Friday, September 5, 2008

My Thoughts On Google Chrome (FWTW)

Since I have sometimes posted on things Googlish in this blog, I thought I would mention that my first experience with the beta version of Google's Chrome browser was less than ecstatic.

Until I tried Chrome, I had no idea how prevalent Macromedia's Adobe's Shockwave Flash is. Chrome definitely has a bug when it comes to the Flash plugin. I found blog postings where other people claimed that reinstalling Flash solved the problem for them, but that certainly did not work for me. On the positive side, every time Chrome put up an error message in response to the Flash bug saying that it would have to close, it never did close, and I could continue my browsing uninterrupted. I just couldn't see all the pretty, flashing pictures. Maybe that's a good thing.

I also did not experience the blazing speeds that some bloggers were talking about, especially for library-type applications like OPAC searching or pulling up result lists in WorldCat. I did find the option for the default phishing filter and turned it off, which noticeably improved speeds, but my perception was that it was still taking longer than either IE or FireFox to display results pages.

People have already started finding security flaws, and there was the EULA flap over the early version of Google's agreement that stated in section 11.1,

"By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services."

The kinder, gentler version of 11.1 now simply reads, "11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services." (Remember "Don't be evil"?)

I also missed the ability to install my toolbar that lets me lookup words on easily plus a number of other standard browser amenities like decent bookmark management.

In short, I think Google Chrome has a long way to go yet, and I uninstalled it. (Kudos, Google, on the cute uninstall message--"Was it something we said?") I'm sure I'll be coming back for another look, though, once more of the rough edges have been knocked off. I wonder how long until the library vendors start listing Chrome as a supported browser?

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