Friday, September 05, 2008

Chrome. Google's browser or something else ?

Chrome, the 'browser' from google is available for downloads. I would not like to call it a browser though. Web browsers, historically, have been used to 'browse' the web since the ancient days but things have changed drastically since the late 90s. In the old times all we had were 'web-pages' and now the cyberspace provides more than just static information, this is the time of 'web-services'. Chrome is a browser to make the best out of these services available online today. This would be the perfect solution for those of you who like to play online games, listen to music, chat, etc. THIS IS THE NEXT EVOLUTION IN BROWSER HISTORY.

One of the major architectural changes in chrome is the multi-process approach. Most of us have experienced browser crashes and long 'hold-ups' for which some obstinate javascript applications may be responsible. Chrome changes this experience by refining the old 'single-execution-thread' approach and adopting the new multiple processes. A sneak peek at the 'processes window' (try pressing alt+ctrl+del)will give you an idea of what I mean by multiple-processes. Web apps like gmail would work the best with Chrome.
Another major feature of Chrome is the elegant use of Gears (the amazing research project of google labs which is already surfacing in some of the most wonderful projects). Gears, in a nutshell, is an 'thing' which will enable online applications to run offline (with a few constraints). For example, if I happen to go offline which I'm in the process of publishing this post Gears would make sure that I don't lose any of my work and I will continue to 'work' as if I was still online.
The design, look and feel is very refreshing and revolutionary. The tab placement is well thought of.
An amazing feature is the 'incognito' window. If you want to browse without leaving a track of all you did online the options that most popular browsers (Firefox and IE) give you is a complete deletion of browsing history this could be a little disturbing if you don't wish to lose all your 'history' but rather want a selective deletion. The 'incognito window' gives you an option to choose which records should be preserved and which should not.
A clever move to fight malware and other attacks is to allow each of the processes to run in a sandbox without harming your system (the user, however, has to be alert about the add-ons that she installs).
There is an interesting 'comic' that you can read about Chrome here.

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