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Google secretly reveals new browser project: Google Chrome


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Google secretly reveals new browser project: Google Chrome
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Mugge
Thunderbolt, fuck yeah!
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Denmark
 
2008-09-03, 13:10

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason View Post
The web does not need another browser. Dear God! There is enough incompatibility as it is.
Note to Google - Please work on Releasing a Push Mail service instead of wasting time on a browser.
I suppose you might want to stick to IE? Seriously, Seeing how browsers are one of the most fundamental pieces of software on our computers, I welcome any new competition and ideas. And I especially welcome Chrome because it attempts to rethink the entire idea and then throws Google's expertise behind it to achieve it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yonzie View Post
(...)

Well, the Digital Signature solution chosen is... let's just say "less than optimal", so what would you expect?
I used to have great expectations. But they died from disappointment.

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PKIDelirium
Nobody bumps my lock
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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2008-09-03, 13:18

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
UA string:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US) AppleWebKit/525.13 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/0.2.149.27 Safari/525.13

Ugh.
Well that's messy.

No Mac version yet? Not that I'm complaining much, it looks ugly.
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Luca
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Join Date: May 2004
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2008-09-03, 13:31

I'm using it right now and I quite like it. One nice thing is they've really made efficient use of the screen space. Both the top AND the bottom toolbars are smaller than in Firefox... in fact, there is no bottom toolbar. But unlike Safari, which has the bottom toolbar off by default to save space but sacrifices the ability to see the web address you'll go to when you mouse over a link, Chrome puts up a little tooltip along the bottom revealing the URL, and it disappears as soon as you move the mouse. There's much more efficient use of space at the top as well. The tab bar and title bar are in the same vertical space, and the menu options no longer occupy their own bar but rather they are located within buttons on the right side.

I'm sure some interface Nazi will go in and critique every little thing, but I like it. Oh, and it supports resizable text entry boxes like Safari. Nice feature that Firefox doesn't have!
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PB PM
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2008-09-03, 13:32

After using for half an hour, I like it a lot. Much faster than FF3, and Safari. At first it seemed a little sluggish, but that seems to have gone now. I also like the screen usage, but I'm using a 1680x1050 res so I've already got a lot to work with.
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Luca
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2008-09-03, 13:35

FYI, I'm currently on a 19" LCD, 1280x1024, here at work, so screen space is at a bit more of a premium than at home (20" LCD, 1680x1050).
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Luca
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2008-09-03, 13:47

One annoying thing I'm discovering is the apparent inability to change search providers. Well, you can change the default search engine, but I have no idea how to do a search using anything other than the default. I'm used to Firefox letting me use ctrl-uparrow and ctrl-downarrow to change searches when the search field is selected.

This is important to me because at work I often have to look up things on Dictionary.com to determine syllable breaks. I can still click on Dictionary.com and search, but it's not as convenient.
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nikstar101
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2008-09-03, 14:00

Yeah but have you read the Licence. This seems very un-Google like.

From the Chrome ELUA:

11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.
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Bryson
Rocket Surgeon
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Whitby
 
2008-09-03, 15:07

Can someone explain to me why having tabs on top is "teh bettah"? I can't for the life of me see why it would matter. In fact, they just look untidy....
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Banana
is the next Chiquita
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
 
2008-09-03, 15:14

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikstar101 View Post
Yeah but have you read the Licence. This seems very un-Google like.

From the Chrome ELUA:

11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.
Well, I can see why; after all it's in beta.

Is it also displayed when you sign up or just buried under the ream of EULA? If former, then do it at your own risk.
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Luca
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2008-09-03, 15:27

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryson View Post
Can someone explain to me why having tabs on top is "teh bettah"? I can't for the life of me see why it would matter. In fact, they just look untidy....
One thing it does is it allows the tabs to occupy the same horizontal bar as the window controls, so it takes less space. It also emphasizes that the location bar and all the other controls are tab-specific only, not application-specific.
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Doxxic
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Amsterdam
 
2008-09-04, 03:15

It is by far the snappiest browser on my Delly at work.

The colors are terrible, but I like the general lay-out, the way it processes text in the single text field, and the way it hides the ad that always appears in others browsers when I want to read an article on USA Today.

