Archive for August, 2011

Fullscreen API, enhanced Element Highlighting and progress on Flexbox

Published on in Google Chrome, Last Week, tech, WebKit. Version: Chrome 15

Another 1,301 patches landed last week, 464 at WebKit’s and the rest at Chromium’s, bringing highlights such as the Fullscreen API in Chromium, colored highlighting for Web Inspector and removed code from the Android port.

James Kozianski landed support for the Fullscreen JavaScript API in Chromium, which will be enabled when the –enable-fullscreen command line flag has been supplied. Within WebKit, the API will now always be included in the build and had its internal APIs exposed.

Within Web Inspector, an element’s margin, padding and content will now be drawn using different highlighting colors, making it much easier to see why certain content may be out of line. The extension API has been updated with the ability to access page resources, and more progress has been made in the effort to support compiling the front-end using Closure Compiler.

As for progress on the updated Flexible Box implementation in WebKit, Tony and Ojan landed patches adding support for the flex-alignflex-order and flex-pack CSS properties, switched the default preferred width of the flex() function to 0px per a specification update, handling the margins of child elements and behavior when min-width and max-width are used for flexible elements.

Accuracy of the implementations of supported specifications has been improved again as well, with Alexandru Chiculita fixing two issues with floating elements, while Mihnea Ovidenie fixed getting the client rectangles for content flows. Absolutely positioned layers won’t overlap its parents anymore when a breaking element is in between, Event constructors got implemented, then reverted, then implemented again, text-overflow now works properly for button elements, layout for :before and :after content used with tables has been fixed and a createObjectURL method has been added for the MediaStream API.

Adam Barth and Steve Block removed, as promised, the Android port from WebKit. A build slave for testing WebKit’s Chromium port on the Android OS was added as well, but hasn’t been activated yet.

Other changes which occurred last week:

And that’ll be all again! Patches to look out for this week include the ability to receive binary WebSocket messages as Blobs and the addition of CORS support for Server Sent Events!

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Download extension API, composited canvas filling and PulseAudio

Published on in Google Chrome, Last Week, tech, WebKit. Version: Chrome 15

Last week brought another 1,205 changes; 465 to the WebKit repository, and 740 to Chromium’s. Highlights include a new extension API for downloads and fixed composited canvas filling for certain modes.

Within Chromium, stubs for an experimental download extension API have landed. The proposal aims to enable extension authors to offer features such as downloading all the images on a page, and deals with permissions and security concerns accordingly.

An announcement by the Android Browser team was made on the webkit-dev mailing list today in which they announced their intentions of improving collaboration with the WebKit community. The first two steps will be removing all current Android-specific code from WebKit and contributing a build bot to aid in long-term maintenance.

As for specification related changes, region invalidation and repainting now works properly. Canvas fill and fillRect have been taught how to deal with five more compositing modes, WebSocket’s CloseEvent now contains the code and reason properties and text input events for textboxes which may not contain text will now be ignored. Finally, three new CSS properties for CSS Regions were added and content within a region no longer is scrollable.

Two changes were committed by Jeffrey Pfau for the new XML parser, namely the document fragment parser and support for scripting within XML documents.

Other changes which occurred this week:

And that’ll be all again.

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Settings API, New Tab Page, CSS Regions and much cleaner HTML

Published on in Google Chrome, Last Week, tech, WebKit. Version: Chrome 15

Last week brought another 1,245 accepted changelists in the repositories of Chromium and WebKit. Highlights include a new Settings extension API for Chromium, CSS Regions and Exclusions being enabled by default and a separate i18n project for v8.

Chromium’s new New Tab Page, which has been in the works for several months now, now is the default one for the browser. It contains three pages, most visited, Apps and bookmarks, is touch-friendly and accessible. It looks quite good too. If you really want to go back to the former version, you can use the –new-tab-page-3 command line flag.

The experimental Internationalization API that’s being implemented in v8 has moved to it’s own open-source repository, allowing the work to progress more visibly. The API will expose the possibility to utilize features like localized string matching, number formatting and date and time formatting to web authors.

Benjamin Kalman has landed the first part of the long awaited Settings extension API to Chromium. This API will allow extension authors to specify settings for their extensions, which can then be synchronized across a user’s computers. Just like bookmarks. Early documentation is available on Chrome’s Google Code docs.

Within Web Inspector, the Network Panel won’t show local resources statuses as pending anymore. You can now choose to hide user-agent stylesheets in the style panes, the Resource Panel will now show cookies for the main resource, folders in the Script Panel are now optional and it’s now clearer which properties are non-enumerable when expanding objects. Finally, scripts from different domains won’t appear in the same folder anymore.

As for specification related updates, the width of a numeric input will now depend on the values it accepts. Basic horizontal flexing has been implemented for the new Flexible Box implementation and WebSockets now accept multiple sub-protocols and supports the protocol and binaryType attributes. Tom Zakrajsek made sure that unknown HTML elements now derive from HTMLUnknownElement and advanced text shaping was implemented for Linux.

Following these two commits, Ryosuke Niwa was finally able to claim victory on his crusade to get rid of wrapping spans and Apple’s Apple-style-span class in WebKit’s editing component. His work resulted in much cleaner generated HTML for editable components.

