New Release on Hold Until Chromium is fixed

Hello everyone and a belated happy new year 🙂

I thought I should give a project update, as it may look like development on Chromixium is stalling somewhat.

I have already blogged about a show-stopping bug in Chromium browser. I had thought it would be fixed by now, but as yet, I see no signs of it. For those that haven’t experienced the bug, it causes Chromium to crash with the dreaded “Aw Snap” screen when trying to access the Chrome Web Store. The bug may also rear its head on YouTube and when accessing certain types of PDF file. The bug has been brought to the attention of the Chromium developers and Ubuntu, but the last update to Chromium browser didn’t fix anything. As this is an upstream bug, there is very little that I can do about it other than report it (which I have dutifully done some time ago). It affects the 38/39 trunk of Chromium browser.

As Chromium is such an integral part of Chromixum, there is no way that I can release another version of Chromixium until this bug is fixed. The current work around is to switch to Google Chrome browser (instructions for which can be found on the Wiki). In some ways I would prefer to use Chrome – it has built in support for flash and a range of multimedia codecs, as well as DRM support for Google Play Movies. Unfortunately having looked into the legality of shipping Chromixium with Chrome, it’s not a goer. The EULA allows re-distribution within an organisation but also states “5.3 Unless you have been specifically permitted to do so in a separate agreement with Google, you agree that you will not reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, trade or resell the Services for any purpose.” All this aside from the fact that Chrome is not fully Open Source and doesn’t appear to be shipped by any other major Linux distro has made me decide not to switch to Chrome as the default browser, but to hold out for a bug fix to Chromium.

Once a fix is confirmed, then I will be aiming to release a version based on Alpha7a which will include the update to Chromium and fix all other confirmed bugs. At this stage I do not think that additional features will be added, as this will just hold up the process of moving the project into stable status. This next release, whenever it comes, should be the one and only beta. A final update to all components then will be made and Chromixium 1.0 stable will be born – hopefully still by the end of Q1 2015.

In the meantime, I am investiagting a new KVM-based, scripted build process for Chromixium 2 which will enable me to re-build from a clean base at any time, potentially allowing for some non-LTS-based interim releases. Chromixium 2 will also be the first to offer a 64 bit download.

Thanks to everyone who has submitted bug reports so far. Keep them coming and feel free to ask for help and advice on the forum where I usually get a response to you within 48 hours (often sooner): http://chromixium.freeforums.org

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