Google Chrome 76 promises better performance, simpler asynchronous coding for JavaScript programming language

Chrome 76 is here, with a range of improvements targeted at web developers.

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The latest version of Google's Chrome browser is out, bringing with it a range of performance and quality of life improvements for web developers.

Chrome 76 changes how the browser handles structured data and makes it easier for developers to write code for handling API calls, an essential part of modern web development.

Thanks to improvements to Chrome's V8 JavaScript engine, Chrome is now able to handle JSON — the format commonly used to share data on the web — more efficiently.

By parsing JSON more rapidly, the browser is able to load websites and apps more quickly, with the changes resulting in JSON served by popular web pages being parsed on average 2.7x faster.

The new JSON parser is also more memory efficient, reducing the footprint of JSON objects by optimizing how the browser allocates memory when loading JSON.

The new release also delivers significantly better performance when handling data arrays that have been frozen/sealed to prevent additions or alterations.

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Sharing data with third-party services is part and parcel of modern web development, and Chrome 76 makes it slightly simpler to write code to exchange this data.

The new Promise.allSettled() method lets JavaScript developers make calls to multiple APIs and wait until all those Promises have been fulfilled or rejected before executing designated code.

Google says this is useful in cases where developers don't care about the state of the Promise, they just want to know when the work is done, regardless of whether it was successful — giving the following example:

const promises = [
  fetch('/api-call-1'),
  fetch('/api-call-2'),
  fetch('/api-call-3'),
];

// Imagine some of these requests fail, and some succeed.

await Promise.allSettled(promises);

// All API calls have finished (either failed or succeeded).
removeLoadingIndicator();

There's also no need to create code wrappers around file readers in JavaScript anymore, thanks to changes to how Chrome allows raw data BLOBs (Binary Large OBjects) to be read, with the introduction of support for blob.text(), blob.arrayBuffer(), and blob.stream() JavaScript methods. 

The release also makes it easier for users to install Progressive Web Apps on the desktop by adding an install button to the address bar.

You can read a full list of developer-focused changes here. ZDNet has an overview of the changes in Chrome 76 aimed at general users, including Flash being further sidelined by the browser, no more incognito mode detection by sites, and the ability for sites to switch between dark or light mode based on the OS theme.

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Image: iStockphoto/RossHelen