Retiring Google Chrome Frame

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Alex Russell

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Jun 13, 2013, 2:05:32 PM6/13/13
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Hi everybody,


You may have seen today's Chromium blog post, but if not, I wanted to let you know that we’ll be releasing the last version of Chrome Frame in about 6 months. We wanted to give that much time to let you engineer a transition to modern browsers for your users.


The web has moved on from 2009 when we first released Chrome Frame. With the upcoming end-of-life for Windows XP and the large shift to modern browsers that we observe on the web, Chrome Frame’s necessity is fading. The future we hoped for is nearly here.


Later this year, end-users will begin to see notifications on pages that invoke Chrome Frame that encourage them to adopt a modern browser and/or uninstall GCF. These notifications can be dismissed, but will reappear occasionally to remind them that they will be running unsupported software.


For developers using CFInstall.js, the experience will change slightly as well. Once we’ve stopped shipping new versions, the GCF install flow will present users with a choice of modern browsers to install instead of installing GCF.


I understand that for many organizations managing Chrome Frame installations, this may precipitate conversations about how to proceed. We understand that the constraints of organizations that manage Chrome Frame deployments are different from consumer installations. As a result, we're doing a few things differently for MSI-installed GCF users vs. the consumer population:


  • In a future release, group policy controls will be available to suppress the notifications we'll be giving end-users about running unsupported software.

  • A final MSI build will be made available towards the end of the year and will be archived for some time after that. It will, however, be unsupported software from that point forward.


Lastly, if your organization must continue to use a legacy browser, we hope you'll move to Chrome + the Legacy Browser Support extension. This extension provides the ability to transition to legacy browsers for a managed subset of URLs while retaining Chrome as the primary browsing experience. We hope this eases your organization's transition to a modern web.


Thanks for adopting GCF and helping to move your organizations toward a better web. We're grateful to have been a part of that transition and, as we continue to help engineer the future of Chrome, look forward to helping improve that web for your users in the future.


Regards


scottd...@gmail.com

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Jun 14, 2013, 11:10:11 AM6/14/13
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Alex - We have thousands of customers using our app through Chrome Frame so I just want to make sure I am clear on the impact.  After January 2014, will users still be able to download the Chrome Frame plugin (realizing it's unsupported) or will that option go away completely?  Also, how practical would it be to download the open source code and continue to provide (not support) a download of the plugin ourselves? 

mathew...@gmail.com

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Jun 14, 2013, 1:30:13 PM6/14/13
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Thanks for the update.  Couple of questions.

1.  The final MSI you mentioned will be archived for some time.  Any ideas as to how long it will be available for download as an unsupported software?
2.  Currently the Google agreement requires all users (each enterprise in case of MSI users) to download the MSI from the GCFsite after accepting the "Google Chrome Frame Terms of Service".  Any possibility that after it becomes an unsupported software we (software vendor) could download and keep the last version of the MSI for distribution to our customer directly.  That way even if Google no longer makes the last archived version available  on the official GCF site, after a few months, we can continue to give our customers the MSI version we downloaded and kept previously (as in redistribute).  Basically we are looking for more time (probably couple of years) before we can transition  our products out of GCF and into another browser.


On Thursday, June 13, 2013 2:05:32 PM UTC-4, Alex Russell wrote:

mathew...@gmail.com

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Jun 18, 2013, 4:34:57 PM6/18/13
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Alex,
Can you please help with the questions below and the one from Scott, about the feasibility of downloading and building the Chromium project with the intention of using the Chrome Frame part of it?  

1.  The final MSI you mentioned will be archived for some time.  Any ideas as to how long it will be available for download as an unsupported software?
2.  Currently the Google agreement requires all users (each enterprise in case of MSI users) to download the MSI from the GCFsite after accepting the "Google Chrome Frame Terms of Service".  Any possibility that after it becomes an unsupported software we (software vendor) could download and keep the last version of the MSI for distribution to our customer directly.  That way even if Google no longer makes the last archived version available  on the official GCF site, after a few months, we can continue to give our customers the MSI version we downloaded and kept previously (as in redistribute).  Basically we are looking for more time (probably couple of years) before we can transition  our products out of GCF and into another browser.



