Folks we at IE8Blog love cool things. An example of an interesting software solution is a Firefox add-on called IE Tab. IE Tab allows you to load an instance of Internet Explorer in a tab within Firefox. Great for evaluating rending and javascript quickly with in the same application. (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1419).

We have great passion for Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 and the compatibility improvements and the high level of security that has been put into the product over the years. By far Internet Explorer 8 is the most secure browser out there. Several reports have been done on the safety that IE8 brings to the table not only for the consumer at home but for corporate world.

There are always concerns about the security of the browser when installing add-ons, Flash has seen its fair share of vulnerabilities over the years and so have many other popular ActiveX controls. As always we caution you about add-ons that directly alter the core browser technology. Just like any software Google Chrome had and has its fair share of vulnerabilities as well.

Browser Security – Phishing Test Report – http://nsslabs.com/browser-security-phishing-3q2009

Browser Security – Socially Engineered Malware Test Report – http://nsslabs.com/browser-security-malware-3q2009

Okay enough about talking up the security of IE8, yes we like Internet Explorer.

Google has figured out how to create a direct plug-in to Internet Explorer that can change the rendering engine, jscript engine, and to some degree the network stack to Google Chrome. Despite what happens after the fact one does need to admit that swapping out core features of IE is rather cool from a pure technology point of view.

One should give credit to both companies, Microsoft for their IE API’s and Google for their creative us of the IE API set.

From the write up this is being driven by the need for a high end experience with Google Wave (we know nothing about Google Wave yet – http://wave.google.com/)

http://code.google.com/chrome/chromeframe/ <- Get Google Chrome

http://code.google.com/chrome/chromeframe/developers_guide.html <- Not just for developers

From reviewing the developers guide there meta header http-equiv is used to trigger the use of the Chrome engine..

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="chrome=1">

For those up on Internet Explorer 8.0 know that the X-UA-Compatible is used to switch the rendering mode of IE as well. See META Tags and Locking in Future Compatibility at  http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc817574.aspx

Some other writes up on Google Chrome

http://blog.chromium.org/2009/09/introducing-google-chrome-frame.html

http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=5537

http://www.neowin.net/news/main/09/09/22/google-brings-chrome-rendering-engine-to-ie6-7-and-8

UPDATES from our readers and our own limited testing:

Some of our readers have already started to report back on Chrome Frame results.

1.  cf:http://acid3.acidtests.org/ will put IE in Chrome Frame Mode, note the cf: which we guess you would call a protocol handler. Running the same page without cf: you can see the obvious rendering differences.

2. If you have the full Chrome browser installed and open a new window folks are reporting that Chrome Frame is opening the new window in the Chrome Browser.

3. The status bar in IE is reporting UNKNOWN zone, we feel this would be expected but is important as it does appear Zone technology is not available in when in Chrome Frame mode. Further testing on this is required to validate.

4. You can not PRINT or PRINT PREVIEW when in Chrome Frame mode. Not sure if window.print will fire or not. We expect future version of CF to have at least basic printing functionality.

5. We did test Firefox with the IE Tab add-on and could not get Chrome Frame to initialize when the Firefox was switched to IE Mode.

6. Some users reported problems with submitting form data when under the Chrome Frame interface.

7. So far no one is reporting hangs, freezes, or crashes under the Chrome Frame interface.

8. SSL thus far from our limited testing is working as expected. Of course it is yet to be seen what the results are with Client Certificate situations. There is a Network Layer options via Chrome Frame but we have not figured out how to test if the Chrome Network layer is being utilized or not.

9. We just noticed that when you right click on a page you will see the Chrome Frame menu versus the Internet Explorer context menu. Check out the View Source feature. We are not 100% sure yet if the Chrome Development tools are picked up as a result of having Chrome (the browser installed on the same system). Further review required.

10. Uninstall of Chrome Frame problems. Funny title on the blog post.

Uninstall is not resetting various classes (HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes) from ChromeHTML back to htmlfile impacting the default browser.

We clean our own table when eating at McDonald’s

http://blogs.msdn.com/cqwang/archive/2009/09/24/we-clean-our-own-table-when-eating-at-mcdonald-s.aspx

Unconfirmed by IE8BLOG.COM

 

Google Chrome Frame

8 Responses to I have seen it all now. Google Chrome rendering and script engine running under Internet Explorer. Are you kidding me!!

  • Dominoic says:

    I was wondering if it is possible to run Firefox with the IE Tab add-on and have the instance of IE running in the Firefox tab have the process redirect to loading the google engine. This would be a very interesting but strange way to browse the internet.

    I have concerns about the security as well, wondering if IE ZONES are basically a mute point with the CF add-on.

    Do you have an experience with Avant, from what I can tell this browser uses all of the ie components.

    Dominoic

  • susan says:

    it’s my understanding that all you have to do is add the cf: prefix to the URL and that will trigger chrome frame to load

    Example load: http://acid3.acidtests.org/ in just Internet Explorer.
    after the test completes then change the URL to cf:http://acid3.acidtests.org/ and you will see how different it is.

  • Dominoic says:

    I will give it a try Susan. I am going to take the chance and install the add-on from Google into IE8 running in a vm and see what happens..

  • Dominoic says:

    Okay tried the acid test, okay so what it passed what is the big deal.

    The IE8Blog folks are correct can not print or print preview so that sends this back the minor leagues with respect to corporate users.

    The absence of Zones appears to also be correct and raises concerns.

    I do have to agree that Google is able to SHIM IE’s rendering and script engine is cool but I can live without this add-on.

  • elaw says:

    well for those who read the Google docs you will find that you don’t need the cf: prefix

    just add

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\ChromeFrame\OptInUrls]
    “*”=”"

    now all URLS\websites will use the chrome frame

    NOTE: the ‘*’ is a string value and the name of the domain in this example I am telling IE\CF to use all websites..
    I could specify *.bing.com
    or *mail.yourexchange.com/owa*

    meow-elaw

  • club_gearbox says:

    I would be careful I just tried elaws recommendation and my IE8 browser has issues submitting post to various websites.

    It seems to work ok if you are just doing normal browsing but gets a litle loose around the edges on some pages.

  • iebroker says:

    Another interesting little tidbit…

    It seems that CF actually installs the “chrome” browser, as well, and uses it to render what’s being displayed in the IE CF tab (guess that’s why it takes to long to install). This can be proven by simply loading a CF tab in IE. Once the CF tab is loaded, simply check task manager and you will see two chrome browser processes have been loaded.

    :)

    -IEbroker

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