Tag Archives: Google

Google Chrome: Getting from dev channel to stable

As a developer, I tend to enjoy tinkering with the newest and shiniest of toys. Pretty pretty shiny shiny. Anyway, it turns out sometimes the newest and shiniest isn’t always so shiny and in fact is sometimes actually broken. Yes, I know that may come as a surprise to most of you, but indeed it is true. This actually happened to my Google Chrome recently on the dev channel with some broken page layout issues whenever I use page zoom, which these days is pretty much permanent. Wanting to keep Chrome as the default browser for several reasons, I decided I didn’t wanna be on the dev channel anymore. I reported the layout bug and set about finding my way back to the stable channel.

Boromir: One does not simply walk off the dev channel

The way to do this properly wasn’t really apparent from any Google searches I found – admittedly a very brief search, so I just decided to download the stable version of Chrome to see what happened. Worked, except I got this semi-cryptic error message:

Your profile can not be used because it is from a newer version of Google Chrome. Some features may be unavailable. Please specify a different profile directory or use a newer version of Chrome.

Yeah so how do you do that? Turns out it’s easily solved as discovered by searching on the error message text as I discovered on the Google Chrome Product Forum. Deleting the old profile works well enough if you are logged in to Google Chrome or don’t mind clobbering all your preferences and settings. The profile folder is found thusly:

  • Windows: %UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default
  • Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default/
  • Linux: ~/.config/google-chrome/Default

Quit Chrome, delete the folder, launch your newly-installed stable version, log back in to Chrome, and you’re good to go.

TL; DR:

  1. Sign in to Chrome and make sure the preference to synchronize everything is turned on
  2. Download and install stable channel of Chrome
  3. Quit any running instances of Chrome
  4. Delete your profile folder
  5. Install and launch your stable version of Chrome
  6. Log back in to Chrome to get your settings back

Some Google+ thoughts

No question, Google+ is Google’s most successful foray into the whole social media arena. I am sure this one will succeed where other initiatives have failed. I’m glad to see it taking off. But a few things need to be worked out for it to achieve it’s full potential. Here’s my unsolicited feedback:

I think the first thing I’d like to see is for all my Buzz content to go directly into my stream. I don’t want two streams, nor do I want to go look at a separate place for all the people I follow on Buzz vs. Google+. It is an extra step that I don’t have time to take.

Another thing I’d like to see is that my activity stream selection should remain persistent. Currently the default stream is for everybody in my circles, but I would much rather have that be filtered to whatever circle I choose or was last viewing.

In fact, get rid of Buzz. And figure out how Google Reader and Google Bookmarks play in with this. Integrate them, or get rid of any overlap or confusion. Do it now before the problems become worse. Don’t wait.

I would really like a way to have my Twitter posts show up in my Google+ stream. This again is a time issue – I don’t want to spend a lot of time tending my content on both networks. It’s largely the same crowd for me anyway. If I have a choice between one or the other, I’m going to spend the time on Twitter because that’s where most of my contacts are. On the other hand if my content is posted in both places, then I can see if there are responses and alerts in the Google nav bar whenever I’m using Gmail or Calendar, which would be fine.

The toolbar changes lists links for Web, Images, Videos, Maps, and News if I’m looking at one of those properties, and Calendar, Documents, Photos, and Reader if I’m in one of those areas. Gmail and Web are listed in both, although the Gmail toolbar uses the docs/photos/reader listing (inexplicably in gray instead of black I might add) and Web lists the web/images/videos set. Sometimes links open in new windows. Sometimes they don’t. Who knows or cares what will happen next? I’m feeling lucky! Sigh.

The mobile version of the site doesn’t let me +1 comments. Overall I’d like to see more functionality built in to the mobile version of the site.

The mobile app on iOS seems like an early beta. I opted out of using geolocation when I first launched it and now there’s no way to get it back.

There it is – my loving feedback. Fix all that and I will be back. xoxox -J.

Waxing Firefox, Waning IE

IE continues it’s downward spiral as the browser dips below 69% at the expense of Firefox and the WebKit-powered duo of Apple Safari and Google Chrome. The breakdown as paraphrased by TG Daily:

Net Applications released updated global browser market share numbers today, indicating that IE is losing users at an accelerated pace. The browser’s share dropped from 69.77% in November to 68.15% in December. Most rivals were able to pick up a portion of what IE surrendered. Firefox gained more than half a point and ended up at 21.34%, Safari approaches the next big hurdle with 7.93% and Chrome came in at 1.04%, the first time Google was able to cross the 1% mark. Opera remained stable 0.71%, but it is clear that the Norwegian browser cannot attract any users IE loses.

This is no surprise. Taking into account the seasonal fluctuation towards home users in December which point to higher “non-corporate” platforms and browsers, this is still a landmark statistic and shows that if the gradual decline continues, 60% and 50% are not that far off in the future. As the trend for Firefox and WebKit to rise at the expense of IE has been continuing for some time now. What surprises me are a couple of things though, specifically:

  1. The rate at which IE is losing overall market share: While I predicted a decline in market share over the long term, I didn’t think I’d ever see it declining at the rate it is currently declining on a month to month average. It just seems steep to me.
  2. Opera adoption: I thought that more people would pick up Opera – at least I thought they’d have 2 or 3 percent by now. They are by far the most deployed browser on the mobile web, but nobody knows it really because they could care less what browser is being activated from their baked-up phone UI, and it’s unlikely that they use it much (which is the fault of the phone vendors – Opera Mobile by itself is great.) I like Opera. It’s not my default browsaer, but I find myself using it from time to time for certain things. Certainly for print and presentations, and also it’s handy mobile web dev in Small Screen mode.

I wonder how much of those Safari numbers are being driven from iPhone and iPod Touch users? What is also interesting in these metrics is the inclusion of Google’s Chrome browser, which again is based on the WebKit core that Safari is founded upon. Chrome broke 1%, and at the same time they have begun recommending against IE and in favor of Firefox and Chrome for Google Gmail users. This is an interesting coup attempt to grab their Gmail base still floundering on IE6, and it is even more noteworthy that IE7 was not mentioned as an alternative. I am betting Chrome will be a major contender a year from now, and the overall WebKit market share might even approach Firefox’s levels. What is probably safe to predict is that IE will continue to lose out to Firefox and WebKit-based browsers and I would not be surprised at this point if the rate of increase in adoption of alternative browsers began to accelerate in 2009 towards these platforms.

It is nice to see strong lines of diversity returning to the browser market. The benefit will be for better browsers and stronger support overall for web standards.

Google Music Search needs food

The new Google Music Search feature is cool and all, but as of this writing it only turned up four recordings for Ludwig van Beethoven, and Gustav Mahler returned nil. Ditto for San Francisco Symphony.

The direct links to iTMS are cool too, but something seems wrong with my Firefox because those links seem to only launch iTunes from Safari right now.

It’s nice to see the direct link to iTMS though. It’s certainly a result that up until now has been mostly absent from their results, and now if they can figure out how to get the entire iTMS catalog properly indexed and how to cross-reference composer, work, conductor, soloist, and ensemble for classical entries, it will be useful to me.