For a creature of habit like me it was a difficult move, but I have finally migrated from Internet Explorer v6 (IE6), and not just to v7 or v8. As long as I was making a leap, I went out on a limb and started using Google's browser, Chrome. While occasionally I find myself back on IE6 for a few sites, Chrome has become my default surfing window into the world wide web.
Chrome comes in 3 flavors, known as channels, Stable, Beta, and Dev. I took the middle ground and settled on the Beta channel, what I would call the Goldilocks version, not too safe but not too risky. For the most part I like this browser and as new versions go online and are automatically downloaded, it just keeps growing on me.
Chrome is fast and clean. It launches much quicker than IE or Firefox and it has an impressive response time, specially for the Web 2.0'ish pages that seem to be everywhere these days. And the so-called omnibox (combined search and URL bar) is an ingenious feature. But for all of its goodness, there are still a few areas that it falls short. Here are my top 3 pet peeves with Chrome:
• View source - Like other browsers, Chrome does allow one to view the HTML source of a page but not correctly after a form is submitted. This still stymies me at times, until I realize that when viewing page source, Chrome appears to make a fresh request to the URL rather than just display the current content. This results in displaying source code that is inconsistent with the page that's resulted from a POST operation, such as a form submission. This bug needs to be fixed.
• Image properties – Just about all browsers allow users to get the properties of an image (URL, size, dimensions, etc.), generally via a right-click and selecting "Properties". There's no such capability in Chrome. The "Inspect Element" menu item just loads the page source and positions the cursor at the declaration of the image tag. Hardly helpful for obtaining image properties.
• Referrer settings – This one can be generalized into allowing users to tweak low-level browser features. Chrome has a number of nice commands like about:memory and about:dns, but where is about:config, as in Firefox? One of the browser features I like to disable is the Referrer. I know this could lead to some usability issues on some sites, but I despise giving sites any information about myself including where I'm arriving from. Chrome doesn't allow any such tweaks, but it should.
Ok, I know Chrome's source code is out there and I could edit and recompile, but really I'm not that desperate 🙂