some sane commentary on Chrome
Last week, Google released a web browser called Chrome, and the online tech media had a powerful Googasm. We were long overdue for another climax like this, having been lightly stimulated with half-baked Google web products in the four years since GMail was released. Every time the media fires off its gravy so violently, it …
some sane commentary on Chrome
Isn't it just basically WebKit with a tabs in processes? aka Safari aka Konqueror.
It's nice and fast 'n' all. But what's the fuss?
When someone asks if I tried it, I say "yes, only to discover it only really offers me the stuff Opera has been delivering for years".
you know the one - where you rent the software apps that run on server somewhere (which is obviously a software house's accountants wet dream) - I first recall it under Java, then Dot Net, then Ajax now Chrome (though I sure it has been seen many other times - but I was asleep) - and it is far away as it ever was, just like everyone using citrix style thin clients
But do I detect an element of anger the article ;)
Mines the one with despite everything - I still prefer IE :p
What I most like about this article is the constant use of "shit", "asshole" and fuck, it's brilliant! Keep it up because that's face it there's not enough wrtiting like this that makes me laugh.....
I personally can't stand the idea of another half baked google product, when it actually comes out of beta in 2299 I might consider installing it, presuming that I've got google coffin edition installed......(no nicking that idea google)
I really don't get the elite web browser market/idea, I couldn't give a shit to be honest, IE7 works, it displays web pages, loads flash, lets me use the web apps I want (banking etc) it crashes and then causes my whole box to reboot but that's just time spent grabbing a coffee and a break! What pisses me off is the constant high pitched squeel from the user community going on about how great the lastest version of mozilla/firefox/ie8/chrome/anyotherbrowser is, face it, WHO CARES!!!
An hilarious article, as funny as it is true.
I'm not convinced that this isn't just Google themselves peddling this stuff to give Muckysoft a quick dose of the heebyjeebies or something like that. I'm just glad that somebody is finally debunking at least one myth about the technology that is being peddled under the guise of all new buzzwords and hype but, when you look closely at it, it's just a return to the same old stuff I've been seeing in the industry since day one.
> only to discover it only really offers me the stuff Opera has been delivering for years
... only less so
- mouse gestures, accessibility rendering, image disabling, JS debugging...
And webkit doesn't _quite_ render properly either, css layout is a little bugged.
...except that it has fewer features, no adblocker, and has vulnerabilities that were fixed in WebKit weeks (or months) ago.
I've had IT-savvy friends of mine telling me it's "so fast" and they prefer it over Firefox because "they prefer simpler GUIs and don't use tabs". WTF?
This is the iPhone of the browser world. It looks pretty, does a couple of things nicely, but otherwise is miles behind in the technology. Although it does have nice ads, a dumb-ass comic to promote it, and a hord of fanbois to make out it's the best thing since sliced bread. Perhaps we should refer to it as the Jesus Browser? ;)
I'm so bored of every article (and not just the IT-based media) being about Chrome. Please don't become obsessed with it, El Reg.
Excessive profanities aside, this article sums my feelings up nicely.
I admit I like Chrome, but it is just a Web Browser. That's it. It's not that exciting.
You are a God amongst journalists - may your rants continue unabaited :-D
Very, very true. No surprise that El Reg is that rarest of things in tech reporting - a voice of reason.
"chrome is to increase opportunities for underrepresented minority and female students to enter science" - according to googlism :) but clearly we have the truth because it is also "chrome is a flash from the past" - been there, seen it, got the tee shirt...
I'll get me coat...
It's lovely to read a simple, accurate and well balanced story about Chrome by people who actually understand it.
>However, a significant number of the users you IT admins support are reading shit like this, and will be putting in support tickets to have Google Chrome OS installed on their computers as soon as possible, because they've had enough of Windows and are ready for a change
It's great. As soon as the Linux version is ready, there will be a Ubuntu + Chrome install DVD doing the rounds...
Any excuse ;-)
Ben: "But what's the fuss?"
It's made by Google, it's therefore COMPULSORY to make a fuss.
Didn't you get the memo?
