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07 Jun 12 Google Chrome Speeds Up Fancy CSS Filter Effects


Meet Fuzzy Brown Monkey, WT Monkey’s CSS Filter-laden cousin. Image: Screenshot/Webmonkey

CSS filters offer web developers some very powerful tools, powerful enough that it wouldn’t be too hard to create a web app capable of producing the kind of effect-laden photos popularized by Instagram. There’s just one problem: CSS Filters can be hard on the CPU.

Few things on the web get your PC’s fan spinning quite like CSS Filters — just give Google’s abstract painting demo page a try to see for yourself. Filters alone can send your fan spinning, but combine them with some CSS transitions or animations and you’ve got a recipe for battery draining excess.

That, combined with the fact that so far they only work in WebKit browsers, means right now you should use CSS Filters with caution.

Fortunately the roaring sound of your fan may soon be a thing of the past, at least for Google Chrome users. The Chromium blog reports that CSS Filters with GPU acceleration have landed in Chromium. It will be some time before the acceleration makes its way into the stable version of Google Chrome, but it is coming and that’s good news for the future of CSS Filters. Stephen White, a Software Engineer at the Chromium project, writes, “GPU acceleration of these filters brings their performance to the point where they can be used for animating elements in conjunction with CSS animations powered by -webkit-transition or even HTML5 video tags.”

It might be a while yet before Adobe launches a web-based version of its Premiere video editor, but expect other browsers to follow Chrome’s lead in supporting and speeding up CSS Filters.

It’s worth noting that, while the Instagram use case tends to get all the press, CSS Filters can do a lot more than just sepia toning images. In fact potential uses go far beyond just images or video. For example, CSS Filters could be used to blur backgrounds (or make them black and white) thus highlighting foreground content in online diagrams, charts or educational apps. CSS Filters could replace image sprites in navigation elements (less to download means faster page load times) and could also be used in conjunction with some animation to let users know that something on a page has changed.

For more info on CSS Filters, check out our earlier coverage and have a look at the HTML5Rocks site, which offers a nice overview of CSS Filters along with some example code.

Article source: http://www.webmonkey.com/2012/06/google-chrome-speeds-up-fancy-css-filter-effects/

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07 Jun 12 Google Chrome Speeds Up Fancy CSS Filter Effects


Meet Fuzzy Brown Monkey, WT Monkey’s CSS Filter-laden cousin. Image: Screenshot/Webmonkey

CSS filters offer web developers some very powerful tools, powerful enough that it wouldn’t be too hard to create a web app capable of producing the kind of effect-laden photos popularized by Instagram. There’s just one problem: CSS Filters can be hard on the CPU.

Few things on the web get your PC’s fan spinning quite like CSS Filters — just give Google’s abstract painting demo page a try to see for yourself. Filters alone can send your fan spinning, but combine them with some CSS transitions or animations and you’ve got a recipe for battery draining excess.

That, combined with the fact that so far they only work in WebKit browsers, means right now you should use CSS Filters with caution.

Fortunately the roaring sound of your fan may soon be a thing of the past, at least for Google Chrome users. The Chromium blog reports that CSS Filters with GPU acceleration have landed in Chromium. It will be some time before the acceleration makes its way into the stable version of Google Chrome, but it is coming and that’s good news for the future of CSS Filters. Stephen White, a Software Engineer at the Chromium project, writes, “GPU acceleration of these filters brings their performance to the point where they can be used for animating elements in conjunction with CSS animations powered by -webkit-transition or even HTML5 video tags.”

It might be a while yet before Adobe launches a web-based version of its Premiere video editor, but expect other browsers to follow Chrome’s lead in supporting and speeding up CSS Filters.

It’s worth noting that, while the Instagram use case tends to get all the press, CSS Filters can do a lot more than just sepia toning images. In fact potential uses go far beyond just images or video. For example, CSS Filters could be used to blur backgrounds (or make them black and white) thus highlighting foreground content in online diagrams, charts or educational apps. CSS Filters could replace image sprites in navigation elements (less to download means faster page load times) and could also be used in conjunction with some animation to let users know that something on a page has changed.

For more info on CSS Filters, check out our earlier coverage and have a look at the HTML5Rocks site, which offers a nice overview of CSS Filters along with some example code.

