28 January, 2015

Google Chrome, do NOT insist I sign in

I'm putting this here so that I won't forget this one tip.  The "sign in" dialog for Chrome is really, really annoying, and it's not easy to find the way to turn it off.

I am pretty sure I made a Google+ post about this.  But no amount of what I think would be great Google search terms seems to point me to it, even adding site:plus.google.com was of no help.  Even such (to me) obvious questions such as "get rid of chrome sign in" turned up plenty of hits but with nothing practical to try.  I could go through all my posts, but I'm sure that would be many months and pages ago...in other words, tedious to find.  And no, as much as you try to insist by your "Do you mean" stuff, my name is not "Phillips," so I wish you wouldn't try so hard to suggest I messed up my search term.  Even a general Web search (stuff written by others) didn't turn up much useful. So, I know I don't post here a whole lot, so it should be easier to find the next time I have this issue and want to get a clue as to how to fix it.

Once upon a time, Google had some great ideas: a Web browser that is fast, doesn't take up gobs of RAM, is standards compliant, and sandboxes windows/tabs from one another so that if one goes down, it doesn't drag the others down with it.  They also have IMHO some pioneering work in bringing video conferencing to the masses with Google+ Hangouts.  But then, they got a little greedy.  They want everyone to use all their service(s) as much as humanly possible.  And on occasion, they step over the line.  Here's where they made some grievous errors.

Do NOT slap something up on my screen with no window decorations for merely invoking your application.  When I start Chrome, I most assertively and emphatically do NOT want anything but the main Chrome window to appear (on my desktop).  I don't care if I'm not "signed in" or anything.  I'll take my chances.  I just want a freaking browser, OK??  There is a specific reason I set my startup pages to about:blank I don't want to wait for anything to load, or to enter anything; I just want to "get to work" for the reason I opened a browser, which is to visit Web pages.  Don't stick this stuff in my face.  It's extremely rude.

The absolutely most annoying part is the lack of window decorations.  There is no apparent way to move your monstrosity, because you took away any title bar.  Therefore even if somewhere in there you DID provide this functionality, it was not immediately apparent.  These things need to be immediately apparent.  They should not be hidden, or apparent only on hover.  I don't know where you folks get the notion that such lack of discoverability is a Good Thing(tm).  It's insane.  It's not like you're replacing things like the Google+ post options menu popping widget with other content, you're just hiding it until hover.  But I digress to things wrong with G+.  There's also no window decoration containing a close button (y'know, like [X]).  I was shooting down your sorry asses by using xkill(1).  You know it's UI/UX  epic failure when the user resorts to xkill(1).

I figured it was one of the plugins (such as Google Talk) which was causing this dialog to appear.  So I went into chrome://plugins and disabled some of them...no change.  I went down the entire list, and disabled them all...no change.  I finally found an [x] by hovering over one spot of your abomination, and clicked it.  It was then I saw the message about if I was sure I wanted to get out of Hangouts that I became a lot more clueful.  If Hangouts is not a plugin, it must be under chrome://extensions .  Eureka.  I have only 3 extensions, so this was easy to spot.

I disabled the Hangouts extension, and bingo, no more necessity to "sign into" Chrome (or anything else for that matter) when opening your Web browser.

English is a difficult enough language to interpret correctly when its rules are followed, let alone when the speaker or writer chooses not to follow those rules.

"Jeopardy!" replies and randomcaps really suck!

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