Browsing the web might soon be as fast as you've always thought it should be.
Instead of individually fetching and evaluating the dependencies for everything that might be loaded on a page, Polaris tracks the way objects on a webpage interact with one another and creates a "dependency graph" that allows the browser to assemble the content more quickly, the statement said. So while it won't allow you to stream HD video any faster, it should load all the components of a YouTube page much more quickly.
In the statement, Harvard professor and project contributor James Mickens compared the way Polaris functions to a traveler who plans to visit multiple cities, but does not know in which order.
"For a web browser, loading all of a page's objects is like visiting all of the cities," he explained. "Polaris effectively gives you a list of all the cities before your trip actually begins. It's what allows the browser to load a web page more quickly."
In a test of 200 websites including ESPN, the New York Times and Weather.com, Polaris decreased page loading times by an average of 34%, the statement said.
Page load times have an immediate effect on not just the ease of browsing the web, but the profitability of e-commerce sites like Amazon and whether or not news sites can compete on mobile. But advances in speed often fail to keep up with the increasing complexity of modern web pages.
In January, Google announced it was integrating a compression method named Brotli into its Chrome browser, boasting the new tool could lower the amount of data needed to load a webpage by an additional 26%.