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Google Retiring Chrome Frame 104

Posted by samzenpus
from the dust-in-the-wind dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Google today announced it is retiring Chrome Frame, a plug-in that brings Chrome's engine to old IE versions. The company wouldn't share an exact date, but did say it will end support and cease releasing updates sometime in January 2014. Google's reasoning appears to be based on the fact that Chrome Frame was released (initially in September 2009 and then as a stable build in September 2010) at a time when old versions of Internet Explorer, which don't support the latest Web technologies, were still in very high use."
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Google Retiring Chrome Frame

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  • However... (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by Ignacio (1465)

    Just because you support the latest technologies doesn't mean you support them *well*.

  • Put a stake in IE 6's heart and be done with it. Please put it out of our misery people.

    • Not everyone gets to choose their own browser. Work has me using IE8, and that's after a huge fight to get off IE6.

      Yes, some legacy code should be re-written. Have fun getting that put past corporate IT when it's the interface to the payroll system.

      • Re:Die already! (Score:5, Informative)

        by mrbester (200927) on Friday June 14, 2013 @02:13AM (#44004397) Homepage

        It's not like they weren't warned. Standard support for XP ended in 2009, and Micosoft generously allowed *five fucking years* for extended support (and *seven* for XP embedded). Not going to allow a different browser after all this time? Don't care any more.

        The fact that the operating system is going to be obsolete RSN is of more concern. Planning for the replacement should have started years ago, and if some exploit is found that leaks all your data / takes down the network then that's just too bad. You're on your own. You won't get any sympathy from anyone.

        • by RCL (891376)
          I will have sympathy for them. That software upgrade mill is tiring. If they bought software for a single purpose (or a set of purposes) and that purpose hasn't changed since years ago, why should they be forced to upgrade? As long as they have appropriate hardware, they should be fine with running the same software.

          As a developer, I understand the push for new stuff. At the same time, I think that we (software development industry) are too fond of interconnecting things to cut costs in the short term (e.
          • by AlecC (512609)

            If they bought software for a single purpose (or a set of purposes) and that purpose hasn't changed since years ago, why should they be forced to upgrade?

            If the software is potentially connected to the Internet, then it represents a security risk which becomes greater the longer people have to learn about it its bugs. If it is not maintained, the case is even stronger.

            People should have an up-to-date, high quality browser for Internet use. People should not have two browsers, because they will confuse them.

            You maintain or replace your car. The same is true for internet-capable software: the Internet is continually evolving and you need to respond to that.

            • by RCL (891376)

              If they bought software for a single purpose (or a set of purposes) and that purpose hasn't changed since years ago, why should they be forced to upgrade?

              If the software is potentially connected to the Internet, then it represents a security risk which becomes greater the longer people have to learn about it its bugs. If it is not maintained, the case is even stronger.

              People should have an up-to-date, high quality browser for Internet use. People should not have two browsers, because they will confuse them.

              You maintain or replace your car. The same is true for internet-capable software: the Internet is continually evolving and you need to respond to that.

              Comparison with cars is a valid one, although maintaining it is much easier than upgrading the software; moreover, you can fully enjoy current road network with a 1960 car.

              I don't buy the rest of arguments. "People should have an up-to-date browser"... why? By that reasoning, you should forbid the existence of elinks and friends. I'm pretty satisfied with my current web experience (which, for me, hasn't changed much during the last decade) why should I be forced to upgrade if I don't have a clear need for

              • by AlecC (512609)

                As I thought I made clear - security. All browsers have security problems, particularly older browsers before security became such a problem. Up-to-date may mean an old browser still being maintained for security fixes. You don't have to have the latest, greatest whizzy bits, but you do need holes patched.

