[Webkit-unassigned] [Bug 194028] New: Add limits to the amount of JavaScript that can be loaded by a website

bugzilla-daemon at webkit.org bugzilla-daemon at webkit.org
Wed Jan 30 10:31:26 PST 2019


            Bug ID: 194028
           Summary: Add limits to the amount of JavaScript that can be
                    loaded by a website
           Product: WebKit
           Version: Safari Technology Preview
          Hardware: All
                OS: All
            Status: NEW
          Severity: Enhancement
          Priority: P2
         Component: JavaScriptCore
          Assignee: webkit-unassigned at lists.webkit.org
          Reporter: craig.hockenberry at gmail.com

Content blockers have been a great addition to WebKit-based browsers like Safari. They prevent abuse by ad networks and many people are realizing the benefits of that with increased performance and better battery life.

But there's a downside to this content blocking: it's hurting many smaller sites that rely on advertising to keep the lights on. More and more of these sites are pleading to disable content blockers, this is just one example:


In effect, these smaller sites are collateral damage in a larger battle. And that's a big problem for the long-term health of independent content on the web.

I think it's time we start looking at the problem differently. It's resource abuse that's the root cause, so why aren't there limits on those resources?

Without limits, there is no incentive for a JavaScript developer to keep their codebase small and dependencies minimal. It's easy to add another framework, and that framework adds another framework, and the next thing you know you're loading tens of megabytes of data just to display a couple hundred kilobytes of content.

Great code happens when developers are given resource constraints: look at what folks did with the original iPhone and its 128 MB of memory and 400 Mhz CPU. Or even further back with 128KB of RAM in the original Mac or 640KB in DOS. Lack of computing resources inspires creativity.

Today's JavaScript developer is acting like they have a 100 GHz CPU with terabytes of memory. And being lazy and uninspired as a result.

The situation I'm envisioning is that a site can show me any advertising they want as long as they keep the overall size under a fixed amount, say one megabyte per page. If they work hard to make their site efficient, I'm happy to provide my eyeballs.

If these limits are deployed in WebKit on iOS, there will also be an immediate incentive for web developers to be more efficient with their content. A wonderful side-effect is that other platforms will benefit from that incentive.

I realize that due to the asynchronous nature of the web, these limits are harder than they sound. But that should not prevent this idea from becoming a goal.

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