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Google Chrome Released September 3, 2008

Posted by razasayed in general.
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I recently downloaded and checked out Google Chrome , the open source browser developed by Google , and i must say that its a pretty innovative browser design . However the browser is still in its early stage in tune with Googles philosophy of “Launch early and iterate” , so i wont be shifting to Chrome from Firefox just as yet 😉 . The first thing we notice in Chrome is its minimalist design much like the Google homepage . Google says it doesnt want the browser to get in the way of the users browsing experience, but rather help them get to the content they want as easily and efficiently as possible.

The Windows version has been released and they are going to soon come up with the Linux and Mac flavors too. Now, why another browser when there are already established ones in the market like Microsoft IE , Apple Safari , and Mozilla Firefox (this ones my personal favorite 🙂 ) ?

Well, according to Google, the current browsers were made considering the Web as it used to be , not how it is now . Nowadays , the Web (a.k.a Web 2.0) is more about applications than just websites , and hence keeping this in mind they have designed a browser from scratch considering the Web as it is now and where it is heading.

In current browsers, all tabs are loaded into a single process, so if something goes wrong in one tab the entire browser crashes . Also, if we open and close many tabs then things like Memory fragmentation happen which slows down the entire browser .

Google says it has solved this problem by making use of a technique found in many modern day operating systems . Chrome makes use of a multi-process architecture where each tab is a separate process, so things like fragmentation and problems in one tab bringing down the whole browser dont happen . Chrome also makes use of a more powerful JavaScript engine, V8, to power the next generation of web applications that aren’t even possible in today’s browsers.

Also, another first in Google Chrome is the Task Manager, which is similar to the Task Manager in operating systems . The Chrome Task Manager shows you exactly how much memory is being used by each website you have open .  So, if you find some resource hogging webpage then you can kill it without affecting the other pages you have opened . Now this ones really clever, isnt it ?.

Another interesting feature is the ‘Incognito Mode‘ . Webpages that you open and files downloaded while you are incognito won’t be logged in your browsing and download histories; all new cookies are deleted after you close the incognito window .  Now this should delight all those naughty people out there who more often than not have forgotten to cover their tracks by clearing their browsing history and saved cookies…lol  😉

If you want to check out all the major engineering decisions that went behind developing Google Chrome then check out their comic-book .

Google Chrome is completely open source , it makes use of components from various open source projects like Apples WebKit and Mozilla Firefox , and hence wants others to be able to make use of its technology and improve it further . Chromium is the open source project behind Google Chrome . If you are interested in hacking chromium check out http://code.google.com/chromium/ .

Now having talked about whats there in Chrome  , i would now like to suggest a few things i found missing and would love to see in future versions :

1. Support for extensions . This is one of the place where Firefox really rocks and i think if Chrome is to have the cult like following enjoyed by Firefox then this one is a must have .

2. Smart location bar , something like the ‘Awesome Bar’ of Firefox .

3. Bookmark Tagging . This would allow tags as shortcuts in the address bar .

Alright, so heres wishing the Chrome project all the very best 🙂 .