back to article Hey, it's 2019. Quit making battery-draining webpages – say makers of webpage-displaying battery-powered kit

Apple WebKit engineers Benjamin Poulain and Simon Fraser have offered advice to web developers about how to design power-efficient web pages, to preserve the life of mobile device batteries and give users more time interacting with web content. "Web developers rarely think about power usage, but they really should," said …

  1. Richocet

    There's little incentive to do this

    For a start they could remove cryptocurrency mining scripts from web pages.

    But other than that, there is a financial incentive for web page builders to incorporate as much tracking and advertiser-supplied code as they can. This code inevitably consumes power doing things that has no benefit to the user like fingerprinting the device, accessing the GPS; or is harmful like trying to trick them into installing a malicious app. The multiple ad vendor networks have duplicated javascript functions which multiplies the problem.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: There's little incentive to do this

      Yes, the adverts. The irritating ads that make the page jump all over the place as it takes ages to load.

      Got to get rid of them to save power.

      Also, in 2019 we don't do full page refresh for user inputs and updates anymore, it's done at the level of parts of the page and controls, which requires a script.

      1. Dave K Silver badge

        Re: There's little incentive to do this

        Thumbs up to that! I browse on mobile with an ad-blocker after being frustrated with slow pages, jumping content, stuttery scrolling, and the feeling of my phone heating up in my hand as the CPU thrashed around trying to handle it all. Using a mobile browser with uBlock has done wonders for the battery life of my phone - not to mention my own sanity.

        I've said it before. Make your web page perform well with ads and people are less likely to go to the effort of blocking them.

        1. caffeine addict Silver badge

          Re: There's little incentive to do this

          *glares at ElReg's doubled up parallax advert nonsense*

    2. unimaginative

      Re: There's little incentive to do this

      There is also the problem that clients and/or management think "ooh! Shiny" and want features, and more features, and they want it done quickly. The way to do that is to keep adding scripts. Social share buttons, analytics scripts, ad scripts.....

      1. My-Handle

        Re: There's little incentive to do this

        Lost a fight recently with an outsourced consultancy company that absolutely had to have every tracking script imaginable implemented on our website. The PHB fell hook line and sinker for all the shiny data that we could be getting (but won't be able to usefully interpret and will never do anything with).

        In all fairness, I was fighting against unnecessary scripts to keep the page load time down and the general responsiveness good rather than the power useage low, but it strikes me that those goals are pretty well aligned.

        As you say, the managers just want it done right now. Ours barely care about testing to make sure new features work across most devices. Their view is that it should be done right first time and that testing is time wasted.

        Bitter? Jaded? Moi?

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: There's little incentive to do this

          "I was fighting against unnecessary scripts to keep the page load time down and the general responsiveness good rather than the power useage low"

          And whether you meant to be or not, you were also fighting to protect the users of the website from security risks.

          "Their view is that it should be done right first time and that testing is time wasted."

          Oh, sheesh, that's just massive incompetence right there. If you haven't tested a thing well, you have no idea if it was done right and have to assume that it wasn't.

    3. MacroRodent Silver badge

      Re: There's little incentive to do this

      After all, it is the user who pays for the electricity and other resources, not the web site. So there is no financial incentive to make the pages efficient. Quite the opposite, as you observed.

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: There's little incentive to do this

      yeah this is all "Captain Obvious" stuff, stuff _I_ have been saying (along with many others) for a VERY, VERY, LOOONG TIME!

      Web sites are TOO scripty, waste TOO much bandwidth AND CPU AND MEMORY by hauling in (and worse, making use of) generic monolithic CSS and JS source, and *ADS* are the *WORST* offenders!

      Things like 'Materialize' - this is the *WORST* of it. Things like JQuery come in second, I'd say. BOTH should be NUKED FROM ORBIT and NEVER seen again!

      Now, being able to DISABLE specific "features" might help, especially if Apple decides that they are PRIVACY ISSUES...

  2. Joe W Silver badge

    Good read:

    Also check this is out for more madness...

  3. Pangasinan Philippines

    Daily Mail mobile app android.

