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An Architect's View

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An Architect's View

Google Chrome - first impressions

September 2, 2008 · 24 Comments

Sheep-like, I rushed to install Google's new browser, Chrome and was disappointed to see that it's Windows-only (for now). So I fired up a Windows XP VM and installed it. It's fast, it's clean and intuitive. I like the ability to add "application shortcuts" for web pages - I have Gmail and Google Reader in my quick launch menu already. Nice. It has very few settings / options. Just the stuff you need. It won't import bookmarks etc from Safari or Firefox, just Internet Explorer. Black mark for that! I don't like the fixed blue "chrome" (I have XP set to use the silver theme) but I admit that it's "very Google". The bookmarks bar is a little strange - a pale blue "balloon" below the address bar. Again tho', it's very much in keeping with the Google UI approach even if it isn't what we're used to. And it'll all be open source so you can take it apart and see how they've done it. Overall: very favorable so far.

Tags: oss

24 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Steve 'Cutter' Blades // Sep 2, 2008 at 12:15 PM

    Actually, mine installed all of my Firefox bookmarks on install.
  • 2 Bradley Moore // Sep 2, 2008 at 12:50 PM

    It installed bookmarks from Firefox for me. I believe it is installing based upon your default browser, as I was not prompted to install from Internet Explorer, but can access it from the wrench menu.
  • 3 charlie griefer // Sep 2, 2008 at 12:53 PM

    confirming what cutter said. when i installed it the first thing it wanted to do was import my firefox bookmarks, but couldn't since firefox was running.

    shut down firefox, clicked "import bookmarks & settings", chose firefox, and it not only imported the bookmarks, but browsing history and saved passwords as well :)
  • 4 jonese // Sep 2, 2008 at 12:54 PM

    It's all about the user :) They know what your default browser is so they just ask you if you want to import from THAT browser INSTEAD of every browser on your computer.

    I actually applaud this "thinking" even though it's caused a lot of confusion with people, even smart ones like you Sean :)
  • 5 Dan G. Switzer, II // Sep 2, 2008 at 1:20 PM

    I think maybe you need those browsers installed for it to offer the import option. I know it does IE & FF and I think I recall seeing Safari in there (I have it running in a VM and don't have it running at the moment or I'd confirm that.)
  • 6 Sean Corfield // Sep 2, 2008 at 1:26 PM

    It turns out that I'd been cleaning up this VM and no longer had Firefox installed but Safari was my default browser and it did not offer to import bookmarks from that - and Safari is not available from the wrench menu either (although perhaps Chrome is smart enough to realize that I had no bookmarks in Safari).

    Since I rarely use Windows except for specific tests, I tend to have minimal history / bookmarks / setup on Windows.
  • 7 sal // Sep 2, 2008 at 2:07 PM

    yea, pretty slick, I do like! Although I've been having some image rendering issues, with some of my apps that I use CFChart the chart gets chopped off, some other minor things as well. But overall it's pretty damn nice!

    btw it also scores a 75 on the latest ACID test.
    http://acid3.acidtests.org/

    that's better than FF3 at the moment... Pretty impressive.
  • 8 Yves // Sep 2, 2008 at 6:29 PM

    For me, it's bookmark import function crashed during the install.

    A bit of a blah first impression... but since then, it does seem quite stable.

    I'm running it on XP, along side IE8's Beta.... and I've seen some pretty weird things in IE8... but Chrome is lookin' good so far.
    ;-)
  • 9 Elliott // Sep 2, 2008 at 7:17 PM

    @Sal

    Webkit scores 100 on that test, so they must either have bugs in V8, or they've built it with an older version of Webkit... like AIR.

    @Sean

    It's certainly interesting, but the design does worry me a little. It apparently uses separate processes for just about everything (tabs, main browser, plugins?) with a microkernel approach to browsing. Seems like a good way to cripple a system with lots of tabs open, but we'll see. Certainly more crash proof I suppose.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/39128821@N00/2822622380/

    From what I can tell the UI Chrome is transparent glass on Vista instead of blue too.
  • 10 mojo // Sep 2, 2008 at 9:33 PM

    My first impressions are positive - it seems very fast to load pages and there is a cleanness about it all. My big gripe is the Safari bookmark importing thing. Safari was default but Chrome asked me to import IE only. I felt like I was talking about an old girlfriend, seeing "Internet Explorer" there only. Long time no see!! Anyway, I might have to go back to Safari because of the Iphone intergration is so good.
  • 11 Kay Smoljak // Sep 2, 2008 at 10:16 PM

    I installed it too, and I really like it - it's hellishly fast for me.

