Posts Tagged ‘Chrome-9’

Multiple profiles, the matchMedia interface and locally modified files

Published on in Google Chrome, Last Week, tech, WebKit. Version: Chrome 9

With only 777 commits, this week has been rather calm in terms of changes to the repositories. Nevertheless, there have been some interesting changes to both projects, and lots of ongoing work of course.

Even though WebKit only received 281 commits last week, in one of the changes Luiz Agostini landed support for the matchMedia method from the CSSOM View module. The method adds support for event-based Media Queries to JavaScript. This allows you to detect, for example, changes in the orientation of a visitor’s display:

var orientationQueryList = matchMedia ('(orientation: landscape)');
orientationQueryList.addListener (function (query)
    alert ('The orientation changed to: ' + query.matches ? 'landscape' : 'portrait');

On top of the default media queries specified in the specification, WebKit also supports “-webkit-view-mode”. Using that query together with the matchMedia method allows you to detect whether a WebKit instance is windowed, floating, minimized or maximized. Unfortunately these features are not yet available for Chromium.

Other specification related changes include that usage of percentage values for transform origins on the z-axis will now invalidate the entire property. Furthermore, the DataView interface from WebGL’s Typed Array specification has been implemented.

Even though I have known about the feature for a while now (and briefly tweeted about it), there wasn’t really a lot to say yet. That has changed now that new mock-ups on are available: I’ll quickly sum up the multiple profile feature Chrome will be getting.

  • There will be two types of profiles: limited profiles and profiles based on Google accounts. The former will only be available on the current computer, while profiles based on Google accounts have the ability to synchronize their settings/bookmarks and may be used to access the Chrome Web Store.
  • Switching to another account will require you to enter the password in order to properly log in. Multiple browser windows may use different profiles, and each profile can use its own Incognito Mode.
  • Each profile can have a shortcut on your desktop, showing a little avatar in the bottom-right corner.

While there is no known date on which these features should be finished, it’s currently aimed for Milestone 10. This means that it might be hitting the stable channel around late February next year.

The Web Inspector team has been busy again with their effort to provide developers with a complete set of tools for efficient developing. The latest addition is support for locally modified files, including the ability to see the added, changed or removed lines inline in the file’s content view. While these features haven’t been finished yet, they certainly are worth looking forward to.

The Inspector’s Network panel now shows a Timing-tab for individual resources, showing a graphed overview of loading times. The interfaces of the Network and Resources panels have been polished, and work has started on showing highlighted differences between a file’s revisions.

Other changes to the projects last week:

  • After using speech-input, the onspeechchange event will now be fired.
  • Outside list-bullets will no longer ignore text alignment within the item.
  • WebKit’s XMLHttpRequest object now has two new properties: response and responseType.
  • TimeComposer has added support for one and two-digit millisecond values for date parsing.
  • Web Inspector’s ResourceView has been abstracted as more types of resources arise.
  • Capitalization for the “Check for update” menu-item has been fixed to meet Google’s sentence standards.
  • Chromium’s compositor has been updated with a texture manager to manage the amount of VRAM usage.
  • Synchronous support for the File Writer API has been added, with a Chromium-implementation as well.
  • An issue in the Yarr Regular Expressions engine has been solved in WebKit, pending in Mozilla Firefox.
  • Internally WebKit’s CSS Parser has been taught the correct spelling of “hertz”.
  • Displaying of suggested results in the omnibox through Google Instant is now available for Mac OS X.
  • An exponential back-off system has been implemented, preventing Chrome from causing DDoS attacks.
  • Part of Chrome’s side for HTML5’s interactive validation has landed, validation messages for forms.
  • Acer’s Jeff Fang seems to by busy porting Chrome to a limited memory device.
  • The usual bunch of Chromium OS fine-tuning commits.

Next week branching for Google Chrome 9 will occur, and I’m expecting more work on Web Inspector’s revision system to be completed. See you next Monday!

Read more (5 comments) »

Removal of the CSS Variables implementation and performance optimizations

Published on in CSS, Google Chrome, Last Week, tech, WebKit. Version: Chrome 9

Last week the projects received another 1,126 commits, 615 for Chromium and 511 for WebKit. Some highlights include updated Terms of Service and the removal of the CSS Variables code.