                The problem with sticking to your old web experience is that if something new appears for which you do want a more modern browser, you will be forced to do an upgrade at a time which may not be of your con

                • by RCL (891376)
                  I agree with this logic, although this does not change my original statement about sympathy :) I generally prefer freedom to security, and while I would have upgraded myself (I'm not posting this from IE6 :)), I would not bash anyone for refusing to do so, as long as there's some rationale behind that and not just a negligence. "Don't fix what isn't broken" can be a valid policy depending on the likelihood of being attacked.
                • by tag (22464)

                  To return to the car analogy, you may keep your 1960s car as antique or as a pleasure. But would you use it for your wage-paying, must get there, journey to work or to customers? Would you risk a crucial customer meeting because your beloved veteran decides not to start today?

                  Can I switch from cars to planes? The B-52 Stratofortress was designed in the 1940s, and the last one was built in 1962. We still have 85 in service (thanks to the USAF tinkering with them), and they're still good for what they do. Sure, newer designs are better at some things, but don't completely dismiss "old" as "unusable."

                  My work PC is still on XP & IE8 (internal apps). At least they let us use Firefox (Chrome was recently blocked for no apparent reason). We're moving to Win7 through attrition (hel

            • by MightyYar (622222)

              If the software is potentially connected to the Internet, then it represents a security risk which becomes greater the longer people have to learn about it its bugs. If it is not maintained, the case is even stronger.

              You have to understand that when people were writing these IE6 apps, they were often replacing old terminal interfaces. They viewed the web browser as a fancy terminal emulator. The fact that it is not holding up over time is obvious only in retrospect.

      • by wvmarle (1070040)

        Use two browsers? IE6 for legacy; IE10 or FF or whatever for actual browsing.

        Can't really imagine you can do much on the regular Internet with IE6 these days.

        • by Jaruzel (804522)

          Except of course, you can't run two versions of IE on the same system* and FF is generally frowned upon in most Corporates.

          *Without resorting to App-V or other Application Virtualisation wrappers.

          -Jar

          • by wvmarle (1070040)

            Then many corporations are by now caught between a rock and a hard place.

            IE6 can use the internal stuff but almost nothing on the Internet; IE10 can handle modern web pages but not the internal stuff.

            And I can't imagine they can afford to lose access to either. The Internet is just too important a resource.

          • It's not hard for a company of any size to make a small change to the domain controllers to have IE 7+ force itself into IE 7 mode for any machine on their domain when accessing any internal system. I think you can even force it into IE 5 quirks mode if needed as well.

        • by tepples (727027)

          Use two browsers? IE6 for legacy; IE10 or FF or whatever for actual browsing.

          No operating system can run both, except through use of CPU-, RAM-, and license-expensive virtual machines.

          • by wvmarle (1070040)

            I have Chromium and Firefox installed on Linux. Firefox and IE on Windows. Two browsers on one OS doesn't seem to be an issue.

            • by Tomsk70 (984457)

              Which I'm sure will be the desktop OS of choice *next year*, just like it always is. Until then, in the real world....

            • He was talking about multiple versions of IE. I've got 9 browsers on my computer, but only the latest IE
              • by wvmarle (1070040)

                Yes... so short a comment, and people still don't read to the end. Just look at another reply to my comment - about the operating systems.

                • A web developer can browse in Firefox but still needs to test in IE, and in practice, this means testing in multiple versions of IE. Microsoft's solution has been to make each IE version available in the form of a multi-gigabyte VHD of Windows [modern.ie] to run in VirtualBox. Good luck fitting those into your satellite or microwave plan's monthly cap or keeping a restaurant Wi-Fi connection going long enough to download those.
          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            No operating system can run both, except through use of CPU-, RAM-, and license-expensive virtual machines.

            Or Wine, where you can run multiple versions of Aieeee! at once. Dunno if that includes 10 yet though.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I don't even want to know how we got IE into our misery people.

      It seems those people have already suffered enough, to the point of being labeled as misery people. Do we have to pile it on and for IE onto them?

