In a stunning display of dick-measuring, FireFox has countered Google’s Chrome browser by claiming New Firefox JavaScript engine is faster than Chrome’s V8

Give me a break. If this new JS engine in FF was so good, why has noone heard of it until AFTER Chrome was launched? Coincidence? I think not.

And more importantly, even if the new JS engine in FF has been around for some time, the fact is that Chrome beat them to the market. Stop talking shit and show me the money.

This morning at work we had a conundrum – one of our client’s websites was displaying the infamous “This page contains unsecured content” message when you navigate to the secured (HTTPS) version of their website.

In order to work out which parts of the page were making references to unsecured (HTTP) content, I could either start by trial and error and target code I believe might be causing the problem. Possibly time-consuming and in the end no guarantee I will work it out.

Enter Google Chrome. This new little beauty has a built in debugging console, which allows me to inspect JS elements on the page, or view any errors which are thrown. and coincidentally, it perfectly listed all the URLs which were being referenced via the unsecured scheme. It’s unreal. Just saved me 10-20 mins of unnecessary work.

Well first thing i have to state is that unlike FireFox, the initial download is actually a 500KB downloader which actually gets the full Chrome package off the net. Just how big is the full package? Well Chrome drops itself into the %Program FilesUserLocal SettingsApplication DataGoogleChrome directory, and the installer there is about 22MB, so not terribly big.

Its also nice to see that after installing, Chrome will import my bookmarks (not that I use any). You need to close FF in order for it to access the bookmark data file (presumably) but that’s really a negligible issue.

i’m somewhat surprised that Google have seemingly ignored the use of standard windows controls for the application. It doesn’t adhere to my Windows theme, there’s no menu system at all. It really is the minimalist app, but they must have gone to a lot of effort to make it look and work like that.

[UPDATE 1]
Chrome allows you to customise which search engine is your default and interestingly enough, it’s actually modified the list of available search engines based on my locality and the services provided. So I can choose Yahoo7, Sensis or ninemsn as my default search engine…

[UPDATE 2]
Scarily enough, Chrome has a “Passwords” section in its options dialog which allows you to see all usernames and passwords that it has kept track of during your browsing session…..Or as in my case, the passwords it has imported from FireFox. I never realised just how much data my browser was keeping for me…

[UPDATE 3]
The address bar text is color coded!! Simple idea, pretty effective, too. The domain portion of the URL is in full-black colour, and all other parts of the URL are in a lighter, grey colour in order to emphasise the fact that you’re still viewing a primary site, and not interested in the subdirectories below the top. And when you’re viewing a site which is encrypted with SSL, the “https” scheme is green in colour.

[UPDATE 4]
Boy it’s fast. very fast. And the popup-blocker is non-obtrusive!

[UPDATE 5]
Lol this is great. It even has a built-in task manager for micro managing any tabs which get out of control! For each tab, it clearly tabulates the memory usage, the CPU usage and live bandwidth that tab is consuming. At the bottom of the tab, is a link “Stats for nerds” which takes you to the URL “about:memory”, and gives you a complete breakdown of all memory usage (physical and virtual) for all internal threads.

[UPDATE 6]
This is bizzare….The DNS resolver built into Chrome seems to ignore any overrides I specify in my HOSTS file….I have changed the resolving IP for Site A in the hosts file, and despite many <CTRL>-F5 refreshes, Chrome is still adamant on using the old IP. There is an option called Use DNS pre-fetching to improve page load performance in the Options dialog. Only after turning this option OFF and restarting Chrome did it faithfully adhere to my HOST entry override. This might catch other people out there.

[UPDATE 7]
Most applications have external dialogs for configuration, or options, or downloaded files etc…I’ve noticed that Chrome does away with a lot of these. The Options dialog is probably the only desktop-level window apart from the main browser window itself. Everything else is represented as an HTML page in the browser itself. (sorry i correct myself – the task manager is another top-level dialog)

[UPDATE 8]
Very cool – I can drag-drop tabs from FF into Chrome. This is a BIIIIG boon considering i’m a tab-slut and have no less than 10-15 open at any one time.

[UPDATE 9]
Chrome attaches a little resize “grip” to the bottom left of any HTML <textarea> control. This allows you to resize the textarea beyond what the original designers intended – perfect for those designers who still have websites running in “1990’s” mode (ie: 800×600)

[UPDATE 10]
Cute. When you forcibly kill a process using Chome’s built-in task manager, the offending page changes to the following:
Chrome Error Page
…I guess the obviosu problem here is that there is no Reload button…..but i digress….. :)

[UPDATE 11]
Well this just bugs me. The address-bar search feature seems to take precendent over the fact that I haven’t entered a scheme in my URL, and therefore won’t resolve my website unless I specifically put “http”.
For example: If i create a host header entry called mywebsite.localhost and navigate to “mywebsite.localhost” in Chrome (nb: no HTTP://), it takes me to a Google search with that web-address as the search seed. IMO what it *SHOULD* have done was to try and resolve mywebsite.localhost FIRST, and IFF it couldn’t resolve, should it fall-back to the keyword search.
After you enter the scheme for the first time (and it resolves), Chrome learns that mywebsite.localhost is actually a site, and in future will resolve the website without requiring the scheme to be input.

This bugs me because i constantly enter URLs without entering a scheme. Moreover, as a web-developer i’m creating lots of host-header entries in order to run multiple websites too, so without entering HTTP the first time around for each URL, i’ll end up going to search when I didn’t actually need to. Very simple fix, guys – it would be nice if you could do it!

[UPDATE 12]
My enthusiasm for Chrome and what it represents has been recognised by my fan base in New Zealand. In an effort to try and achieve *some* work today, This will be my last update to this entry…
Application shortcuts are very cool. You can take any tab in Chrome, click the Options icon and select Create Application Shortcuts…This creates a launcher shortcut for Chrome to open in a very specific window, designed to make it looks and feel like a desktop-application.
Why does this excite me? Because I authored a project to do exactly that about 5 years ago, and it was incorporated and sold into a suite of products at the time. Unlike Chrome, my software was built using Internet Explorer’s rendering engine, but the “browser-less” concept was the same – to make a web-application feel like a desktop app…..And to the best of my knowledge, the project is still in use.