To start off with improved standards support, the stepUp and stepDown API methods for certain input elements have been updated to match the specification in case step-mismatching occurs. The unloadEventStart property has been added for the Web Timing implementation.

In scope of the Web Audio API, event hooks were added for JavaScript Audio Nodes, as well as custom bindings for AudioNode. More work has been completed on vertical text as well: support for vertical text in ruby was enhanced and fonts with no vertical metrics will now synthesize baselines.

WebKit’s implementation of CSS Variables has been removed. Even though it has been disabled for ages and the implementation never shipped in stable builds, I’m quite a fan of variables. It just makes creating and, more importantly, maintaining large websites a lot easier. Nevertheless, since Google really wants the feature to be implemented, be sure to keep an eye out for this bug if you’re interested as well.

Implementation is one thing, but getting them standardized and available in other engines won’t be easy. With an essay like this around from a member of the CSS Working Group and a lot of discussion in general, reaching a consensus on any syntax, behavior or draft won’t be simple.

Other updates which occurred last week:

  • Google Chrome’s Terms of Service have been updated, adding additional terms for Enterprise use.
  • The style property on attribute nodes has been removed, except for Objective-C bindings.
  • Internally Web Inspector’s Storage Panel has been renamed to Resources Panel as well.
  • CSS files included for Chromium’s Web Inspector will be concatenated.
  • WebKit now really passes the Acid 3 test, as two bugs were cancelling each other out.
  • Synchronization of resizing the renderer for accelerated compositing no longer is Darwin-specific.
  • Downloads in Chromium may now be restarted if they previously have been cancelled.
  • Asynchronous file writers will now be available for Web Workers.
  • The fullscreen UA-stylesheet will now only be injected when the document is in fullscreen mode.
  • Multiple background images on an element won’t cause repeated repaints anymore.
  • More message-functions have been added in preparation of full support for interactive validation.
  • Navigating on websites with dark backgrounds used to result in white flashes – it won’t anymore.
  • The focus ring on image maps has been updated to take zooming into account.
  • The spatial navigation’s node selection algorithm has been updated quite significantly.
  • The network-error pages will now only contain gradients if the user’s display supports high color depths.
  • DirectX diagnostics will now be gathered asynchronously on about:gpuinfo due to performance reasons.
  • A search box has been added to the DOM UI, but it doesn’t actually do anything yet.
  • The Omnibox Extension API has been moved out of its experimental status.
  • The “Edit Bookmark” dialogs on Chromium for Windows are now resizable as well. Great change really.
  • Paul Kinlan, part of Chrome’s Developer Relations team, evidently thinks development is moving slowly 😉

And that’s all for this week. If you happen to be a member of Fronteers, the annual general meeting will be held on the 24th of November. Furthermore, I’ll be giving a presentation about the Audio APIs on the 13th of December in Groningen, the Netherlands. If you speak Dutch and would like to attend, feel free to sign up!

Read more (3 comments) »

Five new form attributes, ruby will be always available and lots of fine-tuning

Published on in Google Chrome, Last Week, tech, WebKit. Version: Chrome 9

With 1,087 commits in the past week, most of which were created for the Chromium project, it has been another average week. This week’s update will be brief considering I’m a bit short on time right now :).

There have been some interesting changes to form-support within WebKit in the last week. A bunch of new attributes are now available, like the form-attribute, as well as the formaction, formenctype, formmethod and formtarget attributes. Meanwhile, work on the framework for interactive validation support continues.

More progress has been made on supporting vertical text within WebKit. Support for vertical ruby has been finalized and lists now work vertically as well. Furthermore, repaint invalidation has been fixed and a number of bugs with the orientation of fonts have been solved as well.

Within Chromium’s about:flags page, support for click-to-play, experimental extension APIs and Snap Start has been added. For the sake of clearing up the situation around issue 61745 a bit: different from what news sites report, preloading pages in the background has not been implemented yet, and therefore it’s impossible to notice improved performance. Makes sense, right?