Article source: http://www.webmonkey.com/2012/06/google-chrome-speeds-up-fancy-css-filter-effects/

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26 May 12 Four short links: 23 May 2012


  1. Tale of Two Pwnies (Chromium Blog) — So, how does one get full remote code execution in Chrome? In the case of Pinkie Pie’s exploit, it took a chain of six different bugs in order to successfully break out of the Chrome sandbox. Lest you think all attacks come from mouth-breathing script kiddies, this is how the pros do it. (via Bryan O’Sullivan)
  2. The Future is Specific (Chris Granger) — In traditional web-MVC, the code necessary to serve a single route is spread across many files in many different folders. In a normal editor this means you need to do a lot of context switching to get a sense for everything going on. Instead, this mode replaces the file picker with a route picker, as routes seem like the best logical unit for a website. There’s a revolution coming in web dev tools: we’ve had the programmer adapting to the frameworks with little but textual assistance from the IDE. I am loving this flood of creativity because it has the promise to reduce bugs and increase the speed by which we generate good code.
  3. Best Online Editors For Teaching HTML/CSS/JS (Pamela Fox) — Over the past few months, I’ve been teaching in-person classes on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, as part of GirlDevelopIt San Francisco. Along the way, I’ve experimented with various online consoles and editors, and I thought I’d share my experience with using them for teaching.
  4. Makie — design a doll online, they’ll 3d-print and ship it to you. Hello, future of manufacturing, fancy seeing you in a dollhouse!

Article source: http://radar.oreilly.com/2012/05/four-short-links-23-may-2012.html

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18 May 12 Chrome 19: The Best Web browser just keeps getting better


With Chrome 19 you can sync tabs between PCs and Android smartphones.

With Chrome 19 you can sync tabs between PCs and Android smartphones.

The Google Chrome Web browser just keeps getting better and better. The just released Chrome 19 is a perfect example of this.

Besides fixing a slew of security problems, Chrome 19’s niftiest new feature is tab syncing. Chrome has long given you the power to sync your bookmarks, apps, extensions, history, themes, and other settings. Now, you can sync your open tabs as well between computers, and if you’re lucky enough to have an Android smartphone with Ice Cream Sandwich, which supports the beta Chrome for Android, you can sync them with your phone as well.

Here’s how it works. When you’re signed in to Google, your open tabs are automatically synced across all your devices. To get to them, simply open a new tab on your browser and on the bottom left there’s an “Other devices” menu on the center-left of the bottom of the page. From it, you can see all your other Chrome sessions and their open tabs. Want to open one on tabs from say your work computer? Just click on it and you’re on way.

This is neat. This makes it easier than ever to never lose track of what you were doing in your various browsers.

It’s also just a wee-bit creepy. If you share your Google log-in with other people on other PCs, you’ll be able to see what they’re looking at on their Chrome sessions. Mind you, for security reasons you shouldn’t be doing that anyway, but it is something to keep in mind. Or, to flip it around, if you’re in the habit of leaving your work computer on and you left Chrome running while you were logged in, someone could come by your office desk and see what tabs you have open on Chrome on your home PC. In short, don’t be careless when you’re using this feature.

On the other hand, Chrome gives you many privacy-tweaking settings. To get to those, go to the Options menu, and from there, head to the Under the Hood tab. Once there, you can control what happens with cookies, including Flash cookies now; image displays; JavaScript; plug-ins; pop-ups, and location information. You can also turn on Chrome’s built-in Adobe Flash plug-in and PDF reader. Both of these are turned off by default.

If like me, you’re a little tired of the endless flood of Adobe security problems, you’ll welcome Chrome’s version of them. Even if they go wrong in Chrome, at least they’ll be stuck inside Chrome’s sandbox where they won’t be able to do mischief in the rest of your computer.

Some people have been having trouble with Chrome 18 on Windows 7 64-bits. Their problems seemed to show up most often when they were running lots of tabs at once with a heavy Adobe Flash use. So, I decided to see if I could duplicate their problems on my test PC.

My Web browser testing system is a Gateway DX4710 running Windows 7 SP1. This PC is powered by a 2.5-GHz Intel Core 2 Quad processor and has 6GBs of RAM and an Intel GMA (Graphics Media Accelerator) 3100 for graphics. It’s hooked to the Internet via a Netgear Gigabit Ethernet switch, which, in turn, is hooked up to a 100Mbps (Megabit per second) cable Internet connection.

