Sunday, February 01, 2009

How Microsoft made me leave Google Chrome

.. well, not really

As I wrote in my previous post I am busy building a Silverlight application. This week I did some more work and ran into some very weird behavior.

I was debugging the communication between the Silverlight app and the web service and I ran into very strange errors. I noticed that in my final call in the webservice two string values were assigned to the wrong variables. They were swapped. The variable username held a piece of xml and the variable drawingXml held the username. Looking through my code I could not find the line of code where I made the mistake.

It was getting late already and this is still a POC, so I decided to just swap the place of the parameters in the method definition and investigate further at some other moment.

I stopped the debugger, made the change, inserted a breakpoint and started debugging again. That's when I completely lost any understanding of what was going on.

It was late already as I said and I blamed that and I was too tired to think straight and probably was debugging at the wrong place in the application. I decided it had to be me and had to just let it be. I walked a block with the dog and went to bed

The next day

The problem stuck and I had to investigate further so I started to change my Silverlight application so it would show some debug info in the browser to make things easier to debug.

That's where things started to go even crazier. The Silverlight application didn't show anything. The TextBlock I had added to the XAML wasn't showing up! I tried again and again. But nothing!

Google ChromeImage via Wikipedia

Then I realized that Google Chrome (my default browser) had a problem with caching. The Silverlight application in the browser was an old version of the application. Apparently, Chrome was not refreshing the XAP file!

Googling about I saw some posts about the same problems developers had with Flash. Then I sighed and I knew it was not me.

Google Chrome

So, that was it for me. I had to revert "back" to Firefox for debugging Silverlight applications. A weird feeling having to step away from Google Chrome.

I still remember that I watched the launch live on my laptop. I watched the first part in Firefox and started downloading during the presentation. Installed Chrome and watched the last part in Chrome. I also set it to be my default browser and only occasionally I use Firefox and other browsers. Well, I have to I build websites!

Microsoft made me do it

So, in a way Microsoft made me switch browsers, made me move away from Chrome.

But it's not that dramatic. I only use Firefox now for debugging Silverlight and for day to day browsing I still use Chrome.

Had I been a Flash developer, it would have been Adobe that made me switch from Chrome back to Firefox. But still only for debugging.

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