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Google Chrome The Internet

Google Fixes Issue That Broke Millions of Web-Based Games in Chrome ( 37

Google this week rolled out an update to Chrome to patch a bug that had rendered millions of web-based games useless. From a report: The bug was introduced in mid-April when Google launched Chrome 66. One of this release's features was its ability to block web pages with auto-playing audio. [...] Not all games were affected the same. For some HTML5 games, users could re-enable audio by interacting with the game's canvas via a click-to-play interaction. Unfortunately, older games and those that weren't coded with such policy remained irrevocably broken, no matter what Chrome options users tried to modify in their settings sections. [...] With today's release of Chrome for Desktop v66.0.3359.181, Google has now fixed this issue, but only temporarily. John Pallett, a product manager at Google, admitted that Google "didn't do a good job of communicating the impact of the new autoplay policy to developers using the Web Audio API." He said, for this reason, the current version of Chrome, v66, will no longer automatically mute Web Audio objects.

Google Fixes Issue That Broke Millions of Web-Based Games in Chrome

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  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by llamalad ( 12917 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @04:42PM (#56622776)

    There are *millions* of web-based games? Millions?

    • Re:Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Luthair ( 847766 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @05:04PM (#56622896)
      Clickbait hyperbole, but then what would one expect from a site which no doubt purely by coincidence only ever has its articles submitted anonymously?
      • It also "rendered millions of web-based games useless" because Chrome's the only browser.

        There's a pun available in the word "rendered" too, but can't be bothered.

      • Never been to Newgrounds, have you? Millions probably refers to that site alone,...

        There are enough older web based games around the interwebs to outnumber newly developed ones. Webhosting for them is typically cheap, and they likely carry some sentimental value, so they stick around somewhat longer than you would expect.

        Also, there is the question of how many games for the Android platform use Chrome in a "Web App" configuration.
        • by Luthair ( 847766 )
          Its only relatively recent games since we're talking html5, older games predominantly used flash.
    • by Junta ( 36770 )

      Note that a lot of the developer community has made a pretty reasonable ask, for the browser to prompt the user and make it transparent to the web developer by default. Still auto-mute, but have a default UI in the browser to ask user to unmute the tab.

  • Heavy handed browser update policies are the reason I only use Edge

    • Heavy handed browser update policies are the reason I only use Edge

      So, you're in favor of heavy handed browser update policies?

  • So google and other big IT players petition to get their special HTML5 garbage into every browser, modify the standard so only they can use it effectively, then break it when it threatens their advertising revenue.

    This is the web standard we have now. Infected Open Sores!

  • Moving forward, I'd like to see browser makers offer the same kind of "click to allow" functionality for this sort of policy change that they currently have for Flash content.

    So long as it isn't a security risk, there's little reason to not provide the user with an easy way to override this sort of quality-of-life policy change.

    • by darkain ( 749283 )

      "[website] WANTS TO KNOW YOUR LOCATION. "

      This is already one of the absolute most annoying parts of the entire internet.

      Now we'll just have more of the same "request" dialogs for every little thing a web site wants to do.

      This is Windows Vista all over again!

      • Unless you're some unlucky soul working a computer with a typing stick or pneumatic input device, I don't see the issue, provided the settings are easy to undo/reconfigure, have sane defaults, the ability to set said defaults if desired, and an option to just put it back on automagic.
      • That is the most annoying part of the web for you? Really? You don't even have to interact with that dialogue, you can ignore it and it will go away.
  • It was a policy change that a lot of us applaud, and a few people did not like.

    They've changed a lot of other policies that break things, and haven't relented. Those weren't "bugs". Apparently the criteria is if it breaks a game.

    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      If it keeps the user from doing something they could do before and it is a deviation from the standard, it's a bug. If they either make the status-quo default and allow the user to use the new change as a configuration option OR allow the user an easy and obvious way to whitelist a site or sites where the old functionality is wanted, it's probably good enough.

    • by Dwedit ( 232252 )

      Only people who don't block ads had any positive impact, everyone who blocks ads anyway just gets broken audio on websites.

  • Hope they will fix that too, it's since v62 and doesn't have any remedy.

  • I'm assuming they're afraid someone is going to hurt themselves with this, or they'd just provide a fucking option. Making this a choice for the user would likely have avoided the issue altogether. Having trouble trying to determine if they're practicing for future nanny-states in which anything sharper than a bowling ball will need to be made out of special foam, and heavily regulated, or if they're just trying to stay ahead of Firefox in the most important browser performance metric, the version number. A
    • Oh, wait wait wait a minute. It's actually pretty obvious. They simply want exclusive control over the whitelist/blacklist. Why couldn't I see that before?
  • Google is going to great lengths to block auto-playing audio, but it seems to me that they are missing the obvious solution: give the user control.

    Personally, I don't want any autoplay, not audio and not video. Give me the option to disable both. News sites that automatically start playing some video - if I went to the site to read some article, I don't even want the video downloaded, much less played.

    Give the user control over default settings: should audio/video be (a) played, (b) downloaded but not playe

  • There are some interesting comments about the change Google pushed out. Google's patch is to roll back part of the audio muting policy until October.

    My favourite comment is this one:
    Unfortunately, the great majority of existing work will not be updated by October, or ever, and so we still face the effective cultural erasure of those works in October. You guys definitely have the power to break everyone's work, should you wish to exercise that power, but you do not have the power to make people add workaroun

  • Is it important to maintain the ability of a few web-based games to run at the expense of everyone else on the Web, who are then forced to watch irritating autoplay videos when they open a Web page? At least, they could make the autoplay function a non-default option in the settings.

"To take a significant step forward, you must make a series of finite improvements." -- Donald J. Atwood, General Motors