At the urging of several commenters, I switched back to the normal Chrome build, and trashed the Canary build. However I wasn't running Canary because I wanted to be bleeding edge, quite the opposite. The main Chrome thread has serious breakage in the clipboard and debugger, and as a developer I depend on both. It's been that way since early summer. Switching to Canary was an act of desperation. Using Chrome to develop my software has been a nightmare. Debugging is integral to my workflow.
Once I switched off Canary, the crashing-on-closing-tabs behavior went away. Yes!
However the clipboard is still broken, if anything it's worse than before. I haven't done any development since yesterday so I can't report on the debugger. (I use Safari for debugging, its debugger works perfectly, as Chrome's used to.)
A Google developer advocate contacted me on Twitter. Far from helpful. He wanted to prove something about me, instead of helping with problems with Google's software. Editorial: No company should let themselves be repped that way, ever, under any circumstances, even if the product is free. A lot of users are inclined to believe problems are their fault. I'm no different, except I've been doing this for a long time, and know about this trick.
I am not intimidated. I will keep telling the story. Having been confronted instead of helped by Google only convinces me more that users need to communicate among ourselves.
Firefox is worse, btw. Flaming users is part of their organizational culture. I walked away from Firefox, and I'm not going back. Ugliest company I've ever seen, and they got what they wanted, me not using their product. Win-win.
See the next post in this thread.