  • I was seriously considering using Chrome Frame just a few months back as the means to support a very complex website based on HTML editing because IE's support is so broken so as to be almost useless. I tried very hard to support IE, but after spending a small eternity on it, I eventually gave up and declared IE unsupportable. Although I have not tried IE 10 yet, IE 9 and earlier are basically unusable in many areas, and were running at least two or three years behind where Safari, Chrome, and Firefox ar

    • Why the heck do you need Chrome Frame for anyway? Just install Chrome. The supposed advantage is you don't need to launch a new browser but that does not seem like a major issue to me.

      • by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Friday June 14, 2013 @01:28AM (#44004233)

        Not everyone gets to use their choice of browser.

        • Not everyone gets to use their choice of browser.

          Architecturally, Chrome frame is pretty similar to just installing Chrome(it has to be, to support rendering pages as they would appear in Chrome). Mysteriously, though, the fact that it's shoved into IE soothes some reactionary IT departments.

          Whether or not they are right about this, Google appears to be betting that people who were willing to install Chrome Frame to support something will just install Chrome. Their 'Legacy Browser Support [google.com]' makes managing the distribution of troublesome pages between the t

        • Not everyone gets to use their choice of browser.

          but they get to install ie plugins like chrome frame?? hell no. that's why they're discontinuing it. the only people who find use for it CAN NOT FUCKING INSTALL IT due to policies. if they want compatibility("no need to run another browser") they should make ie frame for chrome.

          • by tubs (143128)

            They do, you can force Chrome to render certain sites in a different browser.

        • by wvmarle (1070040)

          If you can not install another browser, how come you can install Chrome Frame?

          • Magic. Chrome frame doesn't need admin privs to install, yet Chrome does. It also doesn't go through the same process, Chrome Frame is just a browser plug-in, while Chrome has to go through the standard application install which many corporations don't allow.

      • by dgatwood (11270)

        Why the heck do you need Chrome Frame for anyway? Just install Chrome.

        Let me see if I understand you correctly. You're saying I should exploit a security hole in ActiveX to forcibly install Chrome on the computer of every user who comes to my website? :-D

        I'm not an IE user. At all. I'm a web developer. As a web developer, I don't get to choose what browser people come to my site with. I only get to choose whether to support them or not. Chrome frame provided a fairly lightweight option whereby I could

        • Does the default ActiceX policy used in corporate sites (those people who cannot install programs easily) allow users to install third party ActiveX plugins like Google Frame or not?

          • A large percentage that is true. Corporations lock down systems so users can not install applications, but they can still install Chrome Frame.

      • by s122604 (1018036)
        How do I know you don't work in corporate Amercia
    • So you found IE to be unusable and Chrome is a much better option, but somehow Google is still the bad guy of the story.

      • by dgatwood (11270)

        No. I've never used IE, so I don't care if it is unusable. As a web developer, I found IE to be unsupportable. Chrome is always a better option. However, most websites cannot realistically tell their users, "You need to switch browsers." Chrome Frame used to provide a mechanism by which websites could support IE without having to actually support IE ("For Internet Explorer users, this website requires the Chrome Frame plug-in. Click here to download it.").

        Google is now the bad guy because now the onl

        • by pspahn (1175617)

          ...now the only remaining option available to websites that can't feasibly support IE directly is to tell IE users to FOAD.

          I see where you're coming from. What I am curious about (as a web developer myself that completely ignores lt-IE9) is what sites are there that "can't feasibly support IE"? Sure, there's the corporate infranet stuff that only knows about users on XP with IE8. There might even be a few niche areas where there is a significant percentage of users on ltIE9 (I'm guessing quilting sites and related things where the age demographic is high). I guess there are probably some government sites that need full IE supp

          • by dgatwood (11270)

            Outside of that, what sites can't feasibly ditch lt-IE9? The one's that can't afford it?

            In my case, it's because the site depends heavily on HTML editing actually working and behaving in some sensible and consistent way, and IE did not as of IE 9. I can't remember the laundry list of bugs that I could not find viable workarounds for, but the list was not insignificant, if memory serves.