On it, I opened 40 plus tabs at once multiple times in the last 24-hours. Half of them, like YouTube, included a lot of active Flash content. I couldn’t get a single lock-up or crash from it. I then left them running for six hours, thinking perhaps a memory leak problem was to blame. Again, everything went fine afterwards.

I can’t say that you won’t have problems with this new version of Chrome. All I can say is that on my Windows 7 box, and on my various Linux and Mac boxes as well, Chrome 19 never faltered no matter how heavy a load I put on it.

As for the basics, Chrome 19 remains as easy to install and use on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows as ever. You simply download it from the site, run the program and in less than two minutes you’ll be up and running it.

Chrome’s interface is also as clean as ever. The Omnibox, the combined search and location box is still on top. Underneath it, you’ll find the tabs, on the right top you’ll find the bookmark icon and that’s about it. There are only a handful of control buttons. If you want to adjust the browser’s looks and behavior you’ll need to go to the wrench icon and look at the menus it hides.

Once there, you’ll discover there’s not a lot you can do with Chrome’s looks. If you want to give your Web browser a make-over to get it looking and working just they way you want Firefox is still the browser for you.

Chrome on the Benchmark Rank

Moving on to the benchmarks, Chrome gets a perfect score on the Acid 3 compatibility test, which checks how well a browser complies with various Web standards such as CSS, JavaScript, and Extensible Markup Language (XML). But, then all modern browsers score perfectly on this test these days. If your browser doesn’t get a perfect score-update it. Now.

On the HTML5 Test, which checks to see how compliant the Web browser is with the HTML5 Web page standard, Chrome 19 scored 402 out of a possible 500. The new Firefox 12 was way behind with 345 points. Internet Explorer 9? It scored a dismal 138 points.

For my first benchmark I used Google’sJavaScript V8 Benchmark Suite, where higher scores are better. As you might expect, Chrome crushed Firefox and IE with a score of 9,091. Firefox took a distant second with 5,505. IE was way behind the open-source browsers with a score of 2,112.

On the old, SunSpider 0.9.1, JavaScript test where lower results are better, Chrome did OK with a score of 256.9ms. IE nosed ahead though with a score of 252.7ms to take first place. Firefox came in last with 296.5ms.

On the Peacekeeper Web browser test suite, which looks at JavaScript performance and looks in on HTML5 compatibility, video codec support and other Web browser features, higher scores are better. On Peacekeeper, Chrome won once more. On this benchmark, where higher is better and Chrome took first with a score of 2,241. Firefox followed with a far slower 1,557 and IE was back in the rear with 1,347.

The bottom line is that Chrome is simply the fastest Web browser out there. It’s also, from where I sit, one of the most secure browsers and I really like its clean interface and its features. As far as I’m concerned, Chrome is still easily the best browser out there. As always, you don’t have to take my word for it. Try Chrome yourself. I think you’ll find, as hundreds of millions of other Chrome users have, that Chrome will become your first choice in Web browsers.

Related Stories:

Google Chrome 19 is out

Will the Google Chrome Web browser come to Apple’s iPads and iPhones?

Is Microsoft blocking Chrome and Firefox from native Windows RT a big deal?

Google joins Windows 8 browser war with plans for Metro Chrome

Do I have to leave Google Chrome behind?

Article source: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/networking/chrome-19-the-best-web-browser-just-keeps-getting-better/2391

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17 May 12 Chrome 19: The Best Web browser just keeps getting better


With Chrome 19 you can sync tabs between PCs and Android smartphones.

With Chrome 19 you can sync tabs between PCs and Android smartphones.

The Google Chrome Web browser just keeps getting better and better. The just released Chrome 19 is a perfect example of this.

Besides fixing a slew of security problems, Chrome 19’s niftiest new feature is tab syncing. Chrome has long given you the power to sync your bookmarks, apps, extensions, history, themes, and other settings. Now, you can sync your open tabs as well between computers, and if you’re lucky enough to have an Android smartphone with Ice Cream Sandwich, which supports the beta Chrome for Android, you can sync them with your phone as well.

