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I find that Web apps slow down my workflow a lot. If I leave browsers open I accumulate lots of unused tabs that slow things down a lot, and new tabs launch in old subject-specific browser windows. OTOH, if I keep them closed (what I usually do) then I have to wait 10-15 seconds for the browser to launch each time, which is 2-3x the startup time of any reasonable app, and worse I usually must log in again. How can I keep web apps from slowing me down?

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  • I have tried Fluid, and also a site that lets you make a Chrome version of a specific web site. However, they do not do well at maintaining the login. The former also precludes vimperator. – Paul Nov 4 '17 at 22:17
  • I considered posting this on Productivity SE. I did not because after careful consideration I felt I would end up with Windows-specific answers. – Paul Nov 4 '17 at 22:19
  • I should perhaps mention I am still running Sierra, because of some limitations with the new version of iTunes. Possibly Chrome and Safari browser launch would be significantly faster if I migrated to High Sierra, but unless it's 1-2 seconds it's not really a fix. – Paul Nov 4 '17 at 22:21
  • If there was merely a way to always open anything launched from Alfred in a new tab in Chrome using Alfred (hopefully while maintaining Safari for some bookmarked sites), that would certainly help. Always opening a new site in the same window definitely compounds the problem. – Paul Nov 4 '17 at 22:23
  • I am having some success with Epichrome. It's a pain to set up (and even requires a small amount of manual work on every update), but allows extensions so that I can at least re-login using my keyboard and password manager. Download: github.com/dmarmor/epichrome/releases For instructions, see: maketecheasier.com/turn-web-services-mac-apps – Paul Nov 5 '17 at 0:48
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In general, this is an inherent flaw in all web apps, even the good ones and a fatal flaw in poorly designed web apps or web apps where your needs aren’t the main design goal.

You will want to shift your work to apps that can run native if efficiency is required. Offline and API access is generally far more efficient as you can work asyncronously or disconnected which decouples your interaction from the server code and processing with all network delays adding to your frustration.

Also, be sure you try browsers like safari that sharply curtail resource usage when off screen, background and minimized. Perhaps your browser can help with the 20 second startup delays and even that shouldn’t be a huge drain if you get proper work done once the app is runnning.

Lastly, a native app can be coded as a web app and still cause you grief. Some notable ones I've come across are the Atom editor, Slack app and other electron or node or react based apps that are glorified web view containers.

Here's a very well thought out article from some very smart and well funded engineers on balancing the decision to build a pure native app (or building several iterations of the same app as your team learns how to engineer and expand the app) vs building a common core that will run across platforms or embed a web view.

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  • This is the approach I've been following, but some systems stubbornly refuse to make a Mac app. I'm not saying they're the best systems, but generally I'm compelled to use them whether I think they're any good or not. If no better answers are provided within a week, I will mark this one as correct. – Paul Nov 5 '17 at 0:45
  • Safari, sadly lacks Vimium, or any equivalent extension, as best I can tell. I think there are one or two that use their own keystrokes, but I'm trying to avoid reprogramming my brain yet again in a platform-specific way. – Paul Nov 5 '17 at 0:46

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