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Google Chrome To Feature Built-In Image Lazy Loading ( 131

An anonymous reader writes: Future versions of Google Chrome will feature built-in support for lazy loading, a mechanism to defer the loading of images and iframes if they are not visible on the user's screen at load time. This system will first ship with Chrome for Android and Google doesn't rule out adding it to desktop versions if tests go as planned. The feature is called Blink LazyLoad, and as the name hints, it will implement the principle of "lazy loading" inside Chrome itself.

Google engineers reported page load speed improvements varying from 18% to 35%, depending on the underlying network. Other browser makers have been notified of the Chrome team's plan, but none have provided input if they plan to implement a similar feature. Compared to most JS-based lazy loading scripts that only target images, Google implementation will also target iframes.

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Google Chrome To Feature Built-In Image Lazy Loading

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  • by JMJimmy ( 2036122 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2018 @02:07PM (#56041471)

    Taking control and functionality away from the web developer because browser developers think they know what's best for everyone.

    • by sirber ( 891722 )
      View it as less javascript in your website, and as faster loading in other websites that you have no control over them.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        So everyone that loads an image offscreen and moves it onscreen once it loads so you don't see broken images while the page is loading will just have their pages break. Thanks Google!

        • by sirber ( 891722 )
          Why would one do that? KISS
          • A simple slideshow? A row based thumbnail gallery? There are all sorts of systems that need this kind of functionality for smooth operation. There are alternate ways to do it but they're clumsy and screw up SEO.

        • Maybe just let the image load normally?

        • A hack that has no guarantee of working anyway will break if Google implements something obvious that probably should have been in every browser from Mosaic onwards? Heavens forfend!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This is to be implemented as an html attribute, so control is still in the hands of developers. It's a great idea, frankly.

      Lazy load JS has all kinds of problems. You know how pages jump around while you scroll? That is JS lazy loading. If it is implemented natively in the browser, then the browser can do things like figure out which images to pre-load and when to do it based on variables that JS does not have access to (network speed, latency, current load...). Further, it is guaranteed to use much fewer r

      • If they're doing it as an HTML attribute they should scrap "deferred" and do "load-index". Developer can choose when to load images then and anything below the line can be "deferred" by placing the load-index after the above the line content. It could also be easy to set this via JavaScript for dynamic loading to different screen sizes.

      • I located the specification and this is not exactly being implemented as an HTML attribute. It's being implemented by default and for iframes it has an attribute to turn it off. That attribute does not exist for images.

        If they made it the opposite so that you need to specify you want an image/iframe lazyloaded - I'd have no problem with that. The developer is given a new tool to optimize but isn't forced into anything.

        Also, it breaks the 5.2 rendering standards

    • It'll be Awful (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Wednesday January 31, 2018 @02:43PM (#56041749) Homepage Journal

      Taking control and functionality away from the web developer because browser developers think they know what's best for everyone. has this for their pages, and it's awful.

      Scrolling down, you have to wait a moment or two to load each image as it comes into view. It's a complete time waster.

      I run the slider up and down a few times to activate all the images, then go browse another page while the Gab page loads. I can't imagine doing this for *all* pages on the internet - it would be an unacceptable wast of my time.

      It's similar to the google image search, which only shows a quarter page of thumbnails, but if you scroll down it suddenly loads another quarter page... jumping the slider and causing you to lose your place while scanning through the images.

      Again, it's intended for some purpose which is not "convenience of the viewer". We're not the customer, so it probably saves their real customers (the advertizers) somehow.

      Both of these are for non-phone browsing, for which data rates and caps don't apply. I can see why phone browsing might want to save data, but why inflict this on desktop PCs?

      • I couldn't agree more. My usual MO is to load a bunch of tabs in the background, in the expectation they'll be done downloading/rendering/jumping around before I open the tab. This way, I rarely have to wait for a webpage to finish loading, which is bliss.
        RAM and bandwidth are cheap enough that I can afford to have lots of background tabs, all fully rendered and waiting for me.

        This 'feature' would break that.

        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          It'd also break my MO with a laptop: load a bunch of documents in browser tabs to read later, close the lid to put it into suspend, board the bus, open the laptop, and read.

      • non-phone browsing, for which data rates and caps don't apply.

