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[css-will-change] Value 'contents'

From: Arthur Stolyar <nekr.fabula@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 17 Aug 2014 21:53:20 +0300
Message-ID: <CAPAD5+C4dz4RYoJ4PmU=BQQWHY3JaPJgVjwrjt=-Z3MFWB-mnw@mail.gmail.com>
To: www-style@w3.org
Hello,

As a Front-end developer I have few questions about will-change: contents;
value because in my mind it's more complicated than others.

Specification says:
> Indicates that the author expects to animate or change something about
the element’s contents in the near future.
| For example, browsers often “cache” rendering of elements over time,
because most things don’t change very often, or only change their position.
However, if an element does change its contents regularly, producing and
maintaining this cache is a waste of time. A browser might take this value
as a signal to cache less aggressively on the element, or avoid caching at
all and just continually re-render the element from scratch. |

But it does not really tells to developer when usage of this property is
more positive or negative (just because many did not know how really works
browser rendering cache).

Please, consider few examples:

1. Webapp

<div class="app">
  <div class="screen"></div>
</div>

First example is about building webapp. We have one container named 'app'
and one child represented current screen of app. Time to time screen in app
changes to another screen (user navigates). So we can say we expect to
change content of 'app' and want to use will-change: contents;, But in the
same time, we do not want to loose cache (if it exists) of particular
'screen' inside the 'app'.

Does it 'll works like I described or in this case developer should avoid
use of will-change: contents; property?

2. Chat

<div class="chat-messages">
  <div class="chat-message"></div>
  <div class="chat-message"></div>
  <div class="chat-message"></div>
  <div class="chat-message"></div>
</div>

In second example we want to build some chat. Again, we have one container
which contains all of messages, but for now there in the same time may be
more than one element inside the container (more than one 'chat-message').
Time to time to container we add 'chat-message' blocks (users chatting) and
probably remove very older messages (for example those what exited limit of
100). For this example again, we can say that we 'll change the content of
'chat-message', therefore want to use will-change: contents;. But
absolutely we do not want to loose cache of particular 'chat-message' block
because most of then still exists on the screen/inside the container. How
browser 'll behave in this situation?

There not a lot of articles about browser rendering caching, especially for
web developers, hence sorry me if I ask obvious things.

And main questions of this post:
Did will-change: contents; property means that browser 'll not cache entire
render tree of given element or it means that browser 'll not compute one
bitmap from all children, but 'll keep cache for individual child elements
and on render signal 'll combine them?

Thanks.

-- 
@nekrtemplar <https://twitter.com/nekrtemplar>
Received on Sunday, 17 August 2014 18:53:48 UTC

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