Other changes which occurred last week:

That’s it! Next week’s post will be a bit longer again.

Read more (3 comments) »

Polygonal text-wrapping, the output element and “wicked fast” page loading

Published on in Google Chrome, Last Week, Standards, tech, WebKit. Version: Chrome 9

Although, statistically seen, it has been quite a regular week with 1,096 commits, 494 for WebKit and 602 for Chromium, there have been some very nice changes and announcements over the past seven days.

As for ongoing work, Dave Hyatt added support for selections on vertical text, and made sure that repaint invalidation now works with vertical lines as well. Dan Bernstein committed basic support for multiple writing modes in tables, including support for collapsing borders.

Meanwhile, Chris Rogers has been busy landing parts of the Audio API in WebKit. The RealtimeAnalyser (and its Node) landed about a week ago, just like the ConvolverNode and the AudioBufferSourceNode. A class to pass on the active buffers to the onaudioprocess event, named the AudioProcessingEvents Interface, has been committed as well. With more patches in the queue, progress on the API steadily continues.

Several announcements were done during one of the keynotes at Adobe’s MAX conference last month, some of which illustrated Adobe’s interest in HTML5. Mark Anders introduced EDGE, giving web developers an interface similar to Adobe Flash for creating HTML-based animations on their websites. Furthermore, it was also announced that Adobe will be contributing an animation framework to jQuery, as well as proposing and contributing changes to WebKit.

Last week Paul Gubbay demoed one of the prototypes the team at Adobe has been working at, showing text-wrapping around arbitrary shapes. It actually consists of two parts: a JavaScript framework, which is likely to work with jQuery, allowing the user to move the text and image around, as well as handling text reflows. The WebKit-side of the demonstration exists of a CSS property in which a polygon gets defined. This polygon defines a region to which text should be clipped, or from which text should be excluded.

Adobe is working together with Google to accelerate the process of landing the changes in WebKit, and thus making them available in a browser release. While the CSS property’s syntax is expected to evolve following community feedback, Adobe certainly intends to propose the feature to the CSS Working Group.

In terms of standards compliance, getComputedStyle received an update allowing you to retrieve all backgrounds instead of just the first one. The property will now return an empty string for unnamed windows and frames and, in preparation of landing the actual interactive validation UI, a framework for showing the messages has been added as well.

Kenichi Ishibashi added support for the HTML5 <output> element, which is intended to represent the result of a calculation of two or more other form fields. After a way too long period of time, Erik Arvidsson landed an adjusted version of my patch to support the unprefixed box-sizing CSS property. Finally, since the IETF now seems to consider prefixed HTTP headers harmful, the “X-Purpose” header has been renamed to “Purpose”.

More updates which occurred last week:

Many thanks to Paul Gubbay and Alexandru Costin from Adobe for answering my questions. Also, this page contains a clear lead about what’s (hopefully!) to expect for next week 😉

Read more (5 comments) »

Web Inspector updates, larger notifications and ICC Color Profiles

Published on in Google Chrome, Last Week, tech, WebKit. Version: Chrome 9

Another busy week has passed with 579 commits in the WebKit repository, and 683 in Chromium’s. Next to large amounts of on-going work on supporting the writing modes through CSS and great progress on the Web Audio implementation, a lot of other components have been improved or enhanced again.

Quite some work has been put into image support in both WebKit and Chromium. About three months after the idea first arose, the libjpeg-turbo library has landed in Chromium’s repository. As the name suggests, it’s basically a fast, optimized library to display JPEG images.

Furthermore, another image-related subject which is being worked on is enabling ICC Color Profiles for the open source image decoders in WebKit. Previously color profiles were supported on Mac OS X, through the CoreGraphics framework, but because Chromium on Mac has now switched to the open source decoders, it’s a temporary regression.

While most of the work on color profiles still seems to be focused on Mac OS X and, right now, on JPEG and PNG files, it’s a good sign that progress is being made. It might even open up the path for supporting color profiles on Windows and Linux. With larger resolutions, additional image formats and rendering on the GPU through accelerated compositing, it’ll be interesting to see where it’ll be going.

