The Year in Review: W3C Web Performance Working Group


Fast HTML5 Web applications benefit consumers who browse the Web and developers building innovative new experiences. Measuring performance characteristics of Web
applications and writing efficient applications are two important aspects of making
Web sites fast. Browser manufacturers can rapidly address developers’
needs through interoperable APIs when collaboratively partnering through the W3C.

One year ago today, the W3C announced the formation of a
Web Performance Working Group
chartered with two goals:
making it easier to measure and understand the performance characteristics of Web
applications and defining interoperable methods to write more CPU- and power-efficient
applications.

Together with Google, Mozilla, Facebook, and other industry and community leaders
who participate in the W3C Web Performance Working Group, we designed the href="http://www.w3.org/TR/navigation-timing/">Navigation Timing,
Resource Timing
, User
Timing
and
Performance Timeline
specifications to help developers accurately
measure Web application performance. The first three specifications, Navigation
Timing, Resource Timing, and User Timing, define interfaces for Web applications
to access timing information related to the navigation of the document, resources
on the page, and developer scripts, respectively. The Performance Timeline specification
defines a unifying interface to retrieve this timing data.

Resource Timing, User Timing, and Performance Timeline specifications are
all in the Last Call phase of specification. Last Call is a signal that the working group believes
the spec is functionally complete and is ready for broad review from both other
working groups and the public at large. This Last Call period extends until
September 15, 2011. The Navigation Timing specification is already in the Candidate
Recommendation phase and has two interoperable implementations, starting with Internet
Explorer 9 and Chrome 6. Together these APIs help Web developers create faster
and more efficient applications by providing insights into the performance characteristics
of their applications that just weren’t possible before.

Over the last four months, the Web Performance Working Group defined interoperable
methods to write more CPU- and power-efficient applications by producing the
Page Visibility
, Timing control
for script-based animations
, and
Efficient Script Yielding
specifications. The Page Visibility specification
is in the Last Call phase until September 8th and has two implementations starting
with the second IE10 Platform Preview and Chrome 13. The requestAnimationFrame API,
from the Timing control for script-based animations specification, has three implementations
starting with the second IE10 Platform Preview, Firefox 4 and Chrome 10. This specification
is very close to entering Last Call. For more information on these two APIs, see
the blog posts on using PC Hardware more efficiently with these APIs (link
and
link
). IE10 is the first browser to implement the emerging setImmediate
API from the Efficient Script Yielding specification.

It’s encouraging to see how much progress we’ve collectively made in just one year. These
APIs are a great example of how quickly new ideas can become interoperable standards
that developers can depend on in modern HTML5-enabled browsers. Thanks to everyone
in the W3C Web Performance Working Group for helping design these APIs and to other
browser vendors for starting to implement these APIs with an eye towards interoperability.

—Jatinder Mann, Program Manager, IE Performance

Comments (41)

  1. DanglingPointer says:

    It's great that IE is becoming a strong standard complaint. Would be even nicer, should you guys keep reiterating and enhancing the UI, for example:

    connect.microsoft.com/…/ie-10-ui-smooth-scrolling-and-better-tab-management

    connect.microsoft.com/…/create-download-and-few-improvements-required-in-ies-download-manager

  2. Lee Penn says:

    Question:

    This issue was resolved in IE9 http://www.martinezdelizarrondo.com/…/textarea

    In IE10 pp2, when we refresh the page the updated textbox value is reverted. Does it regress or the Refresh mechanism for temporary UI for previews is different than one in IE9 RTM? Should we call it an issue?

  3. Steve says:

    So we're going to see IndexedDB or WebSQL in IE10 – right? 😀

  4. Tom says:

    And WebSockets too 🙂

  5. Mechelle says:

    IE TEAM CAN YOU SEE WHAT THIS GUY IS SAYING IN connect.microsoft.com/…/625057

    I DONT WANT TO HAVE A SEPERATE DOWNLOAD MANAGER INSTALLED ON MY COMPUTER ANYMORE!!

  6. Pascal says:

    Yeah, and it would be wonderful if lamers could just stop using the comments here to ask for features they have no clue about…

    Anyway: continue the good work, please don't start implementing unfinished standards by demagogy… what you've been doing in the last two releases is great. Hope to see some members of the team @ the BUILD conf next month.

  7. Eduardo Valencia says:

    Please add:!

    – Spellchecker

    – Ability to separate tabs into windows ( Done already: ) and integrate them again in one window ( Please :),there should be a lock and unlock option for this.

  8. @Pascal says:

    Which features you consider lame?