            Just stop supporting it. That simple.

            Yes, that's pretty much the only choice, but that doesn't mean it is a good choice.

            • by pspahn (1175617)

              but that doesn't mean it is a good choice.

              Ah, but in the long run, it probably is a good choice. At some point, gas stations had to stop selling leaded fuel as well. Did it affect a percentage of their users? Sure. Did it affect their revenue short-term? Sure. Was it a good decision in the long run? Absolutely.

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      And, sadly, this brings us back to the good old days of "best viewed in Netscape" or "best viewed in Internet Explorer".

      Not sure who to blame in this case, though.

      Web developer for failing to support the other browser? I assume you're a competent developer, and know what you're doing. Which implies that it's really hard to do some stuff in IE that is easy to pull off in the other browsers.

      Browser developers? Some browsers implement features that other browsers don't. That's just like what happened back in

      • by pspahn (1175617)

        You can't really blame any single entity. When it comes down to it, competition and economics are what is responsible for this mess.

        You can be the safe guy and built a site that works equally in all browsers. It's going to be a little bit boring of a site, there will be some headaches here and there, but overall, you're providing what you assume your users want.

        Or, you can be the not-so-safe guy that says flat out "If you're in IE8, the site is not going to work properly" while at the same time providing

        • by wvmarle (1070040)

          You can be the safe guy and built a site that works equally in all browsers. It's going to be a little bit boring of a site, there will be some headaches here and there, but overall, you're providing what you assume your users want.

          As a user I may be boring as well, but the vast majority of web sites that I visit do not allow much, if any, interaction. It doesn't go much further usually than a place to leave comments (like this site, or Facebook). The vast majority of corporate web sites that I visit are even more static: they present information about a company, and that's why I visit them. Shopping sites also don't have that much interaction really: you click a link, they say it's available or not, you click a button, and go for pay

          • by dgatwood (11270)

            Then there are other sites that feature complete word processors (like Google Docs) or specialised editors like circuitlab.com. That's a totally different ballgame, but those sites are a tiny minority of all the web sites out there.

            Indeed, this is the category that my site [webscriptedtv.com] falls into.

            • SQL ERROR [ mysqli ]

              Table 'webscriptedtv_fora.phpbb_config' doesn't exist [1146]

              An sql error occurred while fetching this page. Please contact an administrator if this problem persists.

              Does a Slashdot comment count?

              Back on-topic: I wonder what exactly it is that doesn't work on IE9, although I'd put the bar at IE10 anyway if you're doing anything that marketeers would claim to be 'an HTML5 site'.

              • by dgatwood (11270)

                Interesting. Looks like something wrong with my hosting provider. Either that or somebody recently exploited some new hole in PHPBB that I don't know about yet. I'll look into it.

              • by dgatwood (11270)

                All database backups are blank, and the PHPBB forum portion of the site has been broken since at least April (which is as far back as the archive.org archives go). A Google search reveals links that suggest that despite my attempts to lock down the board where no one could add accounts to it directly, someone constructed the URL directly (without clicking the nonexistent account links) and added accounts, then used them to post spam. I thought that I had disabled account creation more completely than tha

                • huh.. figured it was just a misconfigured bit that you hadn't gotten around to fixing.. didn't realize it'd open up a can of worms. Thanks for the secondary follow-up - and yes, please do post more info if you get it. ( Eventually Slashdot will stop allowing replies in this thread, of course :)

        • while at the same time providing a much richer and usable environment for the other 90%+ users.

          Right there is the problem. What the fuck does a "much richer" environment have to do with getting at what you want from a web page? How many times do I have to go to sites and wait while some shitty Flash video shoves itself down my throat or have to try and navigate through what should be simple dropdown menus, only to find that each site implements the menu differently?