    I get warnings from the phone that it is a heavy user

    1. iron Silver badge

      Well it needs to slurp all your contacts, messages & social media interactions for forwarding to GCHQ to ensure you're not a pot-smoking lesbian immigrant that voted remain.

    2. IGotOut

      I think the racist, homophobic, sexist, alarmist and general nastiest of the Daily Hate (especially the brain-dead commentators on there) is more of a risk to you and your phone than any power usage issues.

  4. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    An easy way to save power...

    Force WebDevs to use only HTML v1.0 era code to display static pages with no scripting at all, display all pages as plain text with as few graphics as possible, over a 14.4KBps dial up connection.

    If your page takes longer than 1 minute to load & render then you've failed.

    Anyone attempting to create a Geocities style page would then be taken out & beaten to death with a "How to code in HTML 1.0" guidebook.


    And pigs'll fly out my ass...


    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: An easy way to save power...

      Lots of HTML5 is a big step up in terms of performance. The real issues are third-party scripts for tracking and advertising and the current fad to try and write websites as JS apps.

      1. Mike 137 Bronze badge

        Re: An easy way to save power...

        Thanks CC, but this is far from the entire problem. For example, a sales site I have to use quite often uses the entire capacity of a processor core at 1 GHz continuously to render a static page with javascript turned off. Turn off the style sheet and this drops to 2%, so this heavy load is entirely due to the CSS. But the site is darned difficult to use with the styles turned off.

        The big problem is not so much any given technology, but that web developers are just not paying attention to the needs of the user, so efficiency and general usability are not on the radar. When I've contacted those responsible for web sites that aren't usable, the standard response is "well it works for me", which really says it all - the implication being that it's somehow my fault I can't use their wonderful masterpiece.

        We need to return to the fundamental principle laid down by Tim Berners-Lee nearly 40 years ago - client agnosticism. The meaningful content of a web page should be readable in Lynx. All presentation should be secondary and should degrade gracefully in less competent browsers. Instead we have a succession ever more restrictive presentational policies that prevent many folks accessing web sites. Silly tricks include making all link anchors point to # and relying on contextual javascript to resolve the targets, grey or blank overlays that hide the entire page and are only dismissed by running javascript or turning off the style sheet, embedding the entire site map at the top of every page, which thwarts those using screen readers as they have to listen to al that crap before the content they're interested in, using javascript instead of <img> tags to retrieve images (El Reg take note), thus preventing anyone using NoScript from seeing the images. On top of this, rational layout of content in HTML has gone out the window as CSS is widely used to structure a disorderly heap of fragments, so turning off style sheets is no longer in many cases an option if you want to make use of the content.

        The bottom line is that the customer is definitely not king - the customer should shut up and take what they're thrown or step aside, as there's always another punter just behind.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: An easy way to save power...

          While I agree that a lot of stuff that we're subjected to serves no one other perhaps than the designers, programmers or those who consider themselves such, I don't think that a return to 1990 is required.

          HTML 5 comes with the necessary semantics to make websites that both look good and are comprehensible in other modes. I'm surprised that CSS is causing problems, presumably due to some poorly implemented transitions, I assume.

          I advise a company in this area and the website has excellent performance and accessibility as well as looking good (modern and has lots of bells and whistles). But the majority of website owners and developers really don't seem to understand how important it is to do this.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: An easy way to save power...

            "HTML 5 comes with the necessary semantics to make websites that both look good and are comprehensible in other modes."

            It also comes with a whole slug of security problems that are more difficult to protect against.

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: An easy way to save power...

              I guess it depends a lot upon your definition. But, at its core, HTML5 was about the semantics. So we got <nav>, <section>, <article>, <video> and a heap of useful form elements. This was based on research done by Opera as to what people were actually doing. At least regarding the language a lot of the rest was about fixing things like defining errors so that behaviour across browsers could be more consistent.

              I agree that a lot of the associated changes in things like Javascript have caused avoidable problems, but that does not invalidate the exercise.

              1. JohnFen Silver badge

                Re: An easy way to save power...

                " So we got <nav>, <section>, <article>, <video> and a heap of useful form elements."

