Google Chrome

Posted on Sep 05, 2008


So Google once again reaches out to change the world with revolutionary new technology. What started as a great little search engine is becoming an ever-expanding empire reaching now into the browser market. They make the claim that in terms of technology, the Internet is moving faster than the browsers we use to view it. In order to keep up with the demanding applications being delivered over the Internet we know and love, we need a powerful new browser. To change everything.

Why are they always so concerned with revolution? As far as I can tell, the Internet hasn’t technologically changed much since the mid-nineties. What has changed is the number of people talking about and using the Internet every day. We’ve gotten smarter at how we write web pages, how we deliver them, and making them look good. Some of the standards have glacially improved over time. Overall however, it still boils down to HTTP, HTML, CSS, and Javascript — at least for the browser. Nothing revolutionary there.

Either way, it would be unfair to call Google’s Chrome browser a complete waste of time. It sports some interesting new features and is taking a stab and switching up the interface a little (which still pales in comparison to my Firefox + Vimperator setup). Architecturally it’s trying something new with each tab being isolated to its own process and all that. I just don’t see such things changing the Internet or significantly changing the browser market. It makes a lot of sense for high-end machines with lots of spare resources; but if even a single-process browser can drain a significant portion of system resources, what’s to say a bunch of mini-browsers won’t be worse?

The real revolution will probably start at the ground-up from the protocol. The engineers and developers keep lamenting how textual and boring the Internet is in this two-point-oh world; yet the base protocol pushing out all this content to all the advanced browsers in the world is still a (for all intents and purposes) text-based protocol. Sorry Google, you might have introduced a few cool features, but you’re not revolutionary anymore.