Other changes which occurred last week:

And that’ll be all again, let’s see what this week brings :)

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Renewed form validation UI, fuller full-screen and advanced fonts

Published on in Google Chrome, Last Week, tech, WebKit. Version: Chrome 15

With just 1,227 commits in the past week, 487 at WebKit’s and 740 at Chromium’s, it has been a normal week again. This week’s highlights include a new validation message UI, two full-screen modes for Chromium on Mac OS X Lion and the first step in supporting low level font features through CSS.


With Nico Weber toggling the switch, Google Chrome versions 15 and beyond will no longer use GCC for compiling the source, but instead will be using Clang. Clang is the C, C++ and Objective C front-end for the LLVM compiler. This change has led to a size-drop of well over 10 megabytes in the size of Chromium.app!

In the effort of improving Chrome’s support for Mac OS X Lion, status bubbles will have their corners rounded appropriately now. More importantly, the concept of full-screen has been split into two modes: Lion’s own interpretation of “full-screen”, placing the window in it’s own space while still having a visible dock, and a presentation mode which is a more conventional full-screen mode.


Web Inspector won’t present warnings anymore when including a JSONP resource, and will pretty-print them in the Network Panel as well. The Script Panel now groups scripts by the folder they’re in, the scrolling position of the script console will be remembered when changing panels and arrows are now nicer to click on.

After adding a new performance test for float element lookup, Adobe’s Alexandru Chiculita landed an optimization which yields a performance improvement of about 150% for looking up a floated element. Nice!

As for specification related work, using a percentage value for an object’s border attribute now works appropriately. The PeerConnection interface from the Peer2Peer API has been implemented, a VTT parser has been added for subtitles for the <track> element and an important part in supporting <input type=color> has landed too.

The first step in supporting CSS3 font features has been implemented by Kenichi Ishibashi, namely parsing of the font-feature-settings CSS property. The property, which is already available in Mozilla Firefox, allows web authors to control low level font features such as discretionary ligatures and swashes.

Other changes which occurred last week:

And that’ll be all again :)

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Web Intents, the download attribute and positioned floats

Published on in Google Chrome, Last Week, tech, WebKit. Version: Chrome 15

Last week brought 1,352 updates to the projects, 445 for WebKit and 907 towards Chromium’s repository. Highlights include Chromium 15, the download attribute and work on implementing positioned floats.

The Web Intents shim was announced by Paul Kinlan about a month ago, and last week the initial signs of Chrome’s implementation started to show up. While it’s only preparatory work so far, a command line switch has been added and work on WebKit’s side is about to start.


In light of adding a cd()-like feature to Web Inspector, some refactoring has landed last week. An initiator column has been added to the network overview, and instead of disabling it altogether, the cache will now be cleared after navigation. Custom getters in the property pane won’t appear dimmed anymore.

As for specification-related changes, the selectionDirection property on input and textarea elements is now supported, just as the sizes attribute for link-elements is now supported as well. Specifying unicode-bidi as plaintext on textarea elements works correctly again, behavior of the Float32Array constructor has been fixed and v8 can now actually serialize script elements correctly.


Following Darin’s announcement, this response from Ian Hickson and the actual edit to HTML, WebKit now supports the download attribute on anchor elements. It’s quite simple really: specify the download attribute, optionally defining a filename, and the browser will download the anchor’s location rather than navigate to it.

Dave Hyatt has started to work on implementing positioned floats in WebKit. Currently, floated elements either float to the right or left side of their container, allowing content appear on the opposite side. Positioned floats allow floated elements to appear, for example, in the middle, spreading content between the left and right hand area’s of the floated element. While there definitely is progress, no actual rendering effects will be visible at this point.

Other changes which occurred last week:

  • The first basic layout test for the Web Audio API landed!
  • A remarkable change from Apple’s side: support for a built-in -webkit-pictograph font which can
    render image-like glyphs. The font face itself seems to be private.
  • Chrome can now identify itself with the freeway running between California and Montana.
  • Larger hit-boxes will apply to select-boxes when Touch UI support has been enabled.
  • Knobs of disabled range controls will no longer be draggable.
  • The Data-tab of Chromium’s net-internals page has been split up in three tabs: Import, Export and Capture.
  • Tests for validating WebKit’s WebVTT parser (for <track>) have been added.
  • Printing an accelerated canvas in Chromium now works properly again.
  • As work on WebKit’s brand new XML Parser continues, a wild tokenizer appeared.
  • Chromium’s close-animation on Mac OS X has been sped up by request of the Gods.
  • The avatars available for multiple profiles have been revised, and several new ones have been added as well.
  • Chromium will now remember whether you wanted to print the last page in grey-scale or in color.
  • The filename-text for file upload controls is now properly aligned with the button-text for various platforms.
  • Splitting up the chrome-library in components can now create views.dll/.so as well.
  • Work on eliminating 2-pass painting for composited pages already gained 20% in performance in tests.
  • Support for basic RenderRegion and collecting flowed elements was added for CSS Regions.
  • Support for bitmap images was added to Chromium OS’  file browser.
  • Two new experiments related to Instant will be done with 10% of the Google Chrome users.
  • The Web UI Task Manager will be enabled by default for the Chrome OS 14 release.
  • Motorola is busy adjusting WebKit GTK to use the v8 JavaScript engine.

And for a pretty exciting update on browser usage: open source-based browsers (being Chrome and Firefox) now serve the majority of the web with a combined market share of 50.09%! That is pretty cool.

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