make the Fedora Chromium build be significantly less functional"Still, the company will continue to use VChromium.
On the other hand, Eric Hameleers, who maintains Chromium for Slackware Linux, announced that he will be leaving Google's software. "I will not distribute a Chromium for Slackware if that one is going to be harmed due to the lack of access to Chrome Sync ", were his words.
Many services will be affected by the change in Google and hence the reactions. It should be remembered that Microsoft is more responsive since the firm eliminated or modified 50 features of Chromium by adopting this base for its new browser.
Mozilla's opinion on handing over all power to a company on the Internet
With all this, it is worth remembering what Mozilla, a firm that has the Firefox browser, said when Microsoft's Edge switched to Chromium: Mozilla CEO Chris Beard published an entry on the company's blog stating that "handing over control to one company is a terrible thing".
He also added about his company that "we compete with Google because Internet health and online life depend on competition and the choice ".
After all, although with open source tools, Google is still one of the largest companies in the market and the Internet. A similar experience occurred with Android, the platform created for mobile devices. It has been touted as open source, but it doesn't really fit what a purely Open Source product can be.