Tag Archives: Google Chrome

Google’s recent sins

Here’s a list of some of the sins that Google committed against me as a small user, and without leaving me a venue to vent myself off (where someone might actually read it).

Let me point out: most of them are not evil — unless you consider willful sloppiness evil. I also still love Google. I am however highly frustrated by some of the stuff they do.

Google Talk app for Chrome… OS
After introducing Chrome Web Store, Google managed to frakk up one of its offering. Google Talk app is available only for Chrome OS. One of commenters alleges that this is because on other platforms the browser lacks capability to show popups and other feats of integration. Well, the way out is clear then, isn’t it?

GoogleSoftwareUpdateAgent on Mac
Read more in my previous post. Read more in this post why having this agent is evil.

Charging $5.00 for adding content to Chrome Web Store
I understand this one — they’re trying to filter out spam this way. I agree, this is a good way to do it. Still, I had to cash out $5.00 to add a free app and no way of getting the cash back… because Google Checkout merchant accounts are unavailable outside US (and UK, I think).

Google Checkout merchant accounts are US/UK only
Google is one of the first mega-ultra-big computing-related companies that offered its services in Croatia, in Croatian, and overall localized. We also got Google Translate support relatively early in its development, and it works relatively well. It’s true that some of the services lag an internal release or two behind it’s .com counterparts, but still, for a 4-million-strong country, we’re pretty well supported. We can also receive payments from Google Adsense; they simply mail a check.

Then Google Checkout comes and Google frakks up by not allowing me to earn money that way. Then they do an even worse sin, and allow Chrome Web Store payments only through Checkout. Hello, guys! We can already receive money from you. Apple allows app developers from Croatia to earn money from iPhone development (and soon Mac development). Why the hell can’t a company that already has a payment system in place, that is obviously dedicated to Croatian market, and overall is obviously familiar with Croatia, introduce its payment system over here?

Google Latitude is iOS4 only, Google Goggles is iOS4 only, new Gmail interface is iOS4 only, …
Frakk you on this one, Google, seriously. Have you heard about NSObject’s “respondsToSelector”?

Damn you for making Latitude iOS4 only. My iPhone 2G is not good enough for it? Oh, you mean the point of the app is sharing location in background? You mean there is no chance that I might not want to load the web-based app in Safari? That’s right, on iPhone 2G Safari is “HYPER-FAST” and Latitude loads instantly on it — why the hell would I want a native app?!

Damn you for filtering Google Goggles out of your app. My iPhone has a camera already — why the hell can’t you process a static image I photograph and extract the data from that?

Damn you for leaving us 2G users to use old interface of Mobile Gmail. You told me on Twitter (can’t find link, sorry) that you had to override native scrolling in order to do some of the magic. What about simply using “position: fixed;” for your toolbar? That was not possible? Because that’s basically why I want to use the new interface — I really am not interested in much else.

No native client Google Talk with video chat
Hey Google. I don’t want your browser-based plugin. I want to use native Google Talk as you used to develop for Windows, but I want it to have video chat support. And I want to use it on my Mac. Did you know, Google, that Gmail video plugin is the only way your Mac users can use video chat? No, that’s not acceptable — I don’t want to have to switch to one of a zillion Safari tabs I have open whenever I receive a message, and I don’t want people’s clients to get confused about which client to deliver to.

And your plugin crashes often, taking Safari down with it. That. is. not. acceptable.

Fragmenting people more and more
They began by having screwy support for Google Talk on Mac and Linux (no native client). Then they went on doing the same with Video chat plugin (only recently was it released).
Chrome was also very delayed on Mac and Linux and initially had LOADS of Windows-specific code. Why?
Then Google began offering services only on Android (Google Goggles).
Then they went on discriminating me by offering new stuff only on iOS4.
Then they went on discriminating me by offering new stuff only on Google Chrome OS.

What the hell, Google.
What the hell.

