The upcoming HTML5 feature known as Service Worker is set to turn the web on its head, enabling websites to run without an internet connection and to load quickly even when the connection is bad.
But with that evolutionary step, web applications need to become more complex, and to handle the fact that their source code may remain on a device for much longer than a single session. Without the safety net of starting fresh every time the user hits a link, considerations such as memory management, data consistency, encapsulation and backwards compatibility now come into play. Front-end developers are suddenly fully-fledged software engineers! The web page is our app platform, and the browser our runtime.
The fastest byte is a byte not sent, so the fastest website is the website that doesn’t need to load anything. Step with me into a world of good hacks, unbeatable performance and smart, multivariate responsiveness, drawn from experience building web apps for the FT and The Economist.