German developers forge Iron from Chrome
Browser transmutation for privacy fans
German developers had developed a cut-down version of Chrome that doesn't send usage data back to the Google mothership.
SRWare forged Iron by taking out all the features privacy-sensitive punters might find objectionable. According to an English translation by Incomplete News, Iron is based on the Chrome source code minus elements including the absence of a unique user-ID and the removal of code that sends user-specific information to Google. In addition, application crash data is not sent back to Google and there's no Google updater, a function which if left undisturbed might put objectionable code back into the mix.
Windows XP and Vista versions of Iron are available from the SRWare's site here. Links to the 10.3MB download are in German, as are the installation instructions, but it appears with a English interface when loaded on a UK version of XP, at least.
A quick try-out suggests the browser is just as nippy as Chrome and that it seems to do what it says on the tin in terms of browsing privacy.
In all, it's an interesting coding exercise that shows the benefits of having a open source browser - doing something similar with IE is a non-starter. However, it's difficult to imagine that Iron will pick up much market share, and people unimpressed with the idea of handing over yet more data to the world's biggest ad broker are more likely to turn to Firefox or Opera instead. ®
Chrome / Irons JS engine may be faster
but that's probably because it there is a hell of a lot of JS that it doesn't run.
Just try and use facebook for a start... the JS / AJAX bar at the bottom of the window renders, but doesn't work (while firefox and IE have no problem with it).
Nice try, but no cigar. I do work in the SaaS arena (so to speak) and have visited the London GooglePlex on one occasion (a nice bunch, but a spookily friendly office environment. Almost too cutesy and nice...) but no, I don't work for Google.
What I do do, though, is a hell of a lot of work in browser interfaces, which means I can really appreciate differences between browser experiences. It's in that capacity that my comments were left.
And in other news...
...there is a big bunch of quick browsers which don't send data home to either Google and/or M$. Honestly, in these heady days of broadband internet connectivity and (compared to the beginnings of the www) outright ridiculous processing power supply on the desktop, the speed of the browser is a pretty secondary factor of the overall experience. I mean, does it really matter whether the page takes 15 or 17 milliseconds to appear on the screen? I'd rather have a standards-compliant browser that handles HTML, XHTML and XML properly. Which, obviously, excludes M$ Internet Exploder.
My favs these days are based on webkit and Gecko, and they don't do Google by default, which last factor is the big one for me.