I'm putting the finishing touches to my meta-meta OS. Then I will have made a CLOUD OPERATING SYSTEM VIRTUALIZATION REALM that is not only O/S independent but will run INSIDE and INDEPENDENTLY OF the browser!
It will go head-to-head-to-head with Microsoft Office and Google Maps as the OS of choice! I call it VAPOR O/S.
Here is the source code for version 0.1:
<HTML><BODY><INPUT ID="loc" NAME="loc" TYPE="text" VALUE="http://gmail.com"><INPUT TYPE="button" ONCLICK="window.location=getElementById('loc').value;"></BODY></HTML>
"Case in point: People saying that Google Chrome is an operating system designed to compete head-to-head with Microsoft Windows."
Ok then, Ted, how about we call it a Windows OS Driver for AI Beta Vistas. A Third Party Hypervisor Remote Plug In........ although that would also be an operating system designed to compete head-to-head with Microsoft Windows ..... when So Configured/So Coded .... but as Ben has said it is only a clone of Pathfinding ForeRunners ...... ."Isn't it just basically WebKit with a tabs in processes? aka Safari aka Konqueror.
It's nice and fast 'n' all. But what's the fuss?" ... By Ben Posted Monday 8th September 2008 12:09 GMT
I don´t get WTF this article is supposed to be about. Not only is CHROME a great OS it even has a build in browser its like having Windows AND Internet explore build into one OS. Its great so stop the damm moaning and switch away from Winblows to the future. In CHROME.
I'm sure it's been cathartic to write that down, but I don't think it's added much to the sum of human knowledge.
To me the underpinning truth of the hype around "the browser as the OS" noise - which has been going on for far longer than Chrome has been around - is that the more you can do in the browser the less you need in the OS. So the argument isn't that Chrome is going to replace Windows, and your destruction of that straw man demonstrated nothing of value, though it appears to have brought you great satisfaction.
Small, embedded OS + services coming from the network can benefit from the sorts of technologies Chrome - and others - are demonstrating.
as I type this.
Hope to god someone's given Ted his blood pressure medication after that (well put) rant.
if not, he can have some of mine.
This is what we want!
Contender for FOTY, I say.
So uses webkit but an earlier version than the current safari and it needs patching.
Design it's ok, minimal.
Hope the guys at Opera and Konqueror aren't too pissed off.
Yes it may have given Microsoft a prod, but I really doubt it.
All in all I'd say not bad for a first stab at it, just really would have expected better.
Now don't get me wrong, I do like Chrome. It's hella fast, and for general surfing, it's great.(Aside from the fact it mis-renders some pages and won't let me log into eBay for some reason.) That said, I'm typing this in Firefox for a reason. Chrome's developer tools look like a nice start, but in Firefox I've got Firebug, Console2, IETab, the Web Developer toolbar, ReloadEvery, and so on. When I want to surf, I use Chrome because there's no denying it's faster/easier. When I want to develop or get some work done, I use FF, because it's better.
All that said, Chrome is still a beta, so all those chucking spunk and brimstone over it should calm the hell down and see what the finished product is like.
Then again, does Google ever take anything out of beta, or is the beta label its catch-all excuse should anything go wrong? I seem to remember Google Maps being in "beta" for years.
And found that I much prefer IE8... all the features I wanted from a web browser were already on IE and I didn't see the point of using a third web browser (though I don't use Firefox either these days...)
Just to let you fucks know, any fucking comments about the fucking swearing in this bastard are getting fucking nixed because it's fucking boring.
Not really a word safe article, especially if I were in college and their filters picked up the profanity, but fuck it, I'm not in college, nice read :D
This is the best article I've read all year. Well played, sir.
"the Special Olympics of tech media"
that's a classy analogy
Please, more articles like this. And more swearing! It's just so... right.
...saw pricks like Michael Arrington, Robert Scoble et al for the clueless circle-jerking charlatans they are.
Arrington even defends himself (badly) when challenged in the TechCrunch comments...
The previous persons comments are in speech marks.
