Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Why Google Chrome Frame won't help

So Google just announced a new open source project: Chrome Frame.
Google Chrome Frame is an early-stage open source plug-in that seamlessly brings Google Chrome's open web technologies and speedy JavaScript engine to Internet Explorer. With Google Chrome Frame, you can:
  • Start using open web technologies - like the HTML5 canvas tag - right away, even technologies that aren't yet supported in Internet Explorer 6, 7, or 8.
  • Take advantage of JavaScript performance improvements to make your apps faster and more responsive.

Just to clarify: I don't think it hurts anything, and I applaud Google's intentions to rid us all of supporting such a piece of shit like IE. It looks like a cool piece of technology and the most creative effort I've seen since the Mozilla ActiveX control.

But it'll do jack shit to get around supporting IE in all of its broken glory.

I'll ignore the current requirement of adding a meta tag to a page in order to trigger the plugin, and also the fact that this extremely young and experimental project doesn't have things like deployment tools for IT departments to use. They just announced this, and want feedback from developers at this point so they can continue working on it.

Google Chrome Frame will do jack shit, because the stick-in-the-mud companies that can't part with IE6 won't install a browser in a plugin. If the companies didn't have ignorant, self-defeating, head-up-their-fucking-ass rules about what level of corporate hell they'll ban you to for trying to install something on your machine, they would simply let you install the browser itself. None of the companies currently threatening their employees with fines or even firing will consider for a second adding an entire browser via a plugin. Employees might try to install it on their own in order to try to hide the fact that they get more work done when not using a complete piece of shit, but that will just prompt more companies to learn how to block people from installing browser plugins.

One of the reasons even the more laid back companies would probably let people install a whole other browser before installing a browser in a plugin: support. If you have employees using web applications that take advantage of Chrome Frame and they hit a bug either in the web application itself or something more severe like a browser crash (or maybe the always entertaining BSOD), that will fucking suck to figure out what happened. And if you installed Chrome Frame without their knowing, then call up support with a "my browser fucking crashed on me again" that turns out to stem from Google's crap code, your employer will fuck you. Shit, once they finally upgrade to IE8 they'll have enough of a problem with browser engines.

We instead need to find out what products companies use that require IE and either get the distributer to stop that shit, or provide alternatives. This will take a fucking long time, so I expect we'll also need to educate some of these dumbasses who think that they'll stay more secure by using an ancient fucking version of the least secure browser in existence, so they'll at least let one of the better choices onto the machines. Then employees will still have IE6 for the ten-year old shit software that requires it, and something else to use that actually works with the rest of the world.

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