Real-World Performance and the Future of JavaScript Benchmarking

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Web workloads are changing. Performance metrics and tooling need to adapt. Limiting the amount of JS proportionally to what’s visible on the screen is a good strategy.

In the last 10 years, an incredible amount of resources went into speeding up peak performance of JavaScript engines. This was mostly driven by peak performance benchmarks like SunSpider and Octane and shifted a lot of focus toward the sophisticated optimizing compilers found in modern JavaScript engines like Crankshaft in Chrome.

This drove JavaScript peak performance to incredible heights in the last two years, but at the same time, we neglected other aspects of performance like page load time, and we noticed that it became ever more difficult for developers to stay on the fine line of great performance. In addition to that, despite all of these resources dedicated to performance, the user experience on the web seemed to get worse over time — especially page load time on low-end devices.

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