Chromium Internals: PAK Files

Web browsers are made up of much more than the native code (mostly compiled C++) that makes up their .exe and .dll files. A significant portion of the browser’s functionality (and bulk) is what we’d call “resources”, which include things like: Images (at two resolutions, regular and “high-DPI”) Localized UI Strings HTML, JavaScript, and CSSContinue reading “Chromium Internals: PAK Files”

The “Magical” Back Button

From the mailbag: Eric, when I am on bing.com in Edge or Chrome and I type https://portal.microsoft.com in the address bar, I go through some authentication redirections and end up on the Office website. If I then click the browser’s Back button, I go back to bing.com. But if I try the same thing inContinue reading “The “Magical” Back Button”

Debugging Compatibility in Edge

Background By moving from our old codebase to Chromium, the Microsoft Edge team significantly modernized our codebase and improved our compatibility with websites. As we now share the vast majority of our web platform code with the market-leading browser, it’s rare to find websites that behave differently in Edge when compared to Chrome, Brave, Opera,Continue reading “Debugging Compatibility in Edge”

Recognizing Edge Windows

Yesterday, we had a customer reach out to us for help on an issue they’d encountered while writing code to interact with Microsoft Edge windows. Their script enumerated every window in the system, looking for those with Microsoft Edge in the titlebar. They were surprised to discover that the script didn’t recognize any of theirContinue reading “Recognizing Edge Windows”

Trim Your Whitespace

Leading and trailing whitespace are generally invisible. Humans are bad at dealing with things they can’t see. If your system accepts textual codes, or any other human-generated or human-mediated input, you should trim whitespace, whether it’s leading, trailing, or inline (if not meaningful). // Trim leading and trailing whitespace $(‘inputCode’).value = $(‘inputCode’).value.trim(); It’s downright sillyContinue reading “Trim Your Whitespace”

Debug Native Messaging

Prelude Last month, an Enterprise customer reached out to report that a 3rd-party browser extension they use wasn’t working properly. Investigation of the extension revealed that the browser extension relied upon a NativeMessaging Host (NMH) companion that runs outside of the browser’s sandbox. In reviewing a Process Monitor log provided by the customer, the SupportContinue reading “Debug Native Messaging”

Spooky: Enhancing Dark Mode in Chromium

I am not really a fan of Dark Mode — I like my screens bright and shiny. But it’s October, and it’s sometimes fun to make things dark and spooky. Some users of my Show Browser Version extension wanted it to better support Dark Mode– the default text colors didn’t work well when the browserContinue reading “Spooky: Enhancing Dark Mode in Chromium”

Accessibility (UIA) Troubleshooting

Chromium-based browsers offer a number of accessibility-related features. When you visit about:accessibility, you can see more about the state of these features (similarly, you can find the states in about:histograms/Accessibility.ModeFlag). You can enable features via the Accessibility page, or pass the command line argument –force-renderer-accessibility into the browser. In some cases, you may be surprisedContinue reading “Accessibility (UIA) Troubleshooting”

Practical Time Machines

Many “emergency” situations in our modern world would’ve been easy to fix had they been foreseen in advance. If only we’d known what was going to happen, the badness could’ve easily been prevented. Unfortunately, when problems are discovered only “as they happen” in production, everyone must race to minimize the damage and put out theContinue reading “Practical Time Machines”