Chrome is not the same Chromium. Although they start from the same point of origin, Chrome is Google’s browser and Chromium is the core behind the browser that is also used by other browsers from different companies. It is open-source and everyone can access it or contribute to its development. Although it is open source, Google is the one who has the most strength in its development, although little by little this is changing.
According to CNET, in recent months Google has opened up the Chromium project more to external contributors. Despite being open source, external contributions must be approved and accepted by the main project owners. This is something that inevitably causes a line imposed by its creators (Google developers in this case) to be followed or at least to their liking.
Things seem to be changing however. Google has recently added a new member of the leadership of the Chromium project. This is Manuel Rego, belonging to the Igalia consulting firm. It is the only owner of the Blink API on Chromium that does not come from Google. Manuel Rego’s entry comes thanks to a new nomination process that was introduced earlier this year.
Decide the future of web browsing
Chromium is the core of most of the most popular browsers on the market. We find it in Chrome that has more than 60% of the market according to StatsCounter and also in other minors such as Samsung’s own, Microsoft’s Edge, Opera or Brave. Only Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox are the two “big ones” that stand up to it. In a way, what you do in Chromium dictates the direction of global web browsing.
Hence the importance of who runs Chromium, even if it has the open-source label. Google’s idea with the project has been that it be an open project in which others contribute and use it, although this also implies that they may have in a certain sense control of the guidelines to be followed and the standards to be implemented.
Apple and Mozilla for their part advocate more for a more closed browser that allows to have a tighter control of the privacy and security that is offered. Hence, for the example, the refusal to allow websites and webapps to have access to certain system and hardware controls. This is something that even some Chromium contributors like Brave push for. Brave for example removes some features of Chromium in your browser because it does not consider them safe.
Opening Chromium to more contributors, in principle, should lighten Google’s view of how the kernel should be used by so many browsers. Currently the main contributors (besides Google) are Igalia, Microsoft, Samsung, Yandex, Intel and ARM.