                Yes, and it is many of those elements that present a security problem, mostly (but not entirely) by making it impossible to disable the stuff contained in those elements. Not impossible in terms of the HTML5 spec, as browsers could decide to allow users to choose whether or not they want those elements rendered -- but I don't know of any browser that actually allows this.

          2. swm Bronze badge

            Re: An easy way to save power...

            I have a website with no javascript but I do use a single css for all pages for paragraph properties and static layout. There are no animations. The pages load fast even on a cell phone. Some of the pages are quite big but only require one file to be fetched as well as the common css.

            Images need their own jpegs so that can slow down the loading of some pages with lots of jpegs.

            The raw pages even make sense albeit without any formatting.

            You can have quite a colorful website that is actually useful without all of these gadgets.

            Wordpress is one of the villains responsible for a lot of wasted bandwidth.

            Of course I have no ads.

          3. Shadow Systems Silver badge

            At Charlie Clark, re: bells & whistles.

            It's those bells & whistles that cause a lot of the troubles being discussed. What makes a site visually appealing more than likely makes it an audible/braille cluster fuck that stops the blind from accessing it at all.

            OnMouseOver hover events to make a menu appear? That prevents everyone not using a mouse from getting into that menu.

            Using CSS tricks to define something as a clickable link rather than just, y'know, using a normal link tag? Since we can't see the fancy stuff the CSS draws then we can't use the stuff it creates in a visual only way.

            "Same Page" links that rely on JS to generate or unhide that text? Guess what doesn't work if the visitor doesn't have JS enabled.

            Force a link to open a pop up window? That means anyone using a pop up blocker won't ever see the popped up page & will wonder what dim bulb did such a shit job at quality control.

            There are far, far, far too many examples of how the fancy stuff HTML5 lets a WebDev do, actively prevents Accessibility from even being an option. Sure HTML5 lets them add all sorts of AltText descriptions to everything, but want to take a wild ass guess how many actually bother to do it? I'll give you three guesses & the first two don't count. =-(

            The easiest way to write an Accessible site is to keep it short, simple, & as pure text as possible. No OMO, no back end code trickery to make "same page" links that don't display said text until after the link is clicked, using CSS to screw up the content & make it unreadable/unavailable to anyone without perfect vision.

            I'm glad you advise companies to do a better job, THANK YOU profusely for doing so, but the vaunted bells & whistles you like are the very things that keep the site from being truely Accessible. =j

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: At Charlie Clark, re: bells & whistles.

              OnMouseOver hover events to make a menu appear?

              So, like everyone using a mobile phone? I wonder if anyone's thought about this?

              Sites I've worked upon have been through ARIA tests and needed only minimal changes to gain approval, not least because screen readers can take advantage of correctly used HTML 5 semantics.

              So, it can be done, if developers know their stuff and are prepared to argue the case. As Bruce Lawson is fond of saying accessibility is usability.

              1. Glen 1 Bronze badge

                Re: At Charlie Clark, re: bells & whistles.

                When hamburger menus started appearing, I had no idea what they were, and just thought the sites that used them were broken.

                1. JohnFen Silver badge

                  Re: At Charlie Clark, re: bells & whistles.

                  I still think that sites that use them are broken.

        2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

          Re: An easy way to save power...

          The big problem is not so much any given technology, but that web developers are just not paying attention to the needs of the user, so efficiency and general usability are not on the radar. When I've contacted those responsible for web sites that aren't usable, the standard response is "well it works for me", which really says it all - the implication being that it's somehow my fault I can't use their wonderful masterpiece.

          SURE it works for them; when they're sitting on a development-quality workstation, on a 10GB network connection to the server down the hall.

          Seriously, 20 years ago one of our validation tests was to see how well it performed over an AOL dialup connection (I had been trying to figure out how to simulate dialup within the test lab itself, but couldn't get that far before the project died)

      2. Shadow Systems Silver badge

        At Charlie Clark, re: HTML5.

        Unfortunately I'd have to disagree.

        It may have the potential for such optimizations, but evidently it's so rarely used that it makes no difference.

        All I know is that it takes longer for pages to load, render, & let me get to the content now over a ~3MBps pseudo broadband connection to a 4th gen Intel I3 NUC with 16GB of RAM than it used to take over a 56Kbps dial up connection to a 486 with 32MB of RAM.

