Multiple profiles, the matchMedia interface and locally modified files

Published on in Google Chrome, Last Week, tech, WebKit. Version: Chrome 9

With only 777 commits, this week has been rather calm in terms of changes to the repositories. Nevertheless, there have been some interesting changes to both projects, and lots of ongoing work of course.

Even though WebKit only received 281 commits last week, in one of the changes Luiz Agostini landed support for the matchMedia method from the CSSOM View module. The method adds support for event-based Media Queries to JavaScript. This allows you to detect, for example, changes in the orientation of a visitor’s display:

var orientationQueryList = matchMedia ('(orientation: landscape)');
orientationQueryList.addListener (function (query)
    alert ('The orientation changed to: ' + query.matches ? 'landscape' : 'portrait');

On top of the default media queries specified in the specification, WebKit also supports “-webkit-view-mode”. Using that query together with the matchMedia method allows you to detect whether a WebKit instance is windowed, floating, minimized or maximized. Unfortunately these features are not yet available for Chromium.

Other specification related changes include that usage of percentage values for transform origins on the z-axis will now invalidate the entire property. Furthermore, the DataView interface from WebGL’s Typed Array specification has been implemented.

Even though I have known about the feature for a while now (and briefly tweeted about it), there wasn’t really a lot to say yet. That has changed now that new mock-ups on are available: I’ll quickly sum up the multiple profile feature Chrome will be getting.

  • There will be two types of profiles: limited profiles and profiles based on Google accounts. The former will only be available on the current computer, while profiles based on Google accounts have the ability to synchronize their settings/bookmarks and may be used to access the Chrome Web Store.
  • Switching to another account will require you to enter the password in order to properly log in. Multiple browser windows may use different profiles, and each profile can use its own Incognito Mode.
  • Each profile can have a shortcut on your desktop, showing a little avatar in the bottom-right corner.

While there is no known date on which these features should be finished, it’s currently aimed for Milestone 10. This means that it might be hitting the stable channel around late February next year.

The Web Inspector team has been busy again with their effort to provide developers with a complete set of tools for efficient developing. The latest addition is support for locally modified files, including the ability to see the added, changed or removed lines inline in the file’s content view. While these features haven’t been finished yet, they certainly are worth looking forward to.

The Inspector’s Network panel now shows a Timing-tab for individual resources, showing a graphed overview of loading times. The interfaces of the Network and Resources panels have been polished, and work has started on showing highlighted differences between a file’s revisions.

Other changes to the projects last week:

  • After using speech-input, the onspeechchange event will now be fired.
  • Outside list-bullets will no longer ignore text alignment within the item.
  • WebKit’s XMLHttpRequest object now has two new properties: response and responseType.
  • TimeComposer has added support for one and two-digit millisecond values for date parsing.
  • Web Inspector’s ResourceView has been abstracted as more types of resources arise.
  • Capitalization for the “Check for update” menu-item has been fixed to meet Google’s sentence standards.
  • Chromium’s compositor has been updated with a texture manager to manage the amount of VRAM usage.
  • Synchronous support for the File Writer API has been added, with a Chromium-implementation as well.
  • An issue in the Yarr Regular Expressions engine has been solved in WebKit, pending in Mozilla Firefox.
  • Internally WebKit’s CSS Parser has been taught the correct spelling of “hertz”.
  • Displaying of suggested results in the omnibox through Google Instant is now available for Mac OS X.
  • An exponential back-off system has been implemented, preventing Chrome from causing DDoS attacks.
  • Part of Chrome’s side for HTML5′s interactive validation has landed, validation messages for forms.
  • Acer’s Jeff Fang seems to by busy porting Chrome to a limited memory device.
  • The usual bunch of Chromium OS fine-tuning commits.

Next week branching for Google Chrome 9 will occur, and I’m expecting more work on Web Inspector’s revision system to be completed. See you next Monday!

5 Responses to “Multiple profiles, the matchMedia interface and locally modified files”

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November 30, 2010 at 2:56 am

Thanks again for doing these recaps. Can’t wait until it’s Monday so they get published ;)