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Google's Amazing Browser Experiments 234

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the yeah-its-that-kind-of-day dept.
Barence writes "On the day that Microsoft launches Internet Explorer 8, Google has unveiled a new site that showcases the Javascript performance of its Chrome browser. Called Chrome Experiments, the site includes 19 extraordinary animated games and widgets that push the browser to its limits. One experiment, called Browser Ball allows you to 'throw' a bouncing ball from one browser window to the next. Google Gravity, on the other hand, collapses the normal Google homepage into a pile at the bottom of the screen. However, you can still enter search terms into the box and watch the results drop from the top of the browser window."
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Google's Amazing Browser Experiments

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  • by MemoryDragon (544441) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @09:38AM (#27254743)

    Why does this frecking site do not work in ie6...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by u38cg (607297)
      Yeah, they should really consider folk like us that are forced to use IE6 because of "corporate policy"; specifically, corporate policy to be as dumb as possible in all things.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Hasney (980180)
      It worked for me! However, the ball looked a lot like a blue lowercase e and the second browser looked like a trashcan....
    • by Inda (580031)
      "YOUR BROWSER CANNOT RUN THIS EXPERIMENT! It requires the use of the <canvas> tag, which your browser does not support. Please try viewing it with a browser like Chrome, Firefox or Safari."

      God I hate working here. One IT person for every 10 proper workers - that can't be right. :p
    • by aliquis (678370) <dospam@gmail.com> on Thursday March 19, 2009 @10:50AM (#27255855) Homepage

      Why does this frecking site do not work in ie6...

      It does work, just different, just as Microsoft intended.

  • Works in Safari too (Score:5, Informative)

    by Wabin (600045) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @09:40AM (#27254759)
    Most of these work in Safari4, and some even on the iPhone. This kind of stuff, written entirely in HTML5 and javascript, is one of the things Apple is hoping will make the lack of flash on the iPhone a moot point.
    • by Thelasko (1196535) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @09:43AM (#27254803) Journal
      Yeah, the gravity thing seems to work on Firefox 3 as well. Most of these things should work with a browser that is relatively standards compliant.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jalefkowit (101585)
        No it doesn't. On FF 3.0.7 the page elements fall to the bottom, but you can't do anything with them. On Chrome once they've fallen you can click an element and "throw" it across the window by dragging & then releasing the mouse button.
        • by camg188 (932324)
          Yeah, the mouse is retaining it's original functionality, eg. if you click on a link, that link is loaded or if you click and drag, text is selected.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by pavon (30274)

            Not entirely. In Chrome you can still type in the form and click on the buttons and they actually submit the page giving you search results. When I tried it in Firefox 3.0.7 on Windows and Linux, I could not select the text box once it had fallen, nor did clicking the buttons do anything. If I select the text box before it falls I can keep typing, but hitting enter also does not submit the form.

        • by gbjbaanb (229885) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @10:58AM (#27255955)

          we've been playing with that one on Safari and Chrome side-=by-side. Chrome's JS is significantly faster, but it does have a bug in that text (inside the google search bar) only appears if the bar is level. On Safari it appears when the bar is at an angle.

          Performance: FF is acceptable, Safari is worse so some are ok, some are not, Couldn't be bothered to try it on IE.

          Chrome performs like client desktops used to. I look forward to our new browser-based overlords.

      • by dotancohen (1015143) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @10:05AM (#27255135) Homepage

        Yeah, the gravity thing seems to work on Firefox 3 as well. Most of these things should work with a browser that is relatively standards compliant.

        The gravity thing works in Firefox, but it is environment dependent. When I turned the monitor on it's side, nothing happened. You've got to have the monitor perfectly level.

        • Yeah, the gravity thing seems to work on Firefox 3 as well. Most of these things should work with a browser that is relatively standards compliant.

          The gravity thing works in Firefox, but it is environment dependent. When I turned the monitor on it's side, nothing happened. You've got to have the monitor perfectly level.

          Hrm, weird, seems to work for me when the monitor is on its side. Or even upside down for that matter...

          What? You don't think we read Slashdot from space? Hey cool, I can see your house from here!

      • by wvmarle (1070040)
        The ball thing works even in FF2.0.0.20 on OSx 10.3.9. Not very smooth (JS is relative slow still in that browser) but still, it works. Gravity also mostly works, haven't tried it much as it is too sluggish. Sad it can't work in IE which is years younger than this browser, which is ages in the computer world.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Hasney (980180)

      Can I throw a ball from one iPhone to another?

      Why play catch when I can just sit on my butt to throw a ball?

    • by aliquis (678370)

      How does it compare in speed? The gravity thing was quite slow in Safari 4 / OS X.

      • I just did the ball thing in FF3 and it worked great. As another noted, the page elements at the bottom were largely unusable though.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Thelasko (1196535)

      ...Apple is hoping will make the lack of flash on the iPhone a moot point.

      This certainly does make Flash obsolete. What we really need now is an open source program that makes creating such content as simple as it is in Flash.

    • You know that OmniWeb is now free. Give it a try.