        Unless I visited a Geocities site & let them force all the images, music, & Flash down my pipe, I could get to the contents in a few seconds.

        Now it takes upwards of a minute or more for even a simple page to give me the content, images & Flash blocked, scripts disabled, & my browser locked down tighter than a nun's knickers.

        The ElReg page about the BoJo attempt to shut down the government had over *five hundred* comments to it last I visited.

        It makes my browser choke trying to present the content to me.

        I mean unresponsive & my screen reader silent for a while until it can finish chewing on the code ElReg uses to present those comments.

        Just the story, no comments, & the page renders fast enough, but try to show the comments & i...t s...l...o...w...s w...a...y d.... o.... w... n...

        The less code they try to run, the cleaner & more simple the back end code, the faster, cleaner, & more secure the page will be as a result.

        If it takes going back to HTMLv1.0 & no scripting to force the WebDevs to accept the fact that they've completely screwed the pooch, then let's go back to that simpler time & make them relearn how to do their damned jobs.

        This is said as someone whom used to write up sites as a hobby.

        I once wrote a page for an employer & created it so that the render times were "zippy" over a 14.4KBps line to a field tech laptop that was only a couple hundred megahertz, to display over a TB of internal PDF documents.

        The visitor would click the catagory of the doc he wanted, that would load another page with a drill down menu to specific sub catagories, & if he clicked a title then it opened a preview that could be downloaded with one button click.

        My boss at the time was so impressed he wanted to make me the company web master.

        I refused because I didn't consider being a mere WebDev as a "real" job.

        How I wish I had done things differently, I might be filthy stinking rich. =-Jp

        Anyway, back on topic.

        HTML5 may have the potential to be fast & Accessible, but that potential is utterly wasted on an industry that seems hell bent to bring even a fekkin super computer cluster to it's knees trying to chew through all the crappy back end code they stomp down the pipe.


        1. ecofeco Silver badge

          Re: At Charlie Clark, re: HTML5.

          Truth. Every word of it.

          To hell with the idiots who downvoted.

    2. Not also known as SC

      Re: An easy way to save power...

      I don't know why you used a joke icon. I am sure that my phone used to load WAP optimised pages on 2G or whatever it was called (I forget now) faster than my current phone can load pages over 4G (it is an iPhone so that maybe why...). It seems perverse to me that loading times have done down as connection speeds have gone up due to all the extraneous crap web sites push out with their content.

    3. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: An easy way to save power...

      You joke, but I would seriously love to see this happen.

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: An easy way to save power...

      this would be great, if you change "over a 14.4k dial-up connection" to "so that you COULD use a 14.4k dial-up connection if you wanted to".

      Imagine the bandwidth savings! What, YOU never get cell carrier "overage" problems? way too many people DO and this is STILL a big problem - bandwidth waste.

      all of that script-fluff in web pages and inefficient formatting - TOTALLY NOT NECESSARY.

      1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

        At Bob, re: dial up optional.

        I disagree with it being an optional thing. Force the WebDevs to code their sites to be fast over such a connection, and they *must* use such a connection to eat their own dog food, then anyone with a faster connection will simply get the pages rendered faster.

        If you make visiting the site via a 14.4 dial up an option & the WebDevs aren't forced to use it themselves at that speed, they'll keep doing the same shitty job currently the cause of the problems.

        If you *really* want to pound home JUST how badly they've done the utterly shite coding, force them to use their own sites on an 8088 with 1Meg of RAM over a 300baud connection. "Don't like it? Then fekkin pay attention to what the rest of the world has been screaming at you for the last fekkin' decade!"


    5. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: An easy way to save power...

      I remember some 20 years ago, working on IBM's HotMedia project (a java "rich media" player) that we were specifically looking at loading times, as well as caching the couple of player-files the applet used, to make it as efficient as possible. Of course, being meant for commerce websites, it was expected that a site could become heavy with HM applets, so efficient use of bandwidth (especially in the dial-up days) was critical.

