Google released "Developer versions" of Chrome this week. The blog headline warns "Danger: Mac and Linux builds available" and notes that many normal browser features are still missing and to expect instability.
I found Chrome on OS X to be less balky than you might expect from such warnings. I'm predisposed to cut Chrome a lot of slack because I'm so sick of Firefox giving me spinning beach balls that require me to force quit. Chrome puts each tab in a separate process; if it does run into problems only that tab should give me grief.
You can see that in this snapshot - each Chrome process here is just a tab I have open. Notice the odd "not responding" indication - in fact, these tabs were all working fine when I captured that.
At first blush, the separate process idea seems terribly wasteful. However, it's not entirely what it seems: those processes do have shared memory.
Chrome has some other ideas - the "incognito window" will surely appeal to secretive surfers and those people who still get excited about cookies.. I'm not entirely clear on why anyone else cares about this, but IE offers the same thing so there it is. Google says "For times when you want to browse in stealth mode, for example, to plan surprises like gifts or birthdays, Google Chrome offers the incognito browsing mode". Sure, that's what people use this for.
What Chrome lacks is all the useful add-ons of Firefox. As much as I hate Firefox for its insane memory usage, its moronic use of Sqlite and its rampant crashes, I find it very hard to live without some of its features and extensions. Chrome may eventually meet my needs, but it doesn't now.
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