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RockMelt: Google Chrome, Only Better 144

Posted by timothy
from the red-hot-magma dept.
Barence writes "PC Pro has an in-depth review of RockMelt, a new browser which it claims is better than Google Chrome. RockMelt is built on the same Chromium core as Google's browser, but adds a host of social networking, news feed and search features that elevate it above Chrome. The App Edge, for example, 'allows you to set up feeds for anything from your Twitter or Gmail accounts to your favourite news sites, and get a little iPhone-style numeric reminder of the number of items awaiting your attention.' It does, however, lack Chrome's built-in Flash, PDF and audio players."
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RockMelt: Google Chrome, Only Better

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  • So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 22, 2011 @07:45PM (#35911342)
    It lacks features that would make it a better browser (like the awesome PDF reader), and adds social networking an an RSS reader, which I can just get by going to the appropriate websites on any browser. Great.
    • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by man_of_mr_e (217855) on Friday April 22, 2011 @07:53PM (#35911414)

      Sounds more like "Google Chrome, only Worse, much worse" to me.

      • Re:So... (Score:4, Funny)

        by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Friday April 22, 2011 @08:08PM (#35911528) Homepage Journal

        Does any body here remember when the Internet didn't suck the life out of you, and exhaust your will to see tomorrow?

        Thanks!

        • How is not liking features that can be added via plug-ins and not liking that actual useful features are removed not seeing tomorrow?

          The whole article reads like a press release from RockMelt. I know I won't be downloading this, I'll stick with Chrome.

        • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Bacon Bits (926911) on Friday April 22, 2011 @09:41PM (#35911960)

          Does any body here remember when the Internet didn't suck the life out of you, and exhaust your will to see tomorrow?

          Well, SlashDot was founded in 1997 and Fark in 1999, so... no.

        • Re:So... (Score:4, Informative)

          by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOsPAM.gmail.com> on Friday April 22, 2011 @11:26PM (#35912458) Journal

          Oh Lord yes, sadly the little childrens here now probably don't remember those days...sigh. Remember when most webpages were just text, with maybe a JPG or GIF?

          Before the days of Geocities with purple pages with snot green text, or the wonderful dose of the clap that was Comet Cursors, which would make a Bart Simpson start jabbering where your mouse was or the REALLY evil fucker, the dreaded "Pocketwatch from hell" that would slam the living shit out of your nice OC'd Celeron 300A and make the entire machine drag like a 386 running Win95, thanks to its wonderful "snotball physics" that would cause the damned thing to swing and sway like a damned ball and cup game when you tried to move?

          Ah those were the days, no tweeting twating facebook farting narcissistic bullshit, just text and email, and that was it. No 24/7/365 mobile twiddle twaddle, no smart this or pad that, you just walked away from your desktop and you were actually away from everything!

          Life was so simple back then, no fb updating, no MMOs, no craziness like paying real money for virtual crap, just simple and easy. Sure we would have killed for something better than out shotgunned modems, and you sure as hell didn't download anything better than a 64k MP3, hell you didn't even have space for it if you did! But life was simpler then, just text and BBS, your handy notebook with IP addresses, and no endless piles of noobs running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Now get off my lawn!

          • I stil have a long haul wager that updating and twiddle will go up in fireworks when The Event happens, in whichever form it comes first. What strikes me as funny is how the media "as portrayed on FA's on Slashdot & Fark" doesn't seem to get it, not all of it. I always screw up this metaphor, but call it classic Boiled Frog/Lobster. Does no one see:

            - "move to the cloud and go mobile!" vs "Let's reduce mobile bandwidth and have AT&T finally fess up to years of network neglect"
            - "Facebook using your

            • Somewhere in your comment is an insight, that I think I share.

              Except the market part. Facebook will do well - just as the private companies running prisons do, today.

          • by teslar (706653)

            and you sure as hell didn't download anything better than a 64k MP3

            I remember my first 128 kb/s mp3, complete with all the skips and bleeps from having been encoded on an underpowered machine. I remember how long it took to download. These days, it takes half as long to download a 4GB movie than it took to get those 4 puny MB back then. I still find that amazing.

            • by hairyfeet (841228)

              Oh I remember those too! Remember MP3PRO? Oh how I looked upon MP3PRO with wonder! Hey, now we can actually have a WHOLE ALBUM at 64k and it will mostly be playable! Skipping will be at a minimum! Of course at that time I was "smoking Mr Badass" thanks to a Pentium 100MHz OC'd to nearly 175, a Voodoo and soundblaster letting me seriously ROCK at DOOM, and a serial flightstick (F15 copy IIRC) that was the bomb on Mechwarrior 2.

              Now I have something like 60Gb of albums on MP3 thanks to encoding every album I f

      • by couchslug (175151)

        Sounds like "Slashvertisement" to me.

