Web Development

Isolating Web Programs in Modern Browser Architectures

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Executive Summary

Many of today's web sites contain substantial amounts of client-side code, and consequently, they act more like programs than simple documents. This creates robustness and performance challenges for web browsers. To give users a robust and responsive platform, the browser must identify program boundaries and provide isolation between them. The authors provide three contributions in this paper. First, they present abstractions of web programs and program instances, and they show that these abstractions clarify how browser components interact and how appropriate program boundaries can be identified. Second, the authors identify backwards compatibility tradeoffs that constrain how web content can be divided into programs without disrupting existing web sites. Third, they present a multi-process browser architecture that isolates these web program instances from each other.

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