Thursday, September 4, 2008

Google Chrome - Redefining Browsing


First and foremost, I was and am a Firefox user till date on both my OS - windows and linux. But I feel Google Chrome is more than just a competitor for Firefox and IE. It surely looks like the next major development in browsing. 

First IE redefined the world of browsing, then firefox with its imaculate features like multi-tab browsing, easy-to-use add-ons and other features. Well, so what is new about Google Chrome?.
I wanted to write my true feelings about using Google Chrome. So for the past few days, I decided to use it as my only browser. As a first time user of an entirely new browser, I felt it was good enough. I began getting a feeling that for non-flash websites that I mostly visit, Google chrome was lightning quick when compared to Firefox or even IE.

For a Firefox user like me, I found the add-ons feature of Firefox was something that I was really missing. In Firefox, I used FireFTP and stuff like that which I felt should have to be incorporated into google chrome as well. 

I didn't face that many problems handling  the new browser. On the whole things went well. 

Errors and Possible problems for Developers to deal with in future releases:

Sometime the title of the tabs just crashed with just the word "Loading" on it. But when reloaded everything loaded perfectly.

Certain things did cause some doubts in me. The address bar is both the search bar and the address bar. When I tried searching for  a valid keyword, I could see that the browser's identity was sent off explicitly to my liking. On the search query I could see a variable source-id which I felt could be used by hackers to spy on people using Google chrome or even used by Google to maintain a record of how many users are using there browser till date, which I could feel like invading my privacy.

Browsing was good enough and my problem with it started showing up when I tried opening many tabs that had flash pages. Half of the time, It just gave an empty page - Nothing loaded up. 
(Solution Found:- Keep scrolling your mouse up and down and suddenly the page looks like it has been there normally for a long time.) 

This I feel could not be due to the browsers design but with the flash player from adobe as I have been facing similar problems with their flash players in Linux. Might be Google could go for a light weight flash component, just like they did as in the case of Javascript VM.

Major problems or say the limitations, I felt were when I was making this post in blogger with my new browser. Image were not that easy to cut and paste in the desired places. You had to click and select the entire image from top to bottom - only then does it get selected for cut or copy.

I usually leave little notes in my mother tongue - Tamil ,which was easy with the same blogger page that showed up in firefox, but not in chrome. I felt sad that I could not even see the language select option here. Might be they have incorporated it yet into chrome.

Another thing that confused me was that there was no language checker as they did mention in the release notes. Nothing came up  - not even a red line as in FireFox or IE to indicate the  wrongly typed words.

I didn't face any sort of problems when accessing the Gmail or Google Docs for that matter as mentioned in the chrome forum.


New Features:
When  a person right clicks on a page generally a pop-up menu shows up. But for none of the sites that I opened does the "View Page Info" option work - amazingly not even for google.

Thumbnails of recently visited sites were like a boon to me. I could just visit the ones that I had visited earlier. This could have been made better by making a scroll down list that grows for each site visited with its small thumbnail atleast for 30 sites. That could have been much more superb.



For a guy like me, just clicking on the tabs and moving them out so that they become a serprate window was a nice feature, which I feel they have got from Google Talk.



I felt like the "Inspect Element" feature was a really nice one and suited a part-time developer like me. Clicking on it opened a Google chrome inspector window. Moving the mouse through it changed the background of the element in the actual window over whose code the mouse was moved in the inspector window. 




The taskman option was something similar to that of the Windows task Manager, but was limited to the browsers componenets alone. For a few websites that I found flash to be slowing me down, I ended the shockwave plugin and things normalised. Only a yellow warning came up on the top of the window saying that Shockwave Plugin has crashed. The browser functioned normally.





Incognito Window was  something that I felt was good enough. Starting a new incognito window, started a page with google's custom message which said all that was about it as in the screenshot below:-



Much of the features till now has been mainly for developers. Future releases could hold higher potential.

I can see the potential of this browser in today's world wide web. Definitely Google could use this for more than just capturing the market share of other browsers. This brower could also indicate that google has the potential to look at the Operating systems market very soon.

Everybody knows Firefox will be the most affected one because of this new browser than IE.
But as for the rule of the earth and survival - "For achieving something, something else of equal importance has to be given up". That being Firefox or IE8 remains to be seen.

IE left the throne, after Firefox came in. Safari was never in the race other than for Mac. Opera and flock made some noises. Firefox rules the kingdom now. Got to look at what the prince Google Chrome can do in future. It's still a baby waiting to explore this world. I believe everyone have to wait for the actual release to see what features are actually available since this is only the beta.

Whatever happens Google has to realize the thing that is, has and will be bringing MS down - You have no right to force others to use only your softwares or things. Accept a open race/challenge and try to come as the first in  there. Then you can survive in this world and will be respected.

I think Google has done half of it by making chrome open source. The rest remains to be seen in the long chain of events that are going to unfold in future.

1 comment:

Xenon said...

If you like Chrome’s stripped down Web Inspector, you will love the original, full featured version in the WebKit nightlies.