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2008-09-03 09:39:45

Google Chrome: A Poor Attempt

Hot 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 (, they highlight the subdomain also. If you look at my site, "" is highlighted instead of just "" What if my site was To a normal person, it may look like you're on, 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.



2008-09-03 10:52:19

Joe says...
Uhm, you're way off base dude...

As far as browsers go, for a Beta, it kicks butt... IE8's domain highlighting is crap, and they've been called on it many times (they should BOLD the domain, not gray out the other bits)

I'm sure that Chrome will grab a later version of the core WebKit later (with better standards), but right out of the beta box it kicks IE8's beta, and since MSFT has been at this for years, I don't think the attempt is bad at all. The dev tools for sure are way better than IEs.

2008-09-03 12:22:52

slonkak says...
In no way was I saying that IE was better than Chrome. It's not. I was just saying that Chrome's domain highlighting falls short of IE's, however bad it may be.

I just expect a lot more from Google. They have had the opportunity to see every other company and how they've succeded/failed and yet their first release isn't that great. It's good, better than IE, but it's not up to Google's standards.

2008-09-03 13:11:34

t.leary says...
I have found the acid test looks fine when taking acid and using google chrome.

2008-09-03 20:41:59

10010011101 says...
In essence, it's a retarded version of Opera 9...

2008-09-03 20:53:51

slonkak says...
@t.leary Wow.

@10010011101 Just to go on the record, I absolutely hate Opera. My hate stems from the ad-supported days, but it still lingers because Opera looks like crap. Even though Chrome kind of looks like Opera... But, until Chrome gets an updated WebKit, I am using WebKit as my default browser.

2008-09-03 20:59:45

10010011101 says...
WebKit VS Opera - The showdown.

2008-09-04 11:43:53

Anonymous says...
wine 1.1.3+:

2008-09-04 14:31:03

slonkak says...
@Anonymous I assume you've seen my Tweets... I still can't get Chrome for QT compiled. I'll just wait for the official binary to be released. They've already released the code, so it shouldn't be too much longer.

2008-09-05 18:39:32

Anonymous says...
wine little baby heres a breakdown of the Google Chrome browser and how good it really is

2008-09-05 19:05:49

slonkak says...
hahaha. Oh man, that site was made by a 5 year old. The grammar rocks! I need to take lessons. Thanks for the laugh.

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