Robert Shield

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Jun 19, 2013, 10:15:57 AM6/19/13
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On Fri, Jun 14, 2013 at 1:30 PM, <mathew...@gmail.com> wrote:
Thanks for the update.  Couple of questions.

1.  The final MSI you mentioned will be archived for some time.  Any ideas as to how long it will be available for download as an unsupported software?

We don't currently have a date set at which to stop hosting the unsupported MSI. We're still working out the details for this part, but the team's intent is that it will be available for enterprise users for a long time.
 
2.  Currently the Google agreement requires all users (each enterprise in case of MSI users) to download the MSI from the GCFsite after accepting the "Google Chrome Frame Terms of Service".  Any possibility that after it becomes an unsupported software we (software vendor) could download and keep the last version of the MSI for distribution to our customer directly.  That way even if Google no longer makes the last archived version available  on the official GCF site, after a few months, we can continue to give our customers the MSI version we downloaded and kept previously (as in redistribute).  Basically we are looking for more time (probably couple of years) before we can transition  our products out of GCF and into another browser.

Yes, this will be an option. It is possible to redistribute CF today after signing an agreement with Google, we plan to maintain this option with the unsupported version of the MSI as well.
 


On Thursday, June 13, 2013 2:05:32 PM UTC-4, Alex Russell wrote:

Hi everybody,


You may have seen today's Chromium blog post, but if not, I wanted to let you know that we’ll be releasing the last version of Chrome Frame in about 6 months. We wanted to give that much time to let you engineer a transition to modern browsers for your users.


The web has moved on from 2009 when we first released Chrome Frame. With the upcoming end-of-life for Windows XP and the large shift to modern browsers that we observe on the web, Chrome Frame’s necessity is fading. The future we hoped for is nearly here.


Later this year, end-users will begin to see notifications on pages that invoke Chrome Frame that encourage them to adopt a modern browser and/or uninstall GCF. These notifications can be dismissed, but will reappear occasionally to remind them that they will be running unsupported software.


For developers using CFInstall.js, the experience will change slightly as well. Once we’ve stopped shipping new versions, the GCF install flow will present users with a choice of modern browsers to install instead of installing GCF.


I understand that for many organizations managing Chrome Frame installations, this may precipitate conversations about how to proceed. We understand that the constraints of organizations that manage Chrome Frame deployments are different from consumer installations. As a result, we're doing a few things differently for MSI-installed GCF users vs. the consumer population:


  • In a future release, group policy controls will be available to suppress the notifications we'll be giving end-users about running unsupported software.

  • A final MSI build will be made available towards the end of the year and will be archived for some time after that. It will, however, be unsupported software from that point forward.


Lastly, if your organization must continue to use a legacy browser, we hope you'll move to Chrome + the Legacy Browser Support extension. This extension provides the ability to transition to legacy browsers for a managed subset of URLs while retaining Chrome as the primary browsing experience. We hope this eases your organization's transition to a modern web.


Thanks for adopting GCF and helping to move your organizations toward a better web. We're grateful to have been a part of that transition and, as we continue to help engineer the future of Chrome, look forward to helping improve that web for your users in the future.


Regards


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Robert Shield

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Jun 19, 2013, 10:20:49 AM6/19/13
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On Fri, Jun 14, 2013 at 11:10 AM, <scottd...@gmail.com> wrote:
Alex - We have thousands of customers using our app through Chrome Frame so I just want to make sure I am clear on the impact.  After January 2014, will users still be able to download the Chrome Frame plugin (realizing it's unsupported) or will that option go away completely?  

End-users will no longer be able to download the plugin. We will continue to make the .MSI available for enterprise use for as long as feasible.
 
Also, how practical would it be to download the open source code and continue to provide (not support) a download of the plugin ourselves? 


