Chrome, Freaking Chrome

Google Chrome

I recently wrote of the merits of Opera 9.5, which is a truly pleasant browsing experience. However, and somewhat unexpectedly, Google just yesterday released a new browser, Chrome, which I believe changes the game.

Being the browser junkie that I am, I downloaded it within hours of being released. From Google’s own admission, Chrome is less about innovation in the features arena, and more on the browsing experience as a whole. There’s even a beautiful web comic dedicated to explaining the more geeky aspects of the browsing experience, produced by the kind gents at Google

The first thing I noticed after starting up Chrome for the first time is that it renders fast. As in FAST fast. I mean, this thing screams. The rendering of Javascript is a big thing in browsers nowadays. In one geeky corner, you can see the web developers that have been working on Prototype and jQuery, wishing and waiting for a Javascript engine that doesn’t disappoint them – these guys are celebrating today, as all of us should be.

Javascript, as non-natively OO as it is and all, has been shown to be by in large the wonder of the web. Want interactive features across the web? Better know how to write Javascript. Want flashy stuff without requiring the user to install add-ons? Look at Javascript. AJAX? Yeah, that’s all Javascript. The browser has been okay on the side of Javascript – it’s always been supported by just about every browser out there, but it’s never been at the forefront. With Google Chrome (and the pending release of the new Firefox Javascript engine), it’s the star, and with great results. The web has never been faster of more responsive.

Javascript aside, Chrome seems more leveraged to provide an online platform. I can certainly see motive behind Google to go that route – it suits their overall goals remarkably. Making the web responsive enough to replace the desktop only plays into the pocket of Google, and providing the browsing experience to so is definitely in their interest. At the same time, the entire thing is open-sourced, which has never been a bad thing. The tools to work with the browser aren’t really there yet, but knowing Google I think we’re going down the right road. As a web developer, I know I’m probably being biased and unfair and all, but I just have to say thanks.