Archive for December, 2010

No more “delete”, unprefixed box shadows and a have Happy New Year!

Published on in Google Chrome, Last Week, tech, WebKit. Version: Chrome 10

With just 347 commits at WebKit, and 433 at Chromium, activity indeed has been down a bit. Nevertheless, there have been some interesting changes, including spatialization resources and Strict Mode fixes for Safari.

Matrices have been given some love within WebKit, with two more methods for the CSSMatrix class: skewX and skewY. Both normal 2D matrices and 3D matrices will now take the page’s zoom factor in account, and some additional tests have been added to ensure that behavior on CSSMatrix as well.

Specification support has been given quite some attention again. JavaScriptCore, the JavaScript engine used by Safari, no longer allows you to delete variables, functions or arguments per ECMAScript 5’s Strict Mode. Defining multiple font families for a CSS @font-face rule will discard the rule. The box-shadow property no longer requires a prefix, although -webkit-box-shadow remains available for non-standard blur radiuses.

Within Web Inspector, work is well on its way to support auto-completion for a property’s values. There still are some patches which need to be updated before the feature can be implemented, but the forecast is rather good. Meanwhile, Chris Rogers added spatialization resource files for the Web Audio API and landed an AudioBus for Chromium, bringing wider support for the API a step closer.

Other changes last week include:

  • Borders with non-opaque alpha colors won’t break gradients anymore for Chromium.
  • Support for listening sockets was added for Chromium, used for Cloud Print, Remoting and Automation.
  • Five new commands have been implemented in Chromium’s Web Driver, for tracking a page’s elements.
  • V8’s implementation of has been moved to WebKit’s common one.
  • The initial state for HTML5’s interactive validation on <select required> elements has been fixed.
  • Rendering and script execution won’t block anymore on deferred stylesheets.
  • Ryosuke Niwa has joined WebKit’s reviewers team, congratulations!
  • Chromium’s timeline in media controls can now deal with widths less than 240 pixels.
  • The performance of Chromium’s toDataURL for canvasses has been improved by 3 times.
  • The root layer of a composited page will now be tiled as well.
  • Some major directory reorganization work is underway within WebKit: don’t get lost!

Considering this year only counts four more days, I don’t think this week will bring much surprises, even though there are some interesting patches pending. Have a great New Year’s Eve and a happy New Year!

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Deferred printing stylesheets, text emphasis and Firebug-like CSS editing

Published on in Google Chrome, Last Week, tech, WebKit. Version: Chrome 10

With 611 commits to the Chromium repository last week, and 449 commits to the WebKit one, my guess is that last week was the last week this year with more than a thousand changes. Highlights include support for the text-emphasis property and Web Inspector’s style editing panes, which now support Firebug-like editing.

Good news for fans of Firebug: editing CSS properties in Web Inspector will now be done with separate fields for the property’s name and value. Using the arrow keys to increment or decrement a numeric value will cause immediate changes again. Furthermore, some more work was done on the Extension API. Specifically, support was added for adding and overriding HTTP request headers.

As for specification related changes, the endedPlayback property for HTML5 media elements won’t return true anymore if the media file couldn’t be loaded. The -webkit-appearance property no longer accepts the value caps-lock-indicator and the delete method for IndexedDB Cursors has been added.

Work on two text-related CSS properties has continued as well. Firstly, Dan Bernstein has been working on the text-emphasis property, the final part of which landed last Friday. This property allows you to include small symbols next to the text, which Eastern Asian documents may use to emphasize the run of the text. Takumi Takano updated the values for text-combine to match the current CSS proposal.

