Archive for June, 2011

Flexbox, Web Sockets, inclusion of WebRTC and Smooth Scrolling

Published on in Google Chrome, Last Week, tech, WebKit. Version: Chrome 14

It’s been a while, and even though I cannot guarantee the updates to become weekly again, here are the highlights of last week’s 1,366 commits. They include a rollout of the SpellCheck API, early work on smooth scrolling for Chromium and a decreased maximum depth of the created DOM tree, namely 2048 levels.

Even though it won’t be functional yet, since last Tuesday it is a possibility to enable the Media Stream APIs in WebKit by passing the “–enable-media-stream” command-line flag to Chromium. Furthermore, following some fine-tuning and a commit saying that the basic implementation of Remoting hosts has been completed, work in the Remoting feature seems to progress steadily.

Following this announcement, WebRTC has now become a dependency of Chromium. Inclusion of the library in the browser will definitely aid in work bringing camera and microphone access to web applications, as well as the ability to stream that -and other- information to other users.

Two interesting Web Inspector changes are the addition of a context menu item for enabling inspecting native workers in Chromium, and the ability to pause the debugger on changes to an element’s style attribute.

In scope of standards support, clicking on an indeterminate checkbox now flips its checked state. WebGL contexts now feature the drawingBufferWidth and drawingBufferHeight properties, out-of-band text tracks for HTML5 subtitles can now be loaded and several Stream-related classes had their names changed following a specification change. WebKit’s SVG Fonts implementation has been overhauled, and the SVG viewport attribute can now be animated. The SpellCheck API has been rolled out following following this discussion.

As for on-going work, Tony Chang and Ojan Vafai have announced to start working on adding support for the new CSS Flexbox specification to WebKit, the first patch of which landed last Wednesday. Yuta Kitamura announced to start implementing the latest WebSocket protocol (-09), the first patch of which landed as well. According to Ian Fette, the protocol is mostly finished. Both features are still disabled by default.

Other changes which occurred last week:

And that would be all again :)

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Google Chrome 14, improved text scaling and disabled features for Mac users

Published on in Google Chrome, Last Week, tech, WebKit. Version: Chrome 14

Although I’m publishing this a day later than usual, there still are 1,122 commits containing interesting changes. Highlights include changes to SVG’s text-scaling, alignment of the Page Visibility API implementation with the spec and Chromium’s new version number: 14.

One of the more obvious changes is that Chromium has reached version number 14. As Chrome’s Product Manager Anthony Laforge is keen to remark: this equals the number of legs a woodlouse has. For the changes which you can expect to be included with Google Chrome 13, check out these articles.

SVG’s text scaling has been improved for texts optimized with geometric precision, no longer causing a stair-step pattern to be visible. Setting the document.body property is now allowed in certain cases and the values for check and radioboxes have been updated to match other browsers.

Following changes in the Page Visibility API’s specification, WebKit has modified the name of the visibilitystatechange event to visibilitychange. Furthermore, the isVisible property on document has been renamed to hidden. Mind that these are still vendor prefixed as well.

Other changes which occurred last week:

  • Chromium’s protocol validation in WebKit now also accepts plusses as a valid character.
  • Frame flattening has been fixed for nested frames within WebKit.
  • Some more progress has been made in supporting websites as MHTML archives.
  • Seeking for very minor offsets in media playback has been improved for Chromium.
  • Vertical scrolling has been implemented for Chromium’s new New Tab Page.
  • Opening pages which use custom protocols via the command line now also works as expected.
  • In-browser thumbnailing has been enabled for Linux and Mac OS X.
  • Following discussion on how Mac OS X users expect the Print Preview feature within Chrome
    to work, it has been disabled for version 13.
  • More bad news for Mac OS X users: Accelerated 2D Canvas has been disabled altogether.
  • The SSL FalseStart field research has finished, as enough testing has been done.
  • When GPU vertical sync is disabled, requestAnimationFrame will now run at top-speed.
  • Tabs on Chromium OS will now also fade-out when the text doesn’t fit in the tab.
  • The “save” button has been renamed to “keep” in dialogs telling about dangerous downloads.
  • Parsing for MPEG4 metadata has been added for the File Browser. Interesting.

While I’m going to do the best I can at publishing articles in the near future, don’t count on (larger) updates in the following three weeks. Since I’ll be moving to London, things are getting rather busy right now. Be sure to keep an eye out for updates on my Twitter account in the meantime!

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