More impressions of Google Chrome

June 9, 2011

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.

Written on 09 June 2011.
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Last modified: Thu Jun 9 02:16:18 2011
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