Wandering Thoughts archives


My issues with Chrome's handling of extensions

This got long enough that I've pulled it out of the original entry into a standalone entry.

On an ongoing basis, two issues with Chrome extensions especially grate on me. The first is that Chrome extensions are disabled when you're visiting Google's website(s). This has a vaguely sensible excuse for security reasons (Google's website hosts the Chrome extensions), but the side effects are unpleasant since extensions provide significant portions of the browser interface for me (in the form of mouse gestures and middle mouse autoscrolling), plus I am not happy about losing the ability to block all JavaScript.

(No, I don't have Google whitelisted for NoScript in Firefox. Yes, I'm peculiar.)

The second is that NotScripts does not have anywhere near as good an interface as NoScript does. I'm not sure if this is a Chrome limitation or just that NotScripts has not gone the extra distance, but it sort of feels like a Chrome issue to me; given their other behavior with extensions, I find it all too easy to believe that Chrome has deliberately limited what GUI interfaces are available to extensions and forced NotScript to jump through hoops to get even as much as it does now. When I'm using NotScripts, it's less clear what the state of things is on the current page, it's harder and takes me longer to do things, and I feel that the interface is not as clear.

(For example, NoScript lets you deal with multiple JavaScript sources in one trip through its menu. On NotScripts, you can only modify one source at a time; if you have multiple sources, you get to click over and over on the menu. Another example is that I have a NoScript button for 'temporarily enable this site' right by the URL bar, which makes it very convenient; a lot of the time I click the button and I'm done. There is no equivalent I know of in NotScript.)

web/ChromeExtensionIssues written at 02:16:35; Add Comment

More impressions of Google Chrome

It's been a while since I started to use Chrome and in the time since last August I've accumulated more opinions, partly because I gave in and installed the Chrome equivalent of NoScript. The short summary is that I can't imagine making Chrome my regular browser instead of Firefox.

Here is my largest opinion in a nutshell: Chrome's support for extensions is not good enough. It really feels like Google fundamentally doesn't like extensions and supports them only half-heartedly, versus Firefox's wholesale embrace of them.

(This is probably not actually the case.)

The result of this is that using extensions on Chrome (especially interacting with them to control them) is more awkward and limited than using extensions in Firefox. Although I did not realize this back when I started using Chrome, it turns out that I interact with extensions quite a lot and so these issues grate on me as a little quiet background irritation.

(A detailed discussion of this got long enough that I've put it in a separate entry, ChromeExtensionIssues.)

I also have a number of issues with Chrome's interface and how Google is evolving it in various Chrome updates (I can't really call them 'releases' any more); there are things I don't like and things that are inexplicably missing. I could probably fix at least some of the things that irritate me if I worked at it and found the right magic options, but what it boils down to is that Chrome isn't attractive enough to get me to spend that much time on.

(I'm aware that I may wind up rather unhappy with Firefox 4 and future Firefox versions, since I've seen that they're into yanking around the interface in Chrome-like ways.)

Chrome continues to eat Flickr for breakfast, which is what I keep it around for. But my sporadic experiments with using it as a regular browser are basically a failure at this point and I can't imagine that changing. Fundamentally it feels as if what Google wants out of Chrome and what I want out of a browser are too far apart from each other.

web/ChromeImpressionsII written at 02:16:18; Add Comment

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