29 Jul 2018

The web browsers Mozilla’s Firefox and Google’s Chrome are working to reduce the amount of memory and other resources used by them.

The browsers thrust a large burden on your phone or laptop. When the websites are getting bigger and browsers are adding up more features it makes them like full-fledged operating systems than simply a document viewer.

Chrome 68, that was launched a few days ago, had a new feature called the Page Lifecycle interface that enables the browser to pause websites that aren’t active and reconstitute them when you need them again. It permits the browsers to more aggressively optimize system resources, ultimately benefiting all web users says Chrome programmer Philip Walton.

Similarly Firefox has a project called Fission MemShrink that was designed to reduce7MB from each of a hundred or more computing processes the browser uses to draw a website on your screen.

Computer memory, processing power and data storage space have been scarce resources since the birth of the industry. Any step to liberate them is important. It allows you to run more apps or get more performance out of an important one. Or it means your personal computer; tablet or phone doesn’t use as much battery power.

Fission Memshrink was designed to reduce memory usage, but Firefox will use more processes. But those processes deliver performance and security improvements that might use more memory.

Page Lifecycle adopts a strategy from mobile phones which shuts the apps to preserve resources and protect battery life. If an app is not being actively used, it might be paused for protecting the system.

However Page Lifecycle can’t be considered as an instant fix. In order to work properly the web developers need to support it so browsers can work better to dial resources up or down.

Page Lifecycle will also apply to progressive web apps (PWAs), which look more like native apps on smart phones but run atop a browser foundation. It means better integration with mobile phones and better performance.

Technical Writer,  Blogger,

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