  • So I wonder who will send the other team a cake?
  • Hello Slashdot..? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ancil (622971) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @09:56AM (#27254981)
    I know we're all supposed to hate Microsoft, but come on.

    Here's a story: On the day Microsoft releases IE 8 -- the most popular web browser in the world -- Slashdot doesn't mention it, but posts a trivial article about Google Chrome benchmarks.
    • Re:Hello Slashdot..? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 19, 2009 @10:08AM (#27255177)

      Push your MS-branded horns back into your head -- IE8 isn't being released until noon.

      Maybe, just maybe, they're waiting to release when you can actually download the browser?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by MemoryDragon (544441)

        Besides that wake me up, when Microsoft finally will implement ecmascript 4.0 (never everyone should use silverlight instead) and svg and when it does more than 20% in ACID3!!!

        IE8 is an important release for Microsoft heads who do not have recognized that the world has moved 5 years along and is five years ahead of ie8 standardswise! But besides that it personally leaves me cold, because I know that the web again will be slowed down in the possibilities by this release for at least another 5-6 years. Hell t

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MemoryDragon (544441)

      IE8 is not the most popular browser in the world since no one uses it currently, and I rather doubt it will gain the dominance ie6 once had.
      Four words "to little to late"!

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by AndersOSU (873247)

        also 4 'o's

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by pbhj (607776)

        It may be too little, but MSIE has one thing that will have practically everyone installing it ... mandated installation via windows update.

        "Your browser [Firefox 3] is not the latest version of MSIE, were updating it in the background and setting IE8 as your default browser, to cancel this update please remove your HDD and smash with a hammer."

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by Quothz (683368)

      Here's a story: On the day Microsoft releases IE 8 -- the most popular web browser in the world -- Slashdot doesn't mention it, but posts a trivial article about Google Chrome benchmarks.

      So what are you waiting for? Submit an article about IE 8.

      • by nschubach (922175)

        Or make your own website dedicated to "nerd news." It perplexes me how many people complain that their favorite news isn't covered on someone's site.

    • I concur. If we don't have an official slashdot article mentioning the release of IE8, where are we supposed to vent all of our disdain and disappointment? It's part of our therapy and we demand it!
    • by Kifoth (980005) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @10:35AM (#27255565)
      No. Here's a story. Google releases a site that'll almost certainly show up IE8's substandard Javascript handling, the day before IE8 goes live.
      Tinfoil hats... Go!
    • Re:Hello Slashdot..? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Thelasko (1196535) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @10:48AM (#27255829) Journal

      On the day Microsoft releases IE 8 -- the most popular web browser in the world -- Slashdot doesn't mention it, but posts a trivial article about Google Chrome benchmarks.

      So, there may be no IE 8 story, but this one is hardly trivial. The things Google did in these benchmarks were previously only done in Flash. This is a major breakthrough in developing an alternative to Flash.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MemoryDragon (544441)

      Just to give a serious answer. Microsoft has lost the minds of the developers with their IE6 shenannigangs, it is their luck that this has not trickled down to the average users and corporate departements.

      But even if Microsoft would come out with a browser 10 years ahead of the competition (which they clearly wont they just have reached the years 2003 given the state of ie8) it would get a lukewarm response. With IE6 and stopping the development for 6 years because there was no competition while everyone mo

    • by gbjbaanb (229885)

      the day Microsoft releases IE 8 -- the most popular web browser in the world

      in the US maybe, here in Europe the EU has decided that IE8 will not be the most popular - due to Microsoft having to give people a choice for once.

  • Limited platforms (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 19, 2009 @09:57AM (#27255009)

    That's what it's all about in the demoscene, right? People are in awe when they see what you can do in 64kB on a PC and what a 6502 can do with cycle-exact programming. Yet anyone interested more in results than in technical experiments will simply expand the platform and make these demos look like child's play, because that's what they are: An exercise in testing the limits of a very limited platform. HTML and the javascript browser API should never have become the basis of a UI standard. The privacy problems, performance deficiencies and the baroque API will haunt us for decades. Look ma, I'm using a 2GHz dual-core processor to simulate a couple of 2D balls bouncing around in almost fluid motion.

    • by ID000001 (753578) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @11:04AM (#27256069)
      I think you are grossly underestimating the power of legacy and the importances of ease of entry.
    • Well javascript + dom is an aweful platform for uis, but I dont think this will haunt us too much, what really is the curse is the numerous hacks every site has because it still has to run on ie6...

      Microsoft has been the curse of the web almost for a decade now!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ClosedSource (238333)

      "HTML and the javascript browser API should never have become the basis of a UI standard."

      Amen. The problem is that some people believe that their work doesn't count unless they do it the hard way.

    • by evanbd (210358)
      I'm sorry, did you have an alternative in mind? It's a hard problem; for all its flaws, HTML appears to be the best option available for this sort of thing. It takes a lot of hubris to loudly complain that you could have implemented it better when not only have you done nothing of the sort, but no one else has either.
    • As a cross-platform UI standard that allows a mix of server-side and client-side code for server-hosted apps that nonetheless can run on high-latency links, Ajaxy HTML with the HTML5 extensions doesn't seem terrible. It certainly has much better performance than doing something equivalent in X11 over ssh, for example.