I suppose it may become skinnable when out of beta, or at least have color alternatives (grey!!!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luca View Post
One thing it does is it allows the tabs to occupy the same horizontal bar as the window controls, so it takes less space. It also emphasizes that the location bar and all the other controls are tab-specific only, not application-specific.
Plus it may indicate that each tab represents a 'sandbox' - each tab runs it's own browser.
One of Chrome's USPs is that it runs relatively smooth and crash free because since each tab is sandboxed, it doesn't have to wait for another tab to release the focus of the browser's central routines and if the page in a tab crashes, the rest of the tabs don't.
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JLL
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Join Date: May 2004
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2008-09-04, 07:03

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mugge View Post
Another thing that really got me riled up the other day was that TDC who manages the implementation of the public Digital Signature in Denmark has dissed Safari because they think Keychain is a security risk. Surely they can't say no to Google, but on the other hand I really like Keychain. Now I'm hoping that I can have my cake and eat it too.
I doubt that Chrome will use Keychain. WebKit != Safari.
  quote
Mugge
Thunderbolt, fuck yeah!
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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2008-09-04, 08:31

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLL View Post
I doubt that Chrome will use Keychain. WebKit != Safari.
True. But it also seems that the most common complaint about non-Safari browsers on the Mac is that they don't make sufficient use of the facilities that OS X offers.
  quote
Brad
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2008-09-04, 08:33

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mugge View Post
True. But it also seems that the most common complaint about non-Safari browsers on the Mac is that they don't make sufficient use of the facilities that OS X offers.
Yeah, I hope Chrome does use Keychain. With Mike Pinkerton on board, leader of the Camino project, there's fortunately a good chance that it will.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Pinkerton
My goal (again, speaking for myself) is to build a first-rate, native Mac product for Chromium and make it so that other projects can stand on the shoulders of giants. That's what open source is all about. I don't know why I should be shy about saying that, and I don't feel bad about it one bit.
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digitaldave
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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2008-09-04, 08:42

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
Yeah, I hope Chrome does use Keychain. With Mike Pinkerton on board, leader of the Camino project, there's fortunately a good chance that it will.
That's good news . It's a shame we won't get to play with the Mac version for a while, but here's hoping it turns out to be a well thought out Mac app, not just a relatively unpolished port .
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digitaldave
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2008-09-04, 08:49

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikstar101 View Post
Yeah but have you read the Licence. This seems very un-Google like.

...snip...
Apparently, that's been changed by Google:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7597699.stm

According to the article, they had the same issue with the EULA for Google Docs last year. And I seem to recall that Adobe had a similar issue with Photoshop Express, their online picture editing thing. I believe all have been amended to be a bit less draconian.

Dave.
  quote
Kraetos
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Boston-ish
 
2008-09-04, 18:46

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
UA string:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US) AppleWebKit/525.13 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/0.2.149.27 Safari/525.13

Ugh.
Looks like they're trying to catch sniffers serving Safari code. Makes sense, I suppose, but not if they are going to make any more changes to WebKit.

I'm also torn on V8. Why couldn't they have just used SquirrelFish? I suppose the good news is now that we have three new JavaScript engines, competition will continue to heat up.

I love that they went with WebKit. If Chrome surpasses Firefox, or maybe, in the long run, IE, then Safari users reap all the benefits. Not to mention its the right choice from a purely technical standpoint - WebKit is faster and more accurate than Gecko.

On a pseudo-sidenote, it continually amazes me how much innovation there is in the browser space that 75% of the population never gets to experience. Damn IE.

Sadly, being a technology pundit is truly never having to say you’re sorry. You can be wrong for years and never lose your job.—The Macalope
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Mugge
Thunderbolt, fuck yeah!
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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2008-09-05, 08:10

Gotta love Ars' take on going incognito:



  quote
Kraetos
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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2008-09-05, 12:45

Do we think that there is going to be Google Chrome Mac, or will it carry a different name and will use the "Chromium" engine?

I'm leaning towards different name, and different UI. Still streamlined and minimalist, but here's the thing: Chrome on PC doesn't stick to any PC conventions. Look at Firefox: it nicely plays along with whatever visual theme you have installed. It's the closest thing Windows has to a "good Windows citizen." You could argue this is good (consistent) or bad (Windows' UI is polished turd.)

On the other hand, Chrome, from the screenshots I've seen, makes it's own design paradigms. This flies on Windows because basically every program, for better or worse, defines it's own style. That's simply not now things are done over on the Mac side of things. Not when we have the awesomeness that is Cocoa.

Especially considering they've nabbed Camino developers, I think it's pretty obvious where this is going: Cocoa Chromium. That means it won't be called Chrome, in all likelihood.

