Cover by Wesley Hales

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Chapter 6. Optimizing with Web Storage

Today, you have two widespread and well-supported mechanisms for storing data on the client: cookies and Web Storage. Many say that Web Storage is the evolution of cookies, but in reality, cookies may stick around a lot longer than people think. Mainly because they are much different than Web Storage and implicitly send data back to the server upon each request through HTTP headers. Cookies are always available on the server and can be read and written to freely, which is great for user session management and similar situations. The downside is that you only get 4kb of storage per cookie.

Web Storage is different from cookies in that the stored data is not shared with the server. You can currently store 5MB of data on the client device with Web Storage, and some browsers allow up to 10MB of storage with user approval. However, these limits can be a little misleading. If you try to store 5MB of pure HTML in local storage within WebKit-based browsers, such as Mobile Safari, you will see that it allows for a maximum of 2.6MB only. For this, you can thank section 7.4 of the first W3C Working Draft of the Web Storage specification, which states:

In general, it is recommended that userAgents not support features that control how databases are stored on disk. For example, there is little reason to allow Web authors to control the character encoding used in the disk representation of the data, as all data in JavaScript is implicitly UTF-16.

Although ...

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