GOOGLE HAS been accused of slowing down YouTube on other browsers by none other than Mozilla.
The problem doesn't appear to be so much a case of malice, but more failure to think outside the box, as both Firefox and Microsoft Edge, a browser popular in small communities of primitive computer users, seem to have been affected, claims Chris Peterson, Mozilla's technical program manager.
He explains that the issue is being caused by the use of an API called Shadow DOM v0 - which is not only exclusive to Chrome but is actually deprecated already. Up until recently, when YouTube had its 'Polymer' makeover, there was no issue, but now there's one heck of one, from a competitive point of view.
YouTube serves a Shadow DOM polyfill to Firefox and Edge that is, unsurprisingly, slower than Chrome's native implementation. On my laptop, initial page load takes 5 seconds with the polyfill vs 1 without. Subsequent page navigation perf is comparable.— Chris Peterson (@cpeterso) July 24, 2018
As a result, Edge and Firefox are already at a disadvantage and, claims Peterson, the result is noticeable.
Now, here's the rub. If YouTube was already being presented as "this is YouTube - if your browser won't support it, it's their problem" then we wouldn't be in this mess.
But there was none of that this time and given that Internet Explorer 11 is allowed to run the old YouTube interface, the fact that Firefox and Edge are being made to suffer is partly because it hasn't moved from the obsolete Shadow DOM Polyfill v0 to the current (and supported) v1.
Other browsers should be serviced by whichever interface they can support and given the lack of performance for Firefox, the Mozilla Corp argues that Firefox should serve up the old interface until the DOM plug-in has been updated.
There are third-party extensions available that allow access to older site designs, but should it be necessary? Is that fair on the less computer savvy YouTube watcher?
The accusations have come just a day after Google released Chrome version 68 which made encrypted sites the norm, and unencrypted sites the stuff of flashy-light warning death. μ
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