Michael Arrington - September 1st, 2008 at 4:50 pm PDT
“The browser is not the OS nor is it an OS replacement.”
sure it is.
“The browser is a installed application replacement. You still need an OS to actually power the machine”
correct. and linux works just fine.
“if you think web apps are going to replace a desktop OS anytime soon you are clueless. ”
Have you looked at what MySpace did with gears? Look, then comment.
Urm, so he thinks that installing Linux and Chrome means that he has a PC with Chrome as the operating system? What an idiot.
"Every time the media fires off its gravy so violently, it highlights how little some of the supposed "experts" actually know about computers."
You had me at gravy! :)
PS: Sarah Bee - where is the naughty swearword icon?? Ah well, Paris will have to do!
I have seen people moan about it being 'work safe' as well, although I assume that's what you meant.
Let me make this perfectly clear - if your IT dept and senior management think that their staff shouldn't see swear words on the net, then you are either working in a primary school, or your management are a bunch of dribbling fuckwits and you need to get a new job, possibly preceded by a nice, long, send-to-all email detailing what a bunch of pious muppets you [no longer] work for.
Fab rant, I repeat my suggestion of Dziuba for CTO of the US, if not the world.
Keep it up people....
Good points well made, as ever. A shit storm of hype about .... nothing. It is indeed JAFWB® and not even an especially exciting one at that.
"but I don't think it's added much to the sum of human knowledge."
Well, I for one didn't know that there really were people calling themselves tech journalists who didn't understand the rather easy to spot difference between a web browser and an OS. So I found that part quite enlightening.
It probably ought to sadden me, but instead I'll just let it bleed in to my smug sense of superiority.
And of course : Mod +1 for swearies and fuck the haters.
Much like the Obama campaign with the press spewing platitudes over someone they know nothing about.
Paris -- "Cuz she always likes a good 'gasm
Jesus covered in slice bread, and anyone who says otherwise smells of elderberries and has a hamster for a mother.
> four years since GMail was released.
Just checked, and Gmail is still a beta release, BTW.
"...except that it has fewer features, no adblocker"
As Google's only form of income is ads, I didn't feel too surprised by this.
As for tech blogging being just like a First World War Infantry charge, you really have to wonder at some people's sense of perspective.
And the award for 'Most Gratuitous Use Of The Word "Fuck" In A Serious Article' goes to... Ted Dziuba!
I don't know about opera or safari, but I thought "nice and fast" and "tabs in processes" was new and the whole point of it. It isn't really that exciting but good "under-the-hood" engineering isn't to be sniffed at. Isn't the point that you can deliver web-based apps in a manner such that one flash app doesn't take out your webmail when it crashes?
It Isn't visually stunning, but it raises state of the art rather rather more than the addition of tabbed browsing to IE. Maybe it will never become much, but if it pushes the other browsers to be something better, then its to be commended.
Google didn't expect to win large converts from opera, ff or even ie with this. Anyone who thought that didn't read the gomics - its all about processes, security, memory management and a more robust client architecture for delivering web applications. Its rather boring computer-science type stuff rather than "Ooh, with this new UI, I can access facebook just by _thinking_ about it!"
Paris - she didn't read the manual either.
... then Chrome is the old "Bangety Bang Bang", "Stabitty Stab Stab" joke.
"...it's hard to imagine a world where everything (and I mean everything) is done in a browser."
In the '60s it was impossible to imagine a world where computers would be more ubiquitous than motor cars. In the '70's it was difficult to imagine a world where all those computers would be connected at virtually no cost. In the '80s who would have dreamt of smoke-free offices and pubs? In the '90s, who saw Google coming?
Hard to imagine a world changing this fast. But it is.
You're all missing the point:
CHROME IS SHINY
If I could get Chrome on my iPhone, I think I would ejaculate every time I turned it on.
Where do I donate to your cause of reason my good man , my favorite article of year so far 10/10
So IT journalists know nothing about the technology? Big deal.
