View Full Version : Google Chrome

09-02-2008, 09:56 AM
Google is releasing their own web browser. The keywords are stability, security and reliability. And to not bore us to death with a 1000-page technical documentation, they made this comic (http://books.google.com/books?id=8UsqHohwwVYC&printsec=frontcover#PPP1,M1) for us explaining what it's all about. Assuming they keep what they promise it's looking like a darn good browser. Open source too.

09-02-2008, 10:50 AM
Actually I don't like the multiprocess approach (I wouldn't want a separate process for my many many tabs), but let's see what happens when I try it. :)

09-02-2008, 11:19 AM
I'm looking forward to it. So many times has one bad page forced me to close the entire browser and the other open tabs.

09-02-2008, 11:29 AM
If web browsers took a synchronous approach to web surfing, then wouldn't that restrict us to having one instance of the browser open? Or not necessarily? I thought that was somewhere in windows' design.

09-02-2008, 04:26 PM
I heard about that.

I guess it's GOS next in line. :D

09-02-2008, 05:21 PM
if it doesnt have tabs I wont use it. Im sure they will have them or add them pretty quick though.

09-02-2008, 05:41 PM
It does have tabs, it just runs them in separate processes. Ironically (in light of the earlier post about GOS) they compare it to the way an operating system manages programs.

I tried it out, and it seems a little buggy when I access some pages on our company's intranet, but for the first day it's released - not bad!

I really like it. It's not as good as Firefox right now, IMO, but it has A LOT of potential, so I'm keeping FF as a secondary browser until Chrome is still up to speed.

In light of how closely linked this will probably end up being with Adobe products, I think "chrome" was an unfortunate name choice. I think it might cause a bit of confusion when web developers are talking about purely decorative components. Not that that's a huge deal, though.

edit: I'm a huge fan of Google's minimalist but elegant and functional styling!

09-03-2008, 08:17 AM
Making this post in Google Chrome right now. It's minimalistic alright, and blazingly fast to start up (as opposed to firefox). I do miss the drop-down list of your last visited sites though.

09-03-2008, 08:48 AM
Wow, hella faster than IE. Here i thought all that lag was just internet lag, turns out its IE all along. Sold.

One thing i would like to see however is when i create a new tab have ti go to a specific page.

And I'm sure you will all enjoy the fact that it auto spell checks my posts :)

OK, I dont think I like the fact that i cant directly access my favorites without opening a new tab.

09-03-2008, 09:15 AM
My "firefox" has auto-spell-checking, too. (Though I can't say it launches very quickly.) If you're out on a trying-new-browsers rampage, be sure to also check out firefox. :)

I haven't tried Google Chrome yet -- I'm waiting until they get a Linux version -- but it definitely looks promising. I was reading the comic, too, and it's pretty good. :)

BTW -- did you guys know that it was released early because of a media (comic) leak? http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24281373-11869,00.html
That might be why it doesn't appear to be fully stable yet.

09-03-2008, 09:24 AM
I don't see where they cite someone saying they are releasing it early. In fact their behavior after the comic came out suggests they released it when they were going to.

I've been using Chrome all day yesterday and some today. There are a few bugs and a security issue was brought out so the main thing that'll determine how well it survives is how they respond.

I definitely think they need to add more options to control behavior. For example I hate when it closes the program down when I close the last tab.

09-03-2008, 09:41 AM
Maybe it wasn't a good link. It was just Google's first hit. ;)


09-03-2008, 09:44 AM
For some reason I'm always opening a new tab when I'm trying to close the rightmost tab :/
They should redesign the new tab icon.

09-03-2008, 10:04 AM
Easy way to close a tab is to middle click on it.

I hope they go with the Opera style where if you middle click in the tab area (but not on a tab) you get a new tab.

09-03-2008, 10:04 AM
I thought I'd try Google Chrome anyway. (It's only a 475KB download! Wow.)

But wine can't run the installer. I tried all the possible operating systems. I guess I'll have to wait for the Linux version.

What's with requiring Windows 2000 for a web browser, anyway?

09-03-2008, 10:13 AM
Windows 2K? Where is that listed?

