Here’s a quick tip for web developers and power users running Google Chrome. Enter the following URL in your address bar:
The resulting page lists several powerful information and debugging facilities which aren’t normally available from the interface. Some are extremely geeky and will only be of interest to Chrome developers but there are a few options for the rest of us…
You may know about this page already. It allows you to enable and disable experimental and power functions such as Native Client (NaCl), side tabs, a frame rate counter, GPU Accelerated Canvas, third-party cookies, HTML5 form validation, and pre-loading.
Of particular interest to web developers is “User-specified DNS server address”. This will eventually allow you to override the IP address for a specific domain, e.g. http://mydomain.com/ will point to 127.0.0.1. It’s not fully implemented yet but, once it’s there, it’ll reduce the need to edit your hosts file.
A list of all the files in Chrome’s cache. You can click any file, although its of limited use since the content is shown in hexadecimal.
The files stored by the offline application cache. The panel permits you to clear existing data.
Information about disk usage and quota management.
If you need to know what’s being download when, from where and what by, this is the panel to view. There are plenty of options for the most demanding developer!
This panel displays the hostnames where DNS records are pre-fetched when Chrome starts.
If Chrome is not running as well as you’d expect, this panel will help you find that rogue extension or plugin.
Information about current sessions and magic lists (whatever they are?) I’m not convinced this panel is fully operational — or perhaps Chrome doesn’t report Google-owned domains?
This panel shows information about HTML5 shared web workers.
If you’re building high-action HTML5 games, this panel shows information about hardware acceleration and provides a useful profiling application.
This is the place to go if you’re fed up with Flash, Quicktime, Java, Silverlight, Google Talk or Chrome’s update system.
If crash reporting is enabled, this page will list the most recent crash reports.
Finally, this page displays a range of useful information such as your user agent string, the executable path, your profile path and the Chrome, webkit and Flash version numbers.
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.