Is Google Chrome next IE

December 5, 2011
By Bogomil Shopov
10 Comments
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I was trying to find an application to use Google Docs offline.

I don’t like to use 3th party services for my documents and I want the control to be in my hands, but the company I work for uses GDocs for some of the projects.

So, I am browsing to find a way to do that and I found it, but … surprise! it’s working ONLY on Google Chrome and Only after installing an application.

Wtf? (no it’s not where is the food :))

Is the next step to use Chrome when I browse on Google.com or when I access the Internet?

Is Google  becoming the next Microsoft-like “I want it all” company.? Of course!

The good news is there is always an alternative to closed web companies – Mozilla.

Bogomil Shopov

I care about privacy, ethical design, and freedom in many aspects. I spend 20+ years working as a web developer and architect, analyst, manager, and product owner/manager in different environments, several countries, and multiple software industries like Healthcare and Hospitality. I wore many hats, and I use the knowledge gathered to optimize the flow of value across complex systems.

10 Comments

  • Ringo

    December 5, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    I’ve never tried it, but I was under the impression that Google had deprecated their old plugin based offline support and commited to using the HTML5 standard (partly-) based on their experience and that it would on any modern browser, though they’re starting with Chrome(books) first.

    Reply
  • John Smith

    December 5, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    If there is no credible competition to Chrome, then it won’t matter how closed the Google ecosystem gets. There would be no viable options to switch to anyway.

    Until Mozilla sorts out Firefox’s relative lack of responsiveness compared to Chrome, add-ons that break on every program update, extensions that cause memory leaks and performance regressions, inferior sync capabilities, UGLY interface in Linux, and HTML5 APIs that make offline Google Docs possible (for example), it’s sadly not a viable option for me.

    Reply
  • David

    December 5, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Most of these new offline things only work in Chrome for now because they’re using very new APIs only implemented in Chrome. Offline storage is still very early. In particular, the offline Google things use I believe the FileSystem API and WebSQL. WebSQL’s actually been dropped now in favor of IndexedDB, but implementations of WebSQL are a bit more stable, and presumably it would take quite some time to rewrite Docs to use IndexedDB. (Especially considering that many of these technologies originated from Google Gears, so Google’s probably had this code around for a while.) No doubt they’ll port it to IndexedDB and deploy it once client implementations mature. In the meantime, you need WebSQL.

    As for the FileSystem API, that’s why you need to even install the app. Not only is that unimplemented outside Chrome, but there are parts for which the UI and API is not complete. Specifically quota management. Google’s working on unified quota management for all offline web APIs, but it’s not ready yet. So, for now, you need to install the app to give it permission to store things. (And no, the FileSystem API is not a Google-specific API. The spec is at W3C and everything.)

    Reply
  • the_dees

    December 5, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    Yes, it is.

    Chrome (well, WebKit) got the most failures when running the CSS 2.1 test case, compared to other modern browsers (like IE, Firefox, Oepra)..

    Why do bad browsers always gain market share so fast?

    Reply
  • abral

    December 5, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    Another example is the Google Web Store. There are several web applications that could be used with Firefox, but Google allows only its Chrome to use them.

    Reply
  • Simon

    December 5, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    Yeah, like David said – Google were one of the real pioneers in supporting offline apps, so it’s not all that surprising that their apps work best with their browser. But that support predates the standards that evolved from it, and it takes time to adapt to the standards-compliant fashion in which other browsers now support the same thing.

    Which isn’t to say that Google aren’t out for world domination, of course. But don’t assume that every little inconvenience is part of their secret plan – it’s much more likely to just be the inefficiency of large companies at work…

    Reply
  • nick

    December 6, 2011 at 10:33 am

    i don‘t think so .more and more developer are merged webkit core into themselves’ browsers.such as maxthon ,sogou ,avant brwoser..and so on .

    chrome becomes more and more popular in this world

    Reply
  • Drugoy

    December 6, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Firefox is losing it’s market share, so you started a new holy war against a new competitor – Google with it’s Chrome browser, which is faster and now is even more popular than Firefox.

    Chrome’s interface is always very responsive, unlike Firefox’.

    It’s a widely known fact, that extensions may slow down the browser, so Chrome is able to show the user how much memory gets eaten by each one of all the working extensions, and Firefox doesn’t.

    Chrome is just developing faster than Firefox, that’s why it wins and gains market share so fast, although it is getting maintained by the Evil Corp (that I don’t trust, but have to use some of it’s services for their quality).
    Bugs in Google get fixed pretty fast, compared to how they get fixed in Bugzilla (I remember a few 10+ and 12+ years old bugs that are still alive and I bet no one’s going to fix them in at least 2 years).

    I’m a Firefox user and always was, but Firefox project is really getting developed too slowly. It still has some advantages before Chrome for now, but I think it’s just a matter of a few years.

    Personally I think that it is cause due to bad management in Mozilla. No one there knows what “focus” means.

    I wonder why is no one ringing the bell in Mozilla, a catastrophe is coming and no one just notices that (or maybe just doesn’t care).

    Reply
  • Mike Ratcliffe

    December 6, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Firefox is becoming much more responsive with each release and recently won the browser grand prix with Chrome a close second. The only reason that there has been some instability with some Firefox extensions is because Firefox allows extensions far more access to browser internals than Chrome does.

    I won’t say anything about Chrome but I will say that Firefox is written to give users a better, more customizable web experience.

    Reply
  • Peter Kasting

    December 7, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    I work on Chrome for Google, and while I wasn’t involved with any Docs offline work, my impression is that David’s comments are exactly right, especially regarding WebSQL database support.

    Certainly I’m not aware of any intent to “embrace, extend, extinguish” with Chrome or Google Apps. In this case I think it was just a case of Google trying to go with standardized web technologies instead of a proprietary plugin but having to use things that are still very in-flux as to their browser support.

    Reply

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