  9. Beno says:

    Booooring.

    We want a new PP! 😀

  10. phix says:

    There is one feature that would make javascript 2 or 3 times faster easily: add int8, int16, int32, int64, float32 and float64 types to the javascript specification.

    Considering the performance and battery life issues, it's nonsense to be stuck with only a "var" type.

  11. Spell Checker says:

    Required Feature:

    Spell Checker

    Missing Since:

    Forever

    #Times Requested:

    10,000,000

    Development Effort Required:

    Minimal

    Customer Impact by Fixing:

    Major – 100's of Millions of users will no longer publish spelling mistakes 100's of times a day

    Customer Impact by Declining Fix:

    Major – any developer/avid Internet user with a scrap of respect left for IE will consider the IE Team an Epic Failure for not being able to implement this and yet again ignore their most important customer – the end user

    Status: ????WTF!?????

  12. ieblog says:

    FYI: The next set of announcements regarding IE10 functionality will be made September 13 at the //BUILD/ Windows conference (http://www.buildwindows.com/). We hope to see many of you there.

    We’ll begin blogging about the newest features of IE10 on that day.

  13. Eduardo Valencia says:

    at ieblog

    That's great news

    Thank you very much for the info.

  14. @people says:

    new blog for Windows 8 development has been started recently http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8

    MS is now going our way.. taking feedback and suggestions preemptively.

    yay, FTW!

    ~M for Microsoft, Metallica and nothing else matters!

  15. Lewis Robinson says:

    Please upgrade blog style/theme like "Building Windows 8" blog. That will look better. Thank you.

  16. GA says:

    Sorry but Apple site still not working on IE9.

  17. Dave says:

    So we have to wait until the Build Conference on September 13th to hear that Microsoft is finally going to add a Spell Checker to IE?!

    Why keep it a secret – its not like it is some magical feature that you are worried about other browsers copying! (since they've all had it for years!)

    By The Way – Releasing this kind of info at a NON-IE / NON-WEB conference is a complete waste of time.  Developers building applications for the Web and Mobile couldn't give a rats behind what you are doing in Windows. Period.

  18. yellowstone says:

    .jxr image file(JPEGXR) support

    Please.

  19. Vogel says:

    Offtopic: It would be great, if IE10 have native Greasemonkey Script Support like Opera, Firefox and Chrome do!

  20. @Vogel says:

    This should be the headache of Greasemonkey developers to constract an ActiveX plugin for that matter.

  21. Simple facts says:

    Open bing.com in IE9

    Search karakoe (or anything u want)

    Click on more button … a dropdown would appear with last option "Bing at a glance" written in two lines

    Try the same in Chrome.. and u will find out its written in 1 line.

    Decide for yourself… which one looks decent.

    Yet Another Fact => IE9 and Bing are Microsoft products and All rights reserved by Microsoft… but irritating issues like these will hopefully never get disinfected.

  22. Morgan says:

    I was asked today what the difference was between IE and Firefox.

    I replied: "I'm proud to state that I use Firefox every day.  I would be ashamed to say the same about IE."

    It was a profound moment – and I didn't need to say anything more.  She downloaded Firefox right after our conversation.

    I walked past her cubicle 3 hours later and without saying a thing she gave me a double thumbs up! with a massive grin from ear to ear.

    kind of funny when you think about it – not once have I used the word "awesome" and "IE" in the same sentence – yet I can say multiple things about Firefox & Chrome that are awesome.

    Microsoft – you really need to work on IE to bring it back to life if you expect future generations to even give it the time of day.

  23. xpclient says:

    The Windows 8 team brought back the Up button and window icon in Explorer due to user feedback. If the IE team cares enough, please bring back the dedicated search box and non-dumbed down status bar in IE10. Do not force the one box one everyone. The one box is only good enough for people who don't want advanced search features.

  24. Aethec says:

    @Morgan: I'm afraid curing fanboyism is not something the IE team can do.

    @xpclient: What are "advanced search features" ?

  25. @Morgan says:

    Firefox — a memory hog — sucks!

  26. Mario says:

    When will Internet Explorer 10  be in Alpha or beta?

  27. etacarinae says:

    @IEBLOG

    Are you listening/reading?

    connect.microsoft.com/…/give-us-back-classic-search-box

    connect.microsoft.com/…/spellchecker

    We don't care about BUILD.

    We want the feature of a separate search box back.

    It doesn't require an entirely new iteration of IE (IE10) and you do not have the luxury to wait until IE10. You will lose users to Firefox and Opera as they both offer the separate search box.

