Things I Learned:

  • They borrowed some UI concepts from Opera and IE (controls and address bar inside the tabs, speed dial, paste-and-go) but I think they've done some things better. For instance: the default home page requires zero user interaction, the status bar is only present when you hover over a link, tab cycling makes sense and requires zero thought.
  • They really didn't want to introduce another rendering engine for developers - so Google is simply using WebKit, it won't be a fork
  • No tie-ins to Google Services installed by default
  • They've been working on it for two years
  • V8 will eventually make its way into Android
  • They haven't made very many contributions to Webkit, but are fully committed to doing so. Their plan is to build Chrome off the WebKit tip
  • Extensibility - though they obviously support traditional browser plugins and they have plans for a richer extension API - it won't be in the Beta.
  • UA String is: "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.0; en-US) AppleWebKit/525.13 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/ Safari/525.13" =>Google, please work to shorten the UA string, not lengthen it (is there really any valid reason for "Safari/..." to be there?)
  • The browser is fast. Transition is seemless. I like that the default home page requires no user interaction to generate. Ctrl+L, Ctrl+K, Alt+D, Ctrl+T all work as I expected.
  • They are using an older version of WebKit (older than Safari 3.1 it looks like) as there are two SVG-related rendering problems with my site that I thought were long gone
  • They have a sense of humour (open up the Chrome Task manager and see the link at the bottom)

Further Exploration:

  1. I'm curious how browsers like IE and Chrome are ensuring that access to the browser cache is shared efficiently across all processes?
  2. I'd like to learn more about the 'cross-platform' graphics library that they are using, does it support hardware acceleration?
  3. Are other browser vendors worried that the editor of the HTML5 spec is now an employee of a browser vendor?
  4. What are Google Chrome's plans for feeds? At the moment, there isn't even any auto-discovery
§494 · September 2, 2008 · Life · Tags: , , · [Print]

Leave a Comment to “More About Chrome”

  1. David says:

    Page 36 of the comic scares me.

    It clearly says that they will push non standard (proprietary) technology, and justify themselves by invoking open-source.

    For interoperability sake, who cares of open-source if the features are proprietary. The philosophy of Opera has always been the opposite : closed-source for open standards. And it makes more sense for us developers.

    Please, stick to standards !

  2. Drazick says:

    The first thing I was impressed with was – How big is the space dedicated to the site itself.

    This is all the idea behind this browser – “The Show Belongs To The Site Itself Not The Browser”.

    I wish Opera would go this direction:

    Simple, Focused, Fast browser.

    All we need is as big as possible window, Interaction with on line services (Why invest in the mail plug in? Use Gmail / Hotmail / Yahoo Mail, the same goes for the RSS reader etc…) and as fast as possible rendering engine.

    I hope Opera will copy its slick and minimalistic design.

  3. Tim says:

    For what it’s worth, Ian Hickson (HTML5 editor) started working on HTML5 while he was still an Opera employee. I don’t think there’s any conflict of interest to worry about.

  4. Mauriat says:

    I didn’t thoroughly test it, but one problem I had was that it used Internet Explorer’s settings (or Windows settings depending on how you look at it) for network options (proxy).

    The non-traditional title bar also kept confusing me, I kept aiming my mouse at the last window in the background.

    The installer bothered me, I don’t like download-installers (beta I know). Also for me it installed to “\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application” in XP. Odd.

  5. Rob says:

    All I can say is I’m tired of the “Windows first, other OSes later” method of development. If it was open source from the outside instead of 2 years development in a cave followed by a big blitz then I’d be a lot more excited about it.

  6. Mauriat – agreed the installer is a problem (especially the location of install and not being able to change it).

    Tim – I actually don’t have this concern, just wondering if browser vendors are worried… Google is a much bigger company than Opera

  7. Drazick says:

    This browser is addictive…

  8. “If it was open source from the outside instead of 2 years development in a cave”

    So you want them to open source as soon as they’ve written their main() function? Open sourcing a project without any running code behind it wouldn’t get NEARLY the attention they wanted – and with a product launch like this they are looking for attention and that surprise factor. If they had open sourced their design then some of their UI decisions could have been adapted into other browsers prior to the debut of the product, which would make them look like a copier rather than an innovator in some things.

    I’m with you in the “Windows-only” disappointment, but why are you disappointed that they developed the product first before open sourcing it? What difference does that make to you as a user? Why would that make a difference in your excitement level?