Here’s how it works. When you’re signed in to Google, your open tabs are automatically synced across all your devices. To get to them, simply open a new tab on your browser and on the bottom left there’s an “Other devices” menu on the center-left of the bottom of the page. From it, you can see all your other Chrome sessions and their open tabs. Want to open one on tabs from say your work computer? Just click on it and you’re on way.

This is neat. This makes it easier than ever to never lose track of what you were doing in your various browsers.

It’s also just a wee-bit creepy. If you share your Google log-in with other people on other PCs, you’ll be able to see what they’re looking at on their Chrome sessions. Mind you, for security reasons you shouldn’t be doing that anyway, but it is something to keep in mind. Or, to flip it around, if you’re in the habit of leaving your work computer on and you left Chrome running while you were logged in, someone could come by your office desk and see what tabs you have open on Chrome on your home PC. In short, don’t be careless when you’re using this feature.

On the other hand, Chrome gives you many privacy-tweaking settings. To get to those, go to the Options menu, and from there, head to the Under the Hood tab. Once there, you can control what happens with cookies, including Flash cookies now; image displays; JavaScript; plug-ins; pop-ups, and location information. You can also turn on Chrome’s built-in Adobe Flash plug-in and PDF reader. Both of these are turned off by default.

If like me, you’re a little tired of the endless flood of Adobe security problems, you’ll welcome Chrome’s version of them. Even if they go wrong in Chrome, at least they’ll be stuck inside Chrome’s sandbox where they won’t be able to do mischief in the rest of your computer.

Some people have been having trouble with Chrome 18 on Windows 7 64-bits. Their problems seemed to show up most often when they were running lots of tabs at once with a heavy Adobe Flash use. So, I decided to see if I could duplicate their problems on my test PC.

My Web browser testing system is a Gateway DX4710 running Windows 7 SP1. This PC is powered by a 2.5-GHz Intel Core 2 Quad processor and has 6GBs of RAM and an Intel GMA (Graphics Media Accelerator) 3100 for graphics. It’s hooked to the Internet via a Netgear Gigabit Ethernet switch, which, in turn, is hooked up to a 100Mbps (Megabit per second) cable Internet connection.

On it, I opened 40 plus tabs at once multiple times in the last 24-hours. Half of them, like YouTube, included a lot of active Flash content. I couldn’t get a single lock-up or crash from it. I then left them running for six hours, thinking perhaps a memory leak problem was to blame. Again, everything went fine afterwards.

I can’t say that you won’t have problems with this new version of Chrome. All I can say is that on my Windows 7 box, and on my various Linux and Mac boxes as well, Chrome 19 never faltered no matter how heavy a load I put on it.

As for the basics, Chrome 19 remains as easy to install and use on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows as ever. You simply download it from the site, run the program and in less than two minutes you’ll be up and running it.

Chrome’s interface is also as clean as ever. The Omnibox, the combined search and location box is still on top. Underneath it, you’ll find the tabs, on the right top you’ll find the bookmark icon and that’s about it. There are only a handful of control buttons. If you want to adjust the browser’s looks and behavior you’ll need to go to the wrench icon and look at the menus it hides.

Once there, you’ll discover there’s not a lot you can do with Chrome’s looks. If you want to give your Web browser a make-over to get it looking and working just they way you want Firefox is still the browser for you.

Chrome on the Benchmark Rank

Moving on to the benchmarks, Chrome gets a perfect score on the Acid 3 compatibility test, which checks how well a browser complies with various Web standards such as CSS, JavaScript, and Extensible Markup Language (XML). But, then all modern browsers score perfectly on this test these days. If your browser doesn’t get a perfect score-update it. Now.

On the HTML5 Test, which checks to see how compliant the Web browser is with the HTML5 Web page standard, Chrome 19 scored 402 out of a possible 500. The new Firefox 12 was way behind with 345 points. Internet Explorer 9? It scored a dismal 138 points.

For my first benchmark I used Google’sJavaScript V8 Benchmark Suite, where higher scores are better. As you might expect, Chrome crushed Firefox and IE with a score of 9,091. Firefox took a distant second with 5,505. IE was way behind the open-source browsers with a score of 2,112.

On the old, SunSpider 0.9.1, JavaScript test where lower results are better, Chrome did OK with a score of 256.9ms. IE nosed ahead though with a score of 252.7ms to take first place. Firefox came in last with 296.5ms.