Only windows versions I saw were XP and Vista.

You could always try to build it for yourself (http://dev.chromium.org/getting-involved) :P

09-03-2008, 10:15 AM
Isn't there a bookmarks menu apart from the "new tab" page?

09-03-2008, 10:18 AM
Yes. By default it isn't shown on every page but if you go to the new tab page and right click on it there should be an option to show it on every page.

It has a drop down style menu and in addition a bar where you can put bookmarks for even faster selection.

Edit: Ctrl+b also toggles the bookmark bar

09-03-2008, 10:20 AM
Windows 2K? Where is that listed?

Only windows versions I saw were XP and Vista.
Yeah, me too -- online, that is. But trying older windows versions said that Windows 2000 or later was required (see screenshot).

You could always try to build it for yourself (http://dev.chromium.org/getting-involved) :P
Yeah, I suppose. I'm not that interested, though. :) Maybe I will see if anyone else's built it for Linux . . . .

Whew, the source is over 400MB! I don't think I'll try it just yet . . . .

09-03-2008, 03:54 PM
Yes. By default it isn't shown on every page but if you go to the new tab page and right click on it there should be an option to show it on every page.

It has a drop down style menu and in addition a bar where you can put bookmarks for even faster selection.

Edit: Ctrl+b also toggles the bookmark bar
Yes, that's better. Ideally, I don't want the entire bar, though. Just the possibility to access the bookmarks menu. But I'm sure that small modification will show up in the final version as a possibility.

I like the fact that the status bar is only shown when it's needed.

09-03-2008, 04:19 PM
Okay, I finally got onto a Windows computer and installed Google Chrome. It's quite nice -- I especially like the "inspect element" context menu item. For some reason, though, this really annoys me: you can't right-click on context menu items. I guess it makes sense to disable this, though, because someone might right-click and then right-click again by accident. I known I've done it before.

09-03-2008, 04:24 PM
This made me chuckle, so I thought I'd share it with you all . . . .

09-03-2008, 05:08 PM
If you report a problem there is a select box that has types of problems. One of them is "Browser crash... go boom"

09-03-2008, 05:12 PM
Is that right? :p

I was pretty surprised to see the "for nerds" thing in the task manager as well. But it's definitely useful.

09-04-2008, 01:44 AM
It's cool that there's another browser in the market, and I especially like the each tab in a separate process.
This will shame IE even further :D Just look at how bad it is already! Now it's getting its ass kicked by another browser, too.
And Firefox typically starts a little slow due to the stupid extensions (which also hog memory). It's a big, big problem (I'm guessing because most of them are written in javascript).
Chrome does interest me. I'll be watching its progress and if it manages to surpass Firefox, I will switch.

09-04-2008, 12:36 PM
Hey when you do a Search on a large text/HTML file, it highlights the location of all the finds. Not just in the text, but it puts a mark in the task-bar, too!

09-06-2008, 06:07 AM
Just saw this. Hard to know if it's true, but it's certainly interesting.

Just performed the tests there myself ( http://wd-testnet.world-direct.at/mozilla/dhtml/funo/jstimeTest.htm ) and they seem to be similar. Very interesting...

Mario F.
09-06-2008, 06:23 AM
It's interesting. But only 280ms difference between Mozilla and WebKit in such an intensive test? I'm not sold.

09-06-2008, 06:28 AM
My results were similar. What's WebKit got to do with it though? It's a JS test and I thought Chrome has a new fancy JS engine...

Mario F.
09-06-2008, 06:30 AM
V8 yes. WebKit uses the V8 engine. And Chrome uses the WebKit engine.

I'm not very happy with this Google incursion in browser-land. Not happy at all. So I'm clearly biased here. My wish, to be honest is that Google shots itself on the foot on this one and goes back to search engines and webservices.

With this disclaimer in mind, V8 hasn't convinced me. When V8 supports some proprietary features like some of the CISCO ASDMs and ACSs, doesn't crash on some HelpDesk applications and other internalware then i'll look at performance again. And won't probably be surprised if the managed to become slower.

09-06-2008, 06:56 AM
> I'm not very happy with this Google incursion in browser-land.
Why not? They're a company, they can do what they want. If they wanted to start making cars, so be it.