Forking Chrome Frame will be initially very easy to do. Keeping up with future patches to the Chrome tree will require a fair amount of work as Chrome is under active development by a large developer team. There has been interest in doing this from a number of places. If it is to be done, it would make sense for interested contributors to coordinate efforts into maintaining single fork.
 

On Thursday, June 13, 2013 2:05:32 PM UTC-4, Alex Russell wrote:

Hi everybody,


You may have seen today's Chromium blog post, but if not, I wanted to let you know that we’ll be releasing the last version of Chrome Frame in about 6 months. We wanted to give that much time to let you engineer a transition to modern browsers for your users.


The web has moved on from 2009 when we first released Chrome Frame. With the upcoming end-of-life for Windows XP and the large shift to modern browsers that we observe on the web, Chrome Frame’s necessity is fading. The future we hoped for is nearly here.


Later this year, end-users will begin to see notifications on pages that invoke Chrome Frame that encourage them to adopt a modern browser and/or uninstall GCF. These notifications can be dismissed, but will reappear occasionally to remind them that they will be running unsupported software.


For developers using CFInstall.js, the experience will change slightly as well. Once we’ve stopped shipping new versions, the GCF install flow will present users with a choice of modern browsers to install instead of installing GCF.


I understand that for many organizations managing Chrome Frame installations, this may precipitate conversations about how to proceed. We understand that the constraints of organizations that manage Chrome Frame deployments are different from consumer installations. As a result, we're doing a few things differently for MSI-installed GCF users vs. the consumer population:


  • In a future release, group policy controls will be available to suppress the notifications we'll be giving end-users about running unsupported software.

  • A final MSI build will be made available towards the end of the year and will be archived for some time after that. It will, however, be unsupported software from that point forward.


Lastly, if your organization must continue to use a legacy browser, we hope you'll move to Chrome + the Legacy Browser Support extension. This extension provides the ability to transition to legacy browsers for a managed subset of URLs while retaining Chrome as the primary browsing experience. We hope this eases your organization's transition to a modern web.


Thanks for adopting GCF and helping to move your organizations toward a better web. We're grateful to have been a part of that transition and, as we continue to help engineer the future of Chrome, look forward to helping improve that web for your users in the future.


Regards


Scott DeFusco

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Jun 19, 2013, 1:51:44 PM6/19/13
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Thanks so much for the response.  We are the developers of kona.com so we would need to make the .MSI available to our new users.  When you say that capability will be limite to enterprise customers, what would we have to do to qualify to offer the .MSI to our new kona.com customers?  Thanks.
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mathew...@gmail.com

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Jun 24, 2013, 1:39:54 PM6/24/13
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Robert,
Who do we need to contact (name/email/phone) in Google to sign the agreement to redistribute the GCF MSI?
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Scott DeFusco

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Jul 3, 2013, 1:59:39 PM7/3/13
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Thanks Robert.  Who do I need to contact about signing the agreement so that we can continue to distribute the CF MSI?


On Wednesday, June 19, 2013 10:15:57 AM UTC-4, Robert Shield wrote:
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billb...@gmail.com

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Jul 23, 2013, 5:18:43 AM7/23/13
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Interesting thread. 

I too have many users (not directly under the control of our company)  that are likely to be on IE8 until their computers finally die!  I think hosting the GCF plugin or MSI would be a solution for us, once retired by Google.  

Can you detail exactly what I need to do who I need to contact to arrange for this, please?  

Also I think the MSI requires admin provs?  If this is so, will there be a chance for hosting the final cut of the plugin on our servers for our users?  I understand this would be fully NOT supported etc...

Michel Memeteau

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Aug 8, 2013, 9:47:21 AM8/8/13
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Hi 


Le mercredi 19 juin 2013 16:20:49 UTC+2, Robert Shield a écrit :

Forking Chrome Frame will be initially very easy to do. Keeping up with future patches to the Chrome tree will require a fair amount of work as Chrome is under active development by a large developer team. There has been interest in doing this from a number of places. If it is to be done, it would make sense for interested contributors to coordinate efforts into maintaining single fork.


