A new change in caching could significantly speed up Google Chrome


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Google is exploring a new way to improve site performance in Google Chrome, this time adding a new caching feature that keeps some data in memory even after leaving a site. The company writes:

A back / previous cache (bfcache) caches entire pages (including the JavaScript segment) when navigating outside a page, so that the full page state can be restored when the user goes back. See this as a pause in a page when you leave it and a read on your return.

The company claims that this feature could improve performance by 19% in Chrome Mobile and 10% on desktop computers based on the number of site interactions that represent a pattern of back / down usage. This type of caching would not speed up the sites you visit regularly or improve performance. This is a specific change that will make navigation easier when you move to the same site after accessing it for the first time.

According to Google, Chrome does not use the default Web implementation of bfcache by WebKit because of incompatibilities with Google's multiprocess architecture. Google also has work to do on the browser, ensuring that JavaScript freezes on the page to be cached, rather than continuing to run in the background. Allowing JavaScript to run in the background from cached pages would be a significant privacy and security issue.

This is a feature that Firefox and Safari already use, although apparently in a somewhat different way. I tried to compare Chrome and Firefox in an ordinary desktop comparison, checking the loading times of several sites in succession, in the same way as the videos on Google's developer blog. Firefox may have slightly outperformed Google Chrome in these tests, but not enough to make me feel comfortable declaring it to be a winner, and it did not have the same behavior as the Chrome test. for Google. The instant loading of the previous page due to bfcache does not seem to happen in the same way. Again, the video is meant to show how the functionality might work in the future and not serve as a final illustration of the implementation.

These changes could increase the use of RAM memory in Chrome, but Google plans to minimize it with smarter rules on when and how to keep data in RAM when pages are paused. The goal is to implement the feature throughout 2019 and integrate it with the Chrome shipping in 2020.

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