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Author Topic: Google Chrome -- key reasons for its debut  (Read 23160 times)
zridling
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« on: September 03, 2008, 08:52:04 AM »

Quote
Lashiec: Still, I wonder what's the reason of its existence, Google does not really need to launch a browser. I hope mouser's theory it's not the answer, otherwise both Opera and Firefox could be in BIG problems.

Read Google's comic book and their press release more carefully and you'll see that they're wanting some specific things from Chrome; that is, to have a browser that:

(1) Google itself can control, thus eliminating its middleman dependence on Microsoft or Mozilla or Apple, etc.;
(2) will give the company direct access to the user; and
(3) Google can write AIR/webware apps for;
(4) can potentially dominate the mobile and portable PC markets.



Think of cloud computing and your first reaction is: the weak link is the browser. Sure, this is a beta version. Gmail was in beta for years, so it will take a lot of feedback to bring this browser along. Thus, it's no secret what Google is trying to achieve with Chrome. In fact, the Google blog announcement was quite frank:
Quote
On the surface, we designed a browser window that is streamlined and simple. To most people, it isn't the browser that matters. It's only a tool to run the important stuff -- the pages, sites and applications that make up the web. Like the classic Google homepage, Google Chrome is clean and fast. It gets out of your way and gets you where you want to go.

Chrome's goal is to redefine the concept of the browser, and become a frame for other applications. In other words, Chrome is the long-awaited Google OS, a way of running Web-based applications like Gmail, Google Docs, Zoho Office, and the rest (the inclusion of Google Gears, which allows such apps to be used offline, is a big clue here). That Chrome's default function is as a browser is almost a historical accident. But Chrome is not a threat to Firefox, at least not in the short term. Even if Chrome takes off and becomes as reflexive as Googling, many people will still stick with Firefox as their browser. There are lots of reasons why they should -- for example, the fact that Firefox aims to optimize the browsing experience, not to function as a pseudo-operating system layer.

___________________
BACKGROUND
Firefox has long been pushing innovative features and forcing the more dominant player, Microsoft, to more aggressively advance its own IE browser, otherwise I get the feeling we'd still be using IE 6.0. Firefox will continue to be a rich browser, wholly extensible, and will continue to grow because of the strength of its contributors. Chrome will be a lean environment in which to run apps and conduct search, email, etc. This will be even more important for mobile devices.

AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime) is a wrapper around a set of technologies that enables developers to build rich Internet applications that deploy on the desktop. Applications are created using a mixture of JavaScript, HTML, and Flash. The resulting application is delivered to end users in a single package and rendered using the WebKit HTML engine. AIR apps don't look like what you think of when you think "web app." They look and feel very much like desktop applications. Because AIR applications are built using existing standards (HTML, JavaScript, Flash), they are cross-platform by default. AIR's goal is to be a true write once, run anywhere environment. (Again, whom does this hurt? Microsoft and its proprietary/lock-in strategy for its users -- IE only runs on Windows.)

Google's apps are built on AJAX, and when browsers handle Javascript inconsistently, Google looks quirky. If they write their apps to their own engine, it encourages users -- especially business users, including embedded device vendors -- a reason to switch to Chrome. And it gives Google a "platform" on which to build, much like Windows has been for Microsoft's desktop dominance.

Being open source, it is possible the Java engine might be ported to Firefox (but not to IE), and considering the relationship between Google and Mozilla, that doesn't seem too far-fetched. But Google cares as much about smart phones and other portable devices (EEE PCs) as they about a 'desktop' browser. If Android and Chrome get a major share of the embedded market, Google will have inflicted permanent injury to Microsoft.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2008, 04:01:10 AM by zridling » Logged

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zridling
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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2008, 09:01:55 AM »

And on cue, Matt Cutts provides answers to common Google Chrome objections.
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tomos
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« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2008, 09:12:40 AM »

he doesnt really address this one

By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.
http://tapthehive.com/dis...hrome_Google_s_EULA_Sucks
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Tom
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« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2008, 09:25:01 AM »


They are not answers really, just personal responses to allegations.

And on cue, Matt Cutts provides answers to common Google Chrome objections.

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mwang
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« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2008, 10:20:22 AM »

he doesnt really address this one

By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.
http://tapthehive.com/dis...hrome_Google_s_EULA_Sucks
I couldn't help but chuckle when I saw this on Digg. This is not the EULA of Google Chrome, it's for Google the service. Go to google.com with Firefox or IE and you can find the same terms of service.

