Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

The Accelerated Mobile Pages Project

Frédéric Filloux writing for Monday Note was involved with the publisher’s side of Google’s new Accelerated Mobile Pages — or “AMP” — Project. It’s a derivative of HTML that aims to dramatically speed up the mobile web:

“amp-html” strips off most of the conventional web page payload and only keeps the HTML code directly involved in content rendering: text, images, videos gifs, basic ad formats and a few strictly mandatory trackers. Everything else —javascripts, iframes, embeds, large chunks of the CSS etc.— known to slow down page downloads is shuttled to a separate “container”. As for ads, they load separately, usually one second after the editorial content. No more waiting for a promotional video to start playing.

I will have more on this in the near future, but I don’t see how this is much different than stripping nonessential embeds, scripts, and so on from a standard HTML page. I’m certainly struggling to figure out why a 137 KB JavaScript file is required for a page with an ostensibly reduced payload; for comparison, this entire page is about 80 KB. Like I said, I’m working on a deeper dive, but I’m seeing very little here that’s more compelling than removing all nonessential web crap and making the remaining assets more efficient.