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23 August 2010, 10:51

W3C launches Web Performance Working Group

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W3C Logo The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has launched the Web Performance Working Group. The Working Group will look at user agent features and APIs to measure aspects of web application performance. As a first step, the members of the Working Group intend to define an API for measuring web page loading times and web application behaviour. The Working Group is part of the W3C's "Rich Web Client" Activity which also organises the standardisation of ECMAScript and the Internet Engineering Task Force for the specification of web protocols.

The initiative includes such heavy-weights as Google and Microsoft, who have previously worked independently in this area and found that JavaScript-based methods for testing web application performance are insufficient. The two companies now want to combine their efforts via the W3C's Web Timing specification. The specification is already implemented in the WebKit browser engine incorporated in Google's Chrome browser, and in Microsoft's third preview of Internet Explorer 9.

Jason Weber, responsible for the performance of the Microsoft browser and one of the Working Group's co-chairs, is confident that, with two early implementations available, it shouldn't take long to finalise an interoperable API and remove the aspects of the implementations that are specific to Google and Microsoft. Arvind Jain is the co-chair for Google.


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