Can you point me who has forked chrome Frame ? I can see the code in chromium repository but did not see any chromium_frame build around. 

Michael Higgins

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Aug 20, 2013, 4:06:43 PM8/20/13
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Hi Bill,

We are in a similar situation.  We don't control the IT departments of our customers, but we need their users (who become our users) to run a modern browser.  Chrome Frame has been quite great!  But I'm not sure, sad as it is, that everyone will have moved off IE8 by January 2014.

Did you get any response to your questions?

Mike

jlm

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Aug 22, 2013, 3:52:15 PM8/22/13
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Our end users have begun to receive notifications to upgrade to a modern browser and we cannot find detailed information on how to suppress this with group policy. Please provide instructions and a reference. Thanks


On Thursday, June 13, 2013 2:05:32 PM UTC-4, Alex Russell wrote:

Robert Shield

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Aug 22, 2013, 3:57:43 PM8/22/13
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There is a group policy named SuppressChromeFrameTurndownPrompt that can be used to suppress the prompt.



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yoshimasa...@gmail.com

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Aug 30, 2013, 3:18:23 AM8/30/13
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Please tell me how to suppress the message without using the group policy.
Please tell me the timing of messages is displayed.
Is it possible to redistribute the Chrome Frame?

2013年8月23日金曜日 4時57分43秒 UTC+9 Robert Shield:
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Greg Thompson

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Sep 4, 2013, 12:19:38 AM9/4/13
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On Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 3:18 AM, <yoshimasa...@gmail.com> wrote:
Please tell me how to suppress the message without using the group policy.

In addition to the GP setting that Robert mentioned, the prompt is not shown for MSI installs of Chrome Frame, or for enterprises that have disabled Chrome Frame updates by way of Group Policy.
 
Please tell me the timing of messages is displayed.

Currently, the message is shown once per week.
 
Is it possible to redistribute the Chrome Frame?

Yes, under a license. I believe Ian can help you with the details.
 
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tsh...@gmail.com

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Sep 13, 2013, 1:23:28 PM9/13/13
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Robert - Can you direct me to the person I need to talk to to allow us to redistribute Chrome Frames?  Like most everyone else on this thread, my product is designed for large enterprises and few of my customers will have the option to move off of IE8 until late next year (optimistically).  There are just too many ERP systems that are IE8 only and even if the ERP system supports modern browsers, there is often a 2-3 year upgrade cycle and customers can't implement the latest features until the upgrade is complete.

Thanks


On Wednesday, June 19, 2013 10:15:57 AM UTC-4, Robert Shield wrote:

Robert Shield

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Sep 13, 2013, 1:55:11 PM9/13/13
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Please contact Ian Ellison-Taylor (ia...@google.com) for details regarding redistribution.


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michel memeteau

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Sep 15, 2013, 5:02:15 AM9/15/13
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Another option is to distribute Chromium_Frame the open source version of chromeFrame. although you would miss the autoUpdate and official support from google, but as google won't do any support in few months at all, it's the best path I guess.


2013/9/13 <tsh...@gmail.com>

Dhananjay Venuri

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Oct 14, 2013, 6:13:06 AM10/14/13
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Hi,


I understand how important it is to retire old technologies and embrace new technologies. HOwever when i stepped out of us and went to the other countries and found that people still use XP and chrome frame technologies. I am thinking what would happen to people who are still using would the websites and apps crashes for them. Its very important to take consideration of minimum support for international users who are very slow adopters.I wanted to understand if the support termination is global or local. 

Thanks


On Thursday, June 13, 2013 2:05:32 PM UTC-4, Alex Russell wrote:

michae...@gmail.com

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Nov 15, 2013, 8:24:26 AM11/15/13
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Was there ever an answer on how to continue to providing users the ability to download the GFC plug-in WITHOUT admin privileges?  We have experimented taking the MSI and hosting within our web application instead of users downloading it from the Google site and this works, but the user needs admin privileges and this is a show stopper.  I'm imagining it would be for others too and I'm hoping there is a solution... Can anyone help please?

