It is interesting to see how people behave in a period of change. Some people embrace it, some go hysterical blabbering nonsense. Post release of Chrome Frame, one of the Mozilla’s top brass, Mitchell Baker, has taken the second route. Excerpting from her blog entry:
For many people Chrome Frame will make the web even more unknowable and confusing. Image you download Chrome Frame. You go to a website. What rendering engine do you end up using? That depends on the website now, not on you.
I don’t care! What I want is my page to render properly.
And if you end up at a website that makes use of the Chrome Frame, the treatment of your passwords, security settings, personalization all the other things one sets in a browser is suddenly unknown.
The aim of Chrome Frame is just to change the rendering engine. Not replace IE’s personalization tools.
And the blabber continues to new hysterical levels:
Google is not the only website developer that would find this idea useful. Google is providing the set of features it believes are helpful for making powerful websites. Other websites will have browser features they would find useful for their applications. Imagine having the Google browser-within-a-browser for some sites, the Facebook browser-within-a-browser for Facebook Connect sites, the Apple variant for iTunes, the mobile-carrier variant for your mobile sites — all injected into a single piece of software the user thinks of as his or her “browser”. Each browser-within-a-browser variant will have its own feature set, its own quirks, and its own security problems.
Wow! I don’t understand what she is saying!!
And the classic case of fear: blabber about the architectural flaws:
For those not familiar with the ins-and-outs of browser architecture, you can think of a browser as having two essential parts. One part we humans don’t see — it’s the part that “speaks” computer languages and talks with web servers. This is often called the “platform” or the “rendering engine”. The other part is the set of things that human beings see and interact with, which is often called the “front-end” or the “application layer.”
Chrome Frame breaks this connection by inserting a separate rendering engine into your browser, and allowing websites to determine which rendering engine you end up using. If you download Chrome Frame you see the basic front end of your previous browser, but websites cause your browser to toggle back and forth between the rendering engine of Chrome and the rendering engine of the browser you selected. The application layer of your browser and the platform part of your browser are no longer connected.
What if they are not connected? Why talk theory in a place where usability matters?
So guys, what does this mean? Fear! Of course!! Fear of (quoting Mitchell again):
Mozilla Firefox has reached some 300 million people, but hundreds of millions more continue to use the browser that came on the machine they bought, sometimes years ago. Google began offering its own browser — “Chrome” — a year or so ago, but this has yet to gain significant traction.
Fear of Google Chrome (and Chrome Frame) surpassing Firefox in usage. And fear of Google severing the financial lifeline of Mozilla Foundation (Google is the only big donor to the foundation).
On my part, I have removed Mitchell Baker from my feed. I thought her to be a inspirational person. But she turned out to be just another emotionally fluctuating person.
Long live Mozilla!