Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Google launching their own browser: Google Chrome

This came as a surprise to me that Google themselves would develop their own open source internet browser when Firefox is already (to me) the most superior browser out there today.

However upon further reading, Google might have something that could make the Firefox browser yesterdays news.  John Lilly, CEO of Mozilla doesn't seem at all worried, yet.  Google had some agreement for funding for them for the next 2-3 years.  Although it's not an issue now because they're buddies now, but this is the internet, and things can change and evolve without notice.

What makes Google Chrome interesting is what they're focusing on.  Rather then divulge all their time focusing on what all internet browsers do, render pages on your screens, Google is really focusing on adding better application integration and memory management into their Chrome Browser.

[caption id="attachment_607" align="alignright" width="256" caption="Google explaining how if there is a bug encountered with many of the applications that run within a browser, the tab running that application will display a sad face file if something is wrong."]Google explaining how if there is a bug encountered with many of the applications that run within a browser, the tab running that application will display a sad face file.[/caption]

The idea is rather then have the browser run things like JavaScript, Java, Flash, and other applications into one process, have each of these processes run separately.  Google wants to run each process in a separate tab on their browser.  So while the one tab is busy processing that Java application, you can still easily browse elsewhere without it impacting your browsing experience.  If that Java application for whatever reason crashes, then rather then having to shut down the entire browser and lose what pages you're looking at, that tab running the Java application will close itself out instead.

Now considering this multi-process idea,  the browser will use more memory up front to handle these applications.  But over time, it'll also mean less memory bloat.  You might be asking yourself "What does that mean?"  Let me give you an example:

Say you open your existing browser to start a new web browsing session, none of the components used to render web pages are loaded.  You go to your favorite website say YouTube.com for example, this website requires an application to playback the videos on your browser.  YouTube requires Adobe Flash which is one of the many applications you use, and you may not even know that.  You type in a different web address and visit some other website, like Digg.com for example.  That Flash application will still remain in memory even though you're not using it anymore, and will until you shut down your browser entirely.  Now lets assume you haven't shut down your browser yet and you open up a new tab and leave Digg.com open.  The new website you visit (we'll use Newgrounds.com in this example) will also use Flash, but when visiting Newgrounds, you'll notice for whatever reason the site is sluggish and you grow impatient because of how slow loading it becomes. Google Chrome will allow you to look at the running processes (just like Windows Task Manager when you press CTRL+ALT+DEL) and see what the problem is, and allow you eliminate it instead of having to shut down your browser entirely.  This will allow you to eliminate the process causing memory bloating and keep better control of things.

There is much more that Google explains about their Browser, if you're into these nerdy things, I'd advise you to check out their comic explaining how their browser is going to work.  They did a very good job explaining the idea.  Very interesting stuff.


Google Chrome is available for you to download and try out: (keep in mind this is a BETA)