Thanks
Mike

michae...@gmail.com

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Nov 15, 2013, 8:38:56 AM11/15/13
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I haven't seen an answer to whether there is a way users can continue to download GCF and install it WITHOUT requiring admin privileges post January 2014.  My understanding is that from January Google will stop hosting the download of the GCF plugin.  We have therefore experimented in taking the MSI and hosting it within our web application instead and this works, but the users require admin privileges and this is an absolete show stopper.  The reason GFC has been a viable and good solution is because it circumvents the needs for IT to be involved.  I imagine this is a problem for others too so I'm hoping there is a solution.  Can anyone help or confirm?

Thanks
Mike

Michel Memeteau

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Nov 15, 2013, 3:40:50 PM11/15/13
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Hi The best to carry on with a solution as good as chrome Frame is to go full opensource with Chromium_frame with as I understood the same level of features ( Nonadmin etc...) .

gary...@gmail.com

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Nov 19, 2013, 12:32:57 AM11/19/13
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Is anyone aware of any Chrome Frame forks?  Is a starting point to that being able to build the Chromium project of which Chrome Frame is part of?

con...@ekimia.fr

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Nov 19, 2013, 4:39:10 PM11/19/13
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Hi Gary: Check the mini_installer WHich is built by the chrome buildBot. Launch it with right option with command line and you will have chromium Frame Working on your IE.

So creating a chromiumFrame installer is just compiling the miniInstaller with different default option.

chew...@bloomboard.com

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Nov 19, 2013, 7:41:41 PM11/19/13
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Hi,

I was able to follow the steps outlined under Automatic simplified toolchain setup with a few changes to produce a mini_installer that works with chromium frame.

I believe the instructions were geared towards dev builds, and I was hoping that someone could help me determine if I am doing is correct for producing a release build.


5.  Modify win_toolchain\env.bat to remove the setting "component=shared_library".  mini_installer seems to not like component builds.
6.  win_toolchain\env.bat
7.  cd src
8.  gclient sync
9.  ninja -C out\Release npchrome_frame
10.  ninja -C out\Release mini_installer
11.  Install chromium frame by running "out\Release\mini_installer.exe --chrome-frame"


Any help is much appreciated.  Thanks.

-Chew

Greg Thompson

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Nov 19, 2013, 10:12:36 PM11/19/13
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Hi Chew,

I'm not sure that ninja builds are at parity with devenv builds when it comes to manifests and such things. You may find it necessary to switch from ninja to msvs when making your Release mini_installer.

Cheers,

Greg

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chew...@bloomboard.com

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Nov 26, 2013, 8:44:57 PM11/26/13
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Hi Greg,

Thanks a lot for your earlier reply.  I went ahead and tried building from visual studio and am not having a lot of luck.  The build produces mini_installer.exe and mini_installer.exe installs chrome frame, but when I go to a page that uses chrome frame, I get a blank page.  I'm guessing that I am just missing a setting somewhere.


Thanks a lot for your help and have a great Thanksgiving weekend.

-Chew



  1. Install Visual Studio 2010 Professional, with “X64 Compilers and Tools” selected.

  2. VS2010 SP1 - https://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=75568aa6-8107-475d-948a-ef22627e57a5

  3. Windows 8 SDK - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hardware/hh852363.aspx

  4. June 2010 DirectX SDK - http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=6812

  5. Patch C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.0\Include\winrt\asyncinfo.h as follows:


asyncinfo.h

@@ -63,7 +63,7 @@

#pragma once

#ifdef __cplusplus

namespace ABI { namespace Windows { namespace Foundation {

-enum class AsyncStatus {

+enum /*class*/ AsyncStatus {

  Started = 0,

  Completed,

  Canceled,


  1. Unzip https://src.chromium.org/svn/trunk/tools/depot_tools.zip to c:\dev_chrome.  There should be a “c:\dev_chrome\depot_tools”.