          Stop trying to give people a
          • by pspahn (1175617)

            "Richer" in this context refers to things such as schema.org data that allows users to see more pertinent information in search results before they ever arrive at your site. It means having semantic markup that is easier to maintain and develop leaving more time for bug fixes and other anomalies that make a site less usable. It means being able to push properly sized images to the user, allowing them to download the 10kb image instead of the 45kb image for presumably low-bandwidth devices. It means serving

    • by pspahn (1175617)

      ... I did not bother to take the time to implement support for using and recommending Chrome Frame, even though I seriously considered it.

      All three lines of conditional HTML?

      • by Njovich (553857)

        Internet Explorer 10 no longer supports conditional HTML.

        According to Microsoft it is no longer necessary, since IE supports everything now!

        Of course I found out they no longer allow conditional HTML when their so-called implementation of a feature was broken (don't remember which one exactly).

        Having said that, IE9 and IE10 are a huge improvement over IE8.

    • by Zarhan (415465)

      I ran into the same problem. Web development is not exactly my typical line of work, but a customer asked for a small project. I couldn't get it (basically a simple webpage that fetches stuff from a database with AJAX) to work with IE no matter what - until I added the meta tags into the HTML:

      <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=9">
      <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=edge">

      After these, things started to work with same code that worked with Firefox and Chrome. I haven't bot

      • by dgatwood (11270)

        None of my problems involved the network. They were mostly bugs in the HTML editing behavior. The nearly unusable support for DOM selection objects was among the worst problems (no containsNode). I tried some of the tricks that Rangy uses, but even those were not sufficient to work around some of the bugs, IIRC. And I'm pretty sure I never did get copy/paste handling working adequately in IE. (The website requires the final HTML to conform strictly to a structure, which is not an easy thing to do even

  • I gave up on Chrome when they abandoned side tabs. (Firefox has treetabs)
    With the proliferation of 16:9 screens (fu hollywood) everything gets moved to the side where possible.

    • seriously? I still use top tabs. And force everything to stay at the top and keep the address bar. That's what is pissing me off. I need the address bar.

    • by MightyYar (622222)

      Same here - I had actually switched from Firefox to Chrome, but came flying back when they abandoned their (awful) side tabs implementation.

  • Some of our customers have annoyingly "standardized" on IE; yet permit "browser plugins" including Chrome Frame.

    We use this to deliver the WebGL parts of our apps to them.

    Hope Google changes their mind on this.

  • I never really understood the point of Chrome Frame.

    Surely the very people who needed to use it (those in a locked down corporate environment) are the very same people who can't install it because they're in a locked down corporate environment?
    • by ron_ivi (607351)
      In many corporate environments it's far easier to get approval for a browser plug-in (simply because old IE already requires so many browser plugins to get useful stuff done) than an entire replacement browser.
  • We use ChromeFrame extensively with IE8. The reasons are varied for why we are still on IE8, but we found that it was much more complex to "lock down" Firefox (I seem to recall Fiefox developers advising that Firefox isn't for enterprise/lock down) & Chrome, also our MIS system only supports IE7, 8 & 9. As we still have a large number of XP computers IE8 is our only option.

    *but* Chrome is now much less complex to control via GPO (in a similar vein as IEs) and google have now introduced a sort of "

  • by hobarrera (2008506) on Friday June 14, 2013 @05:30AM (#44005187) Homepage

    Google is like George R R Martin:

    It completely impossible to know who'll die next, but you can always be sure someone's about to die really soon!

  • For companies and users who are on Windows 7, this isn't that big of a deal. IE10 may not be quite as good as Chrome or Firefox, but it's a modern browser that works reasonably well. The problem is for users who are still on XP. Since XP only supports IE8, a decent browser experience requires either Chrome Frame or switching to Chrome or Firefox. And many businesses will allow plugins, but not alternate browsers.

    Yes, I know that XP is officially supposed to end support in mid-2014. But I don't believe that

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