A new commit on the Chromium development site suggests that Google is testing a new feature for Chrome called Never Slow Mode designed to speed up the loading of webpages.
Websites have grown in size significantly over the years. A KeyCDN analysis found that the average webpage size increased from about 700 Kilobytes in 2010 to 2300 Kilobytes in 2016.
Internet speeds on the other hand have not increased nearly as much in that time in many regions and the same is true for computing resources; this leads to longer loading and processing times.
Google published prototype code recently on the Chromium development site that addresses some of that. The main idea behind Never Slow Mode is to introduce budgets for certain types of resources.
Currently blocks large scripts, sets budgets for certain resource types (script, font, css, images), turns off document.write(), clobbers sync XHR, enables client-hints pervasively, and buffers resources without `Content-Length` set. Budgets are re-set on interaction (click/tap/scroll). Long script tasks (> 200ms) pause all page execution until next interaction.
Values tested right now include limits for stylesheets, images, scripts, and fonts. Stylesheets for instance are limited to a size of 100 Kilobytes and images to a total image budget of 2 Megabytes.
Resources that exceed the budget are blocked by the browser. Google notes that some resource types, e.g. Service Workers, are not restricted, and that the size limits apply to the compressed state of resources.
Dinsan Francis found the description of the experimental flag in the code. It is called Enable Never-Slow Mode:
Enables an experimental browsing mode that restricts resource loading and runtime processing to deliver a consistently fast experience. WARNING: may silently break content!;
Google warns that the feature may break sites as content is blocked. There is also the --enable-features=NeverSlowMode startup parameter to enable the feature in Chrome. Both don't work at the time of writing.
It is unclear, at this point, if blocked content will be loaded when resources are available again or blocked for good. Blocking scripts, images, and other content types could certainly break a lot of websites. It will be interesting to see how Google plans to address that.
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