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Bugs in Google Chrome

I’m currently running google-chrome-beta version 5.0.375.55-r47796 on Debian/Unstable. It’s the fastest web browser I’ve used in recent times – it’s the first time that I’ve run a browser that feels faster than my recollection of running IBM WebExplorer for OS/2 on a 486-66 system! It has a good feature set, and it’s the only browser I’ve used that in a typical configuration will make proper use of the screen space by not having a permanent status bar at the bottom of the sceen and by having tabs in the title-bar. But it’s not perfect, here is a list of some bugs:

Chrome Titlebar when maximisedChrome Titlebar when not maximisedRight of Chrome Titlebar when not maximised

Above are three partial screen captures of Chrome, the first is when maximised and the second is when the window isn’t maximised. Notice the extra vertical space above the tab in the title bar in the second picture. The third picture shows the right side of the titlebar and you can see a space below the three buttons where you can drag the window around – no matter how many tabs you open that space below the three buttons is reserved. If the Chrome developers had removed the extra vertical space in the titlebar and reserved slightly more horizontal space then you would be able to drag the window around. While an anonymous commentator made a good point that the extra vertical space can be used to drag the window around when the maximum number of tabs are open, it seems that there are other ways of achieving that goal without wasting ~18 vertical pixels. Doing so would be a lot less ugly than what they did with finding text in the page.

When I visit a web site that uses cookies from an Incognito Window (which means that cookies etc aren’t stored) there is no option to say “allow all cookies”. This is really annoying when you get to a web site such as the IBM one which stores 5 cookies when you first load the page and then at least one new cookie write for every page you visit. Given that cookie data will be discarded as soon as the window is closed it seems like a good idea to have an option to allow all cookies for Incognito Windows even if all cookies aren’t allowed for regular windows. Blocking all cookies would be OK too, anything but having to click on Block or Allow multiple times for each page load.

The J and K keys don’t work in a view of Venus version 0~bzr95-2+lenny1 (the latest version in Debian/Lenny).

I once had a situation where I entered a ‘.’ at the end of a domain name (which is quite legal – there is always an implied dot) and Chrome then wouldn’t take note of my request to accept all cookies from the domain. I haven’t been able to reproduce that bug, but I have noticed that it stores the settings for whether cookies should be stored separately for domains that end in ‘.’, so “www.cnn.com.” is different from “www.cnn.com” . Iceweasel seems to just quietly strip the trailing dot. Of course this is better than Konqueror which won’t even load a URL with a dot at the end.

Chrome can be relied on to restore all windows rapidly after a crash, unlike Iceweasel which restores them at it’s normal load speed (slow) and Konqueror which doesn’t tend to restore windows. This is good as it does seem to crash regularly. In a response to my post about Chrome and SE Linux [1] Ben Hutchings pointed out that the --no-sandbox option to chrome disables the creation of a PID namespace and therefore makes debugging a lot easier, if I get a lot of spare time I’ll try and track down some of the Chrome SEGVs.

The JavaScript compiler is either buggy or it’s not buggy in situations where people expect IE bugs. When using the Dell Australia web site I can’t always order all options. When trying to order a Dell R300 1RU server with hot-plug disks in a hardware RAID array it seems impossible to get all the necessary jumpers – which is a precondition to completing the order – fortunately I only wanted to blog about how cheap Dell servers are so I don’t actually need to complete an order. Dell’s web site is also difficult in Iceweasel on occasion, so it’s obviously more demanding than most sites. It might be a good test site for people who work on browsers as it’s both demanding and important.

When I select a URL to be opened in a new window (or when JavaScript does this) then the new tab is opened with about:blank listed as the URL. If the URL is for a PDF file (or something else that is to be downloaded) then the URL entry field is never updated to give the real URL. I believe that this is wrong, either the new tab shouldn’t be opened or it should have the correct URL on display – there is no benefit with a tab open to show nothing but about:blank in the URL entry field. Also if a URL takes some time to load then it may keep about:blank in the URL entry field for some time. This means that if you use the middle mouse button to rapidly open a few new tabs you won’t be able to see what is to be loaded in each one. Sometimes I have several tabs loading and I’m happy to close some unimportant ones if they are slow but some are worth waiting for.

