It’s in a digital comic book style which makes for easy and informative reading with plenty of humour thrown in for good measure. As with all Google products it is comprehensive but brief and to the point. As a software learning guide it is only suitable for older teenagers as the concepts and language used is quite advanced but it’s a great resource for future programmers.
The introduction to this digital guide describes the modern day challenges for web browser design such as having to handle video content and web-based games that weren’t around when the internet was in its infancy. Also the importance of speed and stability is mentioned along with the growing need for enhanced security. All of these ideas and many others then need to be packaged into something that is clean, simple and efficient. Chrome has certainly proved that ‘less is more’ by not loading the browser with too many features … they’ve also made it open-source so others can adopt and adapt.
Introduction to the ‘omnibox’ which exists courtesy of Google Chrome’s unique tab architecture which allows tabs to be detached from each other and consequently have their own controls and their own URL box. This omnibox also provides other services such as offering suggestions and remembering pages you’ve visited. Autocomplete in Google Chrome has been designed intelligently to provide a compelling and useful service … not something that is an annoyance to users. The home page also displays nine of your most visited websites for quick and convenient access. The Google Chrome incognito window is mentioned and how you can still access your bookmarks but no browser history is saved and cookies are deleted when the tab is closed. Pop-up management is explained.
The current issues with phishing and malware are covered. The main approach to dealing with these issues in Google Chrome is the assumption that everybody’s browser will eventually become compromised. Sandboxing is explained and how it prevents malware from installing itself on your machine or letting one tab affect another by essentially securing each tab and taking away its rights. Sandbox perimeters can be altered based on permissions such as ‘very trusted’, ‘somewhat trusted’ and ‘not trusted at all’ … with reading being permitted from low to high but writing being restricted from high to low. Plugins are explained and their relationship to permissions which is problematic. Plugins are not to public standards so can’t yet be sandboxed but plug-in makers themselves can help by running them with low privileges. Google Chrome plug-ins removed from rendering process so that remainder of page can be sandboxed even if the plug-in cannot be sandboxed. Challenges of tackling phishing are described and the importance of catching each attack as soon as possible. Google maintains a list of websites which are associated with phishing and malware so they can constantly monitor and prevent users from visiting them.
Introduction to Google Chrome’s Gears and how they add an extension to the browser that improves capabilities. Gears provides important benefits for developers. It tries to improve the functionality of all browsers. Advantages of native apps over web apps. Advantages of open standards to aid all browsers because developers can take what they need. Why Google make their Google Chrome browser open source for the benefit of the whole internet. Final shout out to Mozilla and WEBKIT.