I’ve talked about two larger changes in Web Inspector in the past few weeks: the new Network Panel and the merge of the Resources and Storage panels. Earlier today, Pavel Feldman activated both changes, allowing them to land in recent Chromium builds. There still are bugs, and lots of fine-tuningenhancements and moving things around, but it’s accessible and ready to be experimented with!

In preparation of support for the HTML5 <output> element, a new interface called DOMSettableTokenList has been implemented. Jeremy Orlow has added a very well documented test-case/tutorial for the IndexedDB database, handling of the optimum-parameter for <meter> has been adjusted and the File Reader object now supports the “readAsArrayBuffer” method.

More changes which occurred in the last week:

  • Chromium on the Mac OS X operating system will now actually use WebKit’s image decoders.
  • The File System API has now been integrated with Web Inspector, but isn’t visible yet.
  • New images for scrollbars on Chromium OS have been committed.
  • Dynamically inserted animated GIF images which don’t define a loop count will now only animate once.
  • The “seeked” event will be invoked when seeking for very small increments on media elements.
  • Resuming CSS Animations won’t invoke the “animationstart” event anymore.
  • The <input type=number> element will now be using single-precision IEEE 754 floats.
  • Quotas for IndexedDB databases are now calculated per origin, and no longer per database.
  • The “grammar” attribute for Google’s speech input has been added, named “x-webkit-grammar”.
  • The Google Chrome Extensions documentation site will soon be getting some additional love.
  • Notifications may now be 160 pixels tall, forty pixels more compared to the old limit.
  • The “Hyphen” library from the Hunspell project has been added to the project.

To all the people at TPAC: have a great week, I wish I could be there 🙂 If you want to stay informed about CSS proposals such as “drinking-mode“, read about the clothing guidelines and other interesting updates, keep an eye out for the #tpac hashtag on Twitter.


I’ve revised the post following comments from Nico and Peter Kasting. WebKit (and Chromium) on Mac OS X already supported image color-profiles through the CoreGraphics libraries, and switching to the open source decoders created a temporary regression in the support. According to this comment, WebKit on Mac OS X already supported JPEG 2000, but that’s no longer the casenow that it doesn’t use the CoreGraphics library anymore.

Read more (3 comments) »

Scrolling transforms, synchronized passwords and the new resources panel

Published on in Google Chrome, Last Week, tech, WebKit. Version: Chrome 9

While the release managers were busy with the release of Chrome 7, the rest of the developers checked in another 635 changes. Meanwhile, over at WebKit, 498 more changes contributed to another busy week.

As part of the ongoing effort on making the Web Inspector tools as convenient as possible, Pavel Feldman continued work on merging the Storage and the Resources panels. The new panel contains both the storage items as the resources used to build the current page, combined in a clear tree view. Meanwhile, the Network panel UI has been polished a bit, which hopefully brings it a bit closer to being released.

Google’s Ben Murdoch added support for two new methods on the Document object: document.createTouch and document.createTouchList. Until now, these two properties were only available for the iPhone browser, but since other WebKit-based mobile browsers are gaining strongly in popularity, as well as the fact that many websites use them to check for touch-support, it made sense to add them to the document object.

No, it did not open Anne van Kesteren’s website in some ancient proprietary browser, this actually happened in the latest Chromium build. A subject I have deliberately not mentioned in my posts is Dave Hyatt’s amazing work on supporting the text and block-flow defined in the CSS3 Writing Modes module. Last Thursday a patch landed adding the possibility to have vertical text on your pages.

While there’s still a lot of work to do before the implementation will be finished, you can play around with it by downloading a Chromium build and using the “-webkit-writing-mode” property with the “vertical-rl” value. The feature has been available in Internet Explorer since version seven as well.

In terms of improved standard support, WebKit’s document.write now ignores calls from delayed scripts (r5616 of the HTML5 spec). The “in select”-mode has been added to the HTML parser and the “in foreign content”-mode has been rewritten. The rich-editing RemoveFormat command has been rewritten as well.

Other changes last week include:

I’m hoping to publish a blog post about the CSS writing modes in the next week, as there certainly are a lot of interesting things to talk about. And, of course, another last week update in about seven days!

Read more (4 comments) »