Overall that’s not too bad. I can use Dell’s site in Iceweasel, so the only critical bug is the cookies issue in Incognito Windows which makes the Incognito feature almost unusable for some sites.

11 comments to Bugs in Google Chrome

  • Is the terrible font not a bug?

  • anonymous

    I believe your first example of a “bug” is really a feature. If the window is maximized, why would you need more space above the tab bar? You’re not going to be dragging the window around (it’s maximized) so might as well not waste the screen real estate. While it seems like a small thing, I really enjoy this feature as it provides a noticeable difference when using a device with a limited resolution (such as netbooks)

  • etbe

    jldugger: I’m happy with that font.

    anon: Good point, it obviously does do some good for the case where you have a non-maximised window with a large number of tabs open. I believe that there are better solutions though and I have updated the post to describe one.

  • I don’t use Chrome for one reason, no ability to make tabbar vertical (as sidepanel), on panoramic monitor it’s just sooo much better (as 95% pages done use more than 60-80% screenspace. There are some plugins which try to emulate that but they dont work too well compared to some ff mods

  • etbe

    XANi: That’s a good idea. I’ve got a 1680*1050 display for my main machine and I’ve been using the KDE panel on the left of the screen for a while. But I still find that I often have the vertical space used more than the horizontal space – partly due to some web sites that have been optimised for a 1024 pixel wide screen.

    Also 1920*1080 displays are getting really cheap nowadays, and netbooks have even more extreme issues with vertical space.

    But which browsers do this well? If FF needs some mods to do this then surely a Chrome mod can be expected to do the same equally well at some future time. The Chrome ecosystem hasn’t had much time to grow.

  • Actually, it’s “work in progress” in chrome (just noticed it today) http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Chrome/thread?tid=7d4d11a0e77186ee&hl=en

    but option ‘–enable-vertical-tabs’ doesn’t work on linux on my chromium version (6.0.426.0) ;/

    Yes firefox need some plugin for that but afaik there is no plugin api in chrome that enables to do it in plugin.

  • Evo2

    To address your first issue select “Use system title bar and boarders” instead of “Hide system title bar and use compact boards”. Then you can configure your window manager to make the border as small as you like.

  • etbe

    Evo: Thanks for the suggestion, but when I do that I lose the maximise/restore, minimise, and close buttons. Also when I have many open tabs it becomes difficult to drag the non-maximised windows around.

  • Greg Black

    For me the show-stopper bug in Chrome is its inability to print to A4 paper. I try it with every update, but it insists on creating PS that specifies US Letter paper.

  • it’s a long time since I boot my Kubuntu Karmic,, always skip it to boot Windows7 hehehe
    but now my Chrome in W7 always hung up,, even I re-install it again. also Srware Iron hang up too.
    I’ve to check up my Chrome in Kubuntu and update it

  • etbe

    anonymous made a good point about the vertical size of the title bar, so I won’t report a bug about that.

    http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=591033
    http://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=50835

    The above bug report concerns the problem scrolling with J and K keys with planet-venus.

    I can’t reproduce the issue with domain names ending with “.” in 5.0.375.99 (Developer Build 51029).

    http://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=44670
    http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=591037

    The problem with cookies in incognito mode is already reported in the above upstream bug report, but I filed a Debian bug report as well.

    I can’t reproduce the problem with the Dell web site. Maybe Dell changed their site to work with Chrome (surely they track the partially completed orders and look at the browser identification). Maybe I just stuffed up last time I tried with Chrome – today when I did the identical click for click actions with Chrome and Firefox they worked in the same way.

    http://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=50838

    I reported the issue regarding about:blank in the above bug report but didn’t bother filing a Debian bug report.