Fig 1 IE with Silverlight ve:Map component
With the introduction of Chrome, Google has thrown down the gauntlet to challenge IE and Firefox. Out of curiosity I thought it would be interesting to download the current Chrome Beta and see what it could do with some of the interfaces I’ve worked on. Someone had recently quipped, “isn’t all of Google Beta?” I guess the same could be said of Amazon AWS, but then again in the “apples to apples” vein, I decided to compare IE8 Beta and Chrome Beta. The above screen shot shows an example of the new Silverlight ve:Map component in an ASP Ajax running on II6. The browser is IE8 beta in Vista, and surprise, not, it all works as expected.
Fig 2 Chrome with Silverlight ve:Map component
Also not surprisingly, the same Silverlight ve:Map component in an ASP Ajax site fares poorly in Chrome. In fact the component appears not at all, while curiously the menu asp:MenuItems act oddly. Instead of the expected drop down I get a refresh to a new horizontal row?
Fig 3 IE with Silverlight ve:Map component
Moving on to a Google Map Component embedded in the same ASP page, IE8 beta displays the map component including the newer G_SATELLITE_3D_MAP map type. ASP drop down menu and tooltips all work.
Fig 4 Chrome with Silverlight ve:Map component
Since this is a Google Map Component I would be disappointed if it did not work in Chrome, and it does. Except, I noticed the G_SATELLITE_3D_MAP control type is missing? I guess Chrome Beta has not caught up with Google Map Beta. Again the ASP Menu is not functional.
Fig 5 IE Google Map Control with Earth Mode – G_SATELLITE_3D_MAP
Back to IE to test the 3D Earth mode of my Google Map Component.As seen above it all works fine.
Fig 6 IE Silverlight Deep Earth
Now to check the new Silverlight DeepEarth component in IE. DeepEarth is a nice little MultiScaleTile source library for smoothly spinning around the VE tile engines. It works as amazingly smooth as ever.
Fig 7 Google Chrome Deep Earth
However, in Chrome, no luck, just a big white area. I suppose that Silverlight was not a high priority with Chrome.
Fig 8 IE SVG hurricane West Atlantic weather clip
Switching to some older SVG interfaces, I took a look at the Hurricane clips in the West Atlantic. It looks pretty good, Hanna is deteriorating to a storm and Ike is still out east of the Bahamas.
Fig 9 Chrome SVG hurricane West Atlantic weather clip
On Chrome it is not so nice. The static menu side of the svg frames shows up but the image and animation stack is just gray. Clicking on menu items verifies that events are not working. Of course this SVG is functional only in the Adobe SVG viewer, but evidently Chrome has some svg problems.
Fig 10 IE ASP .NET 3.5
Moving back to IE8, I browsed through a recent ASP .NET 3.5 site I built for an Energy monitoring service. This is a fairly complete demonstration of ListView and Linq SQL and it of course works in IE8 beta.
Fig 11 Chrome ASP .NET 3.5
Surprisingly, Chrome does a great job on the ASP .NET 3.5. Almost all the features work as expected with the exception of the same old Menu problems.
Fig 12 IE SVG OWS interface
Finally I went back down memory lane for an older OWS interface built with the SVG, using the Adobe Viewer variety. There are some glitches in IE8 beta. Although I can still see WMS and WFS layers and zoom around a bit , some annoying errors do pop up here and there. Adobe SVG viewer is actually orphaned, ever since Adobe picked up Macromedia and Flash, so it will doubtless receed into the distant past as the new browser generations arrives. Unfortunately, there is little Microsoft activity in SVG, in spite of competition from the other browsers, Safari, Firefox, and Opera. It will likely remain a 2nd class citizen in IE terms as SIlverlight’s intent is to replace Flash, which itself is a proprietary competitor to SVG.
Fig 13 Chrome SVG OWS interface
Chrome and Adobe SVG are not great friends. Rumor has it that Chrome intends to fully support SVG, so if I ever get around to it, I could rewrite these interfaces for Firefox, Opera, Chrome 2.0.
Chrome is beta and brand new. Although it has a lot of nice features and a quick clean tabbed interface, I don’t see anything but problems for map interfaces. Hopefully the Google Map problems will be ironed out shortly. There is even hope for SVG at some later date. I imagine even Silverlight will be supported grudgingly since I doubt that Google has the clout to dictate useage on the internet.