      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        I'd agree and add if you wanted "Chrome only better" I'd go with Comodo Dragon [comodo.com] which actually does offer better features IMHO, like better domain validation, the option to use the Comodo secure DNS if you wish, and no phoning home like Chrome.

        I'm currently typing this on a 1.8Ghz Sempron I use as a nettop and it is fast, pages load quick, easy to use, its pretty nice actually. ABP and Forecastfox for Chrome work fine on it, current build is Chromium 10, so it isn't out of date nor is it bleeding edge beta.

      • by Cigaes (714444)

        I concur. When I read the title of this article, I thought that maybe it was a fork of Chromium that dropped the idiotic policy "we know better than the user what he wants" and restored such useful functions as find-links-as-you-type, middle-click URL paste, open frame in new tab, GUI style customization and so on.

        1: I know, there is an extension; but it works badly.

    • by Draek (916851)

      It lacks the features I can easily get from a standalone app, and adds the features I cannot get without opening my browser in the first place.

      I'm not one that appreciates this whole "integration" BS, but I admit at least their take has a bit more logic than Chrome's.

    • It lacks the one feature that really matters: open source. Rockmelt will go nowhere in terms of market share, but will still serve the useful purpose of helping Chromium devs avoid complacency. Maybe offer some useful ideas worth integrating. I say, it's all good.

      I'm having a little trouble understanding Rockmelt's business model though.

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      Chrome with social polution.
      Perhaps it's just me, but I don't really want to watch the faces of my friends lined along both sides of the browser whenever I'm surfing for porn^wnews.

    • by Seumas (6865)

      Isn't this sadly the directly that Firefox 5.0 is going? All social and dedicated web-app interfaces and crap? I sure hope all the popular browsers don't go the way of the "real keyboard without a bunch of stupid fucking dedicated 'media keys'".

      • by Daengbo (523424)

        I really wish that Chrome, Firefox, and Opera would get together and agree on a way to put social stuff into the browser that is agnostic and federated. If they got the identity part into HTML5, Facebook and other walled gardens would open or die a relatively quick death. See my sig for some ignorant thing I wrote about this a year ago.

  • Everyone wants to be as good as or better than Chrome. Way to go Google!
  • Flock (Score:5, Funny)

    by MrEricSir (398214) on Friday April 22, 2011 @07:46PM (#35911352) Homepage

    Social media integration was such a great idea, and worked so well for Flock, I don't see why these guys could possibly fail.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Facebook and Twitter. Yeah, that's just what I want and need embedded within my web browser. It's a good thing I'm a 12-year-old girl.

      • by blair1q (305137)

        I'm not sure what you are, but if you think that Facebook and Twitter is all 12-year-old girls, I'm sure you're not very clueful.

  • Flock is dead.... short live the Rockmelt!
  • Flock? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wasabioss (1196799) on Friday April 22, 2011 @07:47PM (#35911362) Journal

    They haven't learned the lesson from Flock, have they?

    I just want a goddamn browser, without any of the facebook twitter buttons and toolbars and shit. When I want to update my facebook status, I will get there.

    • by rsborg (111459)

      They haven't learned the lesson from Flock, have they?

      I just want a goddamn browser, without any of the facebook twitter buttons and toolbars and shit. When I want to update my facebook status, I will get there.

      Bbbbut they have funding from Andreesen Horowitz! They make facebook more ... face-y. Oh, I give up. This will end poorly, just like Flock. People want the browser-chrome and mechanics of the web to fade out, and let the web content shine.... see how popular low-profile browsing experiences like Chrome and Safari on iPad are.

    • I just want a goddamn browser, without any of the facebook twitter buttons and toolbars and shit. When I want to update my facebook status, I will get there.

      Wait, wasn't that sort of the point of Chrome in the first place? No-frills, fast, secure browsing?

  • by Papeh (1812414) on Friday April 22, 2011 @07:50PM (#35911390)
    I'm legitimately curious, are there people out there that are so awfully busy that they need a browser to check the news and Facebook for them? Did it suddenly become old-fashioned to actually type "cnn.com" in the address bar? I'm all for social networking and most everything that's happened in this field for the past few years. But at what point is it taken too far?
    • Eh. Ever heard of Google Reader? It's pretty popular. I use a client-side RSS reader myself, but it's integrated into Firefox as an addon. I like having the RSS reader in-browser, it integrates nicely into the normal "workflow" within the browser UI, and you get stuff like displaying inline YouTube videos for free. It's not about saving time, it's just more convenient to have a software that pull new items, hides stuff you've already seen and presents content from a range of sites in a common format.

      That sa

      • by madskyllz (699304)
        I'll admit it; I like Internet Explorer and use it almost exclusively (along with FF and Chrome for web development purposes). However, I've been using RockMelt since the early betas. The thing that got me to even look at it was the fact it has ties to former big wigs from Netscape.

