There’s an incredibly insightful comic (hat tip to Dustin) on the new Google Chrome web browser. It explains a number of the design decisions that the Chrome team has made, and the ramifications behind them. There are some very interesting ideas in this new web browser:
- Instead of taking the pure multi-threaded route, Google has instead opted for a multi-process route. According to their explanation, this requires a larger up-front memory quota, but reduces memory fragmentation over time (the cause of the much misunderstood ‘memory leak’ in Firefox).
- The user interface is quite clever, with tabs appearing above all of the other browser chrome. This groups the controls more logically, and reinforces the separate processes model (you can drag tabs from one window to another, for example).
- Chrome’s security model is clever, again thanks to the multi-process model.
As can be expected with this kind of thing, the media is buzzing about this new entry into the browser space. Some people are heralding its arrival, while others are brushing it off. There are several problems I foresee with Chrome that I believe will prevent it from becoming the new defacto web browser:
- This is the biggest potential flaw with this web browser. According to one report, Chrome is far from accessible. No matter how good Chrome turns out to be from a functionality point-of-view, if it’s not accessible, it won’t be accepted by major corporations or government entities. Given Google’s very poor track record, I don’t have high hopes on improvements in this area.
- No Add-ons
- As far as I know, Chrome does not support add-ons like Firefox. That means no Adblock Plus, CoLT, or Firebug. That’s a deal breaker for me.
- Security Concerns
- Google’s security model for Chrome is clever, but as security problems are found, how quickly will they be patched? Google has never been prompt on releases (the last Google Talk update was in 2006), so I’m leery of how readily they will respond.
- Stupid Name
- Chrome is a ridiculous name. How many millions of other stuff out there has the word ‘chrome’ in it? It doesn’t stand out, and seems a little bland, in my opinion.
I haven’t yet downloaded the browser to try it out, but I plan on doing so soon. Have you tried it out? If so, what do you think?