And here's a similar one from Yahoo:
Quote
#With respect to Content other than photos, graphics, audio or video you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Service other than Yahoo! Groups, the perpetual, irrevocable and fully sublicensable license to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, publicly perform and publicly display such Content (in whole or in part) and to incorporate such Content into other works in any format or medium now known or later developed.

Another one from MSN
Quote
...with respect to content you post or provide you grant to those members of the public to whom you have granted access (for content posted on shared and private areas of the service) or to the public (for content posted on public areas of the service) free, unlimited, worldwide, nonexclusive and perpetual permission to:

    * use, modify, copy, distribute and display the content in connection with the service and other Microsoft products and services;
    * publish your name in connection with the content; and
    * grant these rights to others.

The verbiage varies, but they basically means the same thing. And in this case, don't blame Google (or Yahoo, or Microsoft), blame copyright law. Without these harshly-worded, scary-looking legal terms, they can be sued just by serving search results to us.
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Lashiec
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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2008, 10:36:03 AM »

I couldn't help but chuckle when I saw this on Digg. This is not the EULA of Google Chrome, it's for Google the service. Go to google.com with Firefox or IE and you can find the same terms of service.

Errr, then why it's in the Chrome EULA? Firefox and Opera license agreements don't have such provisions.
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kartal
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« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2008, 10:38:35 AM »

Because that is what everyone is doing does not mean it is the right thing.
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tomos
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« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2008, 10:39:30 AM »

This is not the EULA of Google Chrome, it's for Google the service.

no, you're wrong there - it may be in google eula but it's also in chrome
http://www.google.com/chrome/eula.html
and scroll down to #11
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Tom
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« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2008, 10:55:48 AM »

When I am using G or MS online services I can expect such restrictions. Also when I am walking down the street I know that someone might observe me or follow. Someone can even record me on CCTV. Hopefully: my home is my castle. No one should even dare to sneak inside. The only thing which might happen is observing me through my window BUT not from the inside. If I invite you I don't expect installing candid camera in my bathroom too.

It should be simple and work both ways:
My place == my rules. Take it or leave it.
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mwang
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« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2008, 11:01:16 AM »

no, you're wrong there - it may be in google eula but it's also in chrome
http://www.google.com/chrome/eula.html
and scroll down to #11

I stand corrected. (For the second time today on this Chrome thing, and I've only used it for five minutes. Doh!)

That said, The whole EULA is basically a clone of Google service EULA (with minimum changes), and I still think they are covering the same bases, though I have to say they could have written a better EULA for the software part.
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mwang
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« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2008, 11:37:50 AM »

It should be simple and work both ways:
My place == my rules. Take it or leave it.

Privacy is a different concern here, and it's never that simple, though it used to be much simpler.

What do you make of wiretapping? It doesn't have to be done "inside" your house, and yet most people today consider it an intrusion. Beating up my children inside my house used to be "my businese" (hence my rules) a few decades ago, but not anymore in many countries today.

There's no privacy when walking on public streets? If so, then it should be perfectly legal to plant hidden cameras on the ground to pick up scenes under ladies' skirts.

"My place" really is a fluid concept. Land rights, in various civilization, used to extend to the space under and above the ground, all the way to hell and heaven. Some people seriously argued -- in court, no less -- that flying over their home is an act of trespassing.

The boundaries of "my castle" are even murkier in cyberspace. The Googles of the world are pushing the limits every chance they get, with carrots and sticks in their hands. Will there ever be a consensus on what privacy really means in a world where the net is ubiquitous, I don't know.
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fenixproductions
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« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2008, 12:09:58 PM »

2mwang
I agree with most of your words.

Quote from: mwang
There's no privacy when walking on public streets? If so, then it should be perfectly legal to plant hidden cameras on the ground to pick up scenes under ladies' skirts.
The only thing the government might do is to yell that it might help on fighting with terrorism, paedophiles, knives or racism (or maybe for everybody's sake).

EOT from my side.  DC is not a place for politics Wink
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2008, 02:03:13 PM »

EOT from my side.  DC is not a place for politics Wink
Thmbsup Great to see members respecting (and remembering) the rules of the forum! Some day I'll be out of job around here tongue
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allen
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« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2008, 02:08:22 PM »

People policing themselves? Sounds like the seeds of a political discussion to me . . . damned anarchists. tongue
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mwang
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« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2008, 02:24:16 PM »

Politics? I thought we were talking about Google Chrome all along.  tongue tongue tongue
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mouser
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« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2008, 02:37:23 PM »

A negative take on Chrome from OSNews.  Not saying i agree with all of it, but i think it's worth sharing:

Google Chrome Considered Harmful
http://www.osnews.com/sto...Chrome_Considered_Harmful




Quote
..in the following text I will demonstrate that Chrome [based on what we are allowed to know] puts strain on the Designer and Developer communities, is not innovative (save for one feature), and copies ideas liberally from Google's worst enemy.


