Browser Neepery 2008 Style

So, like all the other serious geeks, I’ve been playing with Google Chrome for a the last couple of days.

In general, I like it–it’s fast, and there are lots of nice little UI bits that I quite like, plus the deep nerd in me likes the multi-process architecture and the built-in memory profiling, etc.

However there is absolutely no chance that it will become my general purpose browser.

Why, you might ask?

The answer, probably not suprisingly, is “extensions”.

Specifically and immediately, it’s the lack of AdBlock Plus and Flashblock (my love for which I’ve mentioned before). I have lost my tolerance for the “Space Merchants” internet, very highly preferring my intensely mediated experience of what’s out there. (And, I kind of suspect that blocking ads is not really high on Google’s priority list–although as soon as they open that API…)

It’s not just those two, of course, although they are the ones that make the decision a complete no-brainer. Before I’d be really happy switching there would need to be equivalents for TorButton, DownThemAll, FireFTP, LeetKey, and perhaps most amusingly the Google Notebook Addon, among many others.

And then there’s the whole question of Tab Mix Plus. I don’t think I can use Firefox without it, but I’m not sure that what it provides is needed for Chrome. I primarily use it to get multiple tab rows and the session management functionality in Firefox (which I really only want because if I have 246 tabs open in Firefox and it crashes I want those tabs back–this doesn’t really apply to Chrome due to the multiple process architecture).

What I do see myself immediately using Chrome for, even before it has an extension ecosystem grow up around it, is as a web application engine–this shouldn’t be surprising, since this is one of the stated goals of the project. That “create application shortcut…” menu item, which happily creates a shortcut to open Chrome on a specific URL, without toolbars and menus, etc, could endup being very handy for me, for a selection of web applications that I use outside the context of my browsing. Like, you know, GMail. Or even this blog’s administration console.

Of course it’ll be limited to those applications that don’t have annoying ads…

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada
This work by Chris McLaren is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada.