Simply Making Simple Fixes Simple for Chromium

Google recently introduced a cool web-based editing tool for Chromium source code, a very stripped down version of the Willy Wonka tooling Googlers get to use for non-Chromium projects. I’ve used this tool to submit two trivial change lists (CLs, aka PRs) to Chromium, but I was curious about whether this new feature would workContinue reading “Simply Making Simple Fixes Simple for Chromium”

Web-to-App Communication: The Native Messaging API

One of the most powerful mechanisms for Web-to-App communication is to use an extension that utilizes the NativeMessaging API. The NativeMessaging API allows an extension running inside the browser to exchange messages with a native-code “Host” executable running outside of the browser sandbox. That Host executable runs with the full privileges of the current userContinue reading “Web-to-App Communication: The Native Messaging API”

Demystifying Browsers

Last update: Sept 30, 2020 I started building browser extensions more than 22 years ago, and I started building browsers directly just over 16 years ago. At this point, I think it’s fair to say that I’m entering the grizzled veteran phase of my career. With the Edge team continuing to grow with bright youngContinue reading “Demystifying Browsers”

My New Chromium Build PC

While I do most of my work in an office, from time to time I work on code changes to Chromium at home. With the recent deprecation of Jumbo Builds, building the browser on my cheap 2016-era Dell XPS 8900 (i7-6700K) went from unpleasant to impractical. While I pondered buying a high-end Threadripper, I couldn’tContinue reading “My New Chromium Build PC”

Browser Architecture: Web-to-App Communication Overview

This is an introduction/summary post which will link to individual articles about browser mechanisms for communicating directly between web content and native apps on the local computer. This series aims to provide, for each mechanism, information about: On which platforms is it available? Can the site detect that the app/mechanism is available? Can the site send more than one messageContinue reading “Browser Architecture: Web-to-App Communication Overview”

Strict-Transport-Security for *.dev, *.app and more

Some web developers host their pre-production development sites by configuring their DNS such that hostnames ending in .dev point to local servers. Such configurations were not meaningfully impacted when .dev became an official Generic Top Level Domain a few years back, because even as smart people warned that developers should stop squatting on it, Google (the owner of theContinue reading “Strict-Transport-Security for *.dev, *.app and more”

The Trouble with Magic

“Magic” is great… except when it isn’t. Software Design is largely about tradeoffs, and one of the more interesting tradeoffs is between user experience and predictability. This has come up repeatedly throughout my career and in two independent contexts yesterday that I’ll describe in this post. Developer Magic I’m working on a tiny UX changeContinue reading “The Trouble with Magic”

Google Chrome–One Year In

Four weeks ago, emailed notice of a free massage credit revealed that I’ve been at Google for a year. Time flies when you’re drinking from a firehose. When I mentioned my anniversary, friends and colleagues from other companies asked what I’ve learned while working on Chrome over the last year. This rambling post is anContinue reading “Google Chrome–One Year In”