Build resilient systems at scale
October 12–14, 2015 • New York, NY

Better by proxy

Tim Kadlec (Independent)
11:20am–12:00pm Tuesday, 10/13/2015
Location: Regent Parlor
Average rating: ****.
(4.77, 13 ratings)
Slides:   external link

Prerequisite Knowledge

Attendees should have a basic understanding of how browsers work (it will be reviewed in the presentation, but only briefly).


Proxy browsers get a bad rep. “They’re antiques.” “They behave in weird ways.” “They’re crappy browsers.” But a deeper understanding of what they accomplish, and what they do behind the scenes, reveals that they’re actually quite ingenious and capable of providing incredible performance gains.

By focusing on reducing the impact on both the network and the device, proxy browsers enable people with less capable devices and slow, expensive networks to access the web. Far from being outdated, proxy browsers are uniquely positioned to bring the web to the next wave of people and devices around the world.

In this session we’ll:

  • Identify the two basic categories of proxy browsers
  • Explore the underlying architecture of each type of proxy browser and how it differs from typical browsers
  • Identify the types of optimizations performed by proxy browsers
  • Discuss the implications of proxy browsers on developers
  • Look at why some proxy browsers, like Opera Mini or UC Mini, treat JavaScript so differently, and how to compensate for that in your own projects
Photo of Tim Kadlec

Tim Kadlec


Tim Kadlec is a performance consultant and trainer focused on building a web everyone can use. He is the author of High Performance Images and Implementing Responsive Design: Building Sites for an Anywhere, Everywhere Web and was a contributing author for Smashing Book #4: New Perspectives on Web Design and the Web Performance Daybook: Volume 2. He writes about all things web at

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