The Google Chrome browser is making huge strides in the way it does many things, and though I am a fan of Opera, I also use the Chrome workalike Iron, and like most of it very much.
The guys over at Download Squad seem to like Chrome a lot too, as they now have established a weekly update to all that is Chrome, called Chrome Corner.
This is all well and good, but I am finding that many of the extensions are of questionable quality, and, for my part, really dragging the reputation of the browser down. While many will say they are not sponsored by Google, and they would be correct, the natural tendency is there to conflate the shortcomings of extensions and browser. It certainly happened with Firefox.
During the 2 plus years I used Firefox, there were many extensions that worked poorly, and were never updated to a status I would consider acceptable. Yet the job that they were doing was something that many wanted, so the extensions enjoyed popularity. In many ways, I think that popularity of these inferior extensions inhibited others from working on a better “mousetrap”.
I see this happening with Chrome now. There a few really useful and easily used extensions, such as the Google Mail check, Yahoo Mail check, a Twitter app, and a better bookmarks viewer. These all were easily installed, don’t crash, and do what they set out to do. Others I have tried such as another Twitter application that, as soon as the first tweet was sent it crashes, or a Stumble Upon application that draws things all over the screen and does nothing to help the user get from from one site to the next, should be buried in the sands of time. never, never to bother a user again.
The shakedown period is not looking very good, because many of the extensions I’ve tried work only with a certain subversion of the browser, and not the others – not a good idea, and hard to keep up with. The funny thing is, there is nowhere on any of the several sites devoted to the extensions that sorts them according to what revisions they work with.
Just for my own benefit, I’d like to see a little badge that sates the extension has been installed on more than the author’s machine, so as to know it is not totally machine dependent. I have installed 2 extensions that did not make it through the install process before crashing – bad form for any piece of programming.
Now is the time to clear up the problems, and clean out the dregs, so that Chrome will not receive the reputation as a high-maintenance browser, which for many will be the kiss of death.
Things are changing, Firefox has lost some of its sheen, Opera is packing on muscle and speed, Safari is lost in the desert, and Chrome is trying to distinguish between additions that are of high quality, or simply shiny on the surface.
Internet Exploder is simply treading water, hoping for a lifejacket soon.
Not enough of the zealots have seen this one yet.