Chrome OS Dev drops Tar archive file support


We have heard rumors of Google wanting to discontinue Tar file support for a while, but today the company has taken action. Chrome OS Dev is no longer supporting the archive file type. Why exactly would Google do this, though? It seems odd to drop support for a file that is still relatively popular.

TARGoogle might figure it’s no longer worth putting the effort into this file type, but that doesn’t mean they are abandoning it, either. Chrome evangelist François Beaufort reminds us the Chromium OS team is working a project that would negate the need for Tar support. Google currently works on a Chrome API called chrome.fileSystemProvider, which provides read-only access to files.

This API won’t bring support for Tar files directly, but it will allow Chrome extensions to read any file. Any developer could then create an extension that would uncompress Tar files and be able to explore them. Of course, there would be no official support from Google, but the Search Giant is all about developer support.

For now this should only apply to Chrome OS Dev channel users, but we can expect this loss of Tar support to extend to other channels soon. Be ready! Personally, I wish they would just support all files, and see this as a loss for now. Let’s wait and see how everything plays out. What do you think?

[François Beaufort]