So, the main question becomes: will the announced but not yet implemented extension API work on both Chrome and Cocoa Chromium? I'd certainly hope so, because without 100% compatibility with Chrome, Cocoa Chromium is probably destined to languish in obscurity, just like Camino.

Sadly, being a technology pundit is truly never having to say you’re sorry. You can be wrong for years and never lose your job.—The Macalope
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thegeriatric
geri to my friends
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Heaven
 
2008-09-05, 20:00

Seeing as we have ie, Firefox etc for both Mac and Windows, why not Chrome.
  quote
Brad
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2008-09-05, 20:47

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraetos View Post
I'm leaning towards different name, and different UI. Still streamlined and minimalist, but here's the thing: Chrome on PC doesn't stick to any PC conventions.

[...]

Especially considering they've nabbed Camino developers, I think it's pretty obvious where this is going: Cocoa Chromium. That means it won't be called Chrome, in all likelihood.
I totally see where you're going with this, but even with a slightly different UI, I'm still on the fence about whether or not Google will keep the Chrome name on Mac OS X. It may be enough to keep it similar in feature set, but not 100% identical across platforms. It wouldn't be too unlike how IE was handled back when it was available on Macs. After all, branding is hugely important with a new product like this and throwing away a common name isn't something to be done lightly.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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Brad
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Join Date: May 2004
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2008-09-05, 20:52

Quote:
Originally Posted by thegeriatric View Post
Seeing as we have ie, Firefox etc for both Mac and Windows, why not Chrome.
We have IE for Mac? Even when we had IE, it was really only in namesake. The rendering engine was completely different from Windows IE and it had a very different feature set.

Firefox, Opera, and Safari all pretty much have feature and UI parity across platforms, but none of them fit in well on all platforms. Firefox fits with Windows and Linux, but not on Mac OS X. Safari fits in on Mac OS X, but not really on Windows. Opera fits... well... somewhere? Windows? Maybe?

The Windows version of Google Chrome is a bit of an odd duck. It looks like it will fit in fine on Windows since, as Kraetos said, everything looks and behaves a little differently on Windows, but as I quoted above, Mike Pinkerton wants "to build a first-rate, native Mac product for Chromium". This would mean making an interface that feels native and hooks into system libraries (Keychain, spell checking, etc.) that aren't available on other platforms. This would mean that the Mac version would likely not have the same feature set as the Windows version, adding and subtracting features in different areas. Might it be drastically different or only slightly so? Nobody really knows yet.

Take a look at Pinkerton's other big project (Camino) for ideas about how this may play out. Camino is in many ways "Firefox done the Mac way". It uses the same Gecko engine that powers Firefox, but it completely eschews Firefox's alien-looking XUL framework (meaning no extensions) and adds OS-integration features and a native UI that Firefox badly lacks. This is the direction that I hope Pinkerton drives the Mac version of Chrome, whatever they decide to call it.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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JLL
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
 
2008-09-07, 04:41

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
Take a look at Pinkerton's other big project (Camino) for ideas about how this may play out. Camino is in many ways "Firefox done the Mac way". It uses the same Gecko engine that powers Firefox, but it completely eschews Firefox's alien-looking XUL framework (meaning no extensions) and adds OS-integration features and a native UI that Firefox badly lacks. This is the direction that I hope Pinkerton drives the Mac version of Chrome, whatever they decide to call it.
If Camino is Firefox done the Mac way, then Safari is Chrome done the Mac way.

Since Camino doesn't support things like extensions, it isn't really Firefox - just another browser using Gecko. OmniWeb isn't Safari done some other way either.

If Chrome becomes too integrated on the Mac, it's no longer Chrome.

Chrome is more than welcome to use Keychain (if they feel it's secure enough), spellchecker and other things, but the UI has to be Chrome - it's a major part of Chrome that it looks the way it does.

- No matter where you go, there you are.
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Kraetos
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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2008-09-07, 13:50

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
Take a look at Pinkerton's other big project (Camino) for ideas about how this may play out. Camino is in many ways "Firefox done the Mac way". It uses the same Gecko engine that powers Firefox, but it completely eschews Firefox's alien-looking XUL framework (meaning no extensions) and adds OS-integration features and a native UI that Firefox badly lacks. This is the direction that I hope Pinkerton drives the Mac version of Chrome, whatever they decide to call it.
That, is, of course, the main problem with Camino as well. WebKit is a better rendering engine than Gecko these days, which begs the question: what the hell is the point of Camino?

