Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Google Chrome rocks - in a limited fashion

I've been using Chrome for a while now. Coming from Firefox it's a bit of a shock to the system in some ways (eg the "standard elements" that should be the same on any window, eg the close button, aren't the same) but once you get over that it's good.

Probably the best thing about it is the sheer speed of its Javascript execution. Anyone who uses heavy Javascript sites is a prime candidate for the switch. That includes GMail (and Google Reader, Picasaweb, etc), Youtube, Facebook, The Register, and of course anything with lots of ads and stuff. Today I happened to have Firefox up so I used it for my Google Reader stuff, and I was thinking the whole time "WHO HAS STOLEN MY P4 AND PUT A 486-33 IN ITS PLACE?!?"

Speed of opening is good too. It just flashes straight up as if it was minimised. I don't think it's one of those rogue programs (like Adobe Photo Downloader) that stay in memory even when they're closed, because it's like that all the time, even after a reboot.

The default opening tab, which shows the nine most used sites, is a good feature but I'm guessing it will soon be copied by other browsers.

There are some bad points though. I can't seem to get Firefox-style middle button scrolling to happen, even though I'm told it's supposed to be available. Ditto for Thinkpad middle button scroll, which is a hardware feature and should usually work on anything.

Also, it (so far) only runs on Windows. Sooner or later they'll make an EMX Unix version which will run on OS/2, and THEN we'll see the chips fly.

All in all, it's worth having - but don't throw Firefox away yet.

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