Sorry, blog readers, I had to get this out of my system. And who knows, maybe someone from Google will actually come and read this, and start to wonder what end users might think about it. You can’t compare yourself to Apple: Apple is dedicated to a single platform, but grudgingly supports another. You, Google, support “everything” — you are a web company, remember? You want to support everyone.

In the end you don’t.

Google, get your shit together. I hope I won’t have to move to my own setup. But maybe worrying about backup, setting up open source solutions, et cetera is less trouble than having to worry about in what way will I next be looked down on by Google, because of the place I live in, because of the computer I use, or because of the phone I use. Of course that it is not so yet, but …

Google’s built-in page previews — reason for releasing Chrome?

After all the years we’ve had Firefox plugins to insert page previews into search results, Google finally added their own. They dubbed it “Instant previews”. These previews are vertically larger than what any of the plugins did before, they include enlarged select portions of text relevant to your query, and they appear only when you click on a search result text (not on the link). After that, you can just hover the mouse above search results.

So what I wonder is: could it be that Google embarked on a journey to build a hyperfast browsing experience in order to provide a better search experience? Or was Chrome really just a part of a larger scheme to collect customer data and statistically analyze it, as was thought previously? I’m not sure; probably it was “let’s build a browser first” and then “what can we use the browser for?” — but the idea that Chrome might be the developed in order to alleviate performance issues that using some other browsers might create running on Google’s servers does not strike me as impossible. This way, they can generate previews without creating a horrible, horrible impact that using some other browser might create.

I just wonder when we’ll be able to see the codebase they use for creating the previews, and will they even release it, considering that WebKit’s LGPL (derived from KHTML’s LGPL) does not require source code release unless the binaries are released; even then, if libs are dynamically linked, source code release is required only for modified library binaries. Still, having a free, usable off-screen rendered WebKit would be very useful. But oh — there is already such a thing, for example Origyn Web Browser (site seems down, here’s a wikipedia link)

Google Chrome for Linux enters beta!

Finally!

Finally you can grab non-(developer-only) Google Chrome for Linux as it enters beta. Available for Debian (YAY!), Ubuntu, Fedora ( :-( ) and OpenSUSE (hmm). Go and get it!

Google Chrome using national domain instead of worldwide .com

www.google.hr does not offer the same experience as www.google.com, nor the latest. Since I refuse to use such a watered down service, wherever I go, I click on “Google.com in English” — not solely because of the language, but because of the watered down experience of the national domain.

However, Chrome kept redirecting me to .hr when using the “omnibox” for searching. Since in configuration Chrome uses macro {google:baseURL} instead of something literal, you can’t easily change this behavior.
There is an undocumented workaround, however. To prevent Google Search being redirected to a national mirror by Google Chrome:
  • visit Google.com — you are redirected
  • click on “Google.com in English”
  • make a search
  • close and restart Chrome
  • try using search in the omnibox
Future searches should now be directed to the Google.com site.

Google Chrome (alpha) – fastest browser for Debian

I’ve just tested Google Chrome for Linux on my Debian machine.
It has a nice theming feature, currently apparently suitable and used for making Chrome look native. That is, out of the box includes Chrome’s default theme, and the GTK theme which uses GTK buttons where possible, and uses the theme colors for Chrome-style widgets. On the screenshot, you can see how it looks with Debian-colored Clearlooks. Also, here’s a shot of the default theme.
(Update 5:51PM, CET: I didn’t figure out there’s a way to actually turn off the system window borders. There is. Wooo! Chrome is awesome.)
Most of the UI is GTK based – menus, configuration options, etc.
Dragging tabs around works nicely, just as under Windows; even transparency, if you have a compositing window manager such as Compiz. (Hint: KWin and Metacity also include compositing; I’m not sure where to turn it on for Metacity in the GUI, but it has a command line option “-c”.)

Google’s warning: Unless you’re a developer and can suffer crashes, as well as able to suffer lack of privacy features, don’t download and use this. It’s a developer’s preview only.
But seeing how great this browser already became (being significantly faster feeling than Iceweasel/Firefox on Linux, at least the 3.0 series) I’m getting great, great vibes for this browser’s future on GNU/Linux.