Wednesday, September 17, 2008

READER'S FEEDBACK: Chrome & Opera web browsers

Please note Tamura's responses to several of Ol' Myrt's comments from BEST of the Internet for Genealogists – 14 Sept 2008 concerning the new Chrome web browser from Google.

From: Tamura tamurajones at
Chrome is not safe; try Opera for the features it copied.

Myrt wrote "The only genealogy website I found that didn't work with Chrome thus far is [Millennia's] Legacy Family Tree"

I just tried the Millennnia web site in Safari, Chrome and Chromium - that's the open source build without Google branding. In this quick test it looked fine in Safari, looked fine in Chrome, but the Millennia menu looked messed up in the particular Chromium build I downloaded.

Millennia still uses JavaScript for menus and Google's JavaScript engine is not entirely compatible with others yet.

I still run the original Chrome release, which displays the site just fine. I think your Chrome updated to a newer version already, the GoogleUpdate background process does that without asking or warning you. The newer version is a bit safer, but messes up the Milennia menu, just like the Chromium build I have.

So in some sense, the newer version is a step backwards :-(

Myrt wrote: It didn't take me 12 hours to decide I like the ease of adding tabs, dragging a tab out to it's own window, the use of incognito tabs so you aren't always having to clear your cache, and a main page showing large postage stamp screen shots of your most recently visited websites.

Strange as this may sound, Chrome is engineered for safe browsing, but is not very safe yet. The short non-technical version of why not is that Chrome is not finished yet. Several organisations have already warned against using it for everyday browsing. The current version is 0.2. You should probably wait for version 1.0.

I happen to like Firefox for its add-ons, and there are add-ons that give you many of Chrome's features in Firefox, but you may want to try Opera instead. Chrome copied many of it's end-user features, such as the Speed Dial page, from Opera.

Thank-you for sharing your thoughts about web browsers – since they are the essential interface for viewing information online, including scanned images of documents at websites such as FamilySearch, GenealogyBank, Ancestry, Footnote, ScotlandsPeople and such.

I personally use Firefox, except when I post a blog entry or upload a podcast. Both Blogger and GoDaddy's interfaces work better with Internet Explorer. I have Opera, but don’t use it enough to have an opinion.

Since Chrome is the new kid on the block, I am sure this is not the last blog entry on the topic.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

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