FAQ: Google Chrome Tips and Pointers

Chrome is Google's newly released browser. It's currently available for Windows only. Following are a couple of FAQ's and bits of interest.

Is Chrome more secure than other browsers? Does it respect my privacy?

Chrome is likely not 100 percent secure, even when you'd get that impression from parts of the comic book Google put forth – but no popular browser is ever completely secure. For instance, it has been mentioned that there are ways to automatically drop a file on your desktop when browsing a page with Chrome. E.g. any webmaster can add an executable called "Windows Explorer" with an icon of their choosing to your desktop via the following HTML included in their page... using the Chrome default settings you won't even be asked for confirmation, which opposes Google's statements that a Chrome tab is like a "jail":

As for Google respecting your privacy, well, there are some ways the browser communicates with Google's server through its address bar auto-completion – the "omnibox" – that got some people worried. To disable some of the omnibox-server communication, right-click the Chrome address bar, select "Edit search engines" from the context menu that appears, and uncheck the box labeled "Use a suggestion service...".

As a bonus, Chrome has an "incognito" mode – press Ctrl+Shift+N – which makes your browsing more private.

I missed the Google webcast where they talked about Chrome...

The webcast is archived on YouTube. (Not all slides are showing in the video, I've uploaded the first 10 as a zip file.) Larry Page appears near the end. Note the Q&A at the end of the session is not included in that video.

How can I optimize my website for Chrome?

Chrome is based on the existing Webkit rendering, which mostly adheres to web standards, and is also used in similar form by the Safari browser. So your first best bet is to work within the official standards of HTML (or XHTML) and CSS. Beyond that you should do some testing as not all things will display the same in every browser.

One other thing you can do with Chrome is to utilize the features of the Google Gears component it ships with. For instance, this lets you create a persistent client-side database which you can query using JavaScript. (Note that this won't automatically make the data available on all computers the user may visit your site with; you need to handle synchronization for that and rely on all browsers on the different computers having Gears installed.)

Something else you can do is to use some of the Webkit-specific Cascading StyleSheet properties. For instance, the following will add a ticker effect to an element (in case you really would want it... as it can be obtrusive):

white-space: nowrap; overflow: hidden; overflow-x:-webkit-marquee; -webkit-marquee-direction: backwards; -webkit-marquee-style: alternate; -webkit-marquee-speed: normal; -webkit-marquee-increment: small; -webkit-marquee-repetition: 4;

Not all CSS that works with Safari works with Chrome, though. For instance, the following does not seem to show the special font "Abduction" in Chrome, even when it does in Windows Safari:

@font-face { font-family: Abduction; font-style: normal; src: url(http://blogoscoped.com/temp/Abduction.ttf); }

.someClass { font-family: Abduction, arial; }

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Philipp Lenssen

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