Monday, March 30, 2009

Google Chrome - no shine !

After insistent pestering by google fanboy friends of mine (yeah, you !), I gave google chrome a whirl for a few months now. After todays crash of about 3 days of browsing state I am finally uninstalling it. Thought I will publish my observations till date (and no, it is not colored by current angry state of mind - this was written a while back :-) )

Some observations :

  • Unstable. Inspite of the supposed claims of stability due to process isolation, etc - I find it crashing way more frequently than firefox ever did (unless you count some of the FF2/early FF3 releases). These fall into two categories:
  1. A single window crash - fairly common, once every couple of days.
  2. The entire browser crashes - couple of times a week.

Which brings us to :
  • Very poor session recovery.
This is absolutely critical requirement - and chrome does a poor job at it - since a couple of years now (more ?) firefox does a pretty good job of session recovery/save-restore from my experience.
In Google chrome, there is no checkpointing of the state possible - so that it can be restored to after browser restarts (from what I saw), neither does it handle crashes gracefully - so having it working for long is not likely.

I have observed restore working in chrome only a very few times (so I know it exists !) - out of the very many crashes I have suffered, restarts I have made.

  • Cool looks are fine, functionality is more important.
"Coolness" is fine - but when you get down to it, a stable and dependable environment which can be customized to your needs is way more important for daily usage. Even simple things like ad-block is not possible in chrome (and you end up with quite a lot of junk getting transferred which you dont need to begin with). Dont get me started about how much I miss grease monkey !
Another example of functionality I miss is the search bar on the top right corner in firefox, where we can add (multiple) search engines : even IE has copied this off late ... unfortunately, nothing of that sort for Chrome.
It does try to pull something similar in the new tab page, but that just doesn't come anywhere close.

Similarly, the "most visited pages" that they copied from Opera (unacknowledged ?) does not seem to make much sense ... looks more like, the pages I had/used to visit initially got ranked way high and they just sit there off late.

  • Pretty bad debugger/page inspection
I dont do much of javascript/xhtml debugging, but when I do need to look at the source/traffic firebug is streets ahead of what chrome comes with.

The good parts of chrome :
  • Fast startup time. It might be useful to casual users who want to lookup something fast.
Startup is pretty fast - particularly since firefox has progressively become slower over time (is it just me ?).
Note that prefetching in OS'es means that subsequent launches of a program would typically be fast so this is usually relevant for first launch - subsequent launches tend to be pretty fast uniformly across browsers.

  • Fast javascript engine.
I have seen others vouch for this, but this is not something I get to 'see'/notice - I dont do javascript games, and I am sure a milliseconds slower response time to a infrequent user interface action would not be noticable by me :-)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You just mentioned what I am observing for past few months. For me chrome crashes very frequently. Once it even crashed when I was doing a Credit Card transaction :(
Man thats too scary, luckily, I entered wrong CVV number so nothing happened. Only thing I have seen good about chrome is it's startup time.


3/31/2009 05:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmm I havent seen chrome crash on me much. But I dont really keep my browser open for very long. What I love about chrome is the amazing startup speed. It easily beats Firefox (which is my other browser). The sad thing I guess is many of our office pages dont work on chrome, this sucks.
-- param

4/23/2009 12:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mridul,

I am sorry to be a pest. Is there any possibility that we could have a chat about the chess engine?

Daniel Shroff

4/23/2009 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger Anes Amrani said...

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4/11/2012 12:44:00 AM  

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