Ever since the term “Golden Age” originated with the early Greek and Roman poets,
the phrase has been used to denote periods of time following certain technological
advancements or innovations. In the Golden Ages of Radio and Television in the 20th
century, writers and artists applied their skills to new mediums to create something
fresh and compelling. Perhaps we are now in the Golden Age of JavaScript, although
only time will tell. Beyond a doubt, JavaScript has paved the road toward a new age of
desktop-like applications running in the browser.
In the past decade, we’ve seen the Web evolve as a platform for building rich and
highly interactive applications. The web browser is no longer simply a document ren‐
derer, nor is the Web simply a bunch of documents linked together. Websites have
evolved into web apps. This means more and more of the web app logic is running in
the browser instead of on the server. Yet, in the past decade, we’ve equally seen user
expectations evolve. The initial page load has become more critical than ever before.
According to a Radware report, in 1999, the average user was willing to wait 8 sec‐
onds for a page to load. By 2010, 57% of online shoppers said that they would aban‐
don a page after 3 seconds if nothing was shown. And here lies the problem of the
Golden Age of JavaScript: the client-side JavaScript that makes the pages richer and
more interactive also increases the page load times, creating a poor initial user experi‐
ence. Page load times ultimately impact a company’s “bottom line.” Both Ama‐
zon.com and Walmart.com have reported that for every 100 milliseconds of
improvement in their page load times, they were able to grow incremental revenue by
up to 1%.