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Important updates about web publishing

by Ashley | 16th, November 2015

As ever, the web platform is moving forwards. There are a few changes on the horizon that we want to make Construct 2 users aware of.

HTTPS support is becoming essential

Back in February I suggested moving to secure hosting. This is becoming increasingly important. Secure websites (with https: in the address bar, instead of http:) will be required for the following features:

  • Fullscreen
  • Device motion/orientation
  • Geolocation
  • User Media
  • HTTP 2
  • Service Workers (will be used for offline support in future)
  • Likely most new capabilities added in future

Note that Fullscreen, Geolocation and User Media are currently supported on insecure HTTP, but soon support will be dropped for these and they will require HTTPS. For example soon a fullscreen game controlled by device orientation or motion will simply not function if hosted on insecure HTTP. If you publish to the web and need any of these features, you should plan to move to HTTPS as soon as possible.

These measures may be inconvenient, but they are definitely a good idea for security reasons. Insecure HTTP makes it easy for attackers to inject custom code in to pages that can steal sensitive information provided by these features, such as your location, or even your camera and microphone feeds if the page accesses them. Requiring HTTPS for these features helps ensure the information remains private to you and the server you are directly connected to only.

There is broad industry consensus that insecure HTTP should be phased out and all communication on the web should be over secure HTTPS. Chrome plans to display HTTP content as affirmatively insecure, the same way broken HTTPS shows warnings. Mozilla even state that insecure HTTP will be deprecated.

There is a new certificate authority called Let's Encrypt that should make it easier for independent site owners to obtain SSL certificates to make their sites secure. If you use a third-party hosting company and your site is not served over HTTPS, ask them about their secure hosting support.

Windows XP and Vista support is being phased out

While we plan to continue to support Windows XP and Vista for Construct 2 for as long as is practical, Chrome will drop support for both in April 2016. I also warned this was likely back in early 2014, as it was inevitable that Google would announce this. Ancient by today's standards, Windows XP's official support ended about 18 months ago, not even receiving security updates and so becoming less and less safe to use. Vista never gained much market share, having now fallen to negligible usage compared to other Windows versions. Chrome will also drop support for OS X 10.8 and older. Since NW.js is based on the same Chromium browser engine Chrome uses, it too will likely lose support for these platforms. If you use any of these platforms, we strongly recommend upgrading. Newer operating systems are far more powerful, secure, and still maintained with updates.

Supporting Construct 2 on these platforms will become increasingly difficult as the last available version of Chrome gets older, and eventually we will likely be forced to drop support for Construct 2 on those platforms as well. We are aware many users still use XP, including in some education environments. So while we strongly recommend updating these long out-of-date OSs, we will continue to support them ourselves as far as it is practical to do so. However you should not count on us supporting those OSs forever! We strongly recommend starting your upgrades as soon as possible so you are not caught out when we inevitably will have to stop supporting older platforms.

Stay up to date

Technology moves fast. As ever we highly recommend that you stay up to date with your OS, browsers, and Construct 2 releases, especially to avoid nasty surprises when these changes are inevitably made. We'll post more updates on the blog here to keep you up-to-date with any more changes in future as well.

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CharlieBraun 1,367 rep

thanks for the info, good job Ashley

Friday, March 25, 2016 at 3:48:04 PM

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