John Brandon

Stupid Chrome bug: Why I'm switching back to Firefox

By John Brandon
September 08, 2008 4:18 PM EDT
It doesn't take much to make me hate a browser. After using Chrome for an entire week, I found one seemingly innocuous bug that is so annoying and frustrating that I can't even use the product anymore.

Google normally releases relatively stable betas, but that has not always been the case with "real" software. I remember when Google Desktop Search was first released and it made my PC unusable - I had to reinstall Windows XP. As I said before, this beta is pretty sound - it has not crashed on me at all, and most features work. Chrome does not have any earth-shattering bugs. Or maybe it does?

The bug I found is not so heinous that it will be readily apparent. Yet, it is a killer for me.

Here's how I found it today. I use the inline spell checker a lot. I'm a writer, what can I say? Sometimes, when I right-click to see the correct spelling for a word, Chrome selects all of the text in an e-mail. Fine, a simple SNAFU. It might not seem like a big deal, but if you happen to then click in the wrong place, the "select all" function misfires and clicks on the Undo function. So what does this mean in practical use?

Let's say you type three paragraphs of an e-mail or blog -- your most stunning prose, a technical description for your boss, or this very post. It doesn't have to be in Gmail, so let's say you use Yahoo Mail or Blogger or some other tool. Anyway, if you right-click on a word and the select all function misfires, your text will magically disappear because what you are undoing is actually all of that typing! And there is no way to bring the text back no matter how hard you try. (I have not found a redo function.) It's a killer bug, one that has already lost me about 30 minutes of e-mail typing just today.

(I'm using a Lenovo SL300 laptop with Vista Business, let me know if you can replicate this error in comments.)

so, I have to abandon Chrome for now and go back to Firefox, so we'll see if they fix this problem. In all these years of using Firefox and (gasp, dare I say it) IE I have never had a bug like this. And, I know -- I should be using Word or Outlook, right?


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