Proposes new mechanism as an open web standard

Google wants backrground tab websites to throttle themselves

Google suggested a new mechanism to allow web developers to throttle activities on web pages that aren’t being viewed by readers.

Presenting an experimental ‘Page Visibility API’ at the O’Reily Velocity conference in Califonia, Google engineers said that the new system would allow webmasters to tell if a web page was in a background tab and not current visible.

The internet giant has also proposed the API to the web-standards body the W3C as an open standard with hopes that competing browser developers will also see the advantage in the new system.

Google said that the feature will appear in the Beta version of the firm’s Chrome browser imminently. The firm’s engineers also said that the Chrome browser already reduces the priority of background web pages to preserve performance for other tasks but the company hopes web developers will want to use the API to reduce activity still further.

Google may have a vested interest in such a scheme accelerating web performance on relatively low-powered devices such as the firm’s ChromeOS-based ‘Chromebooks’.

The system is also seen as a way to improve Google’s new ‘Instant Pages’ caching technology which seeks to ‘pre-render’ web pages the user may click on.

API to the W3C as a standard, and it hopes that other browser vendors will adopt it as well.

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