  28. Thangaraj says:

    For all those mentioning separate box for search, pls check the firefox news as well. They are planning to remove the separate search box in v7 or v8, ie in about 2 months.

    Also, Chrome has never had a separate search box.

  29. Anwar says:

    After a long day of debugging strange errors in IE I thought I'd share my pain here.

    Internet Explorer has by far, the worst error reporting of any browser out there – and this HAS TO CHANGE!

    Never mind that the wrong file, wrong line, and wrong character are returned (when you are lucky!) with an error message – but the error message itself are completely useless!

    "Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage" – OK, fine, why not? Did it encounter a parsing error? Did I try to load a Chrome extension? Was PNG to hard for IE to understand?

    "Object doesn't support this property or method" – OK, fine, but which Object? which Property? or which Method? (and why can't IE at least tell me which so I can save 50% of my hunting time?, better yet, why not show me the line of code that failed!!!!!!! (hint, hint, wink, wink, nudge, nudge!!!)

    "Done, but with errors on page" – OK, let me just go peek at those… oh wait GAH!!! there isn't anything more helpful in the error message!!!!

    "Invalid procedure call or argument" (happens when printing) – OK, so is this a bug in my code? or a bug in IE's inability to provide a decent, reliable print preview? oh, and again, what was the error? what kind? what line? can I get a stacktrace please?

    "Internet Explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close" – OK, so can you tell me what line of my page's code caused IE to choke? Was it that well formatted function using Web Standards?

    "Object required" – OK, care to tell me what the #!@#%^ you are talking about? how about "***Meaningful*** Error Message required"!!! How about you tell me what method you were trying to run that you choked on?

    "Access is denied" – OK, any chance you are going to tell me what I was denied access to? or better yet why?

    "Operation aborted" – OK, gimmie something to go on here – what operation? why? not enough memory? under-privileged? what gives?

    "Object expected" – OK, again *what* object was expected? where was it expected? how on earth am I supposed to debug this?

    "Unspecified error" – OK, I'll give you 100 points this time for at least admitting correctly that the error message is completely useless.  Let me return the favor – I've put an unspecified number of millions of dollars in an unspecified account, in an unspecified bank, in an unspecified country.  The account password is "IE_error_messages_suck" – the money is all yours if you can find it!

    "Stack overflow at line:X" (where line X has no relationship to any line in your file)

    Actually I think the better question is – does IE have ***ANY*** useful error messages?

    Like most developers I spend 95% of my development day in Firefox or Chrome – if Microsoft seriously wants developers to actually try developing in IE they need to seriously fix their error reporting! – Total EPIC FAIL.

  30. Chris Baker says:

    I think it was a poor decision to provide no recourse for developers to test in IE 9 from Windows XP. With all the hype about IE9 being standards compliant, I am fielding phone calls from users who cannot use portions of our site that are coded by the standards and work in all major browsers (including older versions of IE). They're using Windows 7 + Internet Explorer 9, and until our nonprofit has thousands of dollars to upgrade our workstations to Windows 7, we have absolutely no ability to troubleshoot or provide customer service.

  31. Aethec says:

    @Chris Baker: If you want to test, why would you need to upgrade all of your workstations? IE has dev tools, using only one computer you should be able to find out what's wrong.

    In fact, maybe you could post a link to your website so that Win7 users out there can see what's wrong.

  32. xpclient says:

    @Aethec, advanced search features are the ones which the search box supported like discovery and 1-click adding of OpenSearch engines which the address bar doesn't support. I want a separate search box please for IE9. Is all feedback falling on deaf ears?

  33. Harv says:

    The IE address bar can be one bar if Microsoft insists.. but it needs to be fixed.

    1.) The REAL address being typed in is what should display on the left in the auto-completion results – it is a FAILure of UX design to not have it aligned below as users would expect. As a result, the "fluffy, happy, shiny title for the site should go on the right – as it is often the same 10 values for the matching URL's that *should* appear on the left.

    2.) Where the F@$#! did the favicons go? Why on earth were these ever removed from the address bar drop down list? These were essential visual clues that you were matching on the right URL when trying to find a page from your history. Was this removed because Microsoft was embarrassed that they don't support non-bmp PNG favicons properly and thus half the sites in the list would show up blank – why not just fix IE's favicon support to handle the image formats that IE supports?

    3.) During install – please do not ever suggest that my default search providers/accelerators are all MSFT/Live properties – just because they weren't set in the past doesn't mean that they are my desired defaults. Never in my life will I want bung.com as my search provider.

