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Dharmendra Kumar
Dharmendra Kumar

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Stay Alert ⚠ with JavaScript: Using the Page Visibility APIπŸš€

What's the Page Visibility API?

The Page Visibility API is a web API that allows developers to determine the visibility state of a webpage. This can be particularly useful for optimizing performance and improving user experience by controlling activities based on whether the page is in the foreground or background.

  1. Visibility States:

    • visible: The page content is at least partially visible.
    • hidden: The page content is not visible to the user (e.g., minimized or another tab is active).
  2. Basic Usage:

    • Access the API through document.visibilityState and listen for visibilitychange events.
    • Example:
     if (document.visibilityState === 'hidden') {
       console.log('Page is hidden');
     } else {
       console.log('Page is visible');
     }
    

How to Check Page Visibility Changes

Monitoring page visibility changes allows you to execute specific code when the visibility state changes.

  1. Event Listener Setup:

    • Add an event listener for the visibilitychange event.
     document.addEventListener('visibilitychange', () => {
       if (document.visibilityState === 'hidden') {
         console.log('User switched to another tab');
       } else {
         console.log('User returned to the tab');
       }
     });
    
  2. Handling Visibility Changes:

    • Example: Pause a video when the page is hidden and resume when visible.
     const video = document.querySelector('video');
    
     document.addEventListener('visibilitychange', () => {
       if (document.visibilityState === 'hidden') {
         video.pause();
       } else {
         video.play();
       }
     });
    

Why Page Visibility is Useful

Utilizing the Page Visibility API can significantly enhance the performance and user experience of your web applications.

  1. Performance Optimization:

    • Pause or throttle resource-intensive tasks when the page is not visible.
     document.addEventListener('visibilitychange', () => {
       if (document.visibilityState === 'hidden') {
         stopHeavyComputations();
       } else {
         startHeavyComputations();
       }
     });
    
  2. User Experience Improvements:

    • Example: Pause animations or videos to save battery and CPU usage.
     document.addEventListener('visibilitychange', () => {
       if (document.visibilityState === 'hidden') {
         pauseAnimations();
       } else {
         resumeAnimations();
       }
     });
    
  3. Background Tasks:

    • Manage background data syncing or notifications more efficiently.
     document.addEventListener('visibilitychange', () => {
       if (document.visibilityState === 'hidden') {
         startDataSync();
       } else {
         stopDataSync();
       }
     });
    

Patterns to Avoid with Page Visibility Checks

While the Page Visibility API is powerful, there are certain practices to avoid to ensure optimal performance and user experience.

  1. Avoid Excessive Polling:

    • Do not use the API to constantly poll for visibility state. Use event listeners instead.
     // Bad practice:
     setInterval(() => {
       if (document.visibilityState === 'hidden') {
         console.log('Page is hidden');
       }
     }, 1000);
    
  2. Avoid Ignoring User Intent:

    • Ensure that actions taken based on visibility changes align with user expectations.
     // Avoid forcing actions that might disrupt user experience
     document.addEventListener('visibilitychange', () => {
       if (document.visibilityState === 'hidden') {
         muteAudio();
       } else {
         unmuteAudio();
       }
     });
    
  3. Avoid Heavy Operations on Visibility Change:

    • Do not perform heavy operations in response to visibility changes as it can lead to poor performance.
     document.addEventListener('visibilitychange', () => {
       if (document.visibilityState === 'hidden') {
         // Avoid heavy computations here
       }
     });
    

Summary

The Page Visibility API is a versatile tool for managing page activity based on visibility state. By understanding how to check for visibility changes and leveraging this API, you can optimize performance and enhance user experience. Remember to use the API responsibly, avoiding patterns that could negatively impact performance or user expectations.

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