Last week: CSS WG meeting at Opera, Chrome Labs and the year 275759

Published on in CSS, Google Chrome, HTML, Last Week, Standards, tech, WebKit. Version: Chrome 7

Last week the CSS Working Group met at Opera’s office in Oslo, Norway, for a face to face meeting. Following tight planning, the members met three days in a row discussing topics ranging from the open CSS 2.1 issues, various CSS 3 modules and other subjects such as hit testing. Some of the results are clear: all open CSS 2.1 issues have been resolved and a range of specifications will have their priority increased (such as CSS Transitions and Transforms).

Furthermore, CSS 2.1 is expected to become a Proposed Recommendation by the end of the year. This would mean that the specification could be a W3C Recommendation early next year, allowing the working group to focus their attention to CSS 3 and beyond. During the meeting Mozilla’s David Baron also mentioned that Firefox will be implementing 3D Transforms, already available in Safari and Google Chrome.

As for Chromium and WebKit, a combined amount of 1282 commits were uploaded to their repositories. While this means there were fewer commits than to last week, there’s a lot more news to share about the projects. I’ll highlight some interesting items which occurred last week, and briefly list other interesting changes.

Firstly, it’s becoming more and more obvious to the Chrome team that their browser is lacking important features for the enterprise market. An area Google can tackle is policies. Policies are a way of defining the settings of the browser through the registry, Microsoft’s Administrative Template files or the, so far unannounced, ChromeOS Enterprise Daemon. Other policy and preference stores may be added in the future.

Policies allow companies to easily define common settings such as the proxy server to use, account synchronization and whether JavaScript should be enabled for websites. Unfortunately this also enables companies to block Chrome updates, but I’m sure the Chrome team will be looking at options to prevent people from doing this. Last week support for three new policies was added.

Another large update is the initial inclusion of the Google Chrome Labs page. Most other Google products, as well as Google itself, include a page with experimental features. Considering Chrome supports about 320 command line flags it won’t surprise you that adding such a page makes certain tests a lot more accessible. Google’s Nico Weber committed the initial version just over four days ago. You can try it out yourself by downloading a recent nightly and visiting about:labs.

The WebKit team has invested a lot of time in improving their support for various standards. Adam Barth and Eric Seidel enabled the last part of the new HTML5 Tree Builder: fragment parsing. Furthermore support for HTML5 compliant doctype switching was added, symbolic CSS3 list-style-types are now supported and file inputs now respect HTML5′s fake path. Finally, due to this addition, you can now use HTML5′s date input types to start making plans for your birthday in the year 275759.

Now that the new Tree Builder has been completed, except for a lot of fine-tuning of course, thousands of lines of code were up for deletion. The old Tree Builder itself wast removed on the 24th of August. Further cleanups were done with the removal of their current implementation of Mozilla’s XML Binding Language (XBL). It hadn’t been maintained in years, so the decision was made to remove it in total.

Further updates last week

Starting next Thursday I will be in Brighton, United Kingdom. Together with KrijnAnne and Matijs I’ll be attending dConstruct 2010. Perhaps I’ll be seeing you there? :)

3 Responses to “Last week: CSS WG meeting at Opera, Chrome Labs and the year 275759”

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It’s scary to see that Chrome won’t be automatically updating. This is Internet Explorer crap all over again! UK Govt is not moving away from IE6 because of the “cost” of updating. I can see that we will hear something similar for Chrome 6 or 8 in 10 years time because someone thought it was wise to turn automatic updating off!


Mark

September 6, 2010 at 4:29 pm

These posts are great – keep them coming! I don’t think anyone else provides a in depth digest of chrome and webkit development, especially as the webkit blog seems to have become a congratulatory list of new reviewers.