What’s New in Chrome 24

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It’s been six months since I last wrote about new features in Google Chrome. The browser has been evolving steadily and enticing new users but there was rarely anything exciting to report. Chrome 24 was released a couple of days after Firefox 18. You probably didn’t notice the automated update but there are a number of interesting features for web developers…

MathML Support

Mathematical Markup Language is an XML schema which describes mathematical notations and formula. It produces results which are similar to Microsoft Office Equation Editor or the Math application in OpenOffice / LibreOffice. Until MathML, you’d have required a graphic to produce an equation such as: equation It can now be coded:
<math mode="display" xmlns="https://www.w3.org/1998/Math/MathML">
        <mo form="prefix">−</mo>
MathML is now available in Chrome, Safari, Firefox and has partial support in Opera. No sign of implementation in IE yet. I suspect SVG may be an easier cross-browser alternative for some time to come.

IndexedDB Support

IndexedDB is a client-side data storage technology. While we already have key-value pairs in localStorage and sessionStorage, IndexedDB provides greater data structure and indexing support. It’s the approved successor to the Web SQL Database which never became an agreed W3C specification. IndexedDB requires an article in itself, but the technology has become more viable now it’s supported in Chrome, Firefox and IE10. It’s likely to appear in Safari since, like Chrome, it uses the webkit engine. I’ve no doubt Opera are working on it. For more information, refer to the W3C IndexedDB Specification.

CSS Custom Filters

Custom Filters were suggested by Adobe and allow you to apply image or movie-like filter effects to any HTML content. Typical options include grayscale-to-color transitions, warping, animated shadows and more. In essence, it’s similar to SVG filters or Microsoft’s proprietary CSS filter property which was implemented in IE many, many years ago. Chrome’s implementation is experimental, requires webkit prefixes and must be enabled in about:flags — see Enable CSS Shaders about two-thirds of way down. It looks exciting but don’t expect a reliable technology for year or two yet. For more information, refer to the recent W3C Filter Effects specification and Adobe’s demonstration page.

Styled Logging

Chrome’s Developer Tools Console now supports styled logging using a syntax which is identical to that implemented in Firefox’s Firebug add-on. For example:
console.log("%cBlue text!", "color:blue;");
You can apply any CSS styles to highlight errors or other conditions.

It’s Faster

Chrome has always been fast, but the latest edition is faster than ever. In particular, Google claim better start-up times and report an overall improvement of more than 26% over the last year. If you don’t believe them, try the new performance tab — chrome://performance/. You’ll need to enable performance monitoring in about:flags first.

Numerous Bug Fixes

More than 20 bugs have been squished in Chrome 24. In addition, $6,000 has been paid to developers who found high-severity vulnerabilities. Chrome’s speed, stability and standards support has made it the browser to beat. It’s great to see that Google and the Webkit team have not become complacent. Long may it continue.

Frequently Asked Questions about Chrome 24

What are the new features in Chrome 24?

Chrome 24 introduces several new features and improvements. These include faster JavaScript performance, improved support for HTML5 features such as the ‘date’ and ‘time’ input types, and enhanced security measures. Additionally, Chrome 24 also offers better support for MathML, which is a markup language used for displaying mathematical notation on the web.

How does the JavaScript performance in Chrome 24 compare to previous versions?

Chrome 24 boasts a significant improvement in JavaScript performance. This is due to the updated V8 JavaScript engine, which allows for faster execution of JavaScript code. This means that web pages and applications that rely heavily on JavaScript will load and run more quickly and smoothly.

What is MathML and how is it supported in Chrome 24?

MathML, or Mathematical Markup Language, is a markup language used for displaying mathematical notation on the web. Chrome 24 introduces better support for MathML, allowing for more accurate and consistent rendering of mathematical equations and symbols.

How does Chrome 24 enhance security?

Chrome 24 introduces several security enhancements. These include protection against malicious downloads and improved sandboxing technology. The sandboxing technology isolates each tab in a separate process, preventing one tab from affecting others and providing an additional layer of protection against malicious websites.

What are the system requirements for Chrome 24?

Chrome 24 is compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8, Mac OS X 10.6 or later, and Linux. It requires a system with at least 128MB of RAM and 100MB of free hard disk space.

How does Chrome 24 support HTML5?

Chrome 24 offers improved support for several HTML5 features. This includes support for the ‘date’ and ‘time’ input types, which allow for easier input of dates and times in web forms.

How can I update to Chrome 24?

If you’re already using Chrome, you can update to the latest version by clicking on the ‘About Google Chrome’ option in the browser’s menu. If you’re not using Chrome, you can download the latest version from the official Chrome website.

Does Chrome 24 support extensions and add-ons?

Yes, Chrome 24 supports a wide range of extensions and add-ons, which can be installed from the Chrome Web Store to add additional functionality to the browser.

How does Chrome 24 handle cookies and privacy?

Chrome 24 offers several options for managing cookies and privacy. You can choose to block all cookies, allow all cookies, or block only third-party cookies. Additionally, you can choose to send a ‘Do Not Track’ request with your browsing traffic.

Can I customize the appearance of Chrome 24?

Yes, Chrome 24 allows you to customize the appearance of the browser using themes. You can choose from a variety of themes available in the Chrome Web Store, or you can create your own.

Craig BucklerCraig Buckler
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Craig is a freelance UK web consultant who built his first page for IE2.0 in 1995. Since that time he's been advocating standards, accessibility, and best-practice HTML5 techniques. He's created enterprise specifications, websites and online applications for companies and organisations including the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Microsoft, and more. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler.

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