Google’s Experimental Feature Makes Webpages Faster

By | September 26, 2023

A new feature that is already available in Chrome and boosts page performance to unprecedented heights was introduced by Google as origin trials.

Google’s Experimental Feature Makes Webpages Faster

Google recently released a new JavaScript implementation that enhances webpage responsiveness, enabling publishers that adopt it to outperform rivals in a key new web performance statistic.

The release gives readers an early peek at a method for speeding up webpage performance.

If this trial is successful, publishers using all content management systems and platforms might seek to leverage it to get an advantage over their rivals.

The Issue Google Is Addressing

First Input Delay (FID) is replaced by the measure Interaction to Next Paint (INP).

On March 2024, INP is expected to become operational as a Core Web critical metric.

A website must be responsive to all user interactions in order to perform successfully on the next INP core web vital.

Some JavaScript takes a long time to run, which is one of the factors that contributes to low INP scores.

When these scripts take a long time to run, they are referred to as Long Tasks.

The problem with lengthy jobs is that they cause traffic to move more slowly, similar to a slow driver who is idling in the fast lane.

At the moment, the lengthy task prevents the scripts that manage user interaction, making the webpage unresponsive.

In that case, the user waits interminably for the page to respond after clicking a button.

Today, it is common for user interactions to be delayed until a lengthy process has completed running.

The illustration below demonstrates how a lengthy process prevents the crucial user interaction task from running.

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Existing Methods Are Ineffective

Coding workarounds already exist to raise user involvement ratings.

But because they were created to address different issues rather than the issue of user engagement, they don’t truly function properly.

According to Google’s explanation, current approaches only halt the lengthy task while pushing all other scripts—many of which might not be as crucial as the lengthy task—behind it in the queue.

In that usual circumstance, the lengthy work that needs to be completed must wait until less crucial scripts are finished because it is currently in the rear of the queue.

Sometimes workarounds for existing coding problems make things worse instead of better.

Scheduler yield is a Long Tasks Solution

The approach Google calls scheduler.yield is the answer to the long task problem.

In order to yield to the user interaction job, which can begin running, scheduler.yield pauses the lengthy task.

Once the user interaction script is complete, the long task can advance to the front of the queue and begin processing once more.

Here is a Google example that demonstrates how a lengthy process can be divided into smaller tasks to allow crucial user interaction scripts to execute.

Origin of Scheduler Yield Trials

Since the release of Chrome 115 on July 13th, users have been allowed to perform scheduler.yield.

Before making this an official feature, Google is looking for volunteers to test out the new function in a “origin trial” so that it may gather feedback and learn how it functions in practice.

A new feature testing opportunity is called an origin trial (further info on origin trials here).

According to Google’s announcement:

The Chrome Team is now launching an origin trial for scheduler.yield beginning in version 115 of Chrome in an ongoing attempt to introduce new APIs that aid web developers in making their websites as quick as possible.

In comparison to the ways that have historically been used, scheduler.yield is a suggested new addition to the scheduler API that enables an easier and better way to give control back to the main thread.

One of the potential problems with using scheduler.yield on a live website is that a fallback will need to be programmed for non-Chrome 115 browsers in order for site users who aren’t using Chrome 115 and don’t support the new functionality to still be able to use the website regularly.

Additionally, there is a way to test it locally:

If you wish to test the scheduler locally, open Chrome’s address bar, type chrome://flags, and click Enable under the Experimental Web Platform Features dropdown menu.

Scheduler yield and any other experimental features will thereafter only be accessible through your Chrome instance as a result.

A Chance To Advance Competitively

Currently, testing is being done with this new feature.

But given that INP is slated to become an official core web essential measure in March 2024, it could be useful to monitor this new Chrome feature and implement it as soon as it exits the experimental stage as opposed to waiting.

As long as there is a fallback option available for browsers that have not yet incorporated the new feature, using it now can be a good method to gain an advantage over rivals.

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