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Performance tests and mobile browsers — 6 October 2008

Many of the recent announcements in the desktop browsers world have been focusing around how this or that browser improved performance-wise, in particular in their Javascript engine: Mozilla's TraceMonkey, Google Chrome's v8 engine, Webkit's Squirrelfish, etc.

And these claims are generally supported by results of getting these engines through a variety of performance test suites. These include:

All these tests certainly provide a lot of incentives for desktop browsers vendors to compete on performance.

But do they help in the mobile world?

Unfortunately, most of these tests are so CPU, network and memory intensive that they are mostly useless on most mobile browsers, even on fairly recent devices, as the Mobile Web Test Suites Working Group discovered by running them on a sample of browsers/devices.

The Test Suites Working Group is considering providing more mobile-friendly versions of these test suites as a result, but before we put any resources into this, we are looking for feedback on:

  • whether this would be a useful service, esp. to browser vendors, and mobile web advocates,
  • whether anyone has already started such an effort, either as part of one of the existing performance tests, or entirely separately.

Should you have any view on this, please comment below, or send your feedback to our mailing list ( Permalink

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Contacts: Dominique Hazael-Massieux