Google Chrome UI niceties
So everyone in the "blogosphere" is going on about Google Chrome. From one day to the next, a bunch of personal blogs written by random people I don't know which I for some reason subscribed to all suddenly had 1 new entry – subject "I like Chrome". A bit like a few days before when Mozilla released some new feature and exactly the same thing happened. And now if I write about Chrome I am one of them as well....
I don't intend to repeat all that has already been written. But here are a few UI niceties which, as ever, shows Google's attention to detail.
- If the Chrome window is maximized, one can throw the mouse with wild abandon to the top of the screen to click the tabs, and move the mouse to the absolute right of the screen to access the scroll bars. The tabs and scroll bars are "mile-high" controls. ("Joel on Software" famously asserted Microsoft "snatched defeat from the jaws of victory" by placing the start menu at the edge of the screen, but then adding a one-pixel border so one has to, after one has moved the mouse to the edge of the screen, slowly move it back again 1 pixel to click the control.)
- If one downloads a file, an icon representing the downloaded file appears. This icon is draggable (e.g. to Windows Explorer in order to save the file). In Windows one can normally either drag a file from a directory to an app, or from an app to a directory, but not from an app straight to an app. But the icon in Chrome which one drags away actually already references a (temporary) file, one can drag the file directly from the Chrome app into another one e.g. an FTP program showing a remote directory, and the right thing will happen.
- If there are lots of tabs open, the tabs get smaller. If you close a tab, the tabs get bigger again. This much is standard in all tabbed browsers: but in Chrome the tabs don't get bigger until you move the mouse out of the tab area. This way, if you want to close multiple tabs, you can look at all the close buttons, then move your mouse over each one and click the buttons. Otherwise (as in other browsers), you have to close one tab, then look at where the tabs have rearranged themselves to, find the close button on the next tab, click it, look at where the tabs have rearranged themselves to, find the next close button—repeat.
- If you double-click a word in the URL bar (e.g. www.mysite.com) then the portion including the separating dot or slash is selected (e.g. "www."). This means if you press the delete key, then you are left with the syntactically valid "mysite.com". If, however, you type, it replaces just the "www" so if you type "ftp" you are left with the syntactically valid "ftp.mysite.com"
- The "loading site..." status information at the bottom of the screen overlays the content. This saves space in comparison to having a status bar always displayed, taking up screen space. But, if you want to see the content hidden by this overlaid status bar, simply move the mouse to where the content would be, and the status bar automatically moves away to reveal the content.