Google, Mozilla, Apple collaborate on browser benchmark • The Register

Apple, Google and Mozilla are collaborating to develop a new version of the Speedometer browser benchmark, which they say assesses web browser performance in a novel way: one that reflects user journeys, not under-the-hood optimization .

Originally released in 2014 by Apple’s WebKit team, Speedometer measures the responsiveness of web apps. Version 2 was released in 2018. the WebKit, chrome and Mozilla developer Teams confirmed in tweets that they are now collaborating on version 3.

The Speedometer project’s page says its goal is to create a benchmark where higher scores indicate actual user utility. “In the past, benchmarks didn’t do a great job and actively competed with the needs of real sites for attention,” Mozilla’s developer account said in a tweet.

Speedometer originally included implementations of todo apps in vanilla JavaScript, as well as the Ember, Backbone, AngularJS, jQuery, Flight, and React frameworks. Version 2 added support for additional modern JavaScript frameworks and libraries.

The WebKit team said browser engineers have been tweaking their engines to meet Speedometer standards “as a proxy for real-world use” of various frameworks “for a number of years.” She said that in 2018 – almost five years ago now.

“Speedometer 2 was a leap forward when it shipped in 2018, but it’s time to update it to test real user journeys from today’s online life,” Mozilla said. The Chrome team, in turn, advocated Speedometer’s shared governance model, which “will increase browser performance in ways that help users.”

It’s not entirely clear what that will mean, but the Chrome team has said they look forward to Speedometer being updated to include “representative modern workloads” such as JavaScript frameworks.

Changes made must go through the aforementioned governance program, which states that anything beyond a “trivial change” (defined as a change that has no impact on the actual benchmark) requires the approval of at least two other participating browser projects.

Currently, Speedometer’s documentation states that Blink/V8 (Chromium’s rendering and JavaScript engines), Gecko/SpiderMonkey (Mozilla’s equivalents), and WebKit/JavaScriptCore (Apple’s equivalents) are the participating projects.

It’s not uncommon for the world’s major web browser makers to work together to improve each other’s products by developing a common standard — they did the same, along with the addition of Microsoft and software consulting firms Bocoup and Igalia earlier this year to create Interop 2022 It was the first time all browser vendors had come together in such a venture, Google said.

The Interop benchmark is about how web standards are implemented across browser vendors and includes analyzing things like cascading layers, color spaces and CSS color features, scrolling and the like.

If you’re wondering where Microsoft Edge sits in the Speedometer collaboration, it also uses Blink/V8 and as such is presumably covered by Google’s involvement (we asked but Microsoft hasn’t confirmed).

There’s also no good reason to include Internet Explorer – it’s slated to be permanently disabled on Windows 10 systems on February 14, 2023 via an Edge update that will permanently and forcibly shut down the remaining holdouts.

“No one intentionally builds a site that lags or stutters,” Mozilla said, adding that it had many ideas for improving the overall user experience on the web, but most required collaboration and a shared understanding of what’s important to web users .

“Building [Speedometer 3] will be hard work and working together gives us a chance to build the best version to make the web faster for years to come,” the Firefox maker said in a tweet.

Speedometer 3 has no release date and its description on Github only states that it is “under active development and unstable”. Those interested can follow the development on Github, where the project has not been updated for three weeks. ® Google, Mozilla, Apple collaborate on browser benchmark • The Register

Rick Schindler

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