But if they start offering extra GoogleSearch options for Chrome users then perhaps I'll change my mind :)

09-06-2008, 07:00 AM
I agree with zacs. If there's a market they'd be stupid to not go for it.

On my laptop my touchpad has one of these scroll-things so if I run my finger down the right of the touchpad it'll scroll down a window. Anyway, this action is normally like pressing the down key on the keyboard but with chrome it's like pressing the pagedown button and it's really annoying me!

09-06-2008, 07:03 AM
That's because it's so fast. :)

09-06-2008, 07:21 AM
I don't see a problem with Google entering the browser market. What does it matter? The more competition, the better.
Maybe it will jam internet explorer's wheel for good. Hopefully the extra competition will do so.

09-06-2008, 09:01 AM
V8 yes. WebKit uses the V8 engine. And Chrome uses the WebKit engine.
No, Apple's WebKit uses JSCore, and will soon use whatever they call their new engine.
Google's modified WebKit that is used in Chrome uses the V8 engine.

Anyway, the test doesn't compare against Firefox 3.1's new JS engine, TraceMonkey. On the SunSpider test, TraceMonkey beats V8 by a bit.

Mario F.
09-06-2008, 09:01 AM
My take is this:

Chrome has very little to do with Yet Another Browser, and everything to do with Web Services. It doesn't make a lot of sense for a company like Google to introduce a new browser and compete in that market exclusively. In fact, Google has repeatedly said in the past they didn't need a broswer of their own. The fact Eric Schmidt insists on the pathological anti-microsoft ramble as a reason to introduce Chrome is a sure sign Chrome is just not another browser. Just-Another-Browser would compete with Microsoft, but also Mozilla, Opera and Apple.

The reason behind Chrome is mentioned on a few interviews - which you folks will probably ask me to dig for - where it is stated by both Schmidt and Brendan Eich that despite Google investments on Mozilla, Google feels it needs more support for their web applications. So, as far as I can tell Chrome intent is to become a de facto Google WebServices browser. It's a clear offensive maneuver towards companies like Microsoft, Yahoo and Adobe. Where just recently Google had been catching up to Microsoft attempts to buy Yahoo by undermining the process, it now takes the lead and sets the stage for what can soon become a WebServices War (don't laugh just yet. Give me some time and I may not need to put my foot where my mouth is).

Google is a multimillion dollar company. And despite some folks (read, a lot of folks) insist in thinking that it's some kind of Madre Teresa of the web, google is far from being an innocent company bent on helping the community. From an history of highly debatable EULAs that require users of their services to sell their souls to Google, to privacy concerns we've seen it all. Google went public and like any other company which does, there's money to be made and investments to be returned. As such, more often than we would like, their best interest doesn't necessarily mean it's in our best interest.

In any case [put something here] Wars always trouble me. From office suit wars, to browser wars the end result is a quick increase in innovation during the short period of the hostilities, followed by a long period of stagnation in which the victor is sitting on the spoils doing nothing. I'm still yet to see any word from companies like Microsoft or Yahoo. But I'm thinking to my buttons if Yahoo isn't just pondering at this moment that after all Microsoft may be a sexier possibility than they thought before. Lets not forget that an important margin of Yahoo executives was actually in favor of Microsoft buying operation. Or if Adobe is thinking on what are they going to do with all the money they poured into AIR and Flex and if they have the conditions to enter what is soon going to become an highly competitive market being fought by only a handful of players.

Last, but definitely not least at all, is my concern that if Chrome adopts (which it seems it will in all fronts) a much higher support for Google's own web applications and services, what is going to stop Microsoft from doing the same to their own server applications and even the desktop OSes? Something I must remind you all, they have been repeatedly stopped from doing.

09-06-2008, 10:23 AM
Good points Mario but I honestly don't think that Microsoft wants to be sued yet again for anti-competitive practices. And Google has to practice glasnost as well. If for some reason they offer some unique service to the Chrome and nowhere else, then that's clearly an attempt to separate the rest of the browser market from a group people that only Google can serve, and they will probably face a similar lawsuit.