On the Peacekeeper Web browser test suite, which looks at JavaScript performance and looks in on HTML5 compatibility, video codec support and other Web browser features, higher scores are better. On Peacekeeper, Chrome won once more. On this benchmark, where higher is better and Chrome took first with a score of 2,241. Firefox followed with a far slower 1,557 and IE was back in the rear with 1,347.

The bottom line is that Chrome is simply the fastest Web browser out there. It’s also, from where I sit, one of the most secure browsers and I really like its clean interface and its features. As far as I’m concerned, Chrome is still easily the best browser out there. As always, you don’t have to take my word for it. Try Chrome yourself. I think you’ll find, as hundreds of millions of other Chrome users have, that Chrome will become your first choice in Web browsers.

Related Stories:

Google Chrome 19 is out

Will the Google Chrome Web browser come to Apple’s iPads and iPhones?

Is Microsoft blocking Chrome and Firefox from native Windows RT a big deal?

Google joins Windows 8 browser war with plans for Metro Chrome

Do I have to leave Google Chrome behind?

Article source: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/networking/chrome-19-the-best-web-browser-just-keeps-getting-better/2391

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12 Apr 12 Requirements: Google Chrome


Google Reader and Gmail are two of the most customizable Web apps available today. Need a different inbox layout? Sure thing. Want to change the colors or visual density? No problem. Still, some interface elements, like the Google Bar at the top of the window, will never go away, no matter what you do. If you wish they did, try free Chrome extension Minimalist for Everything.

Minimalist for Everything screenshotEach module can contain numerous interface elements which you can easily remove, no coding needed.Using user-side JavaScript and CSS (cascading stylesheets) to customize websites is not a new idea. Greasemonkey and Stylish have been around for years, and some browsers now support user styles and user scripts natively. There are many such scripts and styles, each letting you tweak a certain website or group of websites. But they are not easy to customize: For example, the dark Tumblr stylesheet turns the Tumblr control panel dark, but it comes with just that particular color scheme. To configure it, you need be familiar with CSS, and then unpack and edit its compressed code. Not something most of us do for fun.

Minimalist for Everything brings a new level of refinement to the scene. Instead of an all-or-nothing proposition, now you can decide how much of a user style you want to apply. The add-on ships with modules for Google Reader and Gmail, which you can use turn on and off bits of the interface without writing any code. For example, maybe you want to hide Google’s legal disclaimer from the footer, or maybe you want the Gmail search bar, but not the search button. Just find the right checkbox, tick it, and you’re done. The interface is very friendly, and it’s easy to find just the part you want to hide.

Minimalist for Everything CSS/JavaScript screenshotModules can contain both CSS and JavaScript, for complete control over the Web app being customized .But what if you hide the top Google bar, only to discover you do use it now and then? No problem–hover over the top of the window and click the grey bar that appears: The Google bar will pop down. The two styles that ship with Minimalist for Everything contain many such collapsible elements, ideal for netbook computers and small displays.

To get this level of flexibility, user stylesheets and scripts need to be written specifically for the Minimalist for Everything add-on. If you’re not a Web developer, you will probably just use the two modules that ship with the add-on. But if you are familiar with CSS and JavaScript, you can use the add-on’s built-in tools for authoring new modules. There are no built-in debug facilities yet so writing the right CSS selectors can be tricky, but it took me about five minutes to create a module that selectively hides elements from the YouTube sidebar.

Minimalist for Everything screenshotMinimalist for Everything currently has only rudimentary export/import functionality.You can also use Minimalist for Everything to install “regular” user styles, but then you don’t get the level of configuration the add-on can offer for its own modules. The biggest missing piece in the Minimalist for Everything puzzle is an online repository that would let users exchange modules. Such a website would surely foster a thriving community of modders and customizers. Until that happens, Minimalist for Everything remains a powerful way for Chrome users to unclutter Google Reader and Gmail.

Note: The Download button takes you to the Chrome Web store, where you can download the latest version of the software.

–Erez Zukerman

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/253625/make_web_apps_more_manageable_with_minimalist_for_everything.html

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09 Apr 12 Requirements: Supported browser for editing: Apple Safari, Google Chrome …


With the first Beta version of its original service released in 2008, Wix is no newcomer to the website creation arena. But Wix (free, Premium plans start at $5 per month) has just reinvented itself: Its previous offering was entirely based on Flash, and this current release leaves Flash behind for the power and ubiquity of HTML5. With the new Wix, you can create beautiful, modern-looking personal, portfolio, and business websites, without writing a single line of code and without running Flash.

