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Google Chrome: Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
September 3, 2008|DesignDevelopmentOp/Ed

Google Chrome: Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

ChromeThe world doesn't need another web browser. As a web designer this move by Google to further tighten their stranglehold on the web is annoying as hell. With the addition of Google Chrome to the wonderful world of the interwebs, this simply means there will be another browser than will need to be develop and tested for. Why? Why do we need another browser?

With IE, Firefox, Opera, Flock, Safari, and the various of these that render a web page differently there are already like 15 browsers/variations that could be tested for; so sure, by all means let's add another! But at least they have this comic book to make me feel better about it.

After playing with it for a while, it's nice enough, but there is a lot of work left to be done. Sure, I know it's a beta – but that's why they put it out right? To get feedback? What I have found is that naturally it renders differently than everything else, also handling JavaScript and forms sufficiently different that functions, features and layouts were broken. I've seen divs that have scrollbars where none are present anywhere else, check boxes and radio buttons not showing up in forms at all, the HTML content of a pop-up page not loading and the chrome of the UI itself doesn't render correctly with WindowBlinds, and still turns ugly with missing parts when I disable it. The UI funkiness with WindowBlinds surprised me, in that every other application I run (except iTunes) will run perfectly under it with the specified skin. So this leads me to wonder if Google is doing something funky with the Chrome window in Windows; something out of the ordinary. Which, is more than likely due to the way they handle tabs, and the lack of the traditional menu at the top of the window.

I know I'm being sarcastic, but hey… that's what I do. I do like it though, it's clean and simple. The UI isn't so foreign that it would prohibit me from getting into it quickly, and it has some nice features; for a browser which looks to be designed after a Poke-ball that is….

The biggest issue is that we don't need another browser to have to design to. There are more than enough browsers available with their own little idiosyncrasies that having one more just makes building pages that much harder. I know, WebKit is standards based, but that's what Opera and Firefox say too and they render things differently. IE 8 is supposedly the most standards oriented IE version yet, but so far the beta hasn't impressed me with it's ability to not break the web.

I don't know if I will ultimately like Chrome more or less than Firefox, but I do know my development life just got that much more difficult.

 

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  • RadRoj
    September 6, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Another one? Sometimes it seems like everyone has to make something new, but the same. Pretty soon we will have the iGoogle, if we don’t already, since I don’t pay attention anymore. 😉

  • September 27, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    i think google chrome was needed to exploit the google applications, gmail, and other services that are going to be rolled out by google. they don’t want to conform to the standards of others so now if things aren’t working on other browsers, they can just say “just use chrome.”

  • September 27, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    yeah… that wouldn’t be too surprising either. I’ve been using it a while now, and it’s nice – but too bland yet for what I like about Firefox. It will be interesting to see what happens when folks start building add-ons for it and after it is a full release.

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