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Notes from Chrome Dev Summit Day 2

Notes from Day 2 of Google’s Chrome Dev Summit in November of 2016. My goal is to annotate points with interesting links to topics I would like to explore later on. Each primary heading is dedicated to one of the talks on the agenda.

How they Built It

Housing.com

  • Challenged by low-end phones and cellular connectivity.
  • Monolithic desktop and mobile implementation.
  • Performance was impacted heavily.

Mobile Mission: Better Discovery

  • Mobile web makes it easier for this.
  • Mobile web was cheaper! 5 rupees vs a lot more for native.
  • Browser support as a first step.

Built Housing Go and had many Feats

  • 30% faster page load
  • 10% longer sessions
  • 40% lower bounce rate
  • 38% conversion increase.

🔑 Key Metrics

  • Time to deliver assets
  • Reduced HTML to 15kb!
  • Preload Critical JS
  • Time to first paint
  • Experimented with server side rendering. Measure first before implementation.
  • App shell
  • First load saw a white screen of death to meaningful content
  • Loading screen of purgatory 2.2s to 7s
  • Improvement s
  • Time to first enabled JS interaction
  • Server-side rendering allows for this

Lazy Loading and Lessen the Amount of JS Code

  • Code splitting with Webpack 2
  • JS and CSS sharding
  • Intent based chunking: when a user performs a specific interaction without route change.
  • e.g. A notify view is only loaded when the user clicks on the notify button. No need to load this if the user never makes the interaction.

PRPL – “Purple”

  • Push notifications
  • Render server-side
  • Pre-cache assets with service workers
  • Lazy Load resources on demand

Experimenting

  • Migrating from React to preact + preact-concat
  • PWA + AMP

Lyft.com

Why?

  • Greater reach to old devices
  • 8% iOS and 3% Android will be unsupported on older OSes
  • No support for Windows or Amazon Fire
  • Less resources necessary to support so many devices
  • Reduction friction by not requiring a download
  • Highly inefficient process that can lose 20% of users
  • They don’t have enough storage or don’t like the permissions necessary
  • deep-linking with other apps (like google maps) is more seamless since there’s no need to download an app.
  • Faster uploads and experimentation
  • Hours not weeks to approve a PWA vs app for production

Timeline

  • 4x less engineers vs native to get up and running in just a month

Features

  • Seamless Web Payments
  • Auto sign-in
  • Service worker takes care of notifications
  • Offline feedback submission with Background Sync

Javascript Diet

  • Remove unused code with tree shaking (40% reduction)
    • Angular specific minification with TypeScript and Closure Compiler.
    • 4kb gzipped!
    • Technologies and techniques: State driven routing, lodash, TypeScript, a little bit of React, etc.

Downsides

  • StackOverflow answers are lacking
  • limitations with iOS Safari ¯\ (ツ)

Learnings

  • Using CSS Animation for opacity infinitely will crash the browser!

From PWA to AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)

  • Bounce rate is killer. 3 seconds is a long time but it’s also a very short time.
  • Load performance budget is actually <1 second with RTT handshakes, etc.
  • Overall landscape is grim. Average mobile page takes 19 seconds and 77% of sites take 10+ to load. Most pages have over 200 HTTP requests (mostly ad related).

Web Component Library for Highly Portable Content

  • AMP HTML
  • Sped up by caching
  • Faster loading across platforms
  • Common use case is content management system.

AMP Cache

  • Super fast CDN-like
  • Cheaper to pre-render because position of each element is known.
  • No 3rd party JS is loaded.
  • One less privacy issue.
  • Open source library.
  • Sandboxed amp-iframes can include anything (?)

AMP or PWA?

The constraints of the AMP Cache are

  • No user-authored JS
  • No custom Service Worker
  • No push notifications
  • etc. AMP is
  • Instant delivery
  • Optimized discovery
  • No user scripts
  • Static content PWA is
  • Advanced Platform Features
  • Highly Dynamic
  • Slower first delivery
  • Not easily embedded

AMP as a PWA

  • AMPByExample.com – showcase AMP components.
  • First load is AMP, next interaction on the origin prompts to install Service Worker

Production PWAs with Frameworks

Addy Osmani, Developer Programs Engineer

Frameworks can be fast if we put the work in.

