Google Chrome is testing a change to the browser’s cache that could speed up web browsing. The change affects the so-called Back/Forward Cache (or BFCache), which stores recently visited pages so that they can be loaded instantly when you click the Back or Forward buttons.
Currently, BFCache does not work if the page’s HTTP header includes the “Cache-control: no-store” parameter. This parameter indicates that the server does not want the response to be cached.
The new change proposed by Chrome will make BFCache work even if the “Cache-control: no-store” header is present. This is possible because BFCache does not store web pages in the same way as a traditional HTTP cache.
Instead of storing HTTP responses, BFCache stores web pages in the browser’s memory. This allows the browser to load pages faster, but it can also lead to update problems.
For example, if a page is changed after it is visited, BFCache will still display the old version of the page. This could be a problem for sites that update their content frequently.
The change is still in the testing phase and there is no estimate for when it will be rolled out to all Chrome users.
Potential benefits of the change
The change proposed by Chrome could bring some benefits to users, including:
- Faster browsing: BFCache can speed up web browsing, especially for sites that are visited frequently.
- Smoother user experience: BFCache can make the browsing experience smoother by preventing users from having to wait for pages to load.
Potential risks of the change
The change could also bring some risks to users, including:
- Exposure to outdated information: BFCache could display outdated information from pages that were changed after they were visited.
- Security problems: BFCache could increase the risk of security attacks, as pages are stored in the browser’s memory.
The change proposed by Chrome is an interesting initiative that could improve the web browsing experience. However, it is important to be aware of the potential risks involved before updating the browser.
The change to BFCache is being tested with a small group of testers to generate data on its implementation. There is a concern that people could be exposed to outdated information with BFCache, even though the data is stored for a short time in the browser’s memory. For now, this change is not expected to reach all Chrome users.
The change is expected to be released to all Chrome users in the coming months.