As the name suggests, it's gonna be about development and technology. I hope you enjoy it!
I wanted to begin with my commentary on Google Chrome, the long-awaited alternative to FireFox, Safari and Opera (sorry, I don't consider IE an alternative at all).
Google did the smartest thing for a new application: they designed the solution, but implemented it using existing open source components, thus avoiding NIH and giving back to the community.
Of course, the new browser is not perfect. I used it for several weeks before going back to FireFox, and I had two big reasons for that: Adblock and Atom/RSS support.
Adblock absence is easy to explain: Google makes money from ads, so it would be against there primary interests to support that kind of plugin.
But what about feeds?
I don't need an embedded reader, or "Live Bookmark" support. I use Google Reader for that.
All I need is feed discovery (i.e. show me the feed icon when a feed is available). Is that so hard?
I also miss other not-so-essential plugins, like BugMeNot or FireBug.
Still, Google Chrome gets many things right. I'd love to see a new browser in the near future (1 year?) that combines the best of FireFox and Chrome. The process is easy:
- Make it simple
- Make it even simpler. Remove everything that's not essential
- Allow me to extend it!
- The Omnibox. After using it, having 2 separate boxes for addresses and search feels wrong.
- Detachable tabs.
- Zero clutter. No menu bar. No fixed status bar. No fixed bookmarks bar. This is very important with wide-screen.
- Automatically adding search engines.
- Startup speed. The cold start times for FireFox are unacceptable.
- One process per tab. Now, a malfunctioning/slow page can't hang my whole browsing session.
- A smart start page. One that I don't want to set to about:blank as soon as I install a browser.
- Fast, fast, fast scripting engine.
- Great in-page search (I belive this comes from WebKit)
- Useful handling of invalid/self-signed certificates. Encryption and trust are two completely separate aspects. It's a shame they are basically tied to each other in the current HTTP implementation.
- Downloading a file to store in my computer is a different action than opening a file with another program (for example, a .DOC or .PDF). Chrome does not make this distintion, and makes me clean the download folder by hand, instead of using a temporary one.
- Popup handling is innovative, but I prefer, to some degree, the FireFox way.