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Website Fidelity: Browser Perspective (


Similarly to his last article, Jim dives into the concept of website fidelity, which is a way of reducing the amount of resources a website consumes by lowering its fidelity to the original visuals and features. I quite like this idea.

Website owners aren’t necessarily incentivized to start stripping stuff out of their websites in order to support lower fidelities (including a fidelity of zero JavaScript). What you need is like an agent: somebody who works on your behalf as a user and can do for you what site owners won’t — a user agent if you will 🥁.

Note that “fidelity” in this case is not solely a control over the appearance and functionality of the website, but the actual content of the site itself. For example, at full fidelity on a news site you might have an image, title, byline, and short description for each article whereas at low fidelity you might only have the title for each.

I want to stress this point: I see the promise of website “fidelity” not just as a preference for less JavaScript and CSS but content itself. Providing users this kind of control would require website owners be involved, as I’m not sure you could do that well solely as a browser feature or extension.