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HTML5 is currently in the draft stage, and the latest specification is available at the W3C web site. User experience on the Internet will change for sure, and here’s why:

1. Persistent Local Storage: Two different mechanisms are introduced for local storage, not including cookies. Name/Value pairs can be stored easily. But, more significantly, the introduction of a local database that supports SQL makes life a lot easier for web developers. However, this opens up a whole new world of security risks.

2. APIs: A bunch of APIs have been introduced that support local database interaction (mentioned above), dynamic bitmap drawing, interaction with multimedia content, drag-n-drop, network interaction and cross-document messaging.

3. <audio> and <video> tags: In HTML 4, audio and video content had to be embedded using the <embed> tab. This grouped multimedia content with plug-in content. By having their own tags, a lot of flexibility can be offered – including their own APIs.
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Google’s Chrome captured the browser world headlines this week as the fastest browser with a bunch of cool features.

Chrome was released as a software Beta, and according to Google, is only the beginning. They are relying on feedback from the user community moving forward. Another popular browser, Mozilla’s Firefox has relied on the community for long. Combined, these two browsers control roughly 25% of the browser market share. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is clearly #1.

The blogosphere has come out with a list of features they would like to see on Chrome and Firefox, like the one here. The problem I have with lists like these is that everyone wants to see new features. In this process, the existing features are overlooked, and are not maintained. The existing features have to be made more secure and performance-tuned.
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After a couple of days of heavy use of Google Chrome, the annoyances have started.

Having a link in the page’s HTML source ending with a special character causes the while browser to crash. So much for only the tab crashing.

The bigger and more annoying issue is the fact that I have received the blue screen of death (BSOD) on 3 ocassions. The message seemed like there was an IRQ conflict. Something to do with IRQL not equal. The only thing common to all 3 occurances is that I was using IE and Chrome simultaneously. And both had some sort of media being played – either YouTube videos or forced video ads. At least on one occasion I was listening to Pandora.

I also noticed that Microsoft Windows Internet Explorer has become slow and sluggish after installing Chrome. Go figure.

This is the first post from my mobile phone.

So, I managed to snag Google Chrome 8 minutes before noon PDT (the official release time). The link was live, and I downloaded it in a flash. Currently, people are reporting that the server is under extreme load and they are not able to download it.

Initial thoughts:

– The installation imported my bookmarks automatically without my permission. It only notified me. I’m disappointed with that. If it was a confirmation, it didn’t follow the usability standards.

– The browser opened up quick, unlike most others which take time.

– The rendering of pages was quick, but the fonts on many pages were not smooth – they had jagged edges and were a strain to read. I checked sites like cnn.com, cnbc.com and even Google’s search engine. I’m using Windows XP SP3, on a Dell Latitude D820 with a resolution of 1280×800

– It was a bit difficult to find the task manager built-in to the browser.

– The Acid 2 test passed. The Acid 3 test failed, with a score of 61/100.
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