No one would ignore the existence of Internet Explorer, Google is no difference. However, instead of having to wait the whole world to adopt the upcoming Internet Explorer 9 to consume the modern web technology like HTML5, Google took a different route and introduced an open source plug-in solution that brings HTML5 and other open web technologies to Internet Explorer, named Google Chrome Frame (GCF).
It doesn’t matter which version of IE people are using, once you have this GCF plug-in installed and enabled in your IE, you will be able to start enjoying the modern web apps at blazing speeds through the familiar interface of the version of IE, including Google Chrome’s speedy webkit-based rendering engine and the open web technologies like HTML5 canvas tag.
For web developer,
All they need to do to make a website GCF ready is
1. to add a single tag, introduced by IE team when it was the time getting ready for IE8.
<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="chrome=1">
When any version of IE with GCF plug-in installed and enabled sees this tag, it automatically switches to using Google Chrome’s webkit-based rendering engine.
2. to add a Google Chrome Frame plug-in download link for those IEs that don’t have this installed.
For end users,
To enjoy the modern web technologies on IE,
1. Install Google Chrome web browser, if you haven’t done so.
2. Open Google Chrome Frame page in IE;
3. Click on Get Google Chrome Frame icon on the page to start downloading the plug-in.
4. Agree the term of use policy and install the plug-in by following the straightforward installation wizard.
5. You may need to restart the browser to be able to use it. And you can see if it is installed properly from Manage Add-ons window.
So how can I test it?
First of all, you need to find a website that is GCF ready. For example, Google Wave is one of them.
Before opening it in IE, close all Google Chrome browser you have opened. And open Task Manager after Google Wave page finished loading in IE. You will notice that some Chrome processes pop up in it, which indicates that the rendering engine in IE has switched to Chrome’s webkit to render the page.
It’s a great idea, even though personally I don’t know how well the whole browser community will adopt it, I believe it’s one of the better ways pushing the web technologies to move forward.
I guess we will see more and more Google Apps joins the Google Wave to make GCF ready, so it would be a step up to those who love Google products but have to stick with IE for various reasons.