Google Works on Preloading Pages for Super-Fast Web

Nov 10, 2010 4:00 PM PST
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Google has begun working on its latest web performance feature, which lets chrome load pages before they’re needed.

The work, described as a project that “preloads pages in background tabs for ‘wicked- fast’ page loads,” is scheduled to arrive in the browser’s code base in February.

With chrome's tabbed browsing interface, multiple pages can be loaded into separate memory compartments simultaneously.

A background tab, presumably, is one that's in use but hidden from the user interface. When a person clicks on a preloaded web page, the browser could simply activate the page rather than load it.

Some online experts say there may be a couple of tricky parts to the technology, such as deciding which pages or fractions of pages to preload and when to purge unread pages from memory.

Another issue may be the artificial inflation of page-view statistics. Experts say analytical tools will have to be able to distinguish between a “real” page and a preload.

A related analytics complication is registering when a preloaded page is activated. Experts say Apple Safari’s 3D interface for showing a thumbnail array of recently used web pages brought similar complications.

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