Google Chrome with perspective

I can hardly believe that it’s almost a year I started to use Google Chrome browser! While I still use it at home I decided to switch back to Firefox at work – for a simple reason. Chrome is very stubborn when accessing https sites without proper certificate. We have a few on our corporate intranet and while I can simply accept any certificate forever with Firefox, it’s not so easy with Chrome. I’ve found some blog posts how to import certificate permanently in Windows, but somehow I failed to do so (maybe I messed up, maybe something else is wrong). I like to tweak things, but sometimes I’m just lazy to fix things that should be easy. That are easy somewhere else with something else. Like Firefox in this case.

I still use Google Chrome at home though, but I’m closer and closer to abandon it there as well. Do you use Google Docs? I do. When I open the document (I write now), I click on its title, little dialog box appears with the label “Enter new document name:” and the input box with the title of the document. It seems to be selected, so CTRL+C, go somewhere else, CTRL+V and guess what appears: “Enter new document name:” Hm, strange… I go there again, I select few characters from the title, copy/paste… again, the same result. I found out when I wanted to copy title to the WordPress. But I clearly remember it to work! But yeh, wait… in which browser? In Firefox it works like a charm. Well not a charm actually, it simply works like it SHOULD in the first place.

Last problem I have with Google Chrome is more technical and is related to Google Web Toolkit we started to use. Biggest trouble here is that I probably have to tackle this one but so far I’m stuck without any idea. If you’re not a programmer, stop reading and consider the article finished. If you are…

GWT compiles Java code to JavaScript which means you can write an application in Java (Google’s special libs) and then run it in the browser as a nice rich application with AJAX support and much more. You can load the resulting JavaScript on the HTML page and it works somehow. Now I wanted to generate HTML page with JSF/Facelets and power the server-side with JBoss Seam. Resulting HTML page is exactly the same, HTTP response headers are a bit different, but nothing serious. The application works fine in Firefox, IE, anything… except Google Chrome where it throws funny exception:

Uncaught TypeError: Object #<a Document> has no method 'write'

The script with the problem is generated and this particular part is some service stuff – not the result of my Java code. Problem is on the third line here:

function computeScriptBase(){
var thisScript, markerId = $intern_8, markerScript;
$doc.write($intern_9 + markerId + $intern_10);

Now how can anyone starting with GWT probably resolve this? Honestly I have no idea what is happening there and why it works fine in anything but Google Chrome. Now I hosted the SAME script in plain HTML, I ran telnet to my application server and this is how it looks (uff, now I had a problem to copy/paste this as well as it removed all my new lines from a plain text – in Chrome, so I’m now finishing it in Firefox :-)):

$ telnet xxx 8080
Trying xxx...
Connected to xxx.
Escape character is '^]'.
GET /comasutra/main.seam?cms HTTP/1.1
Host: xxx:8080

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Server: Apache-Coyote/1.1
X-Powered-By: Servlet 2.5; JBoss-5.0/JBossWeb-2.1
Set-Cookie: JSESSIONID=8727F8532EA49A8FAB7E967245D5F27C; Path=/comasutra
X-Powered-By: JSF/1.2
Content-Type: text/html;charset=UTF-8
Content-Length: 823
Date: Wed, 05 Aug 2009 13:39:07 GMT

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd" >
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />
<meta name="gwt:property" content="locale=sk" />
<title>Comasutra</title>
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="style.css" media="screen" />
<script type="text/javascript" language="javascript" src="cms/cms.nocache.js"></script>
</head>
<body>
<iframe src="javascript:''" id="__gwt_historyFrame" tabIndex="-1" style="position:absolute;width:0;height:0;border:0"></iframe>
<div class="top">
</div>
<div class="main">
<h1>Main page</h1>
<div>
<h2>Articles</h2>
<div id="cms-c1" class="article-list"></div>
</div>
</div>
</body>
</html>

