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 · Comments Off on More About Chrome · Tags: , ,

Google is going to release a new open-source web browser tomorrow (Sept 2nd, 2008) called Google Chrome. Lots of information contained in forty pages of this comic book. The rendering engine is WebKit, but it has its own JavaScript engine (V8) that compiles the JS into bytemachine code and uses more efficient garbage collection. It also follows the thoughts of the Internet Explorer team of putting the tab at the root of the UI and letting each tab be its own process (not just thread). Oh, it comes with Google Gears pre-installed too.

This all sounds good: security, stability, anti-phishing, sandboxing, 'superfast' JS. Of course there's only one true test though.

At first I was wondering if this was a fork of WebKit, but I think the only thing that would make sense would be for Google to work in parallel with WebKit (continually updating Chrome's rendering engine with new versions of WebKit). Everything else would be part of the Chrome open source project. If you're in the know, drop a line below.

Ok, I'm happy. A completely open source browser that supports SVG and is (sort of) co-sponsored by two big companies with lots of cash (Google and Apple).

§493 · September 1, 2008 · Google, Software, Technology, Web · 4 comments · Tags: , ,