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Google Chrome

From DocForge

Google Chrome is a web browser created by Google™. It's source code is open under the BSD License.

Chrome uses the WebKit rendering engine (also used by Safari and Konqueror) with Google's own user interface and JavaScript engine.

Officially supported platforms include Windows XP (with Service Pack 2 or higher) and Windows Vista. Versions for other operating systems are under development.


[edit] Features

Some features of interest:

  • Sandboxing for multi-tab windows, with each tab running in a separate dedicated process.
    • The process limit is 20. Anything requiring an additional process once this limit is reached, such as opening another tab, will be assigned randomly to any of the existing 20 processes.
    • Frames of any origin or domain are run within the same process as the parent window. Hyperlinking from one frame to another does not change processes.
    • If any process crashes or hangs it is unlikely to affect the rest of the browser.
    • Sandboxing helps prevent potential security intrusions from client-side code in one tab attempting to access the contents of another tab. These security benefits are limited by process sharing which occurs in some circumstances.
  • Task Manager utility for process management and display of per-tab memory usage
  • Use of blacklists - warnings for phishing, malware, or otherwise potentially unsafe web sites
  • OmniBar - The location bar executes web searches and uses search engines to create a suggestion list as the user types.

Chrome's user agent string is in the following format:

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

[edit] JavaScript

JavaScript performance is a primary design goal of Google Chrome, leading to a relatively fast JavaScript runtime environment implementation. JavaScript features: [1]

  • Chrome includes of the Google Gears JavaScript API
  • The timer delay is as low as 1 millisecond, depending on the circumstances. Most browsers do not allow very small timers, via setTimeout for example, but Chrome will attempt to execute in as close a time as possible.
  • In most circumstances JavaScript will be allowed to run indefinitely without a warning dialog.

[edit] Issues

Some users take issue with Chrome features:

  • Installing the web browser also installs a Google Updater application without confirmation. This process will continually run in the background and does not automatically uninstall.
  • By default the location bar creates a suggestion list by sending the configured search engine everything that's typed, unless it begins with "http://". Search engines are therefore able to track everything ever typed into the location bar, including partial and complete domain names, even if the user does not press the Enter key to execute a search. Your cookies are also sent just as if you were searching normally. Therefore users logged into Google services can have everything typed into the location bar tracked by Google and linked to their Google user account. This suggestion list feature can be disabled by choosing "Options", then "Manage", and unchecking “Use a suggestion …”
  • Google has removed WebKit's HTML 5 compatible client-side database storage API from Chrome, but included their own non-standard client-side SQL database API from Google Gears.
  • The sharing of processes, such as when the process limit is reached and for frames, constrains the security benefits of sandboxing.
  • The source of an HTML / XHTML iframe will be automatically downloaded, without user interaction or confirmation, even if it's an executable file.
  • Chrome's sandboxing conflicts with Symantec Endpoint Protection.[2]

Less technical potential issues:

  • "The [German] Federal Office for Information Security warned internet users of the new browser Chrome. The application by the company Google should not be used for surfing the internet, as a spokesperson for the office told the Berliner Zeitung. It was said to be problematic that Chrome was distributed as an unfinished advance version. Furthermore it was said to be risky that user data is hoarded with a single vendor. With its search engine, email program and the new browser, Google now covers all important areas on the internet." [3]
  • When first released, the End-User License Agreement (EULA) for the downloadable executable contained the following:
    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 section has since been changed to, "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." [4][5] Google Chrome doesn't yet send much data to Google.[6] Being open source, the browser can be monitored for future features that may send more data to Google.

[edit] See Also

[edit] Notes

  1. JavaScript in Chrome
  2. Google Chrome - Crashing with Symentec
  3. Google Chrome Receives Heavy Criticism in Germany
  4. Google Chrome EULA
  5. Google does not want rights to things you do using Chrome
  6. Preventing Paranoia: When Does Google Chrome Talk to