Thursday, July 17, 2014
Today’s Chrome Beta channel release includes a slew of new developer features to help you make richer, faster and more compelling web content and apps, especially for mobile devices. Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to Chrome for Android, Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS.
DirectWrite on Windows
Chrome 37 adds support for DirectWrite, an API on Windows for clear, high-quality text rendering even on high DPI displays. Before DirectWrite, Chrome used the Graphics Device Interface (GDI) to render text. GDI dates back to the mid-80's and reflects the engineering tradeoffs of that time, particularly for slower, lower-resolution machines. The switch to DirectWrite has been a top user request for years, and required extensive re-architecting and streamlining of Chrome's font rendering engine.
Some users should begin seeing better-looking fonts and increased rendering performance as we roll out DirectWrite, with no changes required by web developers. Assuming everything goes smoothly, all users will experience the improvements by the Chrome 37 stable release.
Compare the below screenshots, taken with and without DirectWrite enabled.
Other updates in this release
- Subpixel font scaling is now supported, which enables smooth animations of text between font sizes.
- TouchEvent co-ordinates are now doubles instead of longs, enabling higher-fidelity touch interactions on high-DPI displays.
- CSS cursor values "zoom-in" and "zoom-out" are now unprefixed.
- The number of cores on a physical machine can now be accessed by navigator.hardwareConcurrency.
- The user's preferred languages are now accessible by navigator.languages, and the languagechange event is fired when this is updated.
- The CSS Shapes Module allows developers to define non-rectangular text wrapping boundaries around floated elements.
- NPAPI deprecation continues according to our previously-announced plan with a harder-to-bypass blocking UI.
- The default monospace font on Windows is now Consolas instead of Courier New.
Posted by Emil A Eklund, Software Engineer and Senior Blog DirectWriter