(Update #3) Google Joins the Browser War

Google launch their FLOSS (Free/Libre Open-Source Software) Browser called Google Chrome based on the following FLOSS projects:

  • Layout Engine: WebKit – the same layout engine found in Safari 3.1.0 (which is old – more below)
  • Rich Internet Application (RIA): Google Gears
  • JavaScript Engine: Google V8
  • Graphics Library: Skia Graphic Library (SGL) [source: Aha]
  • Project Behind Chrome: Chromium

We can assume that websites will appear similar as it is in Safari 3.1.0, however this isn’t the case after testing it out myself (more on that later).

Downloading Google Chrome Windows Beta

On the positive side, kudos to Google for including a Filipino UI-language for Chrome, a second kudos for using the legally correct language name “Filipino” and not “Tagalog”. But they should have asked a Filipino to do the translations (more on this).


So let’s begin to dig deeper in to Google Chrome, things you may not read anywhere.

Follow up:

First load of Google Chrome v0.2 Windows Beta

Import from Firefox as default?!

I do not know if it’s just me but upon installation of Google Chrome, it asked me to import from Mozilla Firefox but never with other browsers especially Internet Explorer. Is this intentional? If it is, then it shows that they are targetting Firefox users and not Internet Explorer. Just weird ^_^

Oh noes… Chrome using an old version of WebKit? or not..

Theoretically, if Google Chrome is using WebKit as its layout engine, then it should display websites using CSS3 the way these are displayed in Safari 3.1.2. However, one will wonder why it isn’t, as shown in the screenshot below:

CSS3 via Chrome 0.2

Compare it with Safari 3.1.2:

CSS3 via Safari 3.1.2

Here’s a list of CSS properties that are not working perfectly or not-at-all:

  • @font-face – not working
  • border-radius – not working perfectly
  • box-shadow – not working perfectly
  • text-shadow – not working

Could it be that the WebKit version Chrome was built upon is an old version of the layout engine? Then it is only right that we expect Google to use the latest WebKit for Chrome’s next release. Or maybe they just disabled support for those properties?

Update (6:13pm ACT): Was able to confirm that Google Chrome v0.2 is using an old version of WebKit, which is the same as Safari 3.1.0. Safari 3.1.2 on the other hand is using the latest version of the said FLOSS layout engine. It could be the reason why CSS3 properties doesn’t look the same between Google Chrome 0.2 and Safari 3.1.2, but I haven’t dig that deeper.

Google got it right… ‘Filipino’ not ‘Tagalog’

If you go to Options -> Minor Tweaks -> “Change font and language settings” -> Languages, you can change the default UI-language of Chrome to your own language. In the Google Chrome language drop-down, it is listed there ‘Filipino’ and not ‘Tagalog’.

This is a good thing because ‘Filipino’ is the legal and official language of the Philippines not ‘Tagalog’. A Filipino may argue that the said language is ‘Tagalog’ mostly but this wasn’t the plan of the Government and until now, it is still being ignored (it was supposed to integrate words and phrases from other major Philippine dialects not just Tagalog dialect). But let’s not go to that topic.

Here’s what you get

Google Chrome in Filipino

Let Filipinos translate Google Chrome for you..

That is my suggestion, let Filipinos do the translation for you. Here are examples:

  • “Please close all Chrome windows and restart Chrome for this change to take effect.”
    • Google: “Mangyaring isara ang lahat ng Chrome windows at i-restart ang Chrome upang makaapekto para sa pagbabago.”
    • My translation: “Mangyaring isara ang lahat ng Chrome windows at i-restart ang Chrome upang umepekto ang mga bagong setting.”
  • “Downloads”
    • Google: “Mga download”
    • My translation: “Downloads” (there is no need to change this really)
  • “Clear browsing data…”
    • Google: “Limasin ang pag-browse data…
    • My translation: “Linisin ang browsing data…” or “Linisin ang data ng pag-browse…”
  • “Options”
    • Google: “Mga pagpipilian”
    • My translation: “Options” (no need to change this also)

And many more… Let’s be fair, we can assume that the Filipino translation was made by a machine because if you have noticed, the translation is word-by-word instead of meaning-by-meaning. There are also translations that doesn’t really need to be translated like ‘Options’, ‘Downloads’, ‘Help’ (translated as ‘Tulong’), and ‘Exit’ (translated as ‘Lumabas’) to mention a few.

(* I am not saying I am better with doing the translation, I am not, but I can say that Filipinos can do it better than a machine :p )

To Google Chrome team, hire Filipinos to help in making Chrome’s Filipino translation better. It must be a translation based on a casual day-to-day Filipino conversation.

Thank you very much for the Filipino support and for using the legal and official Philippine language name. Kudos!!

Recently closed tabs…

I like the way Chrome presents the “recently closed tabs” – it is under the “Recent bookmarks” when opening a new empty tab, as shown:

This is a built-in feature of Chrome, something other browsers lack or is available only via addons/extensions.

Detailed History

Google Chrome offers for you to track down websites you visited in a long list, divided by days, and each website labeled with the time you visited it.

No Unicode-URL support

It is sad that Chrome’s first public release does not offer Unicode-URL support like https://例子.测试 it shows as https://xn–fsqu00a.xn–0zwm56d/; https://مثال.آزمایشی/ shows as https://xn–mgbh0fb.xn–hgbk6aj7f53bba/.

Maybe not important for English speakers but if they want to dominate early, they should have implemented Unicode-URL support already. Google knows that there is a huge market out there in the non-native English speaking world.

No GNU/Linux and Mac support… yet

Finally, there is no Linux and Mac support yet. If you visit Google Chrome’s website using Linux or Mac, you will get an email sign-up field so they can contact you upon availability of Chrome for your platform.

But once Chrome is available for Linux and Mac, will it compete head-on with Konqueror (layout engine: KHTML – where WebKit was based from) and Safari, respectively? Probably, Google Chrome could very well be the browser that will conquer all three platforms – GNU/Linux, Apple Mac, and Microsoft Windows. We haven’t even considered the Mobile market yet, Google can and will definitely integrate Chrome with Android.


Sorry, there is no STOP Button in Google Chrome at the moment….
Update (4:38 ACT): The STOP Button shows up instead of the GO Button when the page is loading. It is in the right-most part of the Address Bar.

Remember, this is only version 0.2 of Google Chrome. It is in its (public) Beta phase and we should expect bugs, missing ‘common’ or ‘fundamental’ features, and may fall beyond your expectations and standard. Give it enough time to mature and keep posting your suggestions in different blogs, forums, websites, mailing lists, groups, and send it as well to Google.

Download Google Chrome here.

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