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InfoQ Homepage News Chrome 83 DevTools Emulates Vision Deficiencies and Locales

Chrome 83 DevTools Emulates Vision Deficiencies and Locales

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The forthcoming Chrome 83 release includes significant updates to DevTools, including emulation of vision deficiencies and user locales, cross-origin opener policy (COOP) debugging, and cross-origin embedder policy (COEP) debugging, and network request filtering for cookie paths.

After canceling the Chrome 82 release due to COVID-19, the Chrome team is releasing Chrome 83 three weeks earlier than originally planned, now scheduled for mid-May. Chrome DevTools receives several key improvements in this release.

Firefox's accessibility inspector arguably provides the best built-in browser support for accessibility and added vision deficiency simulation support in Firefox 70. Chrome 83's DevTools bridges the gap by adding support for blurred vision, and four types of color vision deficiencies:

  • Protanopia: inability to perceive red light
  • Deuteranopia: inability to perceive green light
  • Tritanopia: inability to perceive blue light
  • Achromatopsia: inability to perceive any color except shades of grey

These tools allow developers to view the experience of users with vision deficiencies and adjust color schemes and designs accordingly to provide better accessibility. Numerous tools exist already for testing these limitations, but having this support directly in browser DevTools makes this more approachable for all developers.

Even better vision accessibility support is available in developer browsers like Polypane, which includes emulations for color blindness, glaucoma, far-sightedness, and bright sunlight.

Native internationalization support continues to improve as browsers implement ECMA-402, the JavaScript standard for internationalization. Chrome DevTools now includes support for emulating a specific locale through the Sensors tab. Setting a specific locale impacts the default values for number formatting, string locales, language strings, HTTP language headers, and more.

As browsers add new features, new risks emerge with cross-origin development. The Chrome DevTools Network panel now includes support for Cross-Origin Opener Policy and Cross-Origin Embedder Policy debugging information to allow developers to leverage threaded use of SharedArrayBuffer. The Chrome team expects that future similar restrictions may become required to unlock other timing APIs and low-level mechanisms, including fine-grained memory measurements via the performance.memory API.

To help developers debug network requests related to cookies, the new cookie-path filter keyword in the network DevTools panel allows filtering only to show the relevant requests.

Chrome DevTools continues to evolve to support new standards, patterns, pain points, and best practices to help developers build efficient web apps. DevTools gets included with each Google Chrome release. Community feedback is encouraged for all new DevTools features.

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