      If the management had been better at pushing the project, we'd all be complaining about HM-heavy webpages, and Flash would be long-forgotten Macromedia Director derivative.

  5. Blockchain commentard Silver badge

    Can you use the cache on https:// webpages?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Blockchain commentard


  6. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

    Do you like money?

    There are so many junk apps out there, and so many junk developers, with No, Fucking, Clue

    Whenever I enter the appstore, I just fucking cringe.

    Idiocracy was intended to be a dystopian comedy, its a documentary now

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do you like money?

      I work with them. They absolutely can not implement a task in a direct and correct manner. It needs industry standard frameworks - and lots of them. When there are too many frameworks, add a framework to manage the frameworks. Abstract everything until nothing does anything. Create simple classes then split then into 'entities' and 'controllers.' Use dynamic references to avoid those annoying compile-time dependencies. The tiniest feature takes tens of thousands of lines of code, multiple microservices, and has endless architectural bugs that can never be fixed.

      My workday is one long cringe.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: Do you like money?

        /me hands you a clue-bat, a clue-by-four, and a cat-5-o-nine-tails. For emergency use.

        You have my pity.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do you like money?

      True, but even the most leanest, cleanest code is going to run like dog-shit once Business have added the necessary 10mb of tracking code per page.

      When do we go back to paying for content without all the tracking crap.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good luck that

    Yes, good luck with sanitizing the web into no more fecking flash, auto-start vids (which for example totally rendered unreadable) and no more loads of ads pushing javascripts !

    Lost fight, it is.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Good luck that

      Well Apple did sanitize the web into no more flash at least. I can't remember the last time I ran across a page that wants to use it. So maybe they can shame a few site admins into fixing their sites.

      For apps that are basically a wrapper around a web site perhaps they could refuse approval of the worst offenders until they're fixed to not drain the battery like a vampire.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Good luck that

        There still quite a few websites out there that rely on Flash (Channel 4's videos for one spring to mind) that miraculously work without it on IOS. Not that Apple's drive to remove Flash was only about security or performance. It was at least as much about control and licences, which is why its contributions to an "open web" more or less stopped once DRM video was possible.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: Good luck that

          Maybe you should remove flash from your system. When I was using an older version of Firefox that could still use the Flash plugin, I had it click to activate and would see flash videos show up. When they had a newer version that no longer supported the plugin, those same sites worked without flash.

          I doubt there are any major sites left that REQUIRE flash, you only see it because you still have it installed.

          At least I don't see any sites that indicate they have videos that take me to the "install flash" dialog or claim Flash is required to play. Running Firefox on Linux.

    2. iron Silver badge

      Re: Good luck that

      > no more fecking flash


      > auto-start vids


      > no more loads of ads pushing javascripts


      Seems to me I'm winning the fight. I haven't seen any of those things on my devices in a long time.

      1. vtcodger Silver badge

        Re: Good luck that

        "I haven't seen any of those things on my devices in a long time."

        Nor have you seen much of anything else I'll wager. After you've avoided the garbage, there's seemingly not all that much left. I'm beginning to think that the Internet except Wikipedia and the odd corner of sane content here and there is an interesting, but failing, experiment.

        1. IGotOut

          Re: Good luck that

          I'm beginning to think that the Internet except Wikipedia ..... is an interesting, but failing, experiment

          Well if you want gnore the huge annual begging banners they like to throw up from time to time. Yet to see a nice clear break down of how that money is spent (Wikipedia money pit and alleged dodgy dealings is a fave of El Reg)

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Good luck that

      "Lost fight, it is."

      So you do WHAT, roll over and GET RAPED by it? "Don't hurt me bad". Right...

      At least SWEAT HARD so they don't enjoy it... yeah, make it HARD for them. Fight at every turn. Kick, scream, bite, make ugly noises, send complaints to everyone in charge, And comment everywhere.

  8. Drew 11

    Lets start with...

    ... getting rid of the dogs breakfast that is WordPress with all the uneccessary javascript, css etc files that it invariably downloads on each page.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Lets start with...

      Wordpress is the perfect example of how NOT to make websites.