    However, some people have starting actually reading the terms and conditions (you know, those ones we all blindly agreed to):
    http://www.velvet.id.au/2008/09/03/google-chrome-terms-of-service/

    A bit scary!
  • 12 Sean Corfield // Sep 2, 2008 at 10:21 PM

    @Kay, I'm in two minds about the "do no evil" Google thing.

    @Elliott, good to know about Chrome on Vista - I'm looking forward to seeing it on OS X.
  • 13 iwebie // Sep 2, 2008 at 11:24 PM

    I have installed Google Chrome and found browsing fun with its simple Gtalk like Simplicity. Ill stick with FireFox for now until Chrome gets some useful plugins to enhance it.

    Read more below

    http://www.iwebie.com/googles-chrome-browser-the-iefirefox-killer
  • 14 Malcolm // Sep 3, 2008 at 4:25 AM

    Part of the terms and conditions -

    By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any content which you submit, post or display on or through, the services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the services and may be revoked for certain services as defined in the additional terms of those services.
  • 15 Matt Jones // Sep 3, 2008 at 5:12 AM

    I love the right click - inspect element thing. It removes some of my need for the firefox web developer plugin.
  • 16 Tom Chiverton // Sep 3, 2008 at 6:19 AM

    Just be careful what you do with Chrome - the EULA says anything you upload through it now belongs to Google, for them to do anything they like with.
    This may be a problem if you do work through it, for instance.

    Still, it has the sort of innovations I'd like to see in FireFox, such as one process per tab.
  • 17 Sean Corfield // Sep 3, 2008 at 7:22 AM

    @Kay, Malcolm, Tom, that EULA covers *all* Google services, not just the browser. However, the intent is to allow Google to index and translate your content and, if you say nice things about Google, allow them to use that to promote their service. "This licence is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services". Pretty standard legalese really.
  • 18 Sean Corfield // Sep 3, 2008 at 2:53 PM

    @All, in case you hadn't heard by now Google are updating the EULA to adjust the wording in Section 11 regarding content licensing. They have said it was just copied from a standard Google Service EULA and they accept it's not appropriate for a web browser. My feeling is that lots of people are making a mountain out of a molehill here since it was clearly not Google's intent to "steal" everyone's content!

    Besides, you could always d/l the source and build it yourself and run it without any EULA in place... So the EULA is pretty much irrelevant.
  • 19 Drew Massie // Sep 5, 2008 at 9:20 AM

    Is anyone having problems with flash forms on Chrome? For me, none of the pre-filled form values are showing and on submit it is acting strangely...almost as if the form was in an iframe (loading the post page within the cfform).
  • 20 Mikey // Sep 11, 2008 at 8:51 AM

    @drew I've noticed several problems with flash forms. Prefilled-values definitely are not populated, and the on submit is definitely....different.

    I do like the resize feature for text areas, though I worry my users will try to paste an encyclopedia into one.
  • 21 Drew Massie // Sep 11, 2008 at 11:02 AM

    Yeah, they are unusable in my app on Chrome. Not sure if I should ditch flash forms once and for all or wait for a fix.

    I haven't seen any mention of this on the Internet anywhere...
  • 22 Sean Corfield // Sep 11, 2008 at 11:26 AM

    @Drew, I've seen several comments on the 'net about this issue but no solutions. Personally, I ditched Flash forms when CF8 came out and switched to more AJAX-driven stuff. I think Flash forms were a nice idea but they're really more trouble than they're worth...
  • 23 kory leininger // Apr 17, 2009 at 12:42 PM

    I can't get pdf files to load in google chrome. Anybody know why?
  • 24 ferris // Sep 15, 2009 at 4:40 PM

    You can fix the flashforms loading weird in a quasi i-frame behaivor by adding a target="_parent" to your <cfform> tag that contains the form. But yea, Chrome and Safari are really crappy with with flash form support.

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