        Is it evil? I'm sure. It's hooked fairly tight into FaceBook. Don't care about the social networking aspect? Use Chrome.

        I was sold when I bookmarked a site at work, went home, fired up a browser and my bookmarks were sy
    • by igi-111 (2025332)
      Beeing faster, thats the whole point, the main feature is that RSS feeds are clearly easier to use than F5ing the same webpage over and over again.
    • by BenoitRen (998927)

      Did it suddenly become old-fashioned to actually type "cnn.com" in the address bar?

      It has been old-fashioned for years. People type what they want to go to in Google and click one of the first results.

  • by synthesizerpatel (1210598) on Friday April 22, 2011 @07:52PM (#35911412)

    A company will send out press releases to media outlets (magazines, newspapers, tv shows / stations, bloggers) to inform them of new products or offerings.

    In some cases, marketing people will directly contact the magazine or newspaper by calling up and pitching a story based on their product or offering.

    Depending on the media outlet, thinly veiled advertising is achieved by the marketing person making a good impression on the media outlet, or by offering a free unit, and in some cases gifts. In some seedier situations money is exchanged so that the media outlet will portray the product in a favorable light, so that the reader's distrust of direct advertising can be circumvented through the illusion of new or useful information.

    And while I certainly don't mean to suggest that RockMelt paid off PC Pro for this story, more-so, I'd posit that PC Pro is just happy to get the hits.

    • You might as well have written: "I think PC Pro paid Slashdot to bring this otherwise useless story so they could get some advertising money."
    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday April 22, 2011 @08:05PM (#35911498) Journal
      Sadly enough, the payoff doesn't even have to be as exciting as that. Journalism, especially for second-string rags or random stuff blogs and special interest publications, suffers from a more or less continual deadline crunch. In addition to the usual pressure of getting the thing together in time for the next print run, you have the fact that they are trying to make up for their shrinking margins by extracting more words words fewer people.

      Under those circumstances, a vaguely neutral sounding press release(already conveniently typed up and more or less grammatically accurate!), that can just be massaged a touch and turned in is a blessing. Gotta churn out that content, make the deadline, look productive. Since the number of journalists has been slowly ebbing over time, and the number of PR flacks increasing, it only stands to reason that a greater percentage of "news" copy will be written by the latter.

      Of course, for stuff that actually matters, or has a big money ad campaign behind it, or someone who controls the precious "access", you can see more overt corruption; but for petty shit deadline pressure is actually a depressingly large part of it.
      • (With a salute to Styx)

        This could be the longest night, in copyright history
        And as you blog, blog, you might as well just cross it off the list of possibilities;
        I'm as connected as the next man, I won't turn and run from a story;
        And I could read a million years, if I could just blog through this night.

        I could be a web novelist, tell secrets never heard,
        pour my soul into each and every sentence, but I still can't find the words;
        'Till I know that you're out there, and you can relate to it all,
        And I could bear

      • Still in this product-saturated world it won't do them much good unless the review says "this is f*cking awesome!!!" And that kind of enthusiasm can't be bought.

        But a paid review may convince investors to put in some more, so... why not.

  • Too many browsers. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Seor Jojoba (519752) on Friday April 22, 2011 @07:59PM (#35911462) Homepage

    I would be happier to learn that I had less choices in browsers. But that is the developer bias. Still, it seems to me that you really have to raise the bar if you want to be taken seriously, not just be Chrome+1. And I'm resistant to features which are tied in to services offered by certain companies (Facebook, Twitter) instead of just standardized services (RSS, FTP).

    Larger question... would we not be better served if we started treating the browser more like a commodity item? Basic, standard features in an unglamorous browser, and... that's it. And then with a nice stable development platform that doesn't change around every 2 weeks, the real interesting features can start arriving at the web application layer. Standardize the browsers so we can forget about their individual features.

    • This is exactly why Google NaCl (Native Client) is such a good idea. We could have one single binary format. Every webdeveloper could choose his own rendering engine, and send it along with his/her HTML. With proper caching (and sharing) of course. In fact, you could view a rendering engine as a "shared library" that you reference from your HTML code. The program that lets this work all together (e.g. NaCl) is then the commodity item you are talking about.

      • I've been quitely praying that this becomes the next "hot thing", and by "hot thing" I mean Google turns to dictating that the web must be run on this type of set up. I'd argue that the browser wars currently taking place are one of the reasons our web is still so cryptic and archaic. We sit around as web dev's and hack together gimped shadows of what we could do if we all had a common standard to hit, and a common platform to write for. I honestly feel like I'm working for 4-5 different architectures when
    • I would be happier to learn that I had less choices in browsers.

      Yeah, remember how nice life was for web developers when everybody just used IE? Oh, wait.