  • Ah, a classic hack... variations of this date back to the '70s. I wrote one around 1980, and I'm sure I wasn't the first. A few years back I was googling around and came across it:

    rot [scarydevil.com].

    This is a fixed version. There was one bug in the original... the timer to slow the update down didn't work, but since a high speed display back then was 9600 baud I'd never noticed.

    • Aha, I just tested this on my Mac and it's apparently gotten bit by a change in termcap/terminfo in the past 25 or so years... padding used to be handled by a number at the beginning of a capability, and now it's handled by a '$' inline sequence. The lameness filter is refusing to let me post the patch. Hey, it's source code, you goons. Sheesh.

  • What's the point (Score:2, Insightful)

    by slackoon (997078)
    So I can throw a ball from one browser window to another, so I can have the Google home page fall to the bottom of my screen in a heap....WHAT'S THE POINT?
    Firefox and it's addons allow me to do anything that I want and more. Although I do like Google chrome I'm sticking with Firefox. They develop for the sake of improvement and not just for the sake of "look at me!!" like apparently Google does.
    • Is that Slashdot-worthy?
      Can we have a story about that? I'll even provide photos and video.

      And you could view that in ANY browser. Ain't THAT something?
      My nose does what no browser could ever do. It is clearly superior.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Cthefuture (665326)

      Look, we all know where this is headed. Google is a web based company and they want to develop web based applications. Think about all they are doing in this space. Things like Chrome and that Native API browser stuff. They want to deliver applications over the web and are exploring all the possibilities to get the performance they need.

      Web-delivered full-scale applications is what Google's goal is, I just know it. It's like a throwback to the Java days, but different.

  • You know the duty free sales magazine in the back of every airline seat? This summary sounds like something out of it.

    Google's Amazing Browser Experiments!

    The World's Finest Robot Dog Bed!

    The Perfect Toothbrush - That Can Think!

    Sweden's Softest Bathrobes!

    • Well the in-flight entertainment system is down, so you have no choice but to read the damn thing anyway!

      Muhahahaha!

  • Linkage (Score:3, Insightful)

    by squoozer (730327) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @10:06AM (#27255145)
    Why does the Chrome Experiments link not go to the Chrome Experiments site but instead to a PC Pro article? That's just plain nuts. Sure link to the article but come on.
  • DUPE (Score:5, Informative)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <<akaimbatman> <at> <gmail.com>> on Thursday March 19, 2009 @10:07AM (#27255155) Homepage Journal

    This was reported on yesterday: http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/03/18/2128256 [slashdot.org]

    Reader Al notes too that "Google has launched Chrome Experiments, a site where Javascript coders can upload projects that make use of Chrome's speed and processing abilities. The site already features a handful of cool 'experiments' including a balls that jump between browser windows, a gravitationally-challenged version of the Google homepage and a game that runs through nine different browsers. It's cool stuff alright, but some experts wonder whether browser security might be a more important thing to focus on."

    Here's my comment [slashdot.org] about real-time Chroma-Key replacement in Firefox.

    • by Thelasko (1196535)
      I don't know if I would call it a dupe. That was a side note to another story. It deserves to be a story all by itself.

      If anything, I think making it a side note in the first place was a bad decision.
  • All the experiments worked with Firefox, so I think their is a fair chance that Explorer 8 works,
    • by Shrike82 (1471633)
      Not sure what version of Firefox you're on, but here my 3.0.7 didn't run Google Gravity properly, nor did it run the balls one. My frantic attempts to shake the browser window and make some balls appear was starting to attract attention from my colleagues, so I quit then. 2 failures out of 2 for me though.
  • by Xest (935314) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @10:52AM (#27255877)

    There's been a lot of stories lately about new browser releases and how they have the fastest Javascript performance yet.

    I asked why Javascript performance was such a big deal, and I didn't feel any answers I got were particularly convincing.

    These experiments however have answered my question much more convincingly, the answer is not that existing applications need it but that future innovations in Javascript can achieve some pretty amazing things if Javascript implementations are efficient enough.

  • For those complaining that none of the examples do anything 'useful', check out this- a js animated sphere of your blog tags:

    http://student.agh.edu.pl/~fatyga/repos/stratus/example.php [agh.edu.pl]

  • Can't wait for viruses to start inserting that gravity JS code into random pages. Highjacking computers. Popping up messages saying "Pay us $20 and your pages will stop falling to the floor".
  • Opera (Score:4, Informative)

    by ledow (319597) on Thursday March 19, 2009 @12:07PM (#27257053) Homepage

    And most of them work just fine in Opera 9.64, despite the scary warnings.

    And the ones that don't, it seems to be because Opera deliberately disallows that sort of action (e.g. the pages knowing where they are on screen in relation to other pages).

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo. - Andy Finkel, computer guy

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