Comments on: What do you think of the Google Chrome browser?
REBOL Technologies

Comments on: What do you think of the Google Chrome browser?

Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
23-Oct-2009 19:17 GMT

Article #0436
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Ok... I've been running Google's Chrome browser for a few months now. That's about how long it takes these days to form a solid opinion of a web browser.

In general, I like Chrome. I like the simple uncluttered window top/toolbars (I've been preaching that approach for years, so nice to see it.) And, each tab is a protected/sandboxed process, so when they hang or go goofy, you can terminate them easily. Also, the ability to resize text input forms is quite handy for wiki and blog editing.

On the other side... well, it's easy to be critical... so I tend to bite my tongue and hope to see a bit more polish from those software mega-companies. Like every techie/guru, I send bug reports and enhancement requests back to Google... to vanish to into the void. When I do post blogs like this, it's often because I want to hear your comments and perspective (and maybe even some fixes to my gripes, because who has the time to find them all?)

My short list of gripes are:

  • When using input forms and going back a page, return to my prior edit point. Firefox got this right, and it's quite useful with wiki and blog editing. Yes, I know... you're not supposed to do that on forms, but gurus will be gurus... we know that for some software systems (e.g. REBOL CGI) that method works quite nicely and saves the extra navigation step and page reload.
  • Let me edit the contents of the Chrome "startup page"! (They call it the "Home" page, bad name guys.) Sure, the miniature views are nice, but you're second-guessing my usage, and normally you get it wrong. I constantly want to find a way to edit that page... and there's probably some secret way to do so, one would hope.
  • Merge the Control current page and Customize Chrome icons (or make it an option.) Half the time most of us can't remember which is which for what we want. We end up clicking both to find our desired action. Just make it a general "everything else" button. I'm serious. And, if you want me to be even more serious, don't make it pull-down, make it a full sub-window that's masterfully formatted based on most common actions for the most common workflow.
  • When I ask for the source to a page, show me the actual source from the buffer! Don't go back and ask the server... because that doesn't work for many types of websites. WYSINWYG (what you see is not what you got.)
  • Get it working on OS X. (Perhaps it is by now?)
  • Make it work with older printers (it tends to overflow the printer's buffer causing the print to abort... and it's the only software I run that has that particular problem.)

There are a few other little things that pop up from time to time, but I'm sure they'll get fixed.

Ok, so post your thoughts below. Feel free to mention your favorites, but no browser wars, ok? Everyone's got an opinion.

16 Comments

Comments:

Albin
23-Oct-2009 15:00:36
I use Chrome exclusively on Windows, but it's not quite good enough on OS X yet.

What I loved about it initially is that I change network connections often - from home to train to work, etc. And I never had to restart Chrome.. whereas on Windows : IE, Firefox and Safari all had problems picking up the new connection. Chrome always worked. It seemed to me like it never cached or held open any connection information and always asked for the latest and greatest.

Then, in one of the recent releases, something changed, and now Chrome behaves like all the other browsers. It's a crapshoot whether it'll work. Sometimes starting new tabs or windows works, other times I actually need to restart the browser. Perhaps it's just something in the dev channel version that's not yet polished.

My Request : "Bookmark All Tabs" feature.

Greg Schofield
23-Oct-2009 16:01:03
Basically I like its simplicity, but miss the Firefox features (wishing to have and eat cake).

In Cheyenne Rebol has a good solid server, and Chrome OS is not too far away.

Clouds are not the place where I would want my vital apps -- a local server makes some sense, a local Rebol app server?

Grant Rettke
23-Oct-2009 21:20:23
There is a beta out for OS X.
Nick
23-Oct-2009 22:12:48
Firefox may take ten seconds to startup on my system whereas chrome would start almost instantaneously. The omnibar is better than firefox's address bar both in speed and usability. But, over time, chrome slowed down my computer so I switched back to firefox. By the way, the chrome's sandboxing never once saved the program from crashing on me.
Roger Wegener
23-Oct-2009 23:55:35
I love Chrome - and now I use it for everything all of the time. Can't remember the last time I used IE and I only use Firefox for those sites that don't work properly (usually old but necessary ones). But then I am on the road just about every day - and use most of the Google apps to get things done. Gmail, Calendar, Reader and many others in the *cloud* are now my apps of choice - and they keep my desktop un-cluttered. Can't wait for the Chrome OS and Browser together - that combination should be perfect for us road warriors. To tell the truth I can't find anything to criticise in Chrome (the browser) - it's all good for me but then I run projects around cloud apps - so I might have a small bias ;-)
Kaj
24-Oct-2009 0:47:53
Chrome's architecture is very much like Syllable; both deriving from BeOS. So I'd say it must be pretty good. :-)
Andy
24-Oct-2009 1:48:03
Opera allows animated images, javascript, java, sound, and plugins to easily be turned off or on. This seems to make for a faster browser and fewer ads.

Opera is innovative. For example, a web server can be set in the browser.

-pekr-
24-Oct-2009 3:08:21
The question if the world needed new browser is like asking, if there is need for new programming language, right? But - with Google one thing is clear - Google adressess their agenda - the world domination :-) They have no real OS technology, so what they throw at us, is ChromeOS - a browser upon a kernel - wow :-)

What I did not like when trying it, is the placement of tabs at the top of the screen. It is a bit eye distracting, when looking at some content and then the need to move eyes all to the top. Maybe I would get used to it after some time of usage though.

