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Chrome 62 Released With OpenType Variable Fonts, HTTP Warnings In Incognito Mode (bleepingcomputer.com) 79

An anonymous reader writes: Earlier today, Google released version 62 of its Chrome browser that comes with quite a few new features but also fixes for 35 security issues. The most interesting new features are support for OpenType variable fonts, the Network Quality Estimator API, the ability to capture and stream DOM elements, and HTTP warnings for the browser's Normal and Incognito mode. The most interesting of the new features is variable fonts. Until now, web developers had to load multiple font families whenever they wanted variations on a font family. For example, if a developer was using the Open Sans font family on a site, if he wanted a font variation such as Regular, Bold, Black, Normal, Condensed, Expanded, Highlight, Slab, Heavy, Dashed, or another, he'd have to load a different font file for each. OpenType variable fonts allow font makers to merge all these font family variations in one file that developers can use on their site and control via CSS. This results in fewer files loaded on a website, saving bandwidth and improving page load times. Two other features that will interest mostly developers are the Network Quality Estimator and the Media Capture from DOM Elements APIs. As the name hints, the first grants developers access to network speed and performance metrics, information that some websites may use to adapt video streams, audio quality, or deliver low-fi versions of their sites. Developers can use the second API -- the Media Capture from DOM Elements -- to record videos of how page sections behave during interaction and stream the content over WebRTC. This latter API could be useful for developers debugging a page, but also support teams that want to see what's happening on the user's side.
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Chrome 62 Released With OpenType Variable Fonts, HTTP Warnings In Incognito Mode

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm curious if this could be used to gather video of users interacting with my website, and if so how the best way to go about doing this is? I would like to maintain logs for several days of every interaction with my site for usage profile statistics and just general curiousity. Can video of the entire desktop be logged? I would like to also inventory other running applications and what files are open in each. For data logging and analytical/research purposes.
    • by omnichad ( 1198475 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2017 @09:23AM (#55389601) Homepage

      This is exactly the problem. Unless this has user opt-in required for each site, this is a gaping potential security hole.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Do you honestly think that Google, one of the largest software developing organizations in the world, employing many of the most talented software developers in the world, overlooked such obvious security implications?

        If a lowly /. user like you was able to identify these potential security issues, then Google's developers know about them too, and factored mitigation measures into the design of this functionality.

        • Google's developers surely know about these potential security issues, however Google isn't run by developers. It's run by marketing, ads and data-mining.

      • I don't know how Chrome is handling video streaming,
        But on the Mozilla side, all video streaming are opt-in.
        Unless you authorize a website, it won't be able to stream video.

    • This Media Capture from DOM Elements API sure sounds like a potential grand-canyon-sized security hole.

    • by Merk42 ( 1906718 )
      You can get video of people interacting with your site with Fullstory [fullstory.com] this does not extend past your particular site, nor outside of the browser, though.
  • by barbariccow ( 1476631 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2017 @09:34AM (#55389677)
    The font changes are interesting but...... until other browsers support it, who in their right mind is going to design a chrome-only website? Maybe some kind of feature test could support this optimization, but then you'd have divergent code paths and that gets messy too. This is why it's better to work on updating STANDARDS instead of just adding one-off features... else it's internet explorer all over again.
    • by aardvarkjoe ( 156801 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2017 @10:09AM (#55389873)

      The font changes are interesting but...... until other browsers support it, who in their right mind is going to design a chrome-only website? Maybe some kind of feature test could support this optimization, but then you'd have divergent code paths and that gets messy too. This is why it's better to work on updating STANDARDS instead of just adding one-off features... else it's internet explorer all over again.

      After reading your first sentence, my first thought was "the same sort of people who used to design IE-only websites."

      I got stuck using a Chrome-only website for a "training course" for work a couple days ago. Since Chrome now has a share of about 60%, this sort of thing is going to keep happening.

      • I think you're missing my qualifier, "right mind." Yes, there are people/companies that do stupid things. Anyone who had to support IE8 where having an id and a name that were the same meant document.getElementById could not longer fetch the id knows this all too well. And don't get me started on IE6...

        And even if it does have 60% of the global market, that does not mean it has 60% of YOUR market, nor does it mean that 40% isn't important. 40% growth in ANY market is HUGE HUGE HUGE, and 40% loss the same.

        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          I think you're missing my qualifier, "right mind."

          Are you claiming that users ought to boycott sites operated by developers not "in their right mind" in favor of a different site operated by developers "in their right mind", or just doing without if there exists no suitable replacement?

