Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Google Chrome is pissing me off.

First off, let me say I am a big fan of Google, the cloud model, and the approach of Lean, Mean, and Clean. I have to admit that, despite being an early adopter of Google Chrome, and being in love at first sight, my relationship with Google Chrome is starting to sour.

I have three specific reasons why Chrome is going to make me end up running back to Firefox.

  1. Tabbed Browsing: Love it! What I hate is in Chrome, mouse clicks seems to be sticky, that is, if you click a tab and then move your mouse to start prepare to click somewhere else, Google Chrome will sometimes lag and register the mouse up event late and think your doing a tab drag and not a tab focus. Now suddenly instead of bringing focus to the desired tab, you just inadvertently dragged the tab out to its own window and now have to drag it back again. I have this problem on every computer I use from laptop to powerful desktops. I don't have this issue with any other browser. Stop. Just stop it. Even as I write this, this issue is occuring. Its especially exasperated when remoted in via terminal services over a celluar link.
  2. Terrible render performance: Over time, Chrome has gotten much slower when needing to repaint a page (e.g. when switching from one app to another. It seems that a large amount of that page is getting, well, paged. Chrome makes heavy use of its cache which, naturally, is written to disk. It seems when a page has not been in focus for while, Chrome is clearing memory and then having to reload the cache to paint the page when it comes in focus again. Not helpful when your relying on minimizing disk activity to conserve battery on your mobile device.
  3. Safe browsing sucks! The safe browsing DB is used by Chrome for its malware and phishing detection capability. The issue with this is that its slow, causes heavy IO, and again bad for road warriors. They have been making some changes that help limit this so it doesn't cause your system to be unresponsive (which is the main reason I switched to the google DEV channel) however, open FileMon and just watch how often these safebrowsing sql lite dbs are hit. I think I might actually turn off safe browsing and see if it helps.
Google knows its the little things that count when it comes to a user's experience. Even if I end up going back to FF full time, Google Chrome would have still been a success. Its pushing the browser market to reconsider simplicity. Do one thing and do it well. Speed and stability are the second and third most important aspects in a browser behind rendering the page correctly (including images and JS/Flash).