posted by Georgios Kasselakis on Wed 3rd Sep 2008 15:14 UTC

Google Chrome, Page 2

And as expected a new javascript engine to be tested against was also introduced. The idea of using a virtual machine to serve javascript is also used by Microsoft in the Silverlight containers, pushing to massive performance gains. The difference is that Microsoft isn't pushing this in the browser itself, making it a target for testing in traditional web pages.

As more details get revealed, we are told that the fact that the script engine is fully virtualized and that it uses more memory to keep tabs on how the rest of the memory is used is a good thing. While it is true that this will lead to a more acceptable experience in demanding applications, it's putting a significant overhead on simpler ones that do basic things.

And then the real intentions are revealed. This is all meant to enable real heavy pages, not benefit the vast majority of use cases. It would be great if we knew the overall percent difference in memory usage on the pages that are tested for rendering conformance.

This is a very bold claim, and incidentally it's how the Opera browser works. This makes sense initially, however it means a few things:

  • You have to traverse more pixels each time you switch to a page.
  • The only reason why you wouldn't want the traditional model where buttons effect the active tab is that you want web pages to be able to change the UI to better adapt the user experience. However if you've ever been rickrolled, you know you don't want the web site to have that much control on your experience.
  • Looking at it carefully. The tabs are essentially a taskbar like in Windows. If you add a start menu to the left, you have the Windows Shell, pure and simple.

The omnibox concept exists already in Firefox and IE8 alike. The comic strip suggests that it's more developed, but the drawing doesn't reveal anything like that.

Again, similar features exist in Opera and IE8. Opera in fact is identical to this behavior.

Which is exactly how things work in Safari and IE8.

The browser also uses your history to feed the front page. This leaves a gap however. There are many decent sites that are not work safe. Essentially this leaves users either risking their image towards others or loosing convenience by browsing in Incognito mode.

To address the security problems that will inevitably arise (as is correctly pointed out), the concept of sandboxing is introduced. This too is not innovative. Privilege isolation is part of all major browsers, and most of all, part of the ones shipped inside Windows and OSX since the browsers are actually used for many processes intrinsic to these OSes.

This could not be more true. It is however also misleading. This is clearly aimed at Flash's architecture where the main Flash process which runs with almost driver-like privileges serves all the instances of the plugin. This however is done to reduce memory consumption. Instead of replicating all the t0 overhead, Adobe's engineers chose to reuse the memory at hand. With all it's drawbacks, the decision is clearly the correct one.

Protecting users from phishing sites is done using the same black list that Mozilla already uses. The same kind of service also existed in IE7 and Opera.

Overall, I'd also like to point out that the entire comic has a clear marketing flair to it, targeted at making users want something they aren't sure they would. The little technical accuracy in it is also designed to arm the hands of less savvy tech writers with an existing bias for Google's ventures. Throughout the strip, Google employees appear as whitecoats or apprentice magicians, pushing quotes that don't stand to scrutiny. There is also a great deal of self appraise and flattery. There is a bit of goodwill, where the characters recognize that they have adopted ideas from others, but these pieces are always downplayed and secondary.

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Table of contents
  1. Google Chrome, Page 1
  2. Google Chrome, Page 2
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