Chrome 24 brings math formatting, better offline abilities

Alongside the perpetual effort to speed up JavaScript, Google's newest browser gets MathML support, offline data storage with IndexedDB, and security fixes.

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Google released the stable version of Chrome 24 today, adding support for IndexedDB for apps that work better offline, mathematics formulas formatted with MathML, and faster JavaScript.

The new version also comes with a range of security fixes, including two $1,000 bounties and one $4,000 bounty paid to people who found high-severity vulnerabilities. Because Chrome automatically downloads updates by default in part to patch holes as fast as possible, people just need to restart the browser to update it.

IndexedDB, under development for years, is geared to store data for use even if a Web site or Web app is working with no network connection. It's used for offline Gmail and Google Docs, for example.

Math markup language makes it easier for the browser to display formulas like the quadratic equation -- not something everyone needs, but as with accents and currency symbols, something very useful to a particular subset.

Faster JavaScript is hardly news these days -- all browser makers are constantly working to wring the last bit of performance out of the Web's prime programming language. There's more, though: "We recently made some server-side changes to Google Cloud Print so that Chrome's printer selection dialog loads twice as fast. We've also been working on reducing the browser's startup time and setting up automated tests to catch any code changes that would slow Chrome down," said Google programmer and compiler expert Toon Verwaest in a blog post from when Chrome 24 hit beta in November.

Another feature, built into Chrome 24 but disabled by default, is support for CSS custom filters, a technology that makes some graphical elements programmable. Adobe developed the technology as part of its effort to build into Web standards some of the features in its Flash Player software.

Adobe's CSS custom filter technology is arrives in Chrome 24 -- though disabled by default. It permits programmable graphics effects, such as this swoopy transformation to a text and graphics box. The text is still selectable.
Adobe's CSS custom filter technology arrives in Chrome 24 -- though disabled by default. It permits programmable graphics effects, such as this swoopy transformation to a text and graphics box. The text is still selectable. screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET
 

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