Infrequently Noted

Alex Russell on browsers, standards, and the process of progress.

The Performance Inequality Gap, 2023

To serve users at the global P75 of devices and networks, we can now afford ~150KiB of HTML/CSS/fonts and ~300-350KiB of JavaScript (gzipped). This is a slight upgrade on last year's budgets, thanks to device and network improvements. Meanwhile, web developers continue to send more script than is reasonable for 80+% of the world's users, widening the gap between the haves and the have-nots. This is an ethical crisis for frontend. Meanwhile, the most popular tools and frameworks remain in stubborn denial, but reality is not moved by ignoring it: when digital is the default, slow is exclusionary.

Apple Is Not Defending Browser Engine Choice

Some folks claim that Apple's mandated inadequacy for browsers and their engines is somehow beneficial to the cause of ensuring a diverse pool of web engines. Nothing could be farther from the truth, but to understand why, we need to understand how browsers are funded. With that understanding, we can see that not only has Apple has starved its own browser team of resources, but has done grevious damage to Mozilla along the way.

A Management Maturity Model for Performance

Despite advances in browser tooling, automated evaluation, lab tools, guidance, and runtimes, modern teams struggle to deliver even decent performance with today's popular frameworks. This is not a technical problem per se. It's a management issue, and one that teams can conquer with the right frame of mind and support.

Cache and Prizes

The idea of the browser pre-caching heavily used JS libraries is an attractive nuisance: looks good, probably won't work. Is there a workable version of this idea? What would the constraints on it be? Could it ever be effective and fair? Down the rabbit hole we go.

Towards a Unified Theory of Web Performance

Is there a generic, unform way to think about web performance? What is web performance? What's it for? A humble attempt to answer those very deep questions. [republished]

Minimum Standards for iOS Browser Competition

Apple has demonstrated shameless contempt in ignoring the spirit of pro-competition regulation. The web could serve as a counterbalance to this sort of gameplaying, but only if broad, effective, and widely adopted rules are put in place.

A Week to Define the Web for Decades

If you live or do business in the UK or the US, what you do in the next seven days could define the web for decades to come. By filing public comments with UK regulators and US legislators this week_ you can change the course of mobile computing more than at any other time in the past decade. Read on for why this moment matters and how to seize the day.

Washed Up

Even if every technology jockeying for a spot under the 'web3' banner evolves beyond proof-of-work blockchains, these systems will still not be part of the web because they designed not to be. 'web3' ain't the web, and VCs talking their own book don't get the last word, no matter how much dirty money they throw at it.

Newer Posts: 2023

Older Posts : 2021