The Google Chrome Frame is seeing another round of criticism but this time it isn't from Microsoft, but from another browser maker – one that has historically had a much better relationship with Google – Mozilla. Mike Shaver, Mozilla's VP of engineering, has some very real concerns about the Frame and its implications and concludes that it was a “bad idea” to use the frame instead of encouraging users to just install Chrome.
“Users who wish to render sites with Chrome can already use Chrome, of course, and should,” Shaver wrote on his blog. “Running Chrome Frame within IE makes many of the browser application’s features non-functional, or less effective. These include private browsing mode or their other security controls, features like accelerators or add-ons that operate on the content area, or even accessibility support.”
He goes on to say that the majority of websites today do work better with a modern browser, including Chrome, but that if the users choose Internet Explorer anyway it has to be because they really want to and they prefer IE's way of doing things and, as such, they should be allowed to make their choice rather than have website creators do it for them. More importantly, Shaver believes that having two browsers running at the same time makes it harder for users to know which browser is doing what and what security measures are active at any given time.
Shave also rebuts the idea that the Chrome Frame will help those who can't install a newer browser and are stuck with IE6 at work or in similar circumstances, saying that in those cases the users couldn't install the plugin either because of the permission restrictions likely set up. While he does raise good points, his view isn't exactly impartial as Chrome, despite not being a threat to Firefox just yet, is still a competitor. What's more, he may also be worried that Google will do the same thing that it did to IE and release the Chrome Frame for Firefox as, based on the source code, he believes that Google could easily convert the Frame to work for Mozilla.