As I’m sure you all know by now Google made an announcement about their Chrome Frame plugin for IE that turns the Trident rendering engine into the Chrome rendering engine giving IE access to the awesome power that is Chrome. No longer will IE miss out on those awesome new features in CSS3 & HTML5 the more competent browsers enjoy today such as the soon to be released Google Wave.
I did a post a while back on how Google Chrome is changing the browser, the landscape is rapidly progressing thanks to Google and the likes of Mozilla, Webkit & Opera. This plugin helps push that final frontier into fruition bringing the next set of tools to all major browsers.
This demo was slightly modified from the awesome work of http://iterationsix.com/posts/16 particle fountain.
How does it work?
The above demo uses the HTML5 canvas tag to simulate particle effects. If you load this in IE you will be prompted to install Chrome Frame. Setting up a site to make it render using Chrome Frame is a simple meta tag.
<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="chrome=1">
Look familiar? It’s the same meta tag that IE uses to force IE8 to render in compatibility mode.
If IE goes to a site that has this meta tag it will kick-in and render the page using Chrome Frame giving the full power of Google Chrome in IE. Pretty simple and incredibly powerful.
IE8 vs IE8 with cf: protocol to force use of Chrome Frame
Prompt the user to install Chrome Frame
What if the user doesn’t know about or have the Chrome Frame installed on their machine? There’s a solution for that. Using a script available on Google Ajax APIs
The above code will check if Chrome Frame is installed if not it will prompt the user to install it by loading up an iframe with the Chrome Frame site. The check method gives you quite a few options all of them are optional the previous link gives a good run down of all the options and what they do.
If your are keen to use it before sites start adding the meta tag you can force the site to render using Chrome Frame by appending the cf: protocol to the beginning of any url e.g. cf:http://bespin.mozilla.com/ if loaded in IE with Chrome Frame installed it will force the website to render using the Chrome engine.
Right now this plugin is in early development stages but I’m sure it will move along rapidly to coincide with Google Wave public release.
This is truly an exciting plugin that opens the flood gates to a massive user base being able to use the latest and greatest web apps.