Wix template screenshotWix features dramatic, beautiful templates that make it easy to get started making a website.To start you off, Wix offers dozens of ready-made HTML5 templates, subdivided into categories such as Kids, Music, Fashion, Food Drink, and more. There are also single-page personal profile templates, competing directly against services like about.me and flavors.me. The templates are beautiful, and don’t look anything like WordPress or other content management systems. Like Weebly, Wix uses Web fonts, so it’s not all Arial and Times New Roman: Titles are sometimes rendered in playful script fonts, and some themes use with thin, all-caps sans serif fonts for dramatic impact. The templates avoid Lorem Ipsum, opting instead for placeholder text that’s in plain English and more closely resembles actual copy. In the rare event that no template catches your fancy, you can always start with a blank slate and create your website from scratch.

Wix image insertion screenshotWix lets you customize individual components, such as image galleries.The Wix editor is a joy to use. Click an element, and you can drag it around, change its text, or edit its appearance. You can customize just about anything: A template I was editing used ribbon elements that appeared to “fold” across the left side of images. With the editor, I was able to change their direction and color scheme so that they folded onto the image from the right. Since everything is based on CSS, I only had to change one ribbon, and Wix applied the change across all of the others. For many elements, the editor offers presets you can pick from, but also lets you create your own settings from scratch for your own unique look.

Wix also makes it easy to create new pages and arrange them in the menu, as well as customize the menu itself. Pages are arranged by types, such as a gallery, text pages, a Services page, and so on. Unlike Weebly, Wix does not let you create a blog as part of your site, nor bring in other editors to help you author content and maintain the site.

Wix fonts screenshotWix supports Web fonts, which means your website can break out of the familiar Arial and Times New Roman.The other side of the coin for Wix’s ease of use is that you can’t get at the actual CSS and HTML that drive your website. Even if you know what you’re doing and want to customize things by coding, Wix will not let you do that: Everything is locked behind the editor. This also means that when you design you website with Wix, you are effectively married to the service. Wix does not support exporting your content, and monthly plans are relatively expensive for a simple web hosting service.

Wix does have a free option, but it displays a Wix banner at the bottom of your website and will not let you use your own domain name. Even the Connect Domain premium plan that costs $5 per month leaves the banner intact-to get rid of it, you must upgrade at least to the Combo plan, which is $10 per month. If you don’t mind the rates (or the banner and Wix branding), Wix’s new HTML5 version offers some of the best visual website creation tools I have seen to date.

Note: The Download button takes you to the vendor’s site, where you can use the latest version of this Web-based software.

–Erez Zukerman

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/253379/create_a_website_easily_with_wix_even_the_free_version.html

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05 Apr 12 Google Chrome Updates Stable And Beta Channels


Google Chrome Updates Stable And Beta Channels

Google is constantly busy hammering away at new updates to Chrome. The hope is to obviously make it the safest and fastest browser on the Web. While Chrome has multiple channels it updates through, the stable and beta channels receive the permanent updates that define the platform. Both channels received a small update today that provides a number of fixes.

Detailing the updates on the Google Chrome Releases page, the team has notified users that an update has been rolled out to the stable and betat channels in Chrome for Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome Frame. The updates made today fix a variety of small bugs related to HTML5 Canvas, CSS, etc. The fixes are:

Black screen on Hybrid Graphics system with GPU accelerated compositing enabled
CSS not applied to element
Regression rendering a div with background gradient and borders
Canvas 2D line drawing bug with GPU acceleration
Multiple crashes
Pop-up dialog is at wrong position
HTML Canvas patterns are broken if you change the transformation matrix
SSL interstitial error “proceed anyway” / “back to safety” buttons don’t work

Google also found an issue with the Mac version of Chrome. It seems that HTML5 audio doesn’t work on some Mac computers. A fix for that will probably be coming sooner than later.

The new release also includes a new version of Flash Player. Adobe issued a major security fix last week for Flash Player, but this release seems to be unrelated. The Adobe Web site says that the update “addresses memory corruption vulnerabilities in the Chrome Interface.”