On Windows, Firefox trumps IE on security and usability, advantages it doesn't have compared against Safari. So the reason to use Firefox on the Mac is because you want to use the extensions. Camino doesn't have the ability to use Firefox's extensions since it would come at the expense of Cocoa.

Which brings me back around to my next point: One would hope that Cocoa Chromium keeps all the features that Chrome has, or we might just have another Camino on our hands. In fairness, Chromium is light-years ahead of Gecko, so even if there isn't feature parity, Cocoa Chromium might still kick ass. Still, I'd hate to go back to the days of IE 5 when we had a dominant browser on Windows with a Mac version lagging behind.

Sadly, being a technology pundit is truly never having to say you’re sorry. You can be wrong for years and never lose your job.—The Macalope
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Brad
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2008-09-07, 14:42

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraetos View Post
WebKit is a better rendering engine than Gecko these days, which begs the question: what the hell is the point of Camino?
WebKit is not always a better engine than Gecko, though. Older web pages and JavaScript that aren't designed with the intent of being displayed in today's cross-browser environment tend to display better in Camino.

Also, there are a few things Camino does UI/feature-wise that spank Safari. The way Camino handles bad SSL certificates and that Camino prompts instead of silently resubmitting HTTP Auth in new sessions are two big reasons I use mostly Camino at my day job instead of Safari. Flash-blocking and ad-blocking out of the box also kick ass. Sure, Apple will probably never include ad-blocking, but Flash-blocking would be nice and not entirely unreasonable since Apple already "blocks" Flash on the iPhone. Oh, and Camino has separate stop and reload buttons! There's more still, but I think you get the message.

And yet I still use Safari as my casual browser because I prefer WebKit for day-to-day use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraetos View Post
Which brings me back around to my next point: One would hope that Cocoa Chromium keeps all the features that Chrome has [...] .
Completely agreed.

The Camino analogy has been stretched beyond its original intent of showing how a cross-platform engine can be implemented in such a way as to hook into native services and UI. Yes, Camino lacks extensions, but that's beside the point.

Perhaps OmniWeb would make a good new analogy?

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chucker
 
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2008-09-07, 14:49

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
Oh, and Camino has separate stop and reload buttons!
I'm well aware of the hypothetical scenario in which you hit Stop just as the page finishes loading, thus in fact triggering Reload instead; mpt mentioned this years ago. Yet, in all these years of mainly using Safari, I've never actually run into that. Nor have I heard anyone complain that this behavior bugs them.
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Brad
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Join Date: May 2004
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2008-09-07, 15:01

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
Yet, in all these years of mainly using Safari, I've never actually run into that.
When Safari was new, my timing was such that I used to accidentally trigger a reload when I meant to hit stop pretty regularly. Now I don't have that problem because Safari trained me to distrust the button and use the keyboard (cmd-. or esc) to stop a page load. I don't even think about it any more because it's been so long, but I don't think that's really a good thing either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
Nor have I heard anyone complain that this behavior bugs them.
I remember myself and several others complaining about this back when Safari was introduced. I figure most people who were bothered by it got used to working around it like I did and just gave up. Bigger fish to fry.

It looks like Google Chrome has a smart take with its combined stop/go button, which actually makes a bit more sense than combining stop/reload, IMO. In Chrome, the state of the button doesn't change from stop to go if your mouse is over it when the page finishes loading. This is a huge step in the right direction to prevent misclicks.

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Kraetos
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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2008-10-13, 21:09

I've begun to use Chrome exclusively when I'm in the PC environment. Much better than Firefox. I've never liked Firefox (gasp!), it strikes me as heavy and clumsy. Chrome is anything but.

Depending on the quality of the Mac port, it will probably replace Safari as my main browser. Until Safari 4, unless V8 gets faster than SquirrelFish or they switch Chrome to SquirrelFish.

Man, browsers are sure moving fast these days. I love it

Sadly, being a technology pundit is truly never having to say you’re sorry. You can be wrong for years and never lose your job.—The Macalope
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chucker
 
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2008-10-14, 07:31

If it weren't for the complete lack of features and frequent UI glitches (at least for the time being), Stainless so would be my main browser. The thing completely screams. Anyone else play with it?
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Brad
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2008-10-14, 07:42

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
If it weren't for the complete lack of features and frequent UI glitches (at least for the time being), Stainless so would be my main browser. The thing completely screams. Anyone else play with it?
I tried it for a day shortly after it was released and, as you mention, found it a bit too glitchy and barebones for my liking. It's a good start, though.

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