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Google Chrome comic book  (Source: Google)
Google yet again takes aim at Microsoft, with a new Internet browser this time

Google has publicly released its own Web browser, Google Chrome, in an effort to compete with Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, it was revealed over Labor Day weekend.  News of the new browser reached a few select Google users through a 38-page comic book that is available by clicking here.

"We believe we can add value for users and, at the same time, help drive innovation on the web," a blog entry on the official Google Blog reported.  "All of us at Google spend much of our time working inside a browser. We search, chat, email and collaborate in a browser. And in our spare time, we shop, bank, read news and keep in touch with friends -- all using a browser. Because we spend so much time online, we began seriously thinking about what kind of browser could exist if we started from scratch and built on the best elements out there."

Chrome will be available tomorrow for Microsoft Windows users in more than 100 nations, with Google working on a Linux and Apple MacOS X versions in the works.  A time range for the Linux and MacOS X versions has not been released.

The open source browser was built using Apple WebKit, Mozilla Firefox, and other open source technologies -- and Google will open up Chrome so the community has the ability to tinker with it.

Google is engaged in a battle with Microsoft on multiple fronts, with Internet browsing, e-mail, calendars and word processing, and similar services the focus of both companies.  IE is used by 75 percent of internet users, although it has been slowly losing ground to Firefox.  Google and Mozilla recently renewed their working agreement with one another, and the agreement is good until 2011.  

Last week, Microsoft released Internet Explorer 8, offering multiple features lacking from previous IE versions that left users frustrated and annoyed.  Google built a "foundation of a browser that runs today's complex web applications" better than other browsers, utilizing new techniques not used with other browsers.  For example, Google hopes to have faster browsing by using Javascript; using cloud computing to make information available offline; a bug in a single tab will affect just the one tab, not the entire browser like in Firefox and IE; and tabs will be located on top of the address bar.

There has been heavy speculation over the past couple years about Google working on its own internet browser, but the company remained silent about its project.



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Not again...
By Murst on 9/2/2008 1:18:54 AM , Rating: 4
As a web developer, I hope this project is a miserable failure. It is already bad enough to get webpages to behave properly in the different versions of IE, FF, Opera, and Safari... and here is a new browser that aims to introduce its own JavaScript code. I'm sure they'll also have their own interpretation of what CSS standards really mean.

Unfortunately, web stanards don't really mean much when they're not specific enough. We already have "standard-compliant" browsers that require attention so that content on them looks the same. Throw in new a new JavaScript language, and it just seems like this project will create more headaches.




RE: Not again...
By achintya on 9/2/2008 4:42:33 AM , Rating: 2
Erm.. It does not have a "new JavaScript Language". The language is the same, but the engine which does the processing is different. As for attention to different browsers, its mainly the problem of trying to make a web page look the same in IE and FF/Opera/Safari as MS has their own quirks while the other 3 do not have so many of them.

And as a web developer even I too would hope that it does not introduce a new set of headaches with its own interpretation of CSS. The main features I guess it will include is improvement of performance of Google owned websites as well as inclusion of custom elements to better display Google's sites. Not another MS again......


RE: Not again...
By kelmon on 9/2/2008 7:19:32 AM , Rating: 2
Presumably, assuming that Chrome uses the same version of WebKit as used by Safari, a page that renders correctly in one should render correctly in the other. The only hiccup that I see here is that WebKit is independent of Safari and Safari itself is usually using an out-of-date version of WebKit. Given this it is quite possible that Chrome will be using a different version of WebKit than is being used by Safari or other browsers based on the rendering engine.

Best of luck. With the Google brand behind it, I somehow doubt that it will be a failure. For starters, anyone searching via Google will probably start seeing adverts for it. That's a powerful position to be in.


RE: Not again...
By psychobriggsy on 9/2/2008 8:25:32 AM , Rating: 2
Well it is based around the WebKit rendering engine, so what works for Safari should work for this. Basically it will be a standards-compliant renderer.

If IE8 actually gets a decent renderer as well, then I can see a time in three years time when web developers don't need to worry about IE6 and IE7 quirks ever again, and just code clean, standards-compliant web pages.


RE: Not again...
By glennpratt on 9/2/2008 9:24:36 AM , Rating: 1
I really doubt your a web designer of any note. I've never met someone with these kind of complaints who wasn't a MS shill or a Dreamweaver user.

As a part time web designer, I love Firefox, Safari and Opera. Thier differences are subtle and by testing in all three I can iron out a lot of bugs. Then I have to go hack it all up for Internet Explorer, the only one to complain about.


RE: Not again...
By Murst on 9/2/2008 3:49:04 PM , Rating: 2
Do you even know what you're talking about? I'm not sure what kind of web pages you develop, but when you're working with firefox, there is a lot of problems with different mixes of absolutely/relative positioned blocks and z-index. Add in floating elements, and stuff that works perfectly on other browsers (opera, safari, IE), doesn't even display on firefox (without some FF-specific hacks).

Opera is a nightmare when working with even remotely advanced javascript. It wasn't until recently that you were able to even modify anything on the page w/ JavaScript in Opera after the page was done loading. I've also developed some standard-compliant code that played around with positioning backgrounds (PNG, other image types worked fine, but I needed transparancy, and GIF looked horrible) on floated elements, which caused Opera to just crash. How's that for standard-compliance?

My biggest gripe w/ Safari is JavaScript interaction with flash. If you want any decent type of communication between flash and the page that hosts it, you better hope that they're running v3.0+, and even here it is not complete. The newest versions of Safari also tend to interpret HTML closer to IE7 than FF1.5x & 2.0x.

Sorry, but I work in the real world where I need pages to look similar (identical is almost impossible in most cases) across many browsers. And if they can't look similar, they at least have to be somewhat usable on older browsers.


RE: Not again...
By glennpratt on 9/6/2008 5:06:57 PM , Rating: 2
You haven't given any concrete examples here, give me a link.

Here's 167 IE7 positioning bugs for you:
http://www.gtalbot.org/BrowserBugsSection/MSIE7Bug...

You asked if I know what I'm talking about, I've developed 5 commercial sites that look almost identical in modern browsers - using valid markup and CSS layout. I develop with Firefox and Opera first, then make a tweaked style sheet for IE7 and then I have to spend an inordinate amount of time making things look OK in IE6.

I know of a couple float issues with Firefox and IE, that Safari and Opera get right.

As for javascript, I use jQuery and I spend almost no time ironing bugs because most of it has already been tested. But I know enough about javascript to have seen all the poor function implementaions in IE, for example: getElementById() which is a disaster. Microsoft even notes it on MSDN:
quote:
Note This method performs a case-insensitive match on both the ID and NAME attribute, which may produce unexpected results. This behavior is unique to Windows Internet Explorer.


Again, If you'd like to post a link to what your talking about, go right ahead.


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