But what does it mean to be fast?

Code Splitting

  • Defer the work that’s not needed until the future.

👓 🔑 Perceived Key Moments in Modern Loading

  • IS it happening?
  • IS it useful?
  • IS it usable?

How is the React community shipping out code?

  • JS Module Bundle? 83% using Webpack.
  • Code splitting? 58% thought they were, but not really.

Advice

Ask what’s in your bundle and question if you need all of those dependencies

Universal JS has issues

  • Makes it easy to get stuck in uncanny valley (empty app shell)

    • renderToString is not as fast as we think.
    • Some plugins to consider: react-dom-stream react-ssr-optimization

    Take a look at Progressive Web Apps with React series

Client Storage for Performance

Dru Knox, Product Manager, Chrome

Client storage is a low-hanging fruit for performance improvements, not just offline functionality

  • Deck is stacked against web development when it comes to network costs

Cache as a performance Optimization

There are different levels of caching.

Browser cache

  • Unpredictable only works for network responses
  • Not granular

Optimized browser cache

  • Proactive page improvements
  • Repeat visits, but still only for network responses
  • Still relying on the browser storing things

Content caching

  • The point at which better control and value is reached.
  • Proactive page load improvements but for all response types.
  • Image blobs in cache storage.
  • Can control and predict content but still relying on the network.
  • Can be granular for content but not for network requests.
  • Full cache control.

Proactive (so good it gives Dru 😂)

  • Fully predictable
    • Guarantee a performance increase to your users
  • All response types
  • More granularity for BOTH network and content responses

Content caching is the sweet spot within reach for most developers today.

Best practices

Client-side Chunking

  • Pull in an initial bundle and kick off requests for smaller pieces.
    • Saves network bandwidth overall
  • Preload pages user might visit
  • Save commonly repeated components (hero images, etc).

Technologies to use in the browser

  • Cache Storage for URL Addressable content
    • Utilities: sw-toolbox, sw-prechace, offline Webpack plugin
  • indexdb for simple structured data
    • Utilities: localForage (with promises), idb, PouchDB…

Keep in mind overall storage footprint. Browsers are limited in capabilities.

  • Chrome 6% of free space per origin
  • Firefox 10% of free space
  • safari at least 10% of free space
  • Edge is more complicated but based on other factors.

Minimum budget available for performance improvements across all devices and browsers is 50MB

It can mean 16 seconds of load time saved across averaged visits!

Browser Eviction

  • In Chrome and Firefox, when disk is full, LRU (least-recently-used) domain in the cache is removed
  • Safari never clears it.

Looking Forward

In Development

Areas to explore

V8 Engine 🚙

Seth Thompson, Product Manager, Web Platform How to measure improvements or performance on loads?

  • Microbenchmarks on language features (like pushing elements to an array in a loop)
  • Static Test Suites: Sophisticated benchmarks Game Boy emulator, Raytracer, but not a real picture of all websites. (Octane test suite)
  • Real webpages: Instrumentation to analyze where time is being spent to load websites.

Improvement in V8 has led to a median of 5% performance improvement on the top 25 sites on the web.

Memory Consumption

Focused on reducing the memory load and found Chrome’s overall consumption dropped by 35%.

Future App Model: Advanced Service Workers

Jake Archibald Service Worker Specification

Browser Support

  • Considering: Safari
  • Implementing: IE
  • Shipped: Opera, Chrome, Firefox

Streams

  • Will be able to use Transform Streams to handle text or images in a more powerful way.
  • Ideally we would want to serve a single HTTP response and combine streams with service workers and caching to dynamically serve files.
    • Kinda complicated to deal with this in code and processing.

Foreign Fetching

  • Service workers can use Foreign Fetching to fetch fonts with their own service.
  • Cross-origin Service Workers
  • Create REST-like APIs that work offline.

Background Fetch

  • Vague how this works right now.
  • Use case would be like downloading a movie or uploading photos. Notification would be sent once it completes.
  • Easily cancel-able, highly transparent (team is keen on keeping this secure).
Written November 11, 2016
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/pam brewin
When not crafting an artisinal vimrc, Pamela Ocampo can be found drinking coffee, riding a bike, climbing fake rocks, lifting heavy things, and, in general, wandering