Saturday, 6 September 2008

Taking the shine off the Chrome. (And the Big 8...)

Just a thought, but maybe if people stopped being rabidly pro or anti Chrome/IE8/FF/whaddevva, and had a bit of a think about it, more constructive things would get done.

All this "IE8 does it and was the first" is great, but the fact is that Chrome was released within a few days of IE8 - surely not long enough for Google's nasty, Microsoft-plagiarising software engineers to build exact copies of all those functions? These features were no doubt on the top of many developers' lists of things to do, and the fact that Microsoft came out with IE8 a week before Chrome doesn't mean that Google stole all the ideas.

Also many claims of "hyping the features up" by bloggers and tech sites is a bit misleading - I've read half a dozen articles on Chrome (I'm not that much into reading gigabytes of data when a few thousand words will do) and of those, half acknowledge that IE8, FF, and Chrome all have very similar feature sets. It's hardly surprising, really. It's the direction they're all heading in, and they all have equally smart people working for them.

Here are a few REAL Chrome bugs though -

  • Import your favourites from IE or bookmarks from FF, and see where all your folders go to. Mine vanished in the import, and several hundred bookmarks along with them.
  • Or go to Facebook with Chrome and try and poke someone, the endless succession of reloading the same window will drive you to distraction. This is most likely because FB still don't have a user agent signature in place for Chrome and are sending out code without the pop-over dialogs - but wait, there's more: Also, try clicking on a message in your inbox and then the delete button. Great heaps of nothing happens...
  • Oh and that's not to say that IE8 is any better - in Gmail, try dropping down the list of tags for an email and scroll down the list using the scroll wheel or the scroll bar - the browser has a basic bug of not putting focus on the righ part of a list element, and keeps zipping right back to the first item in the list, you have to use the arrow keys to move the highlight.
  • IE8 also explodes pretty much when it re-uses certain of your toolbars and BHOs from IE7 - I had the worst time getting it to open and stay un-locked-up long enough to disable all the add-ons and then start re-enabling them one at a time until I got a relatively stable browser.
  • One last thing - the impression that tab isolation was present in IE8 before it was in Chrome. But I've found that opening a new tab in IE8 still freezes the other tabs, whereas in Chrome that effect is much less noticeable. There's a difference between *claiming* tab isolation and *achieving* tab isolation.

So what I've found is that between IE8 and Chrome, I'm using FF most at the moment, at least until the other two sort some of their beta bugs out.

And on that subject, the bugs. Guess which browser lets me submit bugs the easiest? Chrome wins, hands down. So while I've been a regular IE user up to IE7 (even when the rabid controversy-fuelled bloggers were dissing it as the biggest POS ever) and a Firefox convert for the nice plug-ins, there definitely now IS a new player in the field for me. And I will give them all the benefit of doubt and promise not to hype or diss unless there's a good reason.

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