And - the mentioned 1 tab = 1 process - If if was not Google but Mozilla who would come with such a design, it would be slammed by many.

I think that ppl way too much automatically eat everything Google is throwing at them, without being critical enough. Most of words of preference for Chrome I can see around the internet is plain - Google fanboyism ....

Luke
24-Oct-2009 5:13:13
Re your first comment - The web was supposed to be simple and have a functioning "back" button. Some websites don't allow this, but that is their problem! Going back is at the heart of the web, and should be supported. Especially on editing when you change your mind.

Remember - simplicity is the direction we are heading towards.

Greg Schofield
24-Oct-2009 6:31:38
-pekr-, not a fan-boy, the basic browser design is solid and seems to get around a lot of stability problems -- plus it is opensource so a firefoxed version, or any version is conceivable (REBOL version?).

May be I am ignorant, but 1 tab one process seems a good idea, especially if tabs become more app like. Overt the top for merely browsing about, but not if it is a an app portal.

Next; Chrome OS is just a good idea -- get rid of the desktop, and why not use a browser, and web servers (Net, internet and local)seems a good idea to me, and does not stop anyone doing the same thing using a different "kernel OS".

Luca
25-Oct-2009 11:21:34
(at)Greg Schofield:

[quote] ... Chrome OS is just a good idea -- get rid of the desktop ... [/quote]

It's not a new idea; they did it already in the 70s. I think Carl can tell us more. :)

Cloud Computing is excessively hyped in my opinion; not everyone wants to put their data on the net (and why should they?). To me, the future is a network of services (ideally written in Rebol), that communicate with tiny applets on the users's desktop PC.

Hope I didn't go off-topic. :)

Leafy
25-Oct-2009 16:15:17
If Opera didn't exist I'd have chosen Chrome. It feels lightweight as compared to firefox; not to mention it's the most user-friendly browser till date. However, it isn't so helpful with me when it comes to "power-user" stuff. Opera has a lot of power-user features, so I stick with opera..
Brian Hawley
25-Oct-2009 21:45:24
I use Chrome on all my computers, and have for a long time now. The dev channel version has a great bookmark sync feature, with the quickest reaction time I've ever seen in such a service. I've had some issues though, beyond those mentioned above:

  • Flash is horrible. Worse than Silverlight on the same computer, which is just weird. Bad enough that I'm going to have to write a really good Flash blocking extension soon, with opt-in showing. On my netbook, I have to wait for a video to download before I can watch it - there isn't enough horsepower for both. I know there are security issues that cause things to be worse for Chrome, but that excuse is not acceptable. Google and Adobe need to resolve this ASAP. Google should not serve up a single Flash ad on any site until this is fixed.
  • Not netbook optimized (but neither are any of the other browsers), though that is worse for Flash.
  • A page will lock up until the whole page loads. This means that you will be unable to do anything on the page, including scrolling down to read, while you are waiting for some (usually Flash) advertisements to finish loading. Something needs to be preempted in favor of UI events.
  • I need a way to save the current state of a whole set of tabs, so that I can close the browser and maybe reboot the computer and pick up where I left off.
  • Links clicked in Google Reader to other sites load those sites in the same process, even though they are in separate tabs. When combined with the page locking up bug above, that means that most of the tabs in my browser will all lock up together. I've had Chrome-specific bugs in other Google webapps as well, though some of them have been fixed upon complaint.
  • Memory usage has increased since the initial versions of Chrome, though it's still better than IE or Firefox.
  • I miss some of my IE/Firefox extensions, particularly Flashblock, IE Tab, FlashGot, DownloadHelper, MOV Downloader, PDF Download, Copy Link Text, and a couple dev tools, etc. They seem like they would be easy to write extensions for though.

Most of my other problems have been fixed already though. And most of my problems with IE/Firefox don't even exist in Chrome. Definitely my favorite browser :)

What-About-Them-Codecs
26-Oct-2009 14:25:46
"carl said:Like every techie/guru, I send bug reports and enhancement requests back to Google... [and Rebol]to vanish to into the void."

and What About Them Codecs for rebol R3 use at a basic level ?

heres a basic reason why as relates to chrome http://gogloom.com/client2/index2?mainCHAT=1&network=FreeNode&channel=%23x264dev "[16:43] ok i did a test using x264 as an image

[16:43] you can display it in chrome just like a normal image

[16:43] using the video tag

[16:43] does it work with the img tag

[16:43] but it has to be in mp4, it cant be a raw stream

[16:43] ill check

[16:44] it might be worth submitting it as a patch if it doesnt

[16:44] no, it doesnt

[16:45] mp4 container only adds like 3KB to it anyways

[16:46] *** Dewi has joined #x264

[16:46] well i meant adding it as an img

[16:46] yea

[16:46] too bad theres not much practical use for this

[16:46] erm...smaller images

[16:46] but it doesnt work on IE or firefox :p

[16:47] same goes with safari

[16:47] i think safari supports it probably

[16:47] but safari is what... 1% of the market? "

the blog formatting sucks too alas,hence the extra cr's, shame.

teacher22
27-Oct-2009 21:02:53
in reply to

the blog formatting sucks too alas,hence the extra cr's

huh? you can use many HTML tags in the text to make it look however you want,

including
preformatted
text lines
and BR line breaks
for each line
you need
or even
  • bullets
  • like
  • this

    easy.

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    4-Jul-2012 21:10:59
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