Chromium OS tablet, GPU accelerated shadows and the new, simpler logo

Published on in Google Chrome, Last Week, tech, WebKit. Version: Chrome 12

Highlights among this week’s 1,291 commits are quite some Chrome OS touch-related changes, support for relatively positioned table-cells and a wider experiment for background pre-rendering in Chromium.

The Chrome OS team seems to be gearing up for a tablet release. Following some usability-related improvements for touch-based devices, the user-agent string will now indicate the usage of a touch-only device. Furthermore, a brand new New Tab Page landed which provides an iPad-like overview of the installed applications. For all those who want to get a sneak previous of the page, but don’t own a Chrome OS touch-device yet, enable the overview pagina using the “Experimental new tab page” setting on about:flags.

In light of improving specification-compliance, WebKit’s SVG implementation received a rather large commit which implements proper bi-directionality support for SVG Text. Rounding for non-integral percentages has been fixed and exporting WebGL-canvasses to an image, texture or Data URL will now honor the non-premultiplied-alpha attribute.

Relatively positioned table-cells have gained support from the engine and the maxlength attribute for textarea-elements will now take newlines into account. Finally, shadows are now supported for a canvas’ drawImage method and support for GPU-accelerated shadows has been added.

Other changes which occurred in the last week:

  • The prerendering experiment now applies to 30% of the Canary users.
  • Auto-filled form elements will now also force a specific text-color, ensuring visibility.
  • Multiple tab-selection has been enabled by default for Windows systems!
  • Chromium’s libwebp has been updated to the latest version.
  • The brightness and contrast for accelerated video’s in Chromium now meets BT.601.
  • Read-only form fields won’t be automatically filled with information anymore.
  • An API for getting the installed font families has been added to PPAPI, albeit unimplemented.
  • Images used by Web Inspector have been compressed, saving about 120 KB.
  • The default value for window.navigator.vendor has been updated to “Apple Inc.”
  • Various security-restrictions for entering full-screen mode have been implemented.
  • Timer-based events may now inherit the user gesture causing them to be set.
  • Chromium’s UI on Linux won’t paint anymore when the window isn’t visible.
  • All GPU-related features will be disabled for Linux users using either ATI or Intel cards.
  • Prefetches within a prerendered page will be disabled, due to infinite loops.
  • A quota database has been added to Chromium, for per-origin storage restraints.
  • Videos displayed on are now a little bit more reliable.
  • Pre-rendering within Chromium will be throttled to once per 500 ms.
  • Syntax for the Content-Security-Policy header has been updated per a spec change.
  • Some great early results for the unified build-system being created for WebKit.
  • Accelerated compositing may now be forced through the “--force-compositing-mode” flag.
  • And of course some changes by the Web Inspector team.

And that’d be all again. You may be interested in following WebKit bug 56727, which talks about implementing the experimental CSS Mixins feature.

11 Responses to “Chromium OS tablet, GPU accelerated shadows and the new, simpler logo”

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March 21, 2011 at 10:21 pm

again: thanks for this quick overview.

Renato Pires

March 21, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Everything pretty good, just a pity the new logo is boring.


March 21, 2011 at 11:17 pm


Multiple tab-selection is certainly very good. Simple but essential. I also don’t like the new logo. I think that is the worst implementation.

Indeed, with the mania of graphic modernisms, they will ruin the Chrome logo. There are people who, just to justify a high salary, begins to invent and spoils which took several years to earn a Mark of Prestige… It would be like changing the logo from Picasa or Google: we look and there is no need of subtitles. A BRAND takes many years (with luck and in rare cases, a short time) to consolidate. And even today you sell products/articles because of the symbol/mark/badge/logo, rather than by quality. Just let us remind, brand clothing, shoes, watches, wallets, perfumes…

Nobre Luso in “Revolução Digital” (

Andy L

March 22, 2011 at 3:04 pm

I don’t like the new logo either.

Jon Rimmer

March 22, 2011 at 4:15 pm

I like the new logo. I think the objections are a case of painting the bikeshed ('s_Law_of_Triviality ).

The CSS mixins issue is interesting, because from the discussion in the bug it looks like Google are really pushing this, but Apple aren’t so sure. It seems inevitable that at some point there is going to be a disagreement between Google and Apple over whether to implement a particular feature within Webkit. I wonder what the consequences would be?


March 26, 2011 at 1:22 pm

So, –force-compositing-mode will override the blacklisting of Intel on Linux now?

For me Mesa acceleration was working quite reasonably.