W3C Launches Web Performance Working Group

The Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) today announced a new Web Performance Working Group that aims to more accurately measure Web app performance times.

The group will be co-chaired by representatives from Google and Microsoft. The two companies have been working independently on the problem of measuring Web app performance. Both have found the typical JavaScript method of checking performance to be woefully inadequate. Now they are pooling their efforts under the W3C based on the W3C's Web Timing draft spec.

Google implemented the Web Timing spec into the WebKit rendering engine that powers its Chrome browser. The company announced in late July that performance metrics are now accessible by developers for the Google Chrome 6 browser.

Microsoft implemented the Web Timing spec in its third "platform preview" of Internet Explorer 9, which can be explored in its window.msPerformance demo test. The company described the integration of the Web Timing spec, as well as the problems associated with measuring Web app performance, in a late June blog post

The Web Performance Working Group initially will focus on creating a common API for measuring Web page loading and Web app performance. Currently, Google and Microsoft use vendor-specific prefixes for their implementations of the Web Timing spec.

"With two early implementations available, it shouldn't take long to finalize an interoperable API and remove the vendor prefixes," stated Jason Weber, lead program manager for IE performance and one of the co-chairs of the new working group, in a Thursday blog post. The other working group co-chair is Google's Arvind Jain.

The Web Performance Working Group is part of the W3C's Rich Web Client Activity. The group coordinates with external organizations such as the ECMA Technical Committee 39 (responsible for ECMAScript standardization) and the Internet Engineering Task Force (responsible for defining Web protocols).

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.