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17 September 2011, 15:16

Chrome 14 arrives with native code and web audio

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Google Chrome Google has announced the availability of Chrome 14 in the stable channel of Chrome releases. Chrome 14 supports the W3C-proposed Web Audio API, a high level JavaScript API for manipulating audio in web applications; examples shown by Google include a Drum Machine, four oscillator synth and a WebGL analyser and visualiser.

Chrome 14 also sees the integration of Google's Native Client (NaCl) technology which allows C/C++ code to be run inside the browser, and enables developers to connect C/C++ libraries for graphics and audio and port desktop and web applications. Developers use Pepper (aka ppapi) to interact with the browser from within the native code.

Applications running in the native client are double sandboxed with, for example, particular system calls being blocked and monitored for attempts to perform direct access to files or use self-modifying code. A Bridge connecting the browser and the native client application, over which messages are passed, provides controlled interaction between both elements. The Native Client SDK is available to download for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux which includes the required header files and modified versions of the GNU compiler tools. Other changes in Chrome 14 include support for Mac OS X Lion's overlay scrollbars and some support for Lion's new full screen mode.

Google also listed a large number of security fixes in the release with bounties reaching $2337 for a report of a flaw which allowed unintended access to V8's (the JavaScript engine) builtin objects. As is Google policy, full details of the security flaws are being withheld until the new version is reasonably widely deployed. A full list of changes in Chrome 14 is available in the SVN revision log (warning: large document).

Google Chrome is available to download for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Existing users should be automatically upgraded to the new release, but can select the "spanner" icon on the toolbar and "About Google Chrome" to check for updates.


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