Yesterday, we covered the mechanisms that modern browsers can use to rapidly update their release channels. Today, let’s look at how to figure out when an eagerly awaited fix will become available in the Canary channels.
By way of example, consider crbug.com/977805, a nasty beast that caused some extensions to randomly be disabled and marked corrupt:
By bisecting the builds (topic of a future post) to find where the regression was introduced, we discovered that the problem was the result of a commit with hash fa8cdc81f5 that landed back on May 20th. This (probably security) change exposed an earlier bug in Chromium’s extension verification system such that an aborted request for a resource in an extension (say, because a page getting torn down just as a content script was getting injected) resulted in the verification logic thinking that the extension’s resource file was corrupted on disk.
On July 12th, the area owner landed a fix with the commit hash of cad2f6468. But how do I know whether my browser has this fix already? In what version(s) did the fix get released?
To answer these questions, we turn back to our trusted OmahaProxy. In the Find Releases box at the bottom, paste the full or partial hash value into the box and hit the Find Releases button:
The system will churn for a bit and then return the following page:
So, now we know two things: 1) The fix will be in Chromium-based browsers with version numbers later than 77.0.3852.0, and 2) So far, the fix only landed there and hasn’t been merged elsewhere.
Does it need to be merged? Let’s figure out where the original regression was landed using the same tool with the regressing change list’s hash:
We see that the regression originally landed in Master before the Chrome 76 branch point, so the bug is in Chrome 76.0.3801 and later. That means that after the fix is verified, we’ll need to request that it be merged from Master where it landed, over to the 76 branch where it’s also needed.
We can see what that’ll look like by looking at the fix for crbug.com/980803. This regression in the layout engine was fixed by a1dd95e43b5 in 77, but needed to be put into Chromium 76 as well. So, it was, and the result is shown as:
Note: It’s possible for a merge to be performed but not show up here. The tool looks for a particular string in the merge’s commit message, and some developers accidentally remove or alter it.
Finally, if you’re really champing at the bit for a fix, you might run Find Releases on a commit hash and see
Assuming you didn’t mistype the hash, what this means is that the fix isn’t yet in the Canary channel. If you were to clone the Chromium master @HEAD and build it yourself, you’d see the fix, but it’s not yet in a public Canary. In almost all cases, you’ll need to wait until the next morning (Pacific time) to get an official channel build with the fix.
Now, so far we’ve mostly focused on Chrome, but what about other Chromium-based browsers?
Things are mostly the same, with the caveat that most other Chromium-based browsers are usually days to weeks to (gulp) months behind Chrome Canary. Is the extensions bug yet fixed in my Edge Canary?
The simplest (and generally reliable) way to check is to just look at the Chrome token in the browser’s user agent string by visiting edge://version or using my handy Show Chrome Version browser extension. As you can see in both places, Edge 220.127.116.11 Canary is based on Chromium 77.0.3843, a bit behind the 77.0.3852 version containing the extensions verification fix:
So, I’ll probably have to wait a few days to get this fix into my browser.
Note that it’s possible for Microsoft and other Chromium embedders to “cherry-pick” critical fixes into our builds before our merge pump naturally pulls them down from upstream, but this is a relatively rare occurrence for Edge Canary.
tl;dr: OmahaProxy is awesome!