    4.) During IE load, the display/focus in the addressbar is too slow.  I am usually at 5-6 typed characters by the time it loads (0 addons loading) and only then does IE catch up and start displaying the characters I type – the problem is that it already ignored the first 5-6 characters so I have to go back and re-type them in – yet another UX fail.

    5.) Where is the Spellcheck feature in IE? 1991 is calling and wants to know when IE will move out of the basement and into the new Millennium!

    6.) Web performance is key – but your browser needs to be up to snuff first – EVERY SINGLE dialog box in IE's menu/tools/config/options needs a major UI overhaul – when are they going to get some attention?

    oh and in case it has only been mentioned a few hundred times – this IE Blog sucks for comments – you need to save your comment first because there is a 90% chance of total loss on the comment.  Tip #1 fix the issue. Tip #2 Get off Community server. Tip #3 to fix #1 you have to fix #2.

  34. @Harv says:

    Nice suggestions, would be great if you publish them on connect.microsoft.com/…/feedback and send us the link.

  35. Harv says:

    before I rant about MS Connect – can someone take an hour at lunch and port the IE Blog to any other platform that doesn't lose comments when readers post?

    @@Harv – Boycotted MS Connect before IE9 came out.  I'm not going to waste my time filling out a bug report to have it sit untouched for a month, then flagged as can't reproduce, then ignored for another month when the directions are re-entered to show exactly (just as before) how the bug is totally and easily reproducible.. then nothing for 6 months.. then flagged as "By Design, Closed" when the next browser version goes into RC.

    I would be more than willing to help contribute to making IE a better browser – but after being burnt twice by the process on Connect – there's no way in #*$&! that I'll waste another second filing bugs there.

    @@Harv – If you haven't been burnt yet by Microsoft by all means go for it.  Take it from those of us that participated in the IE7 and IE8 programs – its worthless.  Heck you can't even see attachments, test cases or anything that other people have uploaded.  Worst bug tracking system I've ever used.

    Harv

  36. the_dees says:

    @Harv:

    I can not confirm your experience with Connect. Your prejudice is incorrect.

    I have reported about 200 issues (see http://www.freewebs.com/…/iepp1 ) and in almost all cases I have got a response. Perhaps you have not described your problems carefully enough. A simple, easy to understand testcase helps a lot. Correctly filling out the form as well.

    Also, testcases are now accessibly by the public, if the uploader wishes so.

    Please, before ranting, at least make sure the issues you criticise are still there.

    P.S. If someone from Connect reads this:

    There is issue #665161 (connect.microsoft.com/…/665161 ). It was not reported by myself, but I have added a testcase. The issue seems similar to issue # 566982 that had been reported by myself. Maybe you could look into that issue. Thanks.

  37. Steve says:

    @the_dees – Although I can't speak for all of @Harv's findings I too found Connect to be a very frustrating experience.   I gave up on it shortly after IE8 went out the door.  Bugs I filed for IE7 and IE8 were marked as "by Design" – and since "some" of those bugs have now been fixed.

    I think the biggest issue for me was the lack of transparency.   On the one hand it sounded like Microsoft really wanted our help/submissions – but the way our reports received little or no attention (and if remotely technical – they were often not reviewed by someone with technical knowledge).

    I did see many of your reports, the_dees and I more than welcome your effort but for me my free time provided contributing reports and following up on them with test cases and such seemed extremely wasteful considering the lack of respect returned – and lack of commitment to the process.

    I appreciate that Connect may well have improved significantly since the IE8 betas – but I'm not willing to waste more time trying to see if it is better now.

  38. Jim Glass says:

    I look forward to the day that IE is revered by all my friends. Maybe that is not possible, but I only help family and friends who use IE. Keep up the good work!

  39. Alan says:

    @Jim Glass MSFT – best of luck with that! I know of no one that reveres IE… I would help my friends and family with their browser anytime – but none of them use IE – so I don't need to help them – they've already upgraded.

  40. Bill says:

    @Jim Glass MSFT – If you *personally* only support IE that's your problem! Do not come on the IE Blog where Microsoft does their very best to be supportive of the Open Web and Web Standards and suggest for 1 second that *anyone* should only support one browser!

    Microsoft PR department – you may want to get in touch with Jim Glass and give his knuckles a quick rap – apparently even though he works on an App for "CRM" he has no clue what is acceptable from a Public Relations perspective.

    Jim Glass – you've just lost *ANY* respect you might have got from me with your arcane comments.

  41. hAl says:

    It has been 50 weeks since the release of the beta for IE9.

    just saying…