mPulse

Friday, March 27, 2009

Web Performance: The Rise of Browser Computing

The next generation of browser all tout that they are able to more effectively deliver on the concept of cloud computing and Web applications. That may be the case, but it changes the entire world of Web performance measurement and monitoring.

The Web performance focus for most firms is simple: How quickly can code/text/images/flash can be transferred to the desktop?

The question that needs to be asked now is: What effect does my content have on the browser and the underlying OS when it arrives at the desktop?

Emphasis is now put on the speed and efficiency of Web pages inside browsers. How much CPU/RAM does the browser consume? Are some popular pages more efficient than others? Does continuous use of a browser for 8-12 hours a day cripple a computers ability to do other tasks?

The performance measurement will include instrumenting of the browser. This will not be to capture the content performance, but the browser performance. Through extensions, plugins, accelerators, whatever browsers will be able to report the effect of long-term use of the health of the computer and how it degrades the perceived performance over time.

Many solutions for page-performance tracking have been implemented using Javascript tags, etc. What would be interesting to many developer is to see the long-term effects of the Web on certain browsers. This information could be tagged with specific event markers, DOM events, plugin usage (Flash, Silverlight, Java), and other items that indicate what events truly effect the browser.

Most browsers provide users and developers tools to debug pages. But what if this data was made globally available? What would it tell us about the containers we use to interact with our world?

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