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[Article author here] A few notes:

1. I tested with many different sites and configurations in order to narrow down the issue. The screenshots in the article are just a small sample of my tests, for illustration.

2. I'm not logged into Chrome or any Google services. I've gone through chrome://settings and disabled everything Google-related. Nonetheless, although I'm not using those Chrome features, this issue obviously could be related to the existence of those features in Chrome.

3. My goal in publishing the article was to get the issue fixed ASAP. I'm a browser extension developer, so I'm constantly testing with different browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. It wasn't my intention to start a browser war.

4. I believe that Chrome is entirely open source, so I hope that someone familiar with the code base will take a look at this issue. The sheer size and complexity makes it a bit daunting for an outsider, but since Chromium has been adopted by other browsers such as Brave and Edge, there are outside developers already working on it.

4. Chromium is open-source, while Chrome is not.

Hmm. It seems to be mostly open source though? I found a document about differences on Linux, and I didn't see much. https://chromium.googlesource.com/chromium/src/+/master/docs...

Chromium is the open source bit, Chrome is Chromium plus a bunch of proprietary changes that google adds. You can run Chromium- it is a browser by itself- but it's not the same thing you'd download and run if you grab Chrome.

The "proprietary changes that google adds" are API keys[1], branding, and external plugins like Flash/Widevine. Other than those, the source code is identical.

[1]: https://www.chromium.org/developers/how-tos/api-keys

> Other than those, the source code is identical.

How do you know, and how can we prove it?

You could decompile, inspect, and debug chrome if you must, but doing something so easily viewable and auditable would be a huge blow to their reputation.

TIL. Are there any downsides to running Chromium instead of Chrome?

Chromium has no auto-updater on Windows and macOS. Unless you have a package manager that compiles updated versions for you, you're better off using Chrome.

I use Firefox. But, I'd be willing to install a version of Chrome if it came without all of the Google garbage pre-installed. I was hoping that maybe Chromium could fill this role.

There's a project that does exactly this. (I can't comment on the quality or the trustworthiness.)


I have used it in the past but now I use Chromium instead as a Chrome replacement since it is more stable than ungoogled-chromium.

I use Firefox as my primary browser and Chromium for testing things for Chrome. The only downside to Chromium is you have to update it manually by downloading the package and dragging it to your applications if you use Mac. Other than that, it works perfectly. I trust Chromium more than Chrome if I want to let it run in the background.

I was wondering about number 4. Does Chromium currently have the same behavior?

Yes, Chromium has this same behavior.

ungoogled-chromium is a project that removes Google integration from Chromium. Here is the patch they use to remove this special treatment of Google sites:


Eh, so doubleclick.net, ad network extraordinaire, gets special treatment as a "Google host" as well? Eww.

Google owns Doubleclick since 2007, shouldn't be a surprise.

Thanks! That's surprisingly short.

Now the question is how those IsGoogle functions are used in storage handling.

Thanks for addressing this - #2 would have been my guess.

Did you report it in the Chromium bug tracker? (https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/list)

From my experience, they tend to look at those sooner or later.

From my experience, they tend to ignore those forever, and then they use the fact that the bugs haven't been touched in a long time as an excuse to close them as WontFix.

> My goal in publishing the article was to get the issue fixed ASAP.

could be "by design"

Of course it is, and the naivety of webdevelopers that continue justifying a “chrome first” workflow is beyond irresponsible at this point.

Not that I agree with it, but I think the argument is that any workflow but Chrome-first is naïve. Hacker News' righteous fury won't do much to change the fact that 2 in 3 people use Chrome.

They never said naïve, they said irresponsible.

Of course something can be irresponsible for many reasons but I think there is a solid argument that making a website that works better in Chrome than other browsers is morally irresponsible because you are encouraging more users away from more open browsers. (Which I guess is mostly Firefox at this point? :'( )

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