Other changes last week include:

  • Kenneth Russell ported the Web Audio API’s FFTFrame implementation to MKL.
  • Stylesheets defined under the “print” media will now be downloaded with a lowered priority.
  • Chromium OS now also reports to accept the language “en”, following the Chromium browser.
  • Chrome Frame will now ignore IE’s conditional comment tags when parsing a HTML stream.
  • The –enable-page-prerender flag will now imply content prefetching as well.
  • Hyphens are now allowed in the domain names of e-mail addresses for the Chrome OS users UI.
  • The GTK WebKit port implemented two new accessibility roles: STATE_FOCUSED and STATE_FOCUSABLE.
  • Inline flow layers are now able to paint floating descendants.
  • Hooray! Inset box shadows will now render properly within Chromium.
  • No access will be given anymore in Safari to existing databases in private browsing.
  • The usual bits of work on the DOM UI / Web UI pages.
  • WebKit2 is now capable of displaying an IME on Windows.
  • The Qt port has implemented the File Reader API specification.
  • More fine-tuning has been done for the Web Timing implementation.

Since the next article will take another seven days: Merry Christmas! I’m going to spend my time with family, so expect next week’s post to be rather short. However, I probably won’t be the only one. Enjoy!

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Crankshaft, the Chrome Web Store and HTML5’s figure element

Published on in Google Chrome, Last Week, tech, WebKit. Version: Chrome 10

Even though there were just 1016 commits in the last seven days, the announcements from the Chrome team have certainly made it interesting. This week’s highlights include Crankshaft, extensive documentation for Web Inspector and quite some updates on specification support.

Tuesday, Google’s Sundar Pichai went on stage to make some announcements around the Chromium project. While it was rather obvious that the Chrome Web Store and Chrome OS would be announced, I did not expect free laptops for reviewing purposes to be given away. Neither did I expect the Crankshaft update to the V8 JavaScript engine, which significantly improves performance. Since I’m sure you’ve read most of it, I’ll just give a quick recap:

  • The V8 team has introduced Crankshaft which uses adaptive compiling to focus optimizations on the areas that need it. It’s available on the Canary channel already.
  • Chrome OS’ development has entered the stage at which it needs feedback from end-users. People living in the United States can apply for a notebook in the Pilot program.
  • The Chrome Web Store has been launched! Already filled with a wide range of applications, it can strongly increase the capabilities of your browser.

The Google Chrome Developer Tools, or simply Web Inspector, is quite an extensive piece of software. Almost every developer will be familiar with the main screen: a clear overview of the elements available on the page and the CSS rules associated with them. But not everyone is aware that you can expand the Properties pane in the sidebar to see all the DOM properties, let alone the possibility to profile your JavaScript’s CPU usage, create memory heap snapshots or list the cookies which were sent when downloading an image.

Therefore excellent documentation has been published clearing up some of the most popular and useful features. Check out how the Profiles panel works, watch a video about debugging JavaScript or debug more efficiently by using keyboard shortcuts.

In terms of improved standards support, the marquee element will now stop scrolling if scrollAmount has been set to zero. The object element now is an associated form element. Furthermore, I’ve updated Maciej Stachowiak’s patch which allowed support for the HTML5 hidden attribute to land (despite my earlier thoughts) and added the default CSS definitions for the <figure> and <figcaption> elements, completing support. Dai Mikurube added support for the required attribute on the select element.

Other changes include:

  • Web Inspector is now usable with the WebKit2 API on Windows.
  • Pasted text will now be checked for spelling errors in Chromium as well.
  • Layout flow for involving transforms in scrolling has been refactored.
  • The border-radius property can now be used for CSS Animations.
  • Spatial navigation is now available for map and area elements too.
  • Some progress on implementing the search function in Chrome’s Web UI.
  • Transitioning multiple shadows should now be working correctly again.
  • Support for the validation API for <object> and <keygen> elements was improved.
  • James Robinson fixed the blurred text issue on large accelerated layers!
  • Reflected unsigned attributes in IDL files will now be trimmed to [0, 2^31].
  • Chromium is on its way to switch their libjpeg implementation to libjpeg-turbo.
  • A quick patch has landed to solve the infinite redirects on pages.
  • The WebKit GTK port has landed support for the viewport meta-tag.
  • The Input Speech API will now be available by default on Chrome’s dev-channel.
  • Chrome’s dangerous download algorithm has been modified.