09-06-2008, 03:59 PM
So far, Chrome has been very nice on my slow computer (I do not have the money to upgrade from my PIII-500 machine) with one exception. Websites that have flash banner ads choke my computer to death and make the website close to unusable for me, and I haven't figured out a way to fix that in Chrome.

Firefox fixed that nicely with a plugin that blocks flash banner ads based on a common list and/or my own input (I can't think of the name, ABP or something, but thanks to Elysia for pointing it out, or whoever did, but Elysia is the one I remember). Now I can surf via FireFox and in the rare instance I come across a flash banner ad that isn't blocked, I can block it and have no further issues.

I can not run IE7 on this machine because it is too slow. I have a simple homepage I wrote with notepad that consists of a table populated by icons for websites that are links to those websites. IE7 takes forEVER to load and arrive at that simple page, and everything else is horribly slow as well.

I could put IE6 back on this machine, but the process of blocking the flash banner ads is inconvenient compared to the FireFox plugin, so there's no reason to bother.

So far, the only reason I won't use Chrome more is because it has no facility (that I can find) to block specific websites/banner ads. If that functionality is added (internally or via a Gear or whatever), I like Chrome enough to use it over and above FireFox because of the speed.

All that said, I haven't had the opportunity to try FireFox 3, so all that might be moot if I ever get some spare time to try it.

As far as Google Chrome being Google's way of positioning themselves for a monopoly or whatever, they're going to do whatever they want (until someone sues them over it). I don't really see a problem with them trying to make a platform for themselves either, so long as they don't suddenly cripple the program so it can only be used for Google's benefit. And even if they do that, the fact that it is open source means that, someone, somewhere will have a copy of the version prior to the cripple and will compile it and offer it up for people like me who want to roll back away from the Google maneuver.

09-06-2008, 04:19 PM

Mario F.
09-06-2008, 05:59 PM
Adblock Plus, I believe.

my PIII-500 machine[...]All that said, I haven't had the opportunity to try FireFox 3, so all that might be moot if I ever get some spare time to try it.

You should probably. I didn't notice any significant speed increase in page loading times as advertised. But maybe I just don't go to those heavyweight websites. However, there seems to be a significant increase in the browser load time and the memory footprint is also smaller... although still ridiculous in my opinion.

But you probably should want K-Meleon (http://kmeleon.sourceforge.net/). It's very lightweight with only 32Mb RAM requirements and even runs on a 486 if it has that RAM. It's built on top of the Gecko Engine and many plugins available for FF can be installed on K-Meleon as well. Probably even AdBlock Plus.

09-06-2008, 08:12 PM
Posting this from K-Meleon. It installed AdBlock Plus which is working just fine. Thanks for the link, Mario!

It doesn't seem like a significant improvement over Firefox 2, but I've only been using it for an hour or so now. I have visited most of the sites I frequent and imported my bookmarks without hassle, but I'll play around with it a bit more before I make a decision on it, and I intend to look at FF3 based on a few recommendations. However, if I find I detest FF3, how easy would it be to roll back to FF2 (or would it even be possible)?

I still like Chrome a lot, but the lack of adblocking alone is a deal breaker unfortunately. Plus it's only a beta and I have already encountered a few bizarre errors. I don't want to bounce around several browsers to do different things, especially since Firefox has been working all-along just fine for me.

09-07-2008, 02:49 AM
However, if I find I detest FF3, how easy would it be to roll back to FF2 (or would it even be possible)?
FF3 uses a different store for bookmarks etc. and imports upon upgrade. It keeps the old files around, so if you downgrade, you just lose the changes you made since upgrading.

09-07-2008, 12:33 PM
Platform for web applications/services is the new "web" and is being worked on by Mozilla, as well. I don't really care one way or another if Google puts their own browser into the market, even if just to develop a platform for these apps/services.
Hopefully it just won't turn into a big IE mess again, as when IE had all kinds of extensions supported by no standard, which everyone started to use.
Hopefully it will just speed up the development of such platforms and force even harder competition or be thrown out (ie Microsoft). It's healthy for the market, I'd say. Especially if Microsoft wants to hold their market share, maybe they'll start making a quality browser.