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Microsoft Chrome (wikipedia.org)
148 points by luu on Oct 27, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 50 comments

Some example code there: http://cdserv.wbut.ac.in/81-203-1773-4/workshop/imedia/chrom...

    <OBJECT ID="Chromeffects" WIDTH=512 HEIGHT=512 CLASSID="CLSID:8A2A7F99-09DA-11D1-B33A-00A0C90A8FB6">
    <?XML VERSION="1.0"?>
    <!DOCTYPE SCENE SYSTEM "cr.dtd">
    <SCENE3D BRIGHTNESS="1" COLOR="#000000">
      <BOX ID="box1" HEIGHT="2" WIDTH="2" DEPTH="2" POSITION="0 0 0">
        <SURFACE SRC="http://www.microsoft.com" />
        <ROTATE3D BY="0 1 0 360" DURATION="3" REPEAT="forever"/>

I always love when my code shouts at me.

Is that an XML document in an HTML comment inside an OBJECT tag? eww


This is no better or worse than:

"Is that JavaScript in an HTML comment inside a SCRIPT tag?" Which is exactly what the original JavaScript implementation was[0]. The HTML comment was to prevent browsers that did not support specific tags from choking on them. And the OBJECT tag has always used it's child elements to give configuration for the external resource it represents.


Don't forget XML Data islands. https://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/Using_XML_Data_Islands...

You can write HTML literals directly in Javascript in an ancient version of Firefox I forgot its name it's similar to JSX

Edit: It's called E4X. Thanks @woogley

And with examples: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Archive/Web/E4X/Pro...

It's crazy how similar this is with JSX

Something something history doomed to repeat something.

I don't think you are thinking of E4X -- it allowed one to convert XML strings into native objects, but I don't believe that it allowed for direct XML literals in Javascript as does JSX?

It did, as an alternative to XML('string') constructor. Check it out: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Archive/Web/E4X/Pro...

That is pretty mind blowing. Not such a revolutionary idea in the JS space after all.

Could be worse. Back in the day, it was somewhat common to do inline JavaScript in HTML by:

* Using a script tag,

* Whose contents began with a JavaScript comment,

* With the remainder of the JS-commented line beginning a CDATA block.

Then at the end of the script you'd have another JS-commented line to end the CDATA block.

Not sure why that's so bad. It's well constrained, and parsable.

I think Chrome was (maybe still is?) also the name of Firefox's GUI or something like that. I remember being confused when Google Chrome first came out.

Edit: I thought more about this and remembered someone on the Firefox Addons site complained that the author of "lesschrome" (an extension which hides the "chrome" automatically) was being jealous(!) of Google Chrome. Couldn't find the comment and the following funny discussion though.

Google's name is a joke. When Chrome first came out, it hardly had any chrome, when compared to other browsers out there. Tabs in the title bar, a single text entry field, that's it. Everybody else had 150px of chrome before the web page started. So they called it after the thing it didn't have.

Similarly, you can't see the pixels on a Chromebook Pixel and Google Glass are glasses without actual glasses.

It's not a joke. It's a smart choice that makes the brain think about the chrome's content, just like a frame implies a painting. A dictionary definition I found for the word is: "chromium-plated or other bright metallic trim, as on an automobile" [1].

[1] http://www.dictionary.com/browse/chrome

I believe the person you are replying to did not literally mean it's a joke. "Tongue-in-cheek".

Exactly. In a very similar vein, Gravity is possibly my favourite movie name of all time. (Along with its tagline, "Don't let go", which is the exact opposite of appropriate for most of the movie.) Some names have a good reason for looking silly at first glance.

Side note: Gravity is such a great movie. I love it's simplicity. It's a monster movie with (essentially) 2 characters and the setting is the monster. Then brings this incredibly simple vision to life without feeling sparse or experimental.

This even extends to the title:tagline as you mention. Four words, "Gravity: Don't let go", efficiently conveys the whole tone of the film.

Historically "Chrome" refers to the shell of a web-browser that wraps the layout engine. Both Netscape and Microsoft used the word (internally at least) for this effect, while later Google would co-opt the term entirely for their product name.