  9. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "It's clear Apple appears to be learning its lesson"

    No, it is not. Given that Apple has the most energy-intensive mobile web site out there, until Apple has made a change to that situation, it clearly hasn't learned its lesson.

    It's not because a few Apple employees are saying some things about energy conservation that Apple Corp is going to steer in that direction. Hell, they even mention Brave, a fast browser that has ad-blocking built in. Apple is not going to switch to telling people to use Brave.

  10. Def Silver badge

    Web developers?

    Hardly any developers these days care about performance or optimisation.

    Certainly in companies I've worked in the past (in the games industry) that's usually left until the last minute and managed by a few of the more experienced engineers. (And I'm including artists and designers here too, who are often told not to worry about level complexity, the programmers will fix it.)

    And the further a language takes you from the hardware, the less people seem to care and/or understand why something is slow.

    1. SVV Silver badge

      Re: Web developers?

      Of course they don't care about performance and optimisation. These days being a web developer means having to use every single framework, widget, piece of unnecessary third party Javascript, user tracking and "analytics" you can get your hands on, in order to pad up your cv so that you can easily move to another job. The irony is, when you move on to that next job, the developers there have also used all those frameworks, widgets, etc on their site so that they could easily move on to other jobs too, so it turns out you actually need to know all this unnecessary nonsense to be able to do your work.

    2. Glen 1 Bronze badge

      Re: Web developers?

      "Hardly any developers these days care about performance or optimisation."

      Clients pay the bills, and if *they* don't say anything, is it worth spending the man hours on? It's the clients that are impressed by the bells and whistles, and that is ultimately what they open their checkbooks for.

      When the problem hardware you speak of is a wet string internet connection, but the client still wants, oh, let's say a detailed background image covering the whole border (like el reg's ads), then you either piss off the client or you make it work. Add to that the fact the client probably *won't* have that wet string internet connection, and it becomes "someone else's problem" .

      No its not great, but as long as clients want and pay for the bloat, that's what we will keep getting. See the Gawker sites as a prime example of this. That's when you have tricks like too-much-js used to lazy load then fade in images that weigh in at 100s of kB for a text based site.

      "actually need to know all this unnecessary nonsense to be able to do your work."

      Yep, when was the last time you saw somebody develop front end without jQuery? That's just the tip of the iceberg.

  11. Dave 126 Silver badge

    White text on black background

    Saves energy if you're using an OLED display. Ars Technica, for example, gives readers the option of white on black or vice versa. Such options may also aid accessibility to some users, such as those with dyslexia.

    Some browsers will let the user invert the colours of a website - though hidden in Android Chrome - though results are usually better if Dark Mode is implemented by the website designer.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cynical view:

    "" "On the Apple home page, for example, the JavaScript used for tracking user location generates an update forcing the phone to setup a 3G connection," the paper explains. "Thus, despite caching, energy consumption for these 10 sites was almost as high as when no caching took place." ""

    So, since the glossy-paper crowd will oppose removing the customer delight experience improvement surreptitious feedback mechanisms, why bother with optimizing the rest at all?

  13. karlkarl Bronze badge

    Perhaps the mobile OS manufacturers should not cripple their web browser apps and allow us to install all the ad-block, ublock, noscript plugins we need to castrate the more "vibrant" websites.

    1. The Original Steve

      Actually found Edge (ducks for cover) to be very battery friendly and it allows for ad blockers. Can't remember what one I've used but can't recall the last time I saw an ad on my droid (in the browser at least).

      Genuinely worth a go.

  14. NerryTutkins

    notifications and popups

    Fed up that almost every info site I go to asks (via address bar popup) if I want to receive notifications (i was just here because you had a nice recipe for pasta), and then once I've clicked no and started reading, a popup appears right in the middle of the screen asking if I want their fucking newsletter.

    1. Glen 1 Bronze badge

      Re: notifications and popups

      Have you ever played count the clicks?

      Cookie consent


      While moving your pointer for the previous 2, it goes outside the browsing area, so the page launches a pop over about signing up for a newsletter.

      Add insertions moving the content you are currently reading.

      Auto play videos - that you can't immediately dismiss because of the other ads overlaying it.

      The web is starting to look like Sky Sports during the football results with all the overlays.

