Google Chrome: A Poor AttemptHot on the heels of my IE8 review, here is my Google Chrome review. I would have had a review up yesterday, when it was released, but since Google isn't smart enough to put the whole program into one file, the auto-installer couldn't get through my proxy to grab the rest of the installer. Luckily, some sysadm was nice enough to grab it and store it in our proxy's cache, so this morning it downloaded fine.
Now normally, I love Google's products. They do everything better. It doesn't matter what it is. First Infoseek was the best search engine, then came Google. Mapquest was the best place for maps and directions, then came Google. Hotmail was the best place for email, then came Google. You'd think my next statement would include Firefox and Chrome, but it doesn't. Chrome, as of it's current release, is a huge disappointment. Why, you ask? Here we go...
Chrome was supposed to be standards compliant. I mean, it uses WebKit as it's rendering engine, and we all know WebKit is the best there is. But apparently they're using a version of WebKit from 1985, because Acid3 is an EPIC FAIL. The first two pictures are of Chrome running Acid3. The next two are the current nightly build of WebKit, just to prove that WebKit does pass Acid3.
Another thing that bothers me is that Chrome doesn't work properly behind a proxy; at least, behind a slow proxy like the one I'm behind. It will always download the base HTML file, but sometimes it doesn't grab anything that's linked, such as CSS or images. Here are two examples of Chrome sucking.
Oh, and you know what else is awesome? The insta-crash button. Well, it's more of a link. Anytime I click the "Learn More" link under "Help make Google Chrome better by automatically sending usage statistics and crash reports to Google," it crashes. Nice feature! Another "feature" that should be fixed is the status bar. Invisible most of the time, the status bar only appears when something is happening. That's great. What isn't great is that the status bar is a separate window. Yup. It doesn't look like it, but do something to make it appear then take a print-screen of the current window (Alt+PrtScn on Windows). You'll notice that the only thing in your screenshot is the status bar. Dumb. And one more thing, the domain highlighting in the address bar doesn't help at all. Instead of just highlighting the domain (whatever.com), they highlight the subdomain also. If you look at my site, "www.kevinslonka.com" is highlighted instead of just "kevinslonka.com." What if my site was http://www.paypal.com.hi-i-is-here-2-steal-your-data.tw? To a normal person, it may look like you're on paypal.com, but you're not. However, with the way that Chrome is highlighting domains, you'd never know. This is one thing that IE8 does right. You should highlight ONLY the domain.
So far I have been bashing Chrome, but it's not all bad. I do like the sleek look. There's nothing visible that isn't necessary. Google has been good about this in all of it's products. I also like the download manager. They took a hint from some of the addon developers for Firefox with the look. And if you choose to view all of your downloads, you get a new tab instead of a new window.
I wish this article would have been more than just describing all of Chrome's faults, but it's not. I, along with everyone else, expect a lot more from Google. You may try to defend them by saying, "it's a beta, it's not finished." GMail is a beta, and has been for 50 years. You may be constantly working to add new features, but that doesn't mean your product is a beta. If you release it, it better not suck, especially if you're Google.