Dump JavaScript for faster Web loading? Let the debate begin

An ‘HTML6' proposal to speed Web page loads gets a skeptical reaction from an Angular.js co-author

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Can Web pages load faster if they're not bogged down by slow JavaScript response times? A Web developer in the online publishing space believes this could be the case and has offered a plan for this purpose, but a co-author of the popular Angular.js JavaScript framework has his doubts.

A proposal entitled "HTML6 proposal for single-page Web apps without JavaScript" has been circulating on a World Wide Web Consortium mailing list and GitHub. "The overall purpose is to reduce response times when loading Web pages," said Web developer Bobby Mozumder, editor in chief of FutureClaw magazine, who authored the proposal.

"This is the difference between a 300-millisecond page load versus 10 milliseconds. The faster you are, the better people are going to feel about using your website." (The use of the term "HTML6" is a merely theoretical naming at this point, with the WC3 not even developing anything called HTML6 at this juncture. )

The intention would be for browsers to implement via HTML a standard design pattern for loading content. Users get to dynamically run single-page Web apps without JavaScript, and HTML becomes a templating language, with content residing in model objects.  

But Misko Hevery, Angular.js co-author, has his doubts about Mozumder’s proposal. "My total wild guess is that the world is moving toward more processing power, not less, so any proposal that offloads work from the client is not aligned with where the world is heading," said Hevery.

Mozumder, in turn, said, "At the very least, the client Web browser now doesn’t have to download a huge JavaScript framework with this proposal."  

Analyst Michael Azoff of Ovum liked the proposal's intent. "The aim is to improve load time, which sounds like a good idea," he said. "It also says this approach will be outside the DOM, so maybe the DOM needs extending [or] evolving." 

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