  15. Jeff 11

    Yeah, no thanks

    Low-energy use is just a consequence of low resource utilization - so ensuring your websites/webapps make as little use of CPU, memory and network capacity as possible will produce a battery-friendly experience...

    So this is just the latest rehash of what web engineers have been advocating for the past two decades, reframed against energy use instead of performance.

    Browser makers might offer a low-energy mode that allocates a fixed resource budget to each page, and throw down the gauntlet to client-side devs to build experiences that run sufficiently well inside those budgets. That way, users would be in control of their own energy usage, and could vote with their feet away from garbage sites that crawl when running inside this mode.

    1. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: Yeah, no thanks

      That's a genuinely interesting idea. The chances of it actually happening are close to zero. But it really might improve things.

  16. stiine Silver badge

    family joules - best subhead in years

    Whoever thought this one up deserves a drink!

  17. phuzz Silver badge


    "Use of JavaScript, to the extent possible, should be minimized prevented. "In general, the less JavaScript that runs, the more power-efficient the page will be better".


  18. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I admin a Shopify e-commerce web store for a family member and their admin interface is shockingly resource intensive, often running like a dog on my quad core PC never mind from a phone browser. And they are paying a monthly subscription for the privilege of having a shopify site.

    I tried to get her to use an open-source alternative such as Prestashop or Opencart but she said she needs the 'apps' that you can only get on shopify, which often charge you a monthly fee for features that come for built in on free shopping cart software.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Shopify admin is a bloody Kafka nightmare.

      Wordpress and Squarespace as well for that matter.

  19. Barry Rueger

    Good Old Days

    I remember getting my first high-speed DSL connection, and marvelling at Web pages that jumped onto the screen immediately instead of taking five or ten seconds.

    Fifteen years later, with a cable connection many times faster, I find that things are slower than they were using a 56k dial-up.

    Something is very broken.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Good Old Days

      There is no mystery. Marketing departments and script kiddies who think they are developers and very hip when using 15 different languages to build a website, are the problem.

      Now add the 25 external ad servers with zero image optimization and there you have it. And no, that is no exaggeration.

  20. JohnFen Silver badge

    Words of wisdom

    "Use of JavaScript, to the extent possible, should be minimized."

    So much this! Not just on mobile devices for power reasons, but across the board. The less JS, the better.

    1. A K Stiles

      Re: Words of wisdom

      Yes yes yes. Stuff I've been working with lately has an 'aging' interface.

      "Not to worry, we can use bootstrap to polish it up"... erm, no, we can make the server spit it out better in the first place and everyone will have a better experience whatever they do or don't run locally!

    2. thosrtanner

      Re: Words of wisdom

      I feel this is a little over the top. There's undoubtedly a lot of unnecessary javascript (esp those *!"£wits who use javascript to wrap an image fetch) but considered use can improve the user experience a lot. As does considered use of css and html.

      However - poorly considered use of any of these is something else entirely. I once had the pleasure of looking at an html page which resulted from microsoft word saving as html. It would have required a lot of javascript to be worse than that.

      It's not really helped by everyone having their own copy of rapid or node or whichever framework they've chosen to splat over their web page. Which means you have to download the same code over and over again, rather than downloading it once from a master copy.

  21. rcw88

    You know the day the web died when the Text Only button was removed - so I'll carry on using ad blockers and NoScript and disabling autostart videos because hey - its my bandwidth that your websites are using without permission. Could call it theft.. on a similar topic I read the First Minister, ever chasing publicity like a pap chases celebs is all over 5G like a rash, completely disregarding how many masts would be required, not to say backhaul. Can we PLEASE have a functional 3G network FIRST, EVERYWHERE?.

  22. ecofeco Silver badge

    Optimization is dead

    Webmasters these days are either morons or enslaved to marketing morons. The good one rarely get to exercise their knowledge and the bad ones are just your average egomaniac nerds.

    I got out long ago when the requests for features became ridiculous and the tools themselves more bloated than beached whales.

  23. pop_corn

    > "Save the family joules"

    That's journalism at it's finest right there. Thomas Claburn, I salute you!

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019