As per tradition, Google hands out cash rewards for security loopholes pointed out by members of the community. In all, Google handed out $6,000 in cash to three developers. One person in particular going by the screen name miaubiz took home $4,500 for pointing out five security flaws.

It’s these kind of incentives that keeps Chrome on top of its game as being one of the most secure browsers on the Web. For full details on this release and more, check out the revision log.

Article source: http://www.webpronews.com/google-chrome-updates-stable-and-beta-channels-2012-04

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19 Mar 12 VMware’s WSX Does Virtual Desktops With HTML5


VMware WSX

Accessing a virtualized Windows XP desktop from a tablet with VMware WSX. Photo: Christian Hammond

By Ryan Paul

VMware is developing an impressive new feature called WSX that will allow users to access virtualized desktops remotely through any modern Web browser. VMware developer Christian Hammond, who worked on the implementation, demonstrated a prototype this week in a blog post.

According to Hammond, WSX is built with standards-based Web technologies, including the HTML5 Canvas element and Web Sockets. The user installs and runs a lightweight Web server that acts as a relay between the Web-based client and the virtualized desktop instance. It is compatible with VMware Workstation and ESXi/vSphere.

arstechnicaWSX, which doesn’t require any browser plugins, is compatible out of the box with Firefox, Chrome, and Safari on the desktop. It will also work with mobile Safari on iPads that are running iOS 5 or later. Hammond says that Android compatibility is still a work in progress.

The performance is said to be good enough to provide “near-native quality and framerates” when viewing a 720p YouTube video on the virtualized desktop through WSX in Chrome or Firefox. Users who want to test the feature today can see it in action by downloading the Linux version of the VMware Workstation Technology Preview.

Although it’s still somewhat experimental, WSX is a compelling demonstration of how far the Web has evolved as a platform. It also shows how the ubiquity of Web standards make it possible to deliver complex applications across a wide range of platforms and device form factors.

Hammond also said he was working on tapping the new iPad’s higher resolution:

“The most talked about feature of the new iPad is, of course, the shiny new retina display (a 2048×1536 resolution). A few apps really show this off, and text is certainly crisp, but a few people wondered aloud, ‘Is it really that big of a difference?’ Yes, it is.

Naturally, I had to play around with getting WSX to show a retina-friendly desktop. See, by default, everything is scaled up 2x to simulate the resolution of the original iPad (1024×768), but they have some support in there for loading higher-resolution images. Turns out, with some tricks, you can also make the canvas retina-friendly.”

What say you of VMware’s new WSX? Also, what of the new iPad’s new real estate in this and every business context? I’m thinking virtual or not, the resolution makes the new iPad much more appealing as a work device.


In other HTML5 news

The VMware demo was one of the most impressive HTML5 demos that we saw this week, but there are a few other newsworthy items that we want to share in this roundup.

  • jSFiddle is a handy tool for prototyping, saving, and sharing JavaScript snippets. It’s a bit like pastebin, but it allows you to define separate blocks of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and then see the rendered output in a pane.
  • One of the developers behind Google’s abandoned Wave collaboration tool has published a JavaScript framework for building real-time Web applications with Operational Transformation. The framework can be used to add live concurrent editing to a textbox in a Web page with only a few lines of code.
  • The HTML5 Rocks blog has a great tutorial that demonstrates how the Web Audio API can be used in browser-based games. It provides some good tips for implementing background music, sound effects, and 3D positional sound.
  • The official Chromium blog has published several videos that demonstrate modern Web features and how they can be used.
  • Firebug, a popular Firefox add-on for Web developers, has been moved to GitHub. This will make it easier for people to join the project and contribute improvements.

Crumbs from the cookie jar

If you missed our Web coverage on Ars this week, be sure to check out our hands-on review of Firefox 11, which introduced a new built-in stylesheet editor and 3D DOM viewer. You might also be interested in ourreport on Mozilla’s proposal to support H.264 video playback in mobile Firefox.

Article source: http://www.wired.com/cloudline/2012/03/vmware-wsx/

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16 Mar 12 Essential browser tools for Web developers


Computerworld -

Out of the thousands of cool add-ons out there for Firefox, Chrome and other popular Web browsers, only a select few make it onto the desktops of professional Web developers and designers. Which are the most useful for the day-to-day work of designing and developing websites?

