Google Updates Chrome with Extensions, APIs

Google's release Monday of a "stable channel" update of the Google Chrome browser for Windows features HTML and JavaScript APIs as well as browser extensions, according to company blogs.

The company defines its stable channel as one that offers features and fixes that have been thoroughly tested in the beta cha

nnel, even if they may not be the latest features.

[ InfoWorld's Test Center pitted Chrome against Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 browser. ]

Among the APIs included is Web SQL Database API, enabling storage of data in a structured manner on a user's computer, said Ian Fette, Google Chrome product manager.

The Web Storage API offers a local storage component for simpler client-side storage of small amounts of data. Another API, WebSockets, has been implemented for sending data over a persistent bi-directional communication channel. A notification API enables use of a panel in the user's status bar area to present information like event reminders or status updates.

"We're already working on making these new APIs more useful, and you should see a couple of improvements on the developer channel soon," Fette said in the Google Chromium Blog. For example, Google also is working on an Application Cache capability, to serve HTML and JavaScript that references content in the Web SQL Database.

The extensions in Chrome offer content and functionality from a Web site into the browser regardless of what sites the user has open; they can provide alerts and notifications or perhaps let a user access favorite Web services from icons next to a user's address bar.

"Google Chrome extensions use the same multi-process technology that makes the browser fast and more secure, so that extensions won't crash or slow down your browser," Fette said in the Google Code Blog. Google offers an online extensions gallery.

One comment in the Google Chromium blog, however, was a bit dismissive of Chrome.

"As long as Chrome puts Linux on the back burner, Chrome is on my back burner. It is not important to me and will remain so until developer attitude improves," the commenter said.

Chrome is downloadable at Google's Web site.

This story, "Google offers HTML APIs and browser extenstions in Chrome," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in software development at InfoWorld.com.

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