Google Chrome no longer breaks web games, but the fix won’t last

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beacons will still be silenced, limiting the impact of autoplay audio on what Pallett says is “most media plays” on the web (which was the original intent of the autoplay policy). of Chrome).

Pallett says this temporary cancellation is intended to “give Web Audio API developers … more time to update their code” before auto-mute is restored for Chrome version 70 in October. . The affected developers will have by then to add a few lines to their code, reactivating the muted sound automatically when a user first interacts with the page.

This is not, however, a very useful solution for developers who do not have access to the original code used to create legacy content, or for those who can no longer update this code on the original servers hosting their work. Then there are the vast majority of “discontinued” games whose developers may not even be aware their work needs updating or may not have the urge to make changes. changes, even insignificant.

“Unfortunately, the vast majority of existing work will not be updated by October, or never, and so we are still faced with the effective cultural erasure of this work in October,” QWOP developer Bennett Foddy writing in the Chrome thread. “You certainly have the power to break everyone’s work, if you want to wield that power, but you don’t have the power to make people add workarounds to the code that they can’t. to modify.”

Other developers have suggested methods to stop audio from autoplaying that would disrupt legacy interactive content less, such as automatically muting new tabs or warning the user and offering options. when a page tries to play audio for the first time. Pallett writes that Google is “always exploring options for providing users with great audio experiences,” but notes that “this is a non-trivial UI challenge with a lot of nuance.”

That’s not exactly an inspiring message for developers, especially when Google’s default stance for the moment just seems to revert the groundbreaking changes back in October. Implementing this kind of business-as-usual integrated security could easily reduce motivation to resolve these “sizable user interface challenges” in a timely manner.

“I believe that Chrome could find a policy that accommodates developers while protecting the principle that users should explicitly allow websites to play audio, ”Developer Andi McClure writing in the Chrome thread. “The delay you announced is a great opportunity to get it right this time.”


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