And google jumps on the apple marketing bandwagon:
Quote
My greatest problem with the cartoon strip is that while it's supposed to explain how Chrome works, it really explains how all major browsers work, implying that these features were invented for Chrome alone.


This is the #1 trick apple uses to sell their products (in my view), and i find it depressing.
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Ehtyar
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« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2008, 03:55:06 PM »

I think Matt Cutts intended to address the EULA problem in his last question...
Quote
Q: Dude, this anonymous commenter said that Google claims that they own everything you touch when you run Chrome! Should I be worried?
A: No, of course not. I debunked that misconception last night in a Mashable comment and this morning in a ReadWriteWeb comment. Google does not want to claim the rights to everything you surf or do in Chrome, just like we didn’t want it the time before with Google Docs. smiley I’m sure that other Googlers will clarify that point more officially. It is good that people pore through the license and ask these questions though, because if something looks worrisome then we can use that opportunity to make it more clear.
Apparently he's not personally worried about it, and is more than comfortable giving others the impression that this means nothing. Trolls like this could only get popular through the ignorance of Digg.

Ehtyar.

[edit]
He also happily ignores the concerns of yet another group of people.
Quote
Q: Another browser? Geez, I’m a webmaster/search engine optimizer/front-end programmer and I don’t want to worry about another browser.
A: Google did not add another rendering engine. Google Chrome uses WebKit for rendering, which is the same rendering engine as Apple’s Safari browser, so if your site is compatible with Safari it should work great in Chrome. Personally, I do think creating clean code that validates and works on many different browsers will be an important skill for webmasters and web designers. These days a smart site owner thinks about how their web site looks to all browsers, from Internet Explorer to Safari to Opera to an iPhone.
Perhaps his brain was a bit bogged down after reading that comic and he missed the fact that Google had to rewrite WebKit in order to have it render a decent amount of pages correctly (23%-99%). He may also want to consider the reports that while Chrome has good standards compliance, it's quirk mode (rendering non-standards-compliant pages) leave a substantial amount to be desired.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2008, 04:14:54 PM by Ehtyar » Logged
Grorgy
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« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2008, 04:40:27 PM »

http://arstechnica.com/ne...r-bad-well-change-it.html

Ars Technica have an article on this link above.  Basically they are going to change it.
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Ehtyar
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« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2008, 04:55:27 PM »

It must be terribly amusing for the Google lawyers to use EULAs like this, get all the info. they can in the first few days, then have everyone think their saints when they fix an EULA that was their doing to begin with. Can anyone spell G U L L I B L E?

Ehtyar.
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« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2008, 05:36:05 PM »

Seems to me they are just lazy, and the comments around the web sort of suggest that people aren't as gullible as they perhaps once were with these sort of things, privacy and anonymity matter to more and more people so companies like google will have to lift their game if they really want to stay in the game long term.
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Ehtyar
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« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2008, 06:03:07 PM »

Google lazy on the legal? Surely not!

Ehtyar.
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kartal
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« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2008, 06:15:03 PM »

You know most evil things can also be blamed on sloppiness as well. That is not an excuse. Google thought that they had a free pass (They generally have ) . And because of people like us who are the people with tinfoil hats, crazy paranoids, conspiracy theorist, now they will need to write a proper policy statement.

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Ehtyar
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« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2008, 06:21:03 PM »

That does it, if there's ever an IRLDD Down Under *cough*youreadingthiszilla?*cough* I'm wearing a tin foil hat!!

Ehtyar.
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Darwin
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« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2008, 06:21:41 PM »

You know most evil things can also be blamed on sloppiness as well. That is not an excuse. Google thought that they had a free pass (They generally have ) . And because of people like us who are the people with tinfoil hats, crazy paranoids, conspiracy theorist, now they will need to write a proper policy statement.

 Grin
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zridling
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« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2008, 06:59:48 PM »

Lots of folks had concerns about Gmail for a while, but now just about everyone has an account. And given that it's open source, I have no doubt someone will eventually write an adblock extension/plugin.
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