Safari engineers look at different approach to fighting intrusive ads

Safari engineers want to limit the amount of JavaScript that a website can load.
Written by Catalin Cimpanu, Contributor

Engineers working on the WebKit engine, the core of the Safari browser, are looking at putting a limit on the amount of JavaScript a website can load, as a novel and unique approach to fighting websites that load too many or too intrusive ads.

Since advertising code, analytics, and tracking scripts are some of the heaviest JavaScript files on websites these days, the idea is to give sites a JavaScript resources constraint, and then force web developers to choose which JavaScript resources are more important than others, potentially leading to fewer sites showing ads or tracking users.

Those that will choose to show ads and track users will at least invested time and resources into optimizing their code, leading to faster-loading and smoother sites.

Work on this experiment began this past week, according to a WebKit Bugzilla entry, so this isn't a feature users can test right now. Weeks, or even months, of development are still needed.

Nonetheless, the idea of budgeting JavaScript resources on a per-site basis received positive feedback and support from some of the web's most respected experts.

The Chrome team also began work on a similar concept, and will expand it for more than JavaScript code, planning to ad resource access limits to online fonts, images, and CSS stylesheets as welll.

The only thing that nobody liked about the Safari proposal was the idea of showing a(nother) popup when a website reaches its allocated limit and letting the user decide if he will allow the site to load more JavaScript content above its allocated limit.

With the EU Cookie Law, GDPR compliance requirements, newsletter subscription forms, the Web Notifications API, and browser permissions, users have just had enough of popups for the time being.

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