  • I just tested Rockmelt for a week or two and besides the fact that there is not Linux version yet, I love it. Just don't judge it on the "Social Browser" thing, the best feature is clearly the embed RSS reader it has which is absolutely perfect when you wanna check tons of news websites. besides, the UI design is really well made(and the embed google search makes it even smoother) and most of all, it's compatible with all chrome/chromium extensions. In my opinion its more chromium++ than a totally new brows
  • by Anonymous Coward

    It bears repeating.

    but adds a host of social networking, news feed and search features that make it a pile of dog crap compared to Google's Chrome

    Fixed that for you. There's a reason I switched to Firebird from IE and old school Mozilla back in the day. It was sleek; it was fast; it didn't have a bunch of crap bloat thrown into it like IE and Mozilla.

    There's a reason I switched to Chrome from Firefox. Chrome is sleek; it's fast; it doesn't have a bunch of crap bloat thrown into it like Firefox.

    There's a reason I'll switch from Chrome to the next usable browser; it'll be sleek; fast; and not have the bunch of crap bloat that Goo

  • Plugin (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Maxx169 (920414) on Friday April 22, 2011 @08:11PM (#35911550)
    Wouldn't the features described be more suited to a Chrome plugin (would that be feasible?) rather than a completely new browser?
    • by igi-111 (2025332)
      well it's a little more than a RSS reader and a Share button, i guess it would be laggy as hell if made by a chrome extension. And after all It can be considered itself as an extension since it's compatible with all other chrome extensions(the only downside is the lack of internal flash and pdf reader, witch is normal since the base is chromium, not chrome).
      • It wouldn't be laggy, Chrome JS is surprisingly fast. And anything that can't be done in JS can be done through an NPAPI plugin, though I looked into writing one once and it was a bit more complicated than I hoped even to make a "Hello World!" type plugin.
    • Wouldn't the features described be more suited to a Chrome plugin (would that be feasible?) rather than a completely new browser?

      You sound like an engineer [dilbert.com].

  • unfortunately, their browser did not work on Linux :(
  • http://tech.slashdot.org/story/10/11/12/226250/RockMelt-mdash-Right-Browser-Wrong-Platform [slashdot.org]

    "RockMelt browser is a labor-saver for heavy users of the desktop social Web, but it doesn't fully deliver on the startup's promise to build a browser 'designed around you and how you use the Web.' That's because the social Web is less and less about the PC desktop, and more about mobile platforms and appliances like smartphones, tablets, and Internet-connected TVs."
  • It does, however, lack Chrome's built-in Flash, PDF and audio players."

    "also, it lacks support for html but we are working on it..."

    • by Ant P. (974313)

      If they've managed to break the <audio> tag then it already does lack support for HTML.

  • by glwtta (532858) on Friday April 22, 2011 @09:07PM (#35911838) Homepage
    Didn't this thing come out months ago? As I recall, it was a pile of ass and proprietary nonsense.
  • This advertisement has been brought to you by Slashdot.
  • Another version of Chrome that forces a choice between having bookmarks visible all the time or having them several mouse clicks away in a window/tab/panel that needs to be closed. It's like having a smart phone that has a scrollable contact list as your homescreen and a rotary dial; one you don't want open all the time and the other is clunky.

    Every program has drop down menus for selecting from lists of items because they work better than everything else that's been tried. Bookmarks are probably the best

  • So they took out the good parts of a browser, and tacked on a bunch of bits I don't need, and call it better? I don't think so.
  • by MikeyTheK (873329)
    I started messing around with RockMelt six months ago after receiving an invite. It's ok, but I have yet to find a real compelling reason to use it over Chrome, especially since, as the article mentions, it only sort-of supports Chrome extensions, which means I can only sort-of do things that I rely on Chrome for.
  • yeah but does it do print preview?

  • The only Chrome build on my system is Iron:
    https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/SRWare_Iron [wikimedia.org]

    Like Chrome but without the call home/tracking info.

  • I am excited again about the time when ActiveDesktop and PointCast channels were announced!
  • > but adds a host of social networking

    Yep, better.

    In related news, Konqueror has been able to embedd PDF an incredible PDF viewer, has been running flash in a separate process, has had customizable web shortcuts, and the only decent password and cookie management for almost a decade, now. Oh, and their HTML engine is what Webkit came from.

    tl;dr: Try Konqueror today.

  • apparently racist browsers are ok too

    www.blackbirdhome.com

  • by lennier1 (264730) on Saturday April 23, 2011 @05:41AM (#35913486)

    There already is a good browser into which they've crammed a ton of bling and other unimportant crap that should have been banished into optional add-ons. It's called Firefox!

  • by Yaos (804128)
    I'm sick and tired of having to visit crappy websites to be annoyed by something, I'm glad somebody made a browser that brings the annoyances straight to you without needed to do anything.

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