Computerworld asked more than 20 professionals from across the country what they recommend to their colleagues and why. While they stuck mostly with free browser extensions, they couldn’t resist throwing in a few highly useful tools and services that are accessed via a browser rather than being true add-ons.

Here’s their hot list, where you’ll find some old favorites and, we hope, discover some new tools for your arsenal.

Code inspection, editing and debugging

These three tools make the job of viewing website code and prototyping page changes fast and easy. No need to touch the live code until you’re ready to commit to changes.

Firebug

What it does: Inspects, edits and debugs website code within your browser.

Who recommends it:
• Matt Mayernick, vice president of Web development, Hudson Horizons in Saddle Brook, N.J.
• Josh Singer, president, Web312 in Chicago
• Richard Kesey, president and founder, Razor IT in Syracuse, N.Y.
• Ryan Burney, lead Web developer, 3 Roads Media in Greenwood Village, Col.

Why it’s cool: Probably the best known of all the tools listed here, “Firebug is the greatest add-on ever created,” Mayernick says. It’s not just the fact that Firebug lets developers inspect website code and elements, but how it helps with debugging that makes the tool great. “If I am writing JavaScript that’s changing the background color in a row, Firebug will show what’s happening to the CSS code in real time,” he says.

Firebug

Firebug inspects the code by presenting the HTML and the CSS code in two side-by-side windows. “Firebug is indispensable. What’s cool is you can turn styles on or off or add styles on the fly. It lets me make changes live on the page without having to save or reload the files,” says Burney.

“It’s great for finding JavaScript errors,” adds Kesey. “When you click on an Ajax link, it reads out what the action is and gives you the response in an HTTP format so you can see what the headers were and what’s happening behind the scenes.”

Web Developer

What it does: Provides a toolkit for viewing, editing and debugging websites.

Who recommends it:
• Darrell Armstead, mobile developer, DeepBlue in Atlanta
• Jen Kramer, senior interface developer, 4Web in Keene, N.H.

Why it’s cool: “I love Web Developer because of the control it gives me over any site. It gives me the ability to strip a site down to its core, and lets me modify and tweak things to get it looking and working the way I want it to,” Armstead says. But that’s not all he likes: “I love the Outline Block Level Elements feature because it gives me a visual representation of how a site is built on the front end.”

Web Developer add-on

Kramer chimes in: “What I like about it is the ability to look at CSS. It shows all of the style sheets available on the page, and I can edit those on the fly and see how it looks in the browser,” she says. “That’s particularly helpful to me because I work with content management systems. It allows me to style what’s being sent to the browser.

“Firebug has something similar, but I find it more difficult to use. It’s much harder to get a style sheet out of Firebug and into Joomla,” Kramer adds. For me, Web Developer works better.”

Google Chrome Developer Tools

What it does: Provides tools for inspecting, editing and debugging website code.

Who recommends it:
• Jason Hipwell, managing director, Clikzy Creative in Alexandria, Va.
• Shaun Rajewski, lead developer at Web Studios in Erie, Pa.
• Ryan Burney, 3 Roads Media

Why it’s cool: Developer Tools is Google’s answer to Firebug for Firefox, but there’s no add-on to download: Google built it right into the Chrome browser.

“It is my favorite ‘extension’ because of its intuitive design, with HTML on the left, CSS on the right,” says Hipwell. “Inspect Element will highlight elements on a page as you hover over them, which makes it easy to find the div tag I am looking for. It gives me the ability to see changes on a live site, but those changes exist only on my local computer, making it a perfect testing environment. Its simplicity is really what makes the tool so effective.”

Chrome Developer Tools

Rajewski is also a big fan. “Developer Tools allows you to see the final output of what is rendered to [the] screen, and has the ability to highlight individual elements, view the elements’ CSS tags and inherited tags, and make ‘live’ changes to the code to see what it looks like in the browser without making file changes,” he says.

“One nice thing about Chrome’s Developer Tools is that it will give you the dimensions of things,” says Burney. Click on the image URL and up pops the image with the associated link, image dimensions and file type displayed. That’s something Firebug doesn’t do, he says. “Being able to know at a glance the dimensions of an object, that’s a big time saver.”

Article source: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9225073/Essential_browser_tools_for_Web_developers

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