          • I am targeting developers with my statement and questioning why any in their right mind would develop browser-specific anymore when there are standards. Nothing to do with end users other than them being a market, and the out-of-mind developer/business choosing willingly to ignore a chunk of them.
      • by antdude ( 79039 )

        Chrome only? Argh. I hate Chrome. I really wished web developers and designer stop being lazy and on one specific web browsers like that (remember IE only?). :(

    • who in their right mind is going to design a chrome-only website?

      "Who in their right mind is going to design an IE6 only website!?" History does repeat itself.

      Also, I can see a lot of projects adopting Chrome's core to provide a UI to an app. When looking at the mess that is Python's UI toolkits we decided to go with Flask and HTML5. With a bit more work we can just make 'a double click this exe and the app opens' interface. All driven on the backend by a web framework and HTML5, rendered locally in a chrome window.

      • by bdcrazy ( 817679 )

        Sounds exactly like back in the day. A ton of business apps embedded IE to render text and layouts. Removing it would break these apps because they assumed: I'm running. I only run on windows, therefore IE is available. Hence one reason (good/bad) that MS insisted IE couldn't be removed. It would cause a lot of hassle for the business customers.

    • by ioErr ( 691174 )

      The font changes are interesting but...... until other browsers support it, who in their right mind is going to design a chrome-only website?

      If you're using Google Fonts for font hosting then you don't link the fonts directly; you link a CSS file on the Google servers that in turn links the font files. And they already serve different CSS files based on your user agent. Thus, from my understanding, for any site using Google Fonts this can be enabled transparently for supporting browsers without the site developer even knowing about it.

    • by mccrew ( 62494 )

      The font changes are interesting but...... until other browsers support it, who in their right mind is going to design a chrome-only website?

      If you hadn't noticed, this is standard play from the Chrome playbook. They go for the first mover advantage [wikipedia.org] by implementing something before anyone else. When the standards groups finally start taking notice, Chrome has an already-working implementation that serves as the basis for new standards. We've seen this in the HTTP/2 an QUIC protocols.

    • The font changes are interesting but...... until other browsers support it, who in their right mind is going to design a chrome-only website?

      It's not an either-or choice.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      who in their right mind is going to design a chrome-only website?

      The owners of Discordapp.com. Normally, someone who owns a "server" (their term for a guild, or a group of related users and channels) on Discord or has the "Manage Emoji" permission on a server can add up to 50 small images that can be used within in a message or as a reaction to a message. Uploading emoji works in Chrome, but it has been broken in Firefox since May 23, 2017. A Firefox user can only rename or delete emoji, not upload new ones. Clicking the Upload button neither has any visible effect nor p

    • Chrome-only websites are actually a problem these days. Just like IE-only websites were a problem ten years ago. Trust me, they're a lot of them.
    • This is not Chrome-only. Variable fonts (OpenType Font Variations) were jointly developed by Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Adobe. It's part of version 1.8 of the OpenType font format specification. It will be built into a Windows release this year, and Apple will also release support in the near future.
  • VSphere Web client no longer works in Chrome...yay!
  • can you put the tabs below the address bar?

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      What's the point of that? The address bar belongs to the tab you're in. Putting it above the tab makes very little sense in conveying this information to the user.

  • It doesn't save history, etc. etc. but when you open an incognito window, it is in a striking black background with a highly contrasting icon and letters saying "YOU ARE IN INCOGNITO MODE". Hey world, see, this browser window is in INCOGNITO MODE!!! Did you miss that? Here, let me use high contrast theme to tell you that this BROWSER IS IN INCOGNITO MODE!!!

  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2017 @11:25AM (#55390475) Journal

    Still no way to view certificates for my users. Unacceptable as developer tools are too hard to use for my older users over the phone to check if a site is a scam site or if they have been infected.

    Why the hell did Google remove this feature? It's security 101

  • by michael_cain ( 66650 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2017 @12:25PM (#55391009) Journal
    One of my long-standing complaints about the Web was/is the number of pages that tempt you to ask the designer, "Did you have to study ugly and unreadable in school, or are you just naturally talented?" Font choices, both the number used and the fonts themselves, are a significant part of that.

    A couple of years ago I did everything I could with preferences and a user .css file to limit things to one of two fonts. Then I wrote a GreaseMonkey script that goes through almost every page I download and replaces styling with one of those two fonts, and one of a handful of sizes. I'm a whole lot happier with how the Web looks these days :^)

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