Motoring journalists, motorcycle journalists, cycling journalists, photography journalists and all the rest like to pretend they know something about the engineering behind their favourite tech, but they don't. Most of them are end users of said technology with some sort of ability to turn a phrase. Read, for example, any car magazine and you will find journalists spouting crap about motoring tech in a hilariously self assured way, they all think they know more than the people who's bread and butter is designing and building cars.
It is indeed just a web browser, but for most of the morons you quote the web browser is the OS because that's all they see of it. They log on, they open IE. Many of them would probably be surprised to learn that you can actually run other browsers on Windows and have been able to for years.
The saddest part of this is that Google claim to be developing a version for Linux, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that the finished Linux version is just the Windows version packaged to run under WINE. Chrome replacing Windows? Chrome relying on Windows tech more like.
Whilst I agree with the sentiment that Chrome is grossly overhyped and has attracted a huge amount of ignorant press, I will also take issue with the very simplistic and technically naive dismissal of the nature of the threat to what are regarded as conventional operating systems. This article misunderstands what an operating system is, and what it does. Common simplistic views of an operating system think of things like Windows, Linux, MacOS. These are not operating systems in the accepted technical meaning. They are large operating environments layered on top of operating systems.
In general an operating system is a simple idea - it provides a host environment within in which user programs run. That is it. This host environment is a virtual system that runs atop the native hardware. Probably the most critical nature of an OS is that it provides a useful abstract machine that can be reasonably independent of the hardware. After this it is generally accepted that a useful OS includes in the abstract machine the following: a protection/securtity model, resource management, a name space, persistent storage. In a modern system, add to that a network access mechanism (which pretty much means TCP/IP).
That is it. All the other stuff is utilities. Not operating system. Now there is no doubt that Chrome (being as it really adds nothing to what most other browsers already do) does not implement much of this - but it does abstract over it - and it provides therefore a new abstract machine layer - which is mostly independent of the underlying host OS.
It is in the word "mostly" where the threat lies. Currently the host OS provides a local name space and persistent storage. (Unix unifies the two totally. Windows never quite understood that trick.) Most people call this pair the file system. Local apps run against the local file system. The cuckoo's egg in the browser/cloud is that these now start to leak away. Not that they have not been leaking for a long time already. But when the core name space of the host environment ceases to be the local name space/file system, and persistent storage migrates off the machine as well, the remaining OS functionality is seriously emasculated. Here persistent storage will migrate to inside the walled cities of Google.
MS understood this idea a very long time ago. They tried in their usual manner to create an MS centric, whole of planet name space. That and the associated security and authentication mechanisms. One ring to rule them all. History showed that they failed.
Google are trying again. Sure, you might pour cold water on the notion that pathetic applications written in a scripting language that should have been strangled at birth in a bug ridden security nightmare is an operating system. But the reality is that it is an operating system. Although it piggy backs on top of the work done by the host OS, it still provides a new abstraction layer that meets the definition of an OS. And it does it in an insidious and dangerous manner. What matters is not that it provides nothing technically new, or that it is pretty awful. What does matter is that it is a new attempt to control the name space, provide the associated persistent storage, and soon the authentication and security mechanisms. One ring to rule them all again. Frodo, it seems, still has work to do.
I want to start out by making one thing clear, I don't think Chrome is an OS, it is just another browser.
However, is it the beginning. Are Google planning on creating a GLinux distro that runs Chrome, nothing else just Chrome. For your average broadband enabled home user would they notice if they did not have office but had Google Docs? Would they care if they could get it on a CD in Dixons the same way you used to be able to get Freeserve disks?
I personaly would not get sucked into such a ploy but it does not mean that I can say the same for Mr Joe Luser ?
Just a though.....
PS Why no halo/horn icon for Larry Page and Sergey Brin
'it's hard to imagine a world where everything (and I mean everything) is done in a browser'
sorry what is Windows GUI?
isn't that a browser??
or how about we all set our desktops to be 'active desktop' and hey presto windows becomes a browser, its not that far fetched, the 2 will one day merge.
Frikkin aliems have been doing it for years.
(they prefer to be called aliems, they told me so's)
Fact. It really is like a watered down Opera for the people who can't afford free. I don't know who those people are, but I guess they deserve whatever they get.