Random numbers, even better CSS performance and improving Google Search

Published on in Google Chrome, Last Week, tech, WebKit. Version: Chrome 11

Another busy week has passed with 673 commits to WebKit’s repository and 637 to Chromium’s, totaling up to 1,310 changes. Highlights include the availability of a method to get cryptographically strong pseudo-random numbers and more CSS Style Selector performance improvements.

The Google Web Search team just launched an extension which allows you to block websites from appearing in the search results. Using it won’t just improve the accuracy locally, but it’ll also share your blocked sites with Google. Eventually it may influence a website’s ranking, thus improving search quality as a whole.

The Web Inspector team landed quite some patches last week. Double clicking on an entry in the Network Panel will now open the resource in a new tab, full reloads (thus bypassing the cache) may be done by pressing <Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + R> within the Inspector and traversing between suggested values without entering anything is a possibility now as well. Finally, support for the File System View has been removed.

Following quite some discussion, Adam Barth announced he landed support for a cryptographically strong pseudo-random number generator. The feature is available as the window.crypto.getRandomValues method and can fill any integer-based Array Buffer with random values. Meanwhile, Brandan Eich expressed the intention to standardize a better random number generator at the EcmaScript level.

As for specification related changes, Adam Barth checked in a change which enables the Array Buffer objects, such as Float32Array, by default for every project using WebKit and the getComputedStyle method will now return the computed values for margins. Inset shadows with large offsets will now render correctly, as will repeated gradients and the ShadowBlur class has been taught how to tile inset shadows.

As for experimental features, part of a prototype implementation of the proposed LocaleInfo API in EcmaScript landed as a V8 extension in WebKit. The API aims to provide a consistent, rich internationalization API for doing anything from formatting currencies to getting information about the used region and calendar.

Antti Koivisto taught the CSS Style Selector to skip over sibling selectors and faster sorting, which bring some minor improvements, after which he landed two more awesome patches: one which enables ancestor identifier filtering for tree building, halving the remaining time in style matching over a typical page load, and a fast path for simple selectors that speed up matching up another 50% on some websites.

Other changes which occurred last week include:

  • The recent work on WebKit’s XSS Filter will be available on Chrome’s dev-channel shortly.
  • Support for PCRE Regular Expressions has been removed from WebKit entirely.
  • The about: URLs will now be auto-completed in Chromium, even if you never visited them before.
  • The filesystem: protocol has been implemented for usage with the File System API.
  • The clear method for IndexedDB’s IDBObjectStore has been implemented.
  • IndexedDB Cursors will now skip entries which have been deleted since the cursor was opened.
  • Support for Web Archive may be disabled during compile-time, which will be done for Qt and Chromium.
  • WebKit2 now features support for drag and drop on Windows.
  • The rest of the controls for an HTMLMediaElement will now also use the Shadow DOM.
  • Script elements pointing to external scripts will now be disabled when the X-WebKit-CSP has been set.
  • The UglifyJS Parser files have been updated to the latest version.
  • An implementation of Loop and Blinn’s GPU Accelerated Path Rendering algorithm has landed.
  • Shaders have been added for GPU Accelerated Path Rendering.
  • Visualizing borders around composited layers may now be enabled via about:flags.
  • The new HTML5 Parser in WebKit will now inform Web Inspector about parsing errors.
  • Three updates landed, improving WebKit’s consistency among browsers in terms of URL canonicalization.
  • chrome.google.com will now use Strict Transport Security, limiting communication to secure connections.
  • Link pre-rendering progress nicely continues. I added a few <link> elements on peter.sh as an experiment.

And that’s all again for this week. If you’re interested in web specifications as well, the W3C announced it extended the HTML Working Charter, together with a renewed timeline for HTML5: Last Call in May, to be followed by the Recommendation status in 2014.

4 Responses to “Random numbers, even better CSS performance and improving Google Search”

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February 15, 2011 at 9:59 am

hi peter, i have a question, do you think webkit team will add “text-align-last”? it is important thing for my language, i hope it will added to webkit sooner than firefox/gecko.


February 16, 2011 at 2:04 am

hi..! peter i use google alert find out u blog Thank you for your service.