The Google+ musings of

François Beaufort

Happiness Evangelist
March 06, 2015 4 comments 1 shares 37 plus ones
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The chromium team is currently playing with a new Chrome OS board named Strago based on the Intel Braswell¹ platform (not to be confused with Broadwell).



March 05, 2015 13 comments 11 shares 122 plus ones
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Following the Files App, the Chrome OS bundled Camera App¹ just received a brand new materialized icon in its last update. 



March 04, 2015 7 comments 5 shares 36 plus ones
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A new Chrome Extension API plainly named chrome.platformKeys is available¹ in Dev Channel to access client certificates managed by Chrome OS

If the permission is granted (by user or policy), extensions can now use such a certificate in its custom authentication protocol. This mechanism will obviously ease usage of platform managed certificates in third party VPNs² for instance.



March 04, 2015 21 comments 14 shares 118 plus ones
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After reading last Stable Channel notes, you may wonder what is this brand new freon graphics stack. So in a nutshell, project ozone¹/freon is Chrome OS without X server.

This project is about removing X11 dependency and add hardware overlay support in order to:
- provide better performance/reduced power consumption for WebGL and video
- reduce Chrome OS binary size

If your Chrome Device is in Developer Mode, you may want to switch to a Virtual Terminal with <Ctrl>+<Alt>+<F2> and see if you get a "Welcome to frecon!" message. If so, you're actually using frecon², the freon console in Kernel Mode Setting³.



March 03, 2015 6 comments 7 shares 79 plus ones
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The "Suggest Apps" dialog is now available also in the Downloads folder in Dev Channel. This dialog will automatically show up to help you select a Chrome App from the Web Store to open a file you can't yet.

It actually relies on the file mime type to suggest you Chrome Apps that can handle¹ it, trying to guess it first by reading the extension file and eventually sniffing file content.



March 03, 2015 3 comments 7 shares 99 plus ones
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In order to ease web development, the chromium team has added in Dev Channel an experimental flag at chrome://flags/#allow-insecure-localhost to allow requests to localhost over HTTPS even when an invalid certificate is presented.

Try it by yourself, set up a HTTPS server on localhost with a bad certificate, go to https://localhost and observe no interstitial page is loaded.


March 03, 2015 5 comments 5 shares 42 plus ones
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As you may already know, Content Settings allow you to customize Chrome's behavior on a per-site basis instead of globally. Good news is that the chrome.contentSettings Extension API features now more content settings in Dev Channel such as geolocation, fullscreen, mouse cursor, microphone, camera, unsandboxed plug-in access and automatic downloads.

Read the developer documentation¹ to learn how to retrieves fullscreen user setting or always allow camera access to specific websites.



February 27, 2015 2 comments 21 shares 149 plus ones
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Today, I'd like to share with you some remarkable open-source projects the chromium team has been contributing to over the years. This non-exhaustive list is divided into chromium-owned projects and those the team has contributed to.


ANGLE - Almost Native Graphics Layer Engine

Blink - Web rendering engine forked from WebKit

BoringSSL - Crypto and SSL stack derived from OpenSSL

Chrome DevTools - Set of web authoring and debugging tools

Chrome OS BIOS U-Boot replacement - Coreboot payload for booting the system super fast

Chrome OS BIOS Verified Boot

ChromeDriver - WebDriver for Chrome

Chromium Embedded Controller

Chromoting - Remotely control a distant machine

cld2 - Compact Language Detector 2

DOM Distiller - Reader mode on Chrome

GN - Meta-build system that generates NinjaBuild files

google-breakpad - Multi-platform crash reporting system

grit-i18n - Google Resource and Internationalization Tool

GYP - Generate Your Projects

hterm - Cross browser xterm compatible terminal emulator

Native Client - Sandbox for running compiled C and C++ code in the browser

open-vdiff - Open Source VCDIFF delta compression implementation

PDFium - PDF rendering engine

Platform2 - Group of system services that make up the Chromium OS platform

Sanitiser for OpenType - parse and serialize OpenType files

Servo - Debug board used for Chromium OS test and development                                       

Skia - 2D graphic library for drawing text, geometries, and images

Swarming - Distribute tasks fast and efficiently in a heterogeneous fleet of bots

Syzygy - Windows binary transformation/optimization/instrumentation toolchain

Trace-Viewer - Frontend for chrome://tracing and Android systrace

V8 -  JavaScript engine

Web Page Replay - Record live Web pages and use them for local performance testing

WebM - video/audio compression/decompression/container libraries

WebRTC - Web-based real-time communication


Apache Cordova - build native mobile apps using Web technologies
BlueZ - Official Linux Bluetooth protocol stack

Buildbot - Continuous Integration Framework

Clang - C/C++ language family compiler based on LLVM

Coreboot - fast and flexible Open Source firmware

Dart -  Web programming language

Das U-Boot source code - the Universal Boot Loader

FFmpeg - multimedia library

Gentoo Linux

ICU - International Components for Unicode

LLVM - Compiler infrastructure project

LevelDB - key-value storage library

Linux Kernel

Mesa 3D - OpenGL graphics library

modemmanager-next - Broadband modem support daemon

Ninja - Build system with a focus on speed

NSS - Mozilla's Networking and Cryptography library

Selenium - Tool for automated testing of webapps across many browsers

February 27, 2015 7 comments 13 shares 113 plus ones
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The Chrome Material Design PDF viewer is full of useful keyboard shortcuts:

<Ctrl>+G selects page number (Dev Channel only)
<Ctrl>+P prints the document
<Ctrl>+] rotates left the document
<Ctrl>+[ rotates left the document
<Ctrl>+A selects all content 
<Left> goes to the previous page
<Right> goes to the next page
<Space> jumps forward
<Shift>+<Space> jumps backward 


February 27, 2015 24 comments 13 shares 139 plus ones
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Don't look for the 9-square app grid in the last Chrome OS Dev Update, the launcher shelf icon has been replaced by a magnifying glass to reflect the experimental App Launcher more focused on search.

If you're not into it, you may want to disable the experimental flag at chrome://flags/#enable-experimental-app-list to revert to the old icon.