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16 January 2013, 12:09

Chrome 25 Beta brings Shadow DOM and Speech Recognition

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Chrome Beta logo The latest beta of Chrome for the upcoming version 25 is packed full of developer oriented features. The new Shadow DOM, supported as a prefixed feature, is a key part of the larger Web Components initiative which is aiming to create standards for reusable components for the web.

Shadow DOM allows components to be "rooted" with a Shadow DOM root element rather than as a part of the larger page and it is this rooting that then isolates the HTML5 code within and its CSS selectors, class, id names and JavaScript variables from the rest of the page. Typically, when reusing components in HTML, a developer must ensure there are no naming clashes, but with Shadow DOM based implementations this concern should not apply. Google has submitted a specification and test suite to the W3C to help ensure standards compliance, but as yet no other browser has support for the Shadow DOM, though work on implementing it is ongoing for Mozilla's Gecko and Webkit.

Chrome 25 also activates the JavaScript Web Speech API which allows desktop applications to recognise spoken word input. A tutorial shows how an application can listen for short bursts or continuous speech and how the API can deliver the results to a JavaScript application. In Google's implementation, speech is shipped to Google's Voice service over the network and recognised there before being sent back to the browser. By default, the system st*rs out offensive words, but users can change that setting if they wish.

Another change in Chrome 25 is the unprefixing of support for CSP, Content Security Policy, which allows developers to reduce the risk of cross-site scripting attacks by defining a HTTP header Content-Security-Policy which lists trusted content sources. Other adjustments in the beta browser include the new Resource Timing and User Timing APIs for profiling performance, changes in IndexedDB to support concurrent transactions and updates to match the specification and offline enhancements to the Web Audio API. There are also enhancements to the Developer Tools in the browser including the addition of console.clear() to help tidy the console and an icon-free toolbar. All of these features are expected to arrive in the next stable release of Chrome.


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