        You appear not to have priced out satellite Internet, fixed cellular Internet, or DSL in some parts of Iowa []. They still very much have caps. (Source:;

      • If you're reading down normally, why does the browser need to preload more than two pages worth of images? If you do read down normally you'd never notice if it's loading a page ahead. It sounds like Gab is too aggressive for its use case. If you rocketed down to the bottom it would be like a normal page load time, no?

        I can see why phone browsing might want to save data, but why inflict this on desktop PCs?

        You know lots of people around the world live on metered home Internet connections, right?

        • You're assuming you've got a quality connection that's able to keep up and your WiFi is not dropping packets (common problem in old apartment buildings due to reflection issues/signal conflicts)

    • Re:Sigh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 31, 2018 @02:49PM (#56041797)

      You do realize that this is how the web is supposed to be, right? Web developer develops a page, the browser determines how to render the page. This is exactly how things are supposed to be.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        not quite, web developers are supposed to develop the page to spec. Browsers are supposed to render the page according to spec. As such web developers can depend on how iframes, scripts images etc can be consistently rendered or available. lazy loading breaks that. I could understand if it was lazy background loading where they do the visible first then pass off the rest to background threads, but by doing it this way you make a shitful experience for users that don't want the top section of the screen, whi
    • by harrkev ( 623093 )

      Taking control and functionality away from the web developer because browser developers think they know what's best for everyone.

      Yes, because clearly you WANT to load that advertisement further down on the page. That is clearly more important than the image right in front of you.

      • Which would make a load-index attribute worthwhile, so that images load in the order of importance instead of as chosen by the browser. Otherwise you're just deferring the load time until scrolling which means they could scroll right past something that hasn't loaded yet.

        • by harrkev ( 623093 )

          Wouldn't the browser be in the perfect position to know where each image will be? I mean, the browser is the one that HAS to know, since it has to display those images.

          • Depends on how the developer wants it rendered. There are many techniques which will trigger a repaint cycle on the displayed content to add layers to create an effect. Using jQuery's animate() is a simple example of where the developer would know the load-index that would work best for the animate() cycle but the browser would not know until after it repaints. Currently loading these images off screen allows the animation to execute in a predictable manner once it verifies the images have been rendered.

    • Taking control and functionality away from the web developer because browser developers think they know what's best for everyone.

      Based on the internet I see today, yes they really know much better than nearly all web developers.

    • What bugs me is that most browsers lay out the page based on image dimensions, and hardly anyone seems to use the width and height attributes. Loading images on demand isn't bad if the page layout is static.

      Wait... what am I saying? For better or for worse, what web developer uses static page layout anymore? Most likely as soon as the browser launches, every web page will use Javascript to preload images -- for SPEED -- and lazy load all the content!

  • As long as they include a SYNC/ASYNC parameter to the HTML elements to override the user agent's behavior, we're all good here. In fact, being able to manually specify ASYNC without any JS at all would be freaggin godsend as a developer!

  • installing an ad blocker (I recommend uBlock Origin) so most of that crap don't get loaded at all.

    Even best is disabling javascript. I recommend "Quick Javascript Switcher".

  • Kinda odd as the rest of Google is figuring out how to waste more of our data by cramming preloaded "suggested" items into their apps (Android Chrome & Maps for example).

    Also, expect to see new memory-usage benchmark-advertorials - Look how much less memory Chrome uses! It's magic!

  • If moron web developers indicated the size (both in pixels and MB) of every image they use, and used preogresive Mpeg everywhere an mpeg is used, browser developers would need to resort less to hacks like this


  • Now all we have to do is figure a way to tell the browser that all the adds are off the visible section of the page and we'll never see them.
    • It is google, pretty sure they already have countermeasures for that, it is their business model after all.
  • If your website pisses me off because of the way it loads (no matter which browser I'm using), I'm simply never coming back there.

    While I'm bitching, if you use light gray text on a barely darker gray background, may you rot in Hell forever.
  • This is all a huge exercise in gaming metrics, a natural by-product of Google's OKR system, according to the Law of Totally Expected Consequence.

    I define a page as being loaded as when I can scroll down without noticing that the page wasn't really loaded in the first place.

    From my vantage point, load times are getting worse and worse.

    If the system instruments itself to determine the amount of image load delay exposed to the end user, and then adjust the loading threshold to the activity patterns of the user

All the simple programs have been written.