In brief: Developers working on WebKit, the browser engine that powers macOS' Safari, are looking into a new, JavaScript-based method to try and limit the number of ads websites can serve to users.

Advertising has become the main revenue stream for millions of websites, but sometimes things can go too far with intrusive ads that ruin the user experience. Some companies have taken steps to combat the worst offenders, such as Google who already incorporated limited ad-blocking technology into their Chrome browser last year. But now developers working on WebKit, the engine that Safari is built on, are looking into a new solution that places limitations on the amount of JavaScript a web page can load.

Websites that use a lot of tracking and analytics scripts as well as heavy adverting code usually serve much of it using JavaScript. The idea goes that limiting the amount of JavaScript a page can load will force website owners and developers to minimize the amount of heavy scripts they implement on their pages.

According to W3counter, Safari’s market share is currently at about 14% of worldwide browser use, second to Chrome, which sits at 63.3%. Developers would certainly have to make changes to their websites if one in seven visitors used Safari and had strict limitations on scripts.

Many people already turn to products like Adblock Plus to limit the number of ads they see, but news from Google engineers in January suggests that such extension-based methods might not be so effective in the future if proposed changes to Chromium go ahead. Those changes would limit the capabilities extension developers would have access to, and so may lead to novel methods like JavaScript limiting becoming more prevalent.