Why is chrome so heavy? The all to famous question and meme. Well I have the answer. See chrome and other web browsers are more of operating systems than browsers. Lets look at it from this perspective, websites these days are being referred to as web apps, why? Well, maybe because they are more of like apps. Is Gmail a website or a web app? What about github? I'll do you one better, what about figma or gravit designer? The days where web developers were "looked down on" by the developer community is long gone. Web developers(backend and frontend) are building some seriously complex systems.
Let's do a quick experiment.Open Figma If you are on a chromium based browser press
Shift + Esc to open your browser's task and check how much memory and cpu Figma is using. Here is mine 👇
Figma is using 300+ mb of ram(currently, I just rechecked). More than the browser itself. What about YouTube?
What's the point? The point is that website are pretty heavy these days. They are apps and the browser is the operating system managing them. We have browsers suspending tabs after some idle time to conserve memory, well that there is memory management, a concept in Operating Systems. We can go all in in mapping operating system functions to features in modern web browsers but I'll stop at that one.
You can perform pretty much 99% of your tasks right on your browser. You can code (stakblitz, code pen, codesandbox),design (figma, gravit designer, vectr), video editing(invideo,clipchamp,veed.io), photo editing (photopea, pxlr, fotor), zip and compress files, heck even gaming with google stadia and xbox game pass. This is why this concept came to me. I can 100% live in the browser. Am guessing this realization was also the fuel for building chrome os. And while we are on that, lets talk about google.
Google and Microsft are hell-bent on making the browser an os. Checkout the fugu project that is on a course of availing all native apis (file system access, bluetooth and so on) to the browser. Check this out 👇
This is a screeshot from the whatpwacando website that lists all of the features progress web apps can do. This list is just unbelievable. The gap between web apps and native is quickly getting filled. And in the process of bridging this gap, the browser operating systems are slowly being built.
Am not sure whether to support this progression or to oppose it because it has benefits and drawbacks. But whatever my or your stance is on this it wont stop this process. With each passing day we get closer to the "web winning", in the "virtual war" between web and native. What do you think.