  2. In control panel, add “c:\dev_chrome\depot_tools” to the end of the PATH variable in the system section.

  3. Update Run “cd c:\dev_chrome”.

  4. Run “gclient”.  This installs its own copy of git and svn.

  5. Run “fetch chromium --nosvn=True”.

  6. Run “set GYP_DEFINES=branding=Chromium buildtype=Official”

  7. Run “gclient runhooks”

  8. Start VS with by running “src\bin\all.sln”

  9. In VS, select “Release” configuration.

  10. In VS, use “Build ->Build Solution”.

  11. Confirm that “c:\dev_chrome\src\build\Release\mini_installer.exe --chrome-frame” installs chromium frame.


Greg Thompson

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Nov 26, 2013, 11:14:18 PM11/26/13
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Hi Chew,

I don't see anything obviously wrong with the steps you listed. Do you see chrome.exe running (via Task Manager or Process Explorer)? Do you also get a blank page when you navigate to gcf:about:version? Does the latest Chromium build work on your machine (see http://www.chromium.org/getting-involved/download-chromium)?


chew...@bloomboard.com

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Nov 27, 2013, 2:59:38 AM11/27/13
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Hi Greg,

Yes, I do see 3 chrome.exe and 1 chrome_frame_helper.exe in task manager.  Also, “gcf:about:version" works for me.  I get this output:  http://i.imgur.com/Wk3JjiT.png.

I downloaded the zip from http://www.chromium.org/getting-involved/download-chromium (first option), and ran chrome.exe from there (both on windows 8 and on my mac).  My website (https://apps.bloomboard.com) comes back blank in both cases as well.  So, potentially, I could be doing everything right, but that there is a bug in the chromium dev code line, right?

Previously, I was successful with Chromium 33.0.1709.0 (Developer Build 234906).  Would you be able to tell me how I can modify my steps to retrieve the code from that point in time?

Also, when I was building, I had the msvs configuration set for Release for Win32.  Is Win32 correct?

Thanks a lot,
-Chew
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Greg Thompson

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Nov 27, 2013, 9:30:00 AM11/27/13
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On Wed, Nov 27, 2013 at 2:59 AM, <chew...@bloomboard.com> wrote:
Hi Greg,

Yes, I do see 3 chrome.exe and 1 chrome_frame_helper.exe in task manager.  Also, “gcf:about:version" works for me.  I get this output:  http://i.imgur.com/Wk3JjiT.png.

It appears that your build of Chrome Frame is working properly.
 
I downloaded the zip from http://www.chromium.org/getting-involved/download-chromium (first option), and ran chrome.exe from there (both on windows 8 and on my mac).  My website (https://apps.bloomboard.com) comes back blank in both cases as well.  So, potentially, I could be doing everything right, but that there is a bug in the chromium dev code line, right?

If your site doesn't render in Google Chrome, then I suspect there's an issue with your site. I just tried your site using Google Chrome 33.0.1720.0 (Official Build 237222) canary, and it's blank. If you think that your site is correct and that Chrome isn't rendering it, then please file a detailed bug report (see http://www.chromium.org/for-testers/bug-reporting-guidelines for details).

 
Previously, I was successful with Chromium 33.0.1709.0 (Developer Build 234906).  Would you be able to tell me how I can modify my steps to retrieve the code from that point in time?

You could download the Chromium snapshot just before that point (https://commondatastorage.googleapis.com/chromium-browser-snapshots/Win/234788/mini_installer.exe) and see if it works for you. If you want to check out a specific revision of the codebase, you may be able to do something like:

git svn find-rev r234906
git co (the commit found above)
gclient sync

 
Also, when I was building, I had the msvs configuration set for Release for Win32.  Is Win32 correct?

Yes.
 
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chew...@bloomboard.com

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Nov 27, 2013, 11:55:28 PM11/27/13