RockMelt–A Quick Preview

RockMelt is a new web browser which aims to provide tighter integration with social networking and web browsing.  It’s based on Google’s Chrome browser and adds several strategically placed buttons and side bars.  After you log in with your Facebook account, you can view the handy Guide page which shows many of the key features (dark blue bubbles below):


You can easily update your status, see which friends are online, share the page you’re currently viewing, etc.  The vertical bar on the left is the Friend Edge.  The one on the right is the Apps Edge.  With a quick glance the Apps Edge let’s you see that you have unseen Facebook and Twitter items.  You can also add other feeds as well.

RockMelt-Share-croppedThe Share button is pretty handy.  If you’re on a page you’d like to share, just push this button, select where to share (Facebook or Twitter), type a comment if you’d like and then post.

This feature could be better, however.  If you want to share the page on both Facebook and Twitter, then you’ll have to Share twice.  Not terrible now, but when Buzz and others are available, multi-posting will become a major pain!

RockMelt-Chat-croppedWhen you click on a friend’s icon in the Friend Edge, RockMelt assumes you want to initiate a chat session.  I think people would rather view Recent Activity first, but maybe I’m wrong.

If the friend is offline, however, it still assume you want to chat.  That seems pointless.  RockMelt should go to Recent Activity when the friend is offline.

I think it supports multiple IM networks, but haven’t researched or tried many.

RockMelt-Recent Activity-croppedViewing your friends Facebook updates is very easy.  Just click on their icon in the Friend Edge and select the Recent Activity tab.  Scroll down to see older activity, and clicking a link opens it in the browser (right-clicking the link also gives the options of opening in a new tab or new browser window – nice!)

BTW, when you hover over an icon, you get a info balloon of their most recent tweet, etc.  Sorry, no screen cap of that.

RockMelt is a pretty cool browser don’tcha think?  I’ve been using Chrome for a long time, so its base UI is very usable and easy.  The edges don’t really get in the way, and I didn’t find that I missed the screen space.

So, you should check it out, too. Come back and leave your comments so we can compare notes.

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RockMelt = Installer Melt on Windows 7

I was excited today to get my invitation to try RockMelt – I’m really curious to see what they’ve put together web browsing and social networking. “Your Browser. Re-Imagined.”

Unfortunately, I didn’t get the kind of Melt experience I wanted. I downloaded the little (~500kB) installer and launched it. More specifically, I launched it using Run as administrator since, as per the Principle of Least Privilege, I was logged in as a User.  This typically works fine for most recent installers – they’ve learned how to do their work using an admin’s credentials and installing for all users.  RockMelt’s installer isn’t working correctly, however.  The installer completed (downloaded more files, installed, etc.) without error, so everything looked good.  But there was no RockMelt in the start menu, etc.  Hmmm, what’s going on?

I figured it was a problem with running as different credentials from the current user, so I:

  • Uninstalled RockMelt (as an admin, still logged in as low-priv user)
  • Logged off & logged back in with an admin account
  • Re-installed RockMelt

Ok, all should be good, right?  Well, not exactly.  When I tried to launch RockMelt from the start menu, I got this error:

RockMelt - Launch Error
RockMelt - Launch Error

It turns out now that it doesn’t matter how I’m logged in when I run the installer, it always uses the first user’s AppData path.  So, for example, if AdminDude launches the installer, the shortcut points to C:UsersDudeAppDataLocal…. because Dude was the logged in user the very first time I ran the installer.  It’s probably just some registry data, but I don’t want to spend time hunting it down.  Maybe they’ll resolve it in a future release.  Regardless I Shoulda Used a VM! #ShouldaUsedAVM