But yes, Firefox's user-stylesheet for XUL is called 'chrome.css' (or 'userchrome.css', I forget).

Yes, `userChrome.css` in `chrome` folder in Firefox user profile folder [0].

As opposed to `userContent.css` (located in the same directory) for injecting user level stylesheets to content document cascade.

[0] http://kb.mozillazine.org/UserChrome.css

TIL, thanks for the clarification.

I miss being able to create chromeless browser windows in IE. You could complete control the GUI. I think it was removed because of security reasons of being able to trick users into thinking it was a native OS window.

I guess you can do that even with a simple Windows Forms application that has a full size web view?

Chrome is a common term that means the parts of application user interface that aren't representing the document (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphical_user_interface#User_...). So window borders, menus, browser address bar, tabs and such. This is the meaning of the word used in Firefox.

Exactly. Which is why Google Chrome makes sense. If you think of the web app you're using as the primary application (Calendar, for example), instead of the browser, then the browser is just the chrome around it. And this is Chrome from Google (as opposed to the chrome from Firefox). And if you use Google in Chrome, it's the chrome around Google too. Since Google apps are web-based, they need Chrome, and since Google wants to give the best experience possible for their own apps, they'd like you to use the Google Chrome for Google.

Ok I'm done.

> If you think of the web app you're using as the primary application (Calendar, for example), instead of the browser, then the browser is just the chrome around it.

This goes even more if you considered how complex browser UIs were getting. Here's IE6:


Oddly enough, Netscape 6 / Mozilla Browser seems to have been one of the first browsers to start paring down the UI - this looks a lot like Google Chrome today:


Which makes sense as Netscape 4 was doing things like adding a 'Shop' button to the browser toolbar.

I guess that was my only exposure to it with that meaning, so I had assumed it was something specific to Firefox. Many others were too, I remember some people suggesting that Google stole the name Chrome from Firefox on some forums back when it first came out. Yes, it sounds ridiculous, especially in the light of this knowledge, I know.

Historical footnote: The teams of people weren't killed with VizAct. They just moved around a bit. Some of them went to PowerPoint, and others went to Windows. PowerPoint 97 gained an animation engine with effects, and Windows ME and XP gained animations in the shell, which was basically written in some form of XML. Office eventually used the XML annotation technology to produce the ribbon UI.

I was literally just thinking about this last night. I found a CD from the MS Chrome Beta program in my garage with some other MS beta stuff and maybe even some Solaris x86 CD and OpenBSD CDs from late 90s / early 2000s. It was like finding gold!

I think I had something like Pentium 200 or maybe even an AMD K2 or K3 233 or 266 at that time and this thing struggled with Chrome. I want to say the minimum requirement was a Pentium 350mhz.

I think I had 1 or 2 CD beta release before the program was axed.

betaarchive.com might be interested in that CD if they don't have it already

This fantastic book talks extensively about it.


I worked on this! Not at MSFT, as a consultant building stuff that used it. The Javascript API didn't allow you to do transforms with matrices, you had to translate, scale, rotate things in separate calls. This was the bane of my existence for a couple months, trying to get 3DS models to animate correctly. I learned a lot more math than I expected to on that project. :)

And Buzz, which was a social network with no people.

We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12803149 and marked it off-topic.

And Google Health, which is dead

Don't forget Wave, which fell flat

And Google Fiber, which will stop deploying fiber (https://googlefiberblog.blogspot.fr/2016/10/advancing-our-am...)

I think you missed the point.

I'll fix it!

And Google Fiber, which fell apart.

They lost the thread

And Google Fiber, which unraveled.

And Google Reader, which can't be read.


And Google Plus, which was worse.

Which didn't add any value for most people but made them remove the plus operator in its useful form, from Google search.

The minus operator is still there. (Until we get Google- that is)


Absolutely barbaric

Not for lack of trying though, they used so many extremely dark patterns to push Buzz onto Gmail users and violate privacy by showing your contacts to your other contacts that they got sued over them and actually settled.


Today's dose of "WRONG", received.

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