Dear Chrome: Sorry Baby, You're Just Not Ready

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Dear Chrome:

First, this harassment has got to stop. The constant emails and IMs. Parking outside my house. Calling me at all hours of the night to tell me you've changed. Begging me to give you one more chance.

It's like a chapter out of The Compleat Stalkers Handbook. I am this close to getting a temporary restraining order.

I know, I know – you've had your coming out party. You're no longer a Beta. You've moved out of your parent's basement and gotten your own pad. And you've got plans to make a big splash on desktops next year (just stay away from that bee-yotch Internet Explorer or she'll claw your eyes out).

Listen. Just because they took the 'Beta' off the end of your name doesn't mean you're all growed up. It's only been 100 days – that makes you barely legal in most countries, and a babe in arms compared to other Google betas.

Frankly, babe, you've got a bad reputation. The guys you've been with have come home with more bugs than a sailor on shore leave in Tijuana. “Buggiest browser beta ever,” they say. A whopping 297 bugs, 12 percent of them major. I hope you had a thorough delousing before you put on that debutante's gown.

But what can I say? I'm a sucker for a pretty face. And I had to admit I was curious what Google – where things don't come out of beta until they're eligible for Social Security -- did to make you ready for prime time so quickly.

So against my better judgment I decided to give another chance. I downloaded you to my Vista laptop. First thing you did was get into a hair-pulling contest with Firefox and Open Office. That was unpleasant. But you can never tell who starts these things, so I gave you the benefit of the doubt. I also upgraded you on my XP desktop just to be sure it wasn't one of those Vista things.

At first it went pretty well. It was like old times. Even better, actually. I am pleased to report that my mouse scroll bar now works in both directions instead of just one. When I try to copy and paste a URL by right clicking, you actually do it all the time instead of only half the time. Video and audio play back consistently. When I search for a particular word on a Web page, you now remember my search terms, even when I tab away from the page and come back later. (But, strangely, when I refresh the page the search no longer works. Can you say “bug”?)

Then out of the blue, it happened. I was messing around on Twitter and clicked the home page for one of my legions of followers. SMACK! You slapped me in the face with a big ugly mess of HTML code. It looked just like this:

chrome_html_mess.jpg

I thought it had to be an accident, so I tried refreshing and reloading. No good. I quit and relaunched – and got the same mess-o-code. Then I loaded the same page in Firefox 3, IE 7, and Flock. No problemo. It displayed beautifully.

alyson_english_page.jpg

There was nothing fancy about the page – no streaming media, no scripts, just straight pictures and text – but there was something about it that made you, and only you, gag.

It's not like being unable to view that site was going to ruin my weekend. But it reminded me of just how young you truly are, how flighty, how.... beta-ish.

Don't get me wrong. Chromey you're a fine girl, what a good wife you would be. But you need to put your wild buggy past behind you. Until then, you're a fun date, but I can't get serious.

And no, you can't have your key back.

Hugs,

D.

PS: Yeah, I know, the whole 'letter to inanimate code' thing has gotten old. Sharks, motorcycles, jumping -- I get it. But I don't care. They're just too much fun to write.

When not carousing with browsers, Dan Tynan tends his blogs, Culture Crash and Tynan on Tech.

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