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I remember, for instance, that XUL was highly optimized to not create DOM nodes for huge/infinite lists/trees/... Last time I heard about someone attempting to implement these optimizations with comparable APIs in HTML5, the results were ok, but not nearly as good.

That was a few years ago, results may be obsolete, of course.

Ha, the xul tree and it's virtual view...

Someone (working now at Apple) wrote a super fast list component in HTML for Firefox OS so this can definitely be done.

Not sure which APIs you're referring to, but the Vivaldi browser UI is largely rendered in HTML5 and its performance feels native to me.

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