Archive for September, 2008
Whew! The game has officially (finally) hit the last code-freeze today, actually yesterday but I tagged the repository today so it’s officially code freeze today. All the levels have been done and most of the internal (alpha) testing is complete. Yeah, the blog has been silent for a while; but that’s to be understood, I have been really hard pressed to finish this on time, yet I overshot my (mostly self-imposed) deadline by a good 15 days In part due to unforseen circumstances, in part due to my own faults, but that’s the way it goes (generally ). I am really glad it’s finally done and all but the most trivial issues remain. There is some artwork left though, I still have to finish up the initial screens and some sound-tracks and some sound-effects need to be incoroprated into the game as well. Some parts of the demo version also need to be finished up. However, I am going to hold on to that till I release the RC for one final bout of testing, that way I have a good feedback on which levels to include in the demo and which to hold off for the full version.
I had a dream last night where I wake up and peer out of my bedroom window to look at what usually is a huge tree, only this time in the dream I look out and see nothing! Yeah pitch blackness, and I wonder, “Oh so the LHC must have produced one after all.” The next though that enters my deranged nightmarish mind is “Have I crossed the event-horizon yet? Then maybe I still have a chance to run away, maybe someone has a spaceship and I might just get a lift to alpha centauri“, and that’s when I wake up to find the sun shining down my face. I guess the trip to alpha centauri will have to wait. So the world hasn’t ended yet albeit fears of earth gobbling black holes, strangelets, vaccum bubbles, magnetic monopoles or as someone on gamedev said, “We haven’t yet been invaded by head-crab hordes from Zen.” So I guess it’s time to congratulate the scientists working on the LHC, but I guess they took every bit of precaution and as someone said, “Even inviting Gordon Freeman just in case!”
Hmm… where’s the hazmat suit dude?
The other thing I love about this browser, is the amount of real-estate it gives you. Gone is the menu-bar and the status-bar has shrunk down to a small strip which appears when needed. These are the kinds of GUI innovations that I really appreciate. Logical; since most of us rarely use browser menus when we surf, at least I don’t. An rare trip to the “Preferences” section to clear browsing history is all I need to do with the menus anyways, so I am not too bothered with the fact that the menus in Chrome have been shrunk down to two little corner drop-down buttons. As a matter of fact I have customized FF (FireFox) to do the same using an extension. As expected the navigation bar has a tight integration with the search engine and you will find suggestions being popped up as and when you write directly from Google search. There is still some work to be done on this front though, it would be wonderful to see something along the lines of what Yahoo has on it’s search.
The things that I really miss in Chrome is AdBlock and Noscript. I hope Google will allow some way of having extensions to Chrome so people can come-up with all those amazing things that FF currently has. In fact I miss the extensions thing that is so popular under FF. I also could not find an RSS reader or any method of importing RSS/ATOM links into the browser. I also felt that the status bar was a bit short and could not display longer web-links. Chorme crashed on me once and ironically it was Google’s very own site, google books and yes I was browsing Chrome’s very own book Google Chrome when that happened. It somewhat flies in the face of the claim about application not crashing if one instance crashed. While Google has touted memory management of Chrome as great, the browser does take up a significant chunk of memory with even a modest number of tabs open. It’s certainly a lot more than FF, about 20 – 40% or so more for the same number of tabs.
For some reason the browser continuously uses about 60 to 70% of both CPU cores on my machine and that happens even when the machine is sitting idle and there is no interactions with the browser. Interestingly I also found a lot of memory swapping taking place after the browser ran for 2 hours or more and the memory usage keeps increasing steadily. That would somewhat contradict what was written in the Chrome book about low memory usage. The thing worth mentioning here is the fact that each tab of the browser is a separate process, meaning every tab is actually a separate instance of a browser running.
In the end, Chrome is still a beta product and I would expect significant improvements in the coming versions. I would also hope that Google will at the very least release a Linux version of the browser. The speed of the browser is truly impressive, however it still rough around the edges. The interface is good, but that’s just my taste. I always prefer a minimalistic approach when it comes to GUI. I am however not sure how others may view this. I would conclude by saying, Chrome is a browser worth trying and certainly a browser to keep your eye on.