GET /comasutra/bubu.html?cms HTTP/1.1
Host: xxx:8080

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Server: Apache-Coyote/1.1
X-Powered-By: Servlet 2.5; JBoss-5.0/JBossWeb-2.1
Set-Cookie: JSESSIONID=650F5FDDED9EC66D0C810B6C2D69B1CC; Path=/comasutra
Accept-Ranges: bytes
ETag: W/"823-1249478709000"
Last-Modified: Wed, 05 Aug 2009 13:25:09 GMT
Content-Type: text/html
Content-Length: 823
Date: Wed, 05 Aug 2009 13:48:29 GMT

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd" >
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />
<meta name="gwt:property" content="locale=en" />
<title>Comasutra</title>
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="style.css" media="screen" />
<script type="text/javascript" language="javascript" src="cms/cms.nocache.js"></script>
</head>
<body>
<iframe src="javascript:''" id="__gwt_historyFrame" tabIndex="-1" style="position:absolute;width:0;height:0;border:0"></iframe>
<div class="top">
</div>
<div class="main">
<h1>Main page</h1>
<div>
<h2>Articles</h2>
<div id="cms-c1" class="article-list"></div>
</div>
</div>
</body>
</html>
Connection to xxx closed by foreign host.

Just to be complete: We use JBoss Seam 2.2.0.CR1, JBoss AS 5.1.0.GA, GWT 1.7, Windows XP SP 3, Google Chrome 2.0.172.39.

Obviously, the first GET request is JSF/Seam one, the other one uses plain HTML. HTMLs are exactly the same, headers are different. I don’t know if subsequent request for “cms/cms.nocache.js” is different, but the whole thing blows out in the JS execution after all. I really don’t know where is the problem. And I’m quite sick to even have a problem like this. Maybe it’s not the Chrome only, maybe it’s the JS engine. Will I have the same trouble with Safari on Mac? I don’t know because I can’t try it any time soon. But in the end there are more little usability problems with Chrome than I expected. I’ll probably give it a try again after some update, but for now I’m switching my default browser back to Firefox. And I’ll probably have to add a note that “this application is not supported in Google Chrome”. I’d be ashamed, but I’m rather pissed off really.

Google Chrome first impressions

Since the start of this week the Internet is full of articles about Google Chrome. I hesitated to join the crowd but – yeah, here I am. I have the beta, I use it since Tuesday instead of Firefox – and I like it. There is nothing against Firefox – I just like the idea behind Google Chrome since I’ve read the comic book about it. It’s fast – nothing like rocket fast, but fast and solid and applications dominated by JavaScript just look fresh and responsive. Currently – considering its beta state – it has some flaws – and yeah, more than Gmail that is in beta for years. 😉 Chrome developers obviously know about some issues. What I dislike most is that I can’t turn off the spell-checker. You might miss other things – more extensions for instance (AdBlock?). Google Chrome is now rather bare and if you go beyond features like Undo Tab you might miss a lot of functionality. Although every tab runs in its own process you can still shutdown the whole thing with simple :% in the address bar which is rather funny.

Anyway – if you are eager to try something fresh, try Google Chrome! I like how small part of the workspace it takes – I don’t even need bookmarks all the time on the screen (Ctrl+B) so it’s close to full-screen browsing with Mozilla. User interface is simplistic, slick, no BIG buttons or HUGE icons – I just love it. Single address bar (omnibar?) works similar to the one in Firefox 3 – although I have to stop hitting tab after few letters because it picks the first site from new-tab’s “most visited” list. Also if you often search for the same string in multiple tabs you have to copy the expression from one Find bar to the other tab, because simply using F3 doesn’t work (yet). I also miss the feature for permanent certificate acceptance – which is handy for private and trusted SSL sites. Finally I’m still waiting for the moment when one of my favorite browsers implements JavaScript modal dialogs (alert, whatever) in a way that I still can close the tab or move to the other. But that’s beyond the scope of this short post.

Long story short: try it – especially if you’re Google positive being. 🙂