Blog updates

Saturday, 17 March 2012

ChromeMarks - update 20112.03.17

Time for another update..!
  1. Some more changes made by Google on the chromesync servers which are starting to affect a few users:
    • Some new error messages were being returned which users have started receiving. Since ChromeMarks isn't aware of these messages, the app isn't showing anything back to users so you don't know there was a problem. One of the new messages tells users "your bookmarks have been upgraded on Google's servers - you need to reset the app and re-download them again". Fixed. But don't know what they "upgraded" in the first place - I suspect it's more fixes for ..?
    • A subtle change to the way some timestamps were being returned from Google. They seem to now be changing when they previously weren't. Since they never changed before, ChromeMarks didn't know to spot that change and be aware of it. This may have meant (e.g.) a sync returned no new bookmarks since the timestamp ChromeMarks sent was old. Fixed.
  2. A revamp of the Search facility. Some new errors appeared when Big G released android 4.0.3 as they clearly changed something in the Stock Search Widget that didn't call ChromeMarks the same as all previous versions of Android. The rewritten code is smaller, quicker, simpler and strangely more compatible. Hey ho!
  3. For users of the Full app, if you have synced Chrome Search Engines, you can now search using them using the search from the app or the Stock Search Widget. So, if you have a Search Engine for Wikipedia and the keyword for it is "wiki" then you can search for "wiki android" and the app will suggest "Search Wikipedia for: android". If you click on the suggestion, you'll go straight to Wikipedia's search results for the word "android". Of course, depending on your Android search settings, you could possibly just use "wi android" and that might be enough text to find and suggest searching Wikipedia.
  4. A fix for HTC devices using the integrate local bookmarks function. Looks like HTC want to be different to every other Android device and they choose to sort bookmarks in the Browser differently. Thanks to some log files and screenshots from Steve, a fix to try and sort them the same as everyone else.
  5. There was a recent change to Chrome (#94992) to remove static initialisers (which should make Chrome startup quicker). This had the lucky effect that the protocols used for syncing became slightly simpler and quicker at runtime. I've rolled this into the app. This now gives the opportunity for a much larger change to the protocols which makes them considerably "lighter" in cpu, memory and speed. I hope to trial this soon as it might make a sync operation run much quicker - but I might have to wait for Chrome 19 to be stable first..?
  6. Tweaked the Gestures code to try and be more density independant. I had got some reports that higher dpi devices were harder to use gestures so this should make gestures work the same on all devices. But I can't easily test it as the emulator is tricker to test gestures well - let me know if this is better/worse..?
That's it for now!

On a side note, I've moved my main computer over to a linux build as I've had enough of Windows and I never really gelled with Windows 7 (don't get me started on the horrible changes they forced on us with the ListView component..). I'm currently using Kubuntu - I started with Ubuntu but found it a bit too lite for me - Unity was one of the first things to go. Seems to be working okay with a sprinkling of challenges along the way. Android building seems to be okay, but almost twice as fast as Win7 used to be on the exact same hardware. wtf..?