And that’s it again. This week has been a bit Chromium-y due to the announcements, I’ll give WebKit a bit more attention next week again! I’m on stage right at this very moment giving a talk about the Audio APIs, I’ll certainly write some more articles on that in the near future as well!

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Google Chrome 8, cloud printing and improved support for specifications

Published on in CSS, Google Chrome, HTML, Last Week, tech, WebKit. Version: Chrome 10

With the commit count being up 52 percent compared to last week, totaling 1,184 commits, activity has been a lot higher than two weeks ago. Highlights include Google Chrome 8, tomorrow’s announcement and lots of updates to standard support.

Exactly six weeks and over 8,472 commits after the release of Google Chrome 7, Google has updated the Stable channel to the 8th version of their browser. This release brings support for Element.classList, asynchronous script loading, support for the steps timing-function for transitions, the about:flags page and hyperlink auditing, enabled by default.

As a quick peek-ahead towards a feature for Google Chrome that’s currently scheduled for version 9, which would be around mid January: Google Cloud Printing. The idea is simple: connect your printer with GCP and you’ll be able to print to it from any computer or smart phone, regardless of where you are. Probably unrelated: an event will be happening in San Francisco tomorrow morning sharing some exciting news about Google Chrome. While I have a fair idea what it will be about, there is little point in more speculation.

WebKit has taken a huge leap forward in terms of support for various standards. ArrayBuffers may now be transmitted using XMLHttpRequest’s send-method, a form’s elements property now includes fieldset and keygen elements, getBoundingClientRect won’t truncate the coordinates to integers anymore and focussed <area> elements will no longer use the image’s focus-styles.

An <input type=color> will no longer accept named colors and the incremental property is now available on the DOM of all input elements. The toDataURL method of a canvas’ context in Chromium can now export the image as a JPEG, the marquee element’s properties have been updated per the HTML5 specification (besides the events) and, while they don’t have visual effects yet, support for the four text-emphasis properties from the CSS3 Text module was added.

Finally, support for both lower and upper Armenian list style types has been implemented and initial versions of the HTML5 <details> and <summary> elements have been added by Luiz Agostini. Even though they aren’t interactive yet, work has started!

Other interesting changes which occurred last week:

  • Option elements will not be bold anymore for certain Chromium versions.
  • The about:flags page will now show a drop-down for items where multiple values are possible.
  • Hyperlink auditing (<a ping>) may now be disabled via the about:flags page.
  • Two games have been made the default Apps: Entanglement and Poppit.
  • A command line flag for accelerated layers is now available, from about:flags as well.
  • data URLs within Chromium can now trigger downloads as well.
  • The GTK WebKit port finished the implementation of the MSAA ROLE_COMBO_BOX.
  • Pausing and resuming downloads now works for the WebKit2 architecture.
  • A tab overflow problem with right-to-left text has been solved.
  • The behavior of the decreasing outer-spin-button has been revised.
  • The \s modifier for the YARR Regular Expression Engine now also matches BOMs.
  • Safari on Mac OS X will be getting a panel for multiple suggestions for misspelled words.
  • Intel’s Yuqiang Xian eliminated a large overhead for a certain way of writing to a canvas.
  • The Qt port has enabled support for the Web Timing implementation.
  • More fine-tuning for Chromium OS’ User Interface.
  • Four more commits by Chris Rogers for the Web Audio API implementation.

No, of course I didn’t forget Web Inspector. The “revert to revision” system has been implemented for the revision-system in the Resources panel. The display name of an object will now equal its constructor rather than its type, copy(node) in the Console works again, the cookies tab for a Network resource will only show for Chromium, and, finally, the Inspector protocol has been cleaned up.

As already mentioned earlier in the post, the Google Chrome team scheduled an announcement for tomorrow. Be sure to keep an eye out for news and updates, I’ll certainly devote some tweets to the announcement!

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