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Jake is a Developer Advocate at Google who's keen on Web performance. He developed Sprite Cow to help ease the pain of sprite sheets. Jake started a blog way after blogs stopped being cool.

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Progressive Enhancement Is Faster

The aim of republishing the original article by Jake is to raise awareness and support the discussion about the role of progressive enhancement within the community. We look forward to your opinions and thoughts in the comments section. – Ed.

Progressive enhancement has become a bit of a hot topic recently, most recently with Tom Dale conclusively showing it to be a futile act, but only by misrepresenting what progressive enhancement is and what its benefits are.

Progressive Enhancement Is Faster

You shouldn't cater to those who have deliberately disabled JavaScript, unless of course you have a particular use case there, e.g. you're likely to get significant numbers of users with the Tor Browser, which comes with JS disabled by default for security. If you do have that use case, progressive enhancement helps, but that's not its main benefit.

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We’re Gonna Need A Bigger API!

Everyone likes stuff that moves about on the Web, right? Remember how you cried joyful tears when you first used <marquee>? I do. I nearly sobbed all the water out of my body as I gazed upon “JAKE’S COOL WEBSITE” bobbing back and forth in uppercase serif. Of course, we’re more mature as an industry these days.

We’re Gonna Need A Bigger API!

We’ve learned that users don’t want websites to look like a CSI console having a personal crisis; instead, we go for smooth transitions that enhance the experience, rather than being the experience themselves. In terms of animation APIs, we’ve been poorly catered to, leaving us to hack around with timers that weren’t really built for animation. Things have been steadily improving in that area, but the new Web Animation specification looks set to shake things up a lot.

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