ideas & ramblings

A humble suggestion for Chrome's crashed tab UI

(Originally published in 2011.)

Google Chrome doesn’t crash too often, and when it does, it’s nice enough to limit the damage to a single tab. It’s a bit startling when it happens while you’re in the middle of reading something, though — probably caused by a certain notorious plugin being used to show an ad.

That got me to thinking. Have you ever opened your Mac to find that the battery was completely dead, and it had to unhibernate? Mac OS X was kind enough to show a greyscale version of your desktop in behind its progress bar as it reloads everything from disk. It’d be nice if Chrome did something similar with a crashed tab:

(Click to see full size)

It’s not a perfect solution, and the idea could probably be taken a lot further (say, a non-interactive version of